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.

 

Article continues below
More from Politics
STAR OF DAVID OR 'PLAIN STAR'?   If you thought "CP Time" was impolitic, on July 2 Donald Trump posted a picture on Twitter of a Star of David on top of a pile of cash next to Hillary Clinton's face. You'd think after the aforementioned crime stats incident (or after engaging a user called "@WhiteGenocideTM," or blasting out a quote from Benito Mussolini, or...) Trump would have learned to wait a full 15 seconds before hitting the "Tweet" button. But not only was the gaffe itself bad, the attempts at damage control made the BP oil spill response look a virtuoso performance.  About two hours after the image went up on Trump's account, somebody took it down and replaced it with a similar picture that swapped the hexagram with a circle (bearing the same legend "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!"!). Believe it or not, it actually got worse from there. As reports arose that the first image had originated on a white supremacist message board, Trump insisted that the shape was a "sheriff's star," or "plain star," not a Star of David. And he continued to sulk about the coverage online and in public for days afterward, even when the media was clearly ready to move on. This refusal to just let some bad press go would haunt him later on.
Donald Trump More Or Less Says He’ll Keep On Tweeting as President