Cohen

What The 1% Wear To Court

With an ever-rising number of 1%-ers in the public eye for less-than-god's-work-like behavior, Town and Country magazine knows it can be tough dressing for court when nothing in your closet is off the rack! Here are some fashion strategies for the wealthy and notorious as they approach the bar... the dock is the new red carpet and one must, must find the balance between Brioni and bankruptcy... or Couture over Kevlar...

Frontrunning: December 24

  • Edward Snowden, after months of NSA revelations, says his mission’s accomplished (WaPo)
  • Japan’s Nikkei 225 Extends Six-Year High on U.S. Data  (BBG)
  • Retailers blend stores, e-commerce to snag holiday stragglers (Reuters)
  • Storm wreaks havoc in Britain, France ahead of Christmas (Reuters)
  • Big Rally to Pump Up Wall Street Bonuses (WSJ)
  • Obamacare Sign-Up Extended as Record 1 Million Use Site (BBG)
  • Merkel Hits Wall With Europe Fix (WSJ)
  • Boaz Weinstein Loses for Second Year as European Bet Sours (BBG)
  • UniCredit has reached an agreement to sell almost €1 billion in nonperforming loans to Cerberus (WSJ)
  • U.S. mortgage applications fall as refinance hits five-year low (Reuters)
  • Cohen Said to Have Warned Friend About Possible Federal Investigation (NYT)
  • ‘Duck Dynasty’ Dad Risks $500 Million With Gay-Sin Remark (BBG)

Frontrunning: December 19

  • Traders Seek an Edge With High-Tech Snooping (WSJ)
  • Gold Drops Below $1,200 an Ounce for First Time Since June (Bloomberg)
  • SAC Manager Guilty as Insider Focus Turns to Martoma (Bloomberg)
  • Why Ukraine spurned the EU and embraced Russia (Reuters)
  • Target confirms major card data theft during Thanksgiving (Reuters)
  • Zuckerberg is no suckerberg: Company to Sell 27 Million Class A Shares While CEO Will Offer 41.4 Million (WSJ)
  • Facebook, Zuckerberg, banks must face IPO lawsuit (Reuters)
  • Swiss Christmas Trees Feel Chill as Franc Helps Rivals (BBG)
  • Iran, six powers to resume nuclear talks after snag (Reuters)
  • Dolphins Suffering From Lung Disease Due to Gulf Oil Spill, Study Says (WSJ)

Frontrunning: December 10

  • U.S. set to adopt Volcker rule to curb bank trading gambles (Reuters) After vote, lawsuits likely next hurdle for Volcker rule (Reuters)
  • U.S. Congress budget talks could produce Tuesday deal, aides say (Reuters)
  • Wealthy Go Frugal This Holiday Amid Uneven U.S. Recovery (BBG)
  • Tearful Thai PM urges protesters to take part in election (Reuters)
  • Fed’s Bullard Sees Higher QE Taper Odds as Labor Market Improves (BBG)
  • Coeure Says ECB Would Offer More LTROs Only When Banks Can Lend (BBG)
  • Inside China's Super-Sterile Chicken Farms (WSJ)
  • Mandela Service Rivals JFK’s as Leaders Meet in South Africa (BBG)
  • China data defy slowdown forecasts (FT), and of course the word is "data"
  • Cold, ice grip U.S. as more snow to blanket East (Reuters)

US Retailer Hell In One Chart

The chart below from the WSJ, summarizes perfectly the hell that US retailers find themselves in. In brief: sales down and inventories soaring, means liquidation sales have to surge, while profits and cash flows crater.

Frontrunning: November 22

  • Wonder why: JPMorgan plans to keep pay roughly flat from last year (Reuters) - maybe this: Charles Schwab Warns "We Are In A Manipulated Market"
  • Democrats overturn filibuster rule, increasing Obama’s power (FT)
  • Day JFK Died We Traded Through Tears as NYSE Shut (BBG)
  • When even dictators snub Obama - Afghanistan rejects U.S. call for quick security deal (Reuters)
  • Obama Plunges in Investor Poll as Stocks Make New Highs (BBG)
  • Iran, six powers struggle to overcome snags in nuclear talks (Reuters)
  • Derision for China’s ‘rejuvenation index’ (FT)
  • Bottom is in: Paulson Said to Inform Clients He Won’t Add More to Gold (BBG)
  • German business sentiment rebounds strongly (WSJ)
  • WTO on verge of global trade pact (FT)

SEC Compliance Examiner Arrested For Non-Compliance, Misreporting Stock Holdings

Perhaps this should have been a "Humor" post but in possibly the most ironic news story of the day, New York-based SEC employee Steven Gilchrist was charged with three counts of making false statements regarding the nature of his personal financial holdings. As WSJ reports, the 48-year-old compliance examiner at the agency, allegedly certified that his stock holdings were in compliance with the agency's ethics rules, when in reality he had held shares of six companies that agency staffers are barred from holding. The SEC is "very disappointed that an employee allegedly made false statements to conceal prohibited holdings after being told by our ethics office to divest." Gilchrist, unlike Cohen, faces a maximum 15 year sentence!

