Get ready to hear the clack of high heels on the Financial District’s cobblestones.
“There is a growing group of people that have moved to Financial District because their job is here or was relocated here,” said Ariel Cohen, a broker in the Ariel Cohen Team at Douglas Elliman. “I expect we’ll see more of that, especially with Condé Nast moving to the area.” Read More
As if being a Wall Street i-banker and working in a power suit till 4 a.m. every morning isn’t already appealing, now you can do it with a computer strapped to your face. As Quartz reported yesterday, Fidelity Labs—sort of like the mad scientists’ division of Fidelity Investments—has developed a “market monitoring app” for Google Glass.
Hedge Fund Ads
The Securities and Exchange Commission voted yesterday to let hedge funds advertise to the general public, and hedge funders are cheering—none more so than Jonathan Hoenig.
Mr. Hoenig, an outspoken Objectivist—a follower of Ayn Rand’s philosophy—and the manager of Capitalistpig Asset Management, believes the SEC’s restrictions on hedge fund advertising were unfair.
“For 80 Read More
Up & Down the Street
Among the many gifts Benjamin Graham bequeathed to investors was the allegory of Mr. Market. He’s the collective us, the guy who wakes up with a new view about the best price for a stock (or the market itself), often without any clue as to why his outlook has changed.
Mr. Market seems particularly manic Read More
Rich Marin is big. For more than three decades, he dominated Wall Street, creating some of the industry’s most exotic investments, making billions for his clients, and millions for himself. One of his minions blew a hole in the side of Bankers Trust, a firm Mr. Marin helped transform into a derivatives powerhouse, and still he held on for the ride, becoming the youngest managing director ever at the bank. It all came crashing down five years ago, when the hedge funds he oversaw at Bear Stearns imploded. The rest of the world followed within the year. But there was Mr. Marin, standing amid the wreckage, helping rescue