Bill Gates, Kofi Annan Beg Mercy for Rajat Gupta; Caxton Associates Trims Fees: Roundup

Bill Gates and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan are among the friends of Rajat Gupta who have penned letters to Judge Jed Rakoff seeking leniency when the convicted insider trader is sentenced later this month.

A lobbying group backed by Elliott Management’s Paul Singer enlisted the American Agriculture Movement, the American Association of University Professors and the Cattle Producers of Washington, to lend heft to investors’ efforts to recover defaulted Argentinean debt through political channels. One problem? The trade groups aren’t really sure how their good names got associated with anything having to do with Argentina, as The Wall Street Journal reports.

Another strange one: A former employee of William Koch—billionaire brother to Charles and David—says his boss kidnapped him after he raised concerns over a plan to evade $200 million in taxes.

Caxton Associates is trimming management fees to 2.6 percent form 3. percent, and performance fees to 27.5 percent from 30 percent, according to The Journal. Macro funds such as Caxton often charge higher fees than the traditional two and twenty; Caxton follows macro funds Tudor Investment Corp and Graham Capital Management in adjusting fee structures.

High-frequency trading firms are said to be dialing back in the face of lower profits.

James Gorman, Wall Street revolutionary?

Activist investors Warren Lichtenstein and Tim Brog are squaring off over board seats at supply-chain company ModusLink, according to The New York Post.

There’s plenty for world finance chiefs to fight over in a series of upcoming meetings. There’s Greece, of course, plus Spain, Italy and assorted other eurozone economies. Also: a territorial dispute between China and Japan, not to mention U.S. lawmakers’ refusal to deal with the coming fiscal cliff.

Thousands of anti-austerity protesters marched through Madrid, banging pots and pans, to protest austerity measures.

Send in the troops! The Swiss Army is preparing to mobilize in event that the European debt crisis turns violent.

The London Whalestill mysterious/fascinating as ever.