Frontrunning: November 7

  • Twitter's IPO to Make Market Debut (WSJ); Twitter Raises $1.82 Billion, Pricier Value Than Facebook (BBG)
  • Worried Senators Press Obama on Health Law (WSJ)
  • Greenspan Says Yellen Was His Guide to Economics Research at Fed (BBG)
  • European Central Bank seen holding rates despite inflation tumble (Reuters)
  • Wall St. Bonuses Over All Are Predicted to Rise 5 to 10% (NYT)
  • Cautious consumers seen curbing U.S. economic growth (Reuters)
  • China Grants U.S. Investors Indirect Access to Its Stock Markets (WSJ)
  • Higher Tax Rates Give Top U.S. Earners Year-End Headaches (BBG)
  • Iran Loses Nuclear Leverage as World Ignores Export Drop (BBG)
  • NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly in the running for JPMorgan job (Post)

Move Over FX And Libor, As Manipulation And "Banging The Close" Comes To Commodities And Interest Rate Swaps

While the public's attention has been focused recently on revelations involving currency manipulation by all the same banks best known until recently for dispensing Bollinger when they got a Libor end of day print from their criminal cartel precisely where they wanted it (for an amusing take, read Matt Taibbi's latest), the truth is that manipulation of FX and Libor is old news. Time to move on to bigger and better markets, such as physical commodities, in this case crude, as well as Interest Rate swaps. And, best of all, the us of our favorite manipulation term of all: "banging the close."

2013's Best And Worst: Complete Hedge Fund Performance Update

The time has come for the monthly status check on the performance of the now largely anachronistic hedge fund industry: a 2 and 20 anachronism (whose every phone call is monitored by the FBI nowadays, thanks Stevie Cohen) because in Bernanke's centrally-planned world, risk is verboten, as are any selloffs, and if indeed one does come and the Fed has no "tools" left to counteract it, no amount of hedges will protect an investing community that has now largely eliminated any short positions on their books. So without further ado, here are the best and worst performing hedge funds of 2013.

Frontrunning: November 5

  • China premier warns against loose money policies (Reuters)
  • Brussels forecasts tepid Eurozone growth (FT)
  • SAC Case Began With Informant’s Tips on Cohen, Rajaratnam (BBG)
  • Dirty Munich Home’s Nazi Loot Estimated at $1.35 Billion (BBG)
  • Mortar hits Vatican embassy in Damascus, no casualties (Reuters)
  • India Launches Mars Mission (WSJ)
  • Lael Brainard to leave Treasury, heading to Fed (FT)
  • U.S. Takes Aim at 'Forced' Insurance (WSJ)
  • Wife of Jeff Bezos attacks book about Amazon (FT)
  • Fall of Brazil’s Batista embarrasses President Dilma Rousseff (FT)
  • The One Thing People Still Really Like About BlackBerry (BusinessWeek)

SAC Capital To Plead Guilty To All Counts

While we are sure many will proclamin 'this is just a witch-hunt' - and all the hangers-on will be defending Stevie's decision... the fact is that:

  • *SAC AGREES TO PLEAD GUILTY TO END U.S. INSIDER-TRADING CASE
  • *SAC WILL PLEAD GUILTY TO EVERY COUNT IN INDICTMENT, U.S. SAYS
  • *U.S. SAYS SAC AGREEMENT PROVIDES `NO IMMUNITY' FOR  INDIVIDUALS

Seems pretty cut-and-dried to us... As part of the deal, Reuters notes that SAC will terminate its investment advisory business.

Frontrunning: November 4

  • Investors are stampeding into initial public offerings at the fastest clip since the financial crisis (WSJ)
  • Kerry hails disgruntled Saudi Arabia as important U.S. ally (Reuters)
  • SAC Capital prepares for a second life (FT)
  • BlackBerry's Fate Goes Down to the Wire (WSJ)
  • Dutch Gamble on U.S. Housing Debt After Patience Wins (BBG)
  • U.S. Wants Broad Divestitures From AMR, US Airways (WSJ)
  • Tensions with allies rise, but U.S. sees improved China ties (Reuters)
  • China berates foreign media for Tiananmen attack doubts (Reuters)
  • China manufacturers squeezed as costs rise (FT)
  • European Borders Tested as Money Is Moved to Shield Wealth (NYT)
  • Zurich Probe Finds No ‘Undue Pressure’ Put on Late CFO (BBG)