Robert Diamond Not Forever as Barclays CEO, Ex-JPMorgan Brokers Badmouth Old Shop: Wall Street Roundup

Diamond out: Barclays CEO Robert Diamond resigned today, less than a week after the British lender agreed to a $451 million settlement over charges the bank had manipulated Libor. Wait, what’s Libor? Heidi Moore has you covered. What was Mr. Diamond’s role in Barclays attempts to monkey with interbank lending rates? The New York Times reports that Mr. Diamond told top executives to report artificially low Libor rates to bring the bank in line with rivals, although he may have “miscommunicated.” Key lieutenant Jerry del Missier, who was named Barclays’ Chief Operating Officer last month, may be next to quit.

Top harpoon: BlueMountain Capital, whose manager Andrew Feldstein, helped create the market for credit derivatives as a JPMorgan executive in the 1990s, looks like the biggest winner on the other side of JPMorgan’s recent trading losses, according to Bloomberg. The hedge fund started out buying credit default swaps from the London Whale, along with firms such as Hutchin Hill Capital, Bluecrest Capital and Saba Capital; after JPMorgan announced losses of more than $2 billion in May, BlueMountain profited by helping the bank unwind its losing position. BlueMountain may profit by as much as $300 million on the trades.

Conflict of interest: Former JPMorgan brokers say the firm pushed in-house mutual funds to investors. Sounds par for the course to us, but The Times reports that other banks have backed away from the practice. It’s also worth noting that brokers tend to be client-oriented, and resent being told to sell inferior products to pad the firm’s results. (Don’t take our word for it, read the advisers’ quotes in the linked article.) Also: JPMorgan was ordered to pay $373 million after favoring JPMorgan products over American Century funds.

Fat cats for Obama: Wall Street is still fund-raising for President Barack Obama, The Wall Street Journal reports, despite the financial services industry’s opposition to some administration policies.

Oil play: The Carlyle Group took over the largest East Coast refinery in a bet on U.S. oil and gas producers.

Euro-dissent: If German Chancellor Angela Merkel embraces Euro bonds, she’ll anger some in her governing coalition.

Hanging around: Hedge fund manager David Einhorn made the final table at the World Series of Poker’s All In for One Drop tournament, finishing the second day in sixth place out of eight remaining players. Mr. Einhorn is well back of the leaders, but he’s guaranteed to make a profit on the $1 million he paid to buy into the tournaments; the Greenlight Capital founder has said he will donate any winnings to City Year.

Bust: Full Tilt Poker chief executive officer Ray Bitar turned himself into the Department of Justice, which charged the online poker site founder with operating a Ponzi scheme.

Bing: Microsoft said it would take a $6.2 billion impairment against its acquisition of aQuantive, signaling struggles in the company’s Internet division.


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