More than 50,000 Greeks marched on the nation’s parliament to protest austerity measures required by bailout agreements, according to Reuters: ”‘We can’t just sit by idly and do nothing while the troika and the government destroy our lives,’ said Dimitra Kontouli, a 49-year-old local government employee whose salary was cut to 1,100 euros a month from 1,600 euros previously.”
Spain is moving towards accepting European bailouts, even as protests in Madrid turned violent and politicians in the Catalonia region called for secession.
“It’s just amazing how Libor fixing can make you that much money or lose if opposite.” So said Tan Chi Min, a former Royal Bank of Scotland trader in a conversation with traders at other banks, in an affidavit reviewed by Bloomberg. “It’s a cartel now in London.” Tan is suing RBS in Singapore for wrongful dismissal after being fired for attempting to manipulate Libor.
As previously noted, there’s been nary a dull moment in Peregrine Financial Group founder Russell Wasendorf Sr. In July, Mr. Wasendorf attempted suicide just before regulators unraveled his scheme to embezzle millions of dollars from customers of his Iowa-based futures brokerage.
How did he do it? With a scanner, a post office box and Adobe Photoshop.
To what end? Something about Romanian real estate investments.
How much did he take? Prosecutors say more than $200 million, though Mr. Wasendorf’s public defender disputes that number.
What’s this have to do with SpongeBob?
Footage of Mitt Romney’s remarks about the 47 percent voters who don’t pay taxes or depend on government assistance—”I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives”—was taken in the Florida home of Marc Leder, co-CEO of private equity firm Sun Capital Partners, said David Corn, the reporter who published video clips at Mother Jones. Mr. Leder, a part-owner in the Philadelphia 76ers, is as TPM points out, also known for his bacchanals: “At the Bridgehampton home that Leder rented for a whopping $500,000 a month, guests cavorted nude in a pool and performed sex acts, while scantily clad Russian women danced on platforms,” The New York Post reported last year.
Morgan Stanley and Citigroup agreed to value Morgan Stanley Smith Barney at $13.5 billion, more than the outside bankers hired to mediate the deal said the joint venture brokerage was worth. According to Bloomberg, Perella Weinberg Partners priced the brokerage at the lower end of the difference between valuations submitted by Morgan Stanley and Citi, which would have resulted in a final price of less than $11.5 billion. The banks agreed on the higher value, however, fixing the price at which Morgan Stanley will acquire Citi’s stake in the partnership.
There are lost assets and found assets in the bankruptcy of Peregrine Financial Group, the Iowa-based futures dealer than folded in July after the firm’s founder said in a note left before his attempted suicide that he’d used a color printer to hide that his company’s bank account was missing some $200 million in client funds.
Lost assets included 304 silver coins depicting characters from the children’s TV show SpongeBob SquarePants, valued at about $20,000; Found assets included a baseball glove signed by former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre and baseball hall-of-famer Johnny Bench, all of which may sounds strange if you haven’t been following the saga, which has included tales of Peregrine founder Russell Wasendorf’s shotgun wedding, wizardry with Adobe Photoshop and catastrophic experience in Romanian real estate.
Lost and found
Nothing surprises any more when it comes to Peregrine Financial Group, the Iowa-based futures broker that filed for bankruptcy amid charges that founder Russell Wassendorf Sr. stole client funds.
There was Mr. Wassendorf’s claim—made in a note left before his attempted suicide—that he’d used a scanner, Photoshop and a fake P.O. Box to keep regulators from learning that the firm was missing more than $200 million in client funds. And reports that the Peregrine founder had squandered tens of millions of dollars in Romanian real estate. And there was the matter of the commemorative silver coins, stamped with characters from SpongeBob Squarepants, that the firm’s bankruptcy trustee listed among the firm’s remaining assets.
But fewer cartoon coins than previously thought, according to a filing by the trustee:
Nearly a month after former Citigroup chief executive Sandy Weill called for the break-up of the biggest U.S. banks, current Citi CEO Vikram Pandit told the Financial Times that the bank is sized just right.
How to define ‘subprime?’ The answer may determine the fate of the government’s case against three Freddie Mac Read More
in spongebob we trust
Maybe a missed sign that something irregular was happening at Peregrine Financial Group? Or is this just how they roll in the metals business? From Reuters:
When news broke that Iowa-based futures broker Peregrine Financial Group (a.k.a PFGBest) was short some $200 million in client funds, we wondered how firm founder Russell R. Wasendorf eluded auditors. With a scanner and a fake P.O. Box, it turned out, and if that sounded like something Bart Simpson might have dreamed up to keep Read More
The Lease Beat
The owners of 681 Fifth Avenue, a building that already counts aspiring global fashion company Belstaff as a tenant, has brought on three new tenants into its fancy fold, including financial firms Peregrine Financial Group and Altum Capital Management.
Apex Bulk Carriers, an international owner of large shipping vessels, also signed a lease to take up the entire 11th floor.