Proxy Statement

Something Wicked This Way Comes: McDonalds – A Bear In A Bull Costume

"Building wealth on faulty underpinnings is a strategy ultimately destined for failure... As Halloween nears, we thought it might be an appropriate time to describe the most popular costume on Wall Street, one which many companies have been donning and fooling investors with terrific success..."

Valeant: The End Of The Michael Pearson Era

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, the corporate poster-child for price-gouging, tax-inversion and hedge-fund manager wealth destruction quietly severed all ties with J. Michael Pearson, its former chief executive officer and longtime guiding light, in January according to its annual proxy statement filed this morning.

"He Wants To Be Emperor" – How Mark Zuckerberg Is Scheming To Become President

"Increasingly, a number of influential people in Silicon Valley seem to think that Mark Zuckerberg will likely run for president of the United States one day. And some people, including myself, believe that he could indeed win. “He wants to be emperor” is a phrase that has become common among people who have known him over the years."

Supervisor Of "Massive Fraud" At Wells Fargo Leaves Bank With $125 Million Bonus

Carrie Tolstedt, the Wells Fargo executive who was in charge of the unit where employees engaged in "massive fraud"and opened more than 2 million unauthorized customer accounts, a routine practice that employees internally referred to as “sandbagging”, is leaving the giant bank with an enormous pay day, some $125 million.

M&A Rush Continues: Oracle Buys "Very First Cloud Company" NetSuite For $9.3 Billion

Today the debt-funded M&A scramble continued, when moments ago software giant Oracle announced it would acquire the "very first cloud company" NetSuite,  a deal that some analysts thought was inevitable while panned by others. The transaction price of $109 represents a nearly 20% premium to yesterday's closing print, and is expected to be immediately accretive to Oracle.

Hard LendingClub: Fallout From P2P Scandal Results In Another Resignation; John Mack Is Dragged In

As we reported earlier today, following the surprising "resignation" of the company's CEO and Chairman, Renaud Laplanche as a result of an "internal board review of sales of $22 million in near-prime loans to a single investor", which resulted in the stock losing a quarter of its market cap in minutes, subsequent revelations have seen the spotlight shining brightly on none other than former Morgan Stanley CEO and current Lending Club board member, John Mack, who according to Bloomberg invested in the same venture that led to the termination resignation of the CEO.

It's Official: Avago Buys Broadcom In $37 Billion Deal, Thousands In Employee Layoff "Synergies" Imminent

As the WSJ reported yesterday when it sent the semiconductor space soaring, moments ago Avago (21x EV/EBITDA) confirmed it would buy Broadcom (19x EV/EBITDA) for $37 billion.  The reason for the deal: as the WSJ noted yesterday, "growth has been hard to come by for Broadcom, a 24-year-old company that makes communications chips for tablets and smartphones, and supplies the Internet links for cable-television and telecommunications devices." Or, in other words, only a delusional, yield-chasing bond holder would be willing to fund (with other people's money) the 18.9x Broadcom EV/EBITDA take out price and just like in the oil and E&P space, when organic growth dries out, there is always zero cost debt to extend the dream a little longer.

iCan't: Apple Says No To Uncle Carl

In its preliminary proxy statement, Apple has responded publicly to Carl Icahn's proposal that it commit not less than a $50 billion share buy back program. Their response... an unequivocal, no! and here's why...

"The Board believes that the Company’s management team and Board are in the best position to determine what is in the best long-term interest of the Company’s business and recommends a vote AGAINST this proposal."

As they go on to explain - from already having the biggest dividend and buyback program to domestic cash use and knowing what best for their business, uncle Carl will not be happy.

Frontrunning: April 11

  • Obama to report to his bosses today: Obama Meets With Blankfein, Dimon and Moynihan Today (BBG)
  • 2007 is here all over again: Seeking Relief, Banks Shift Risk to Murkier Corners (NYT)
  • Kuroda Calls BOJ Inflation Target 'Flexible' (WSJ)
  • Lagarde warns over three-speed world (FT)
  • N. Korea’s Retro Propaganda Calls U.S. Boiled Pumpkin (BBG)
  • Luxembourg To Ease Bank Secrecy Rule, Share Data In 2015 (BBG)
  • Bank of Korea Keeps Policy Steady (WSJ)
  • BOE Stimulus Dilemma Persists as Inflation Seen Higher (BBG)
  • EU Sounds Alarm on Spain (WSJ)
  • Qatar gives Egypt $3bn aid package (FT)
  • RBNZ Says Deposit Insurance May Increase Risk of Bank Failure (BBG)
  • Plosser Calls for Reducing QE Pace Citing Gains in Labor Market (BBG)
  • Obama budget aims to kick start deficit-reduction talks (Reuters)

Vikram Pandit Bottom Line: Over $260 Million For A 90% Stock Drop

Here is the bottom line. From the day Pandit took control in December 2007 until today, C stock is down 90%.......Even as Pandit has been paid a total of over $260 million during his CEO tenure, even including his famous $1 comp received in 2010. While CEO of Citigroup in 2007, Vikram Pandit earned an annualized compensation of $3,164,320, which included a base salary of $250,000, stocks granted of $2,914,320, and options granted of $0. In 2008, he earned a total compensation of $38,237,437, which included a base salary of $958,333, stocks granted of $28,830,000, and options granted of $8,432,911. In 2009 he received total compensation of $128,751, including base salary of $125,001; In 2010 he received total compensation of $1,00; In 2011 he received total compensation of $14,857,103 including base salary of $1,671,370. Oh, and this number includes the $165 million Pandit received for his low performing hedge fund which was purchased by Citi in 2007, and was closed by Citi a few months later for epic underperformance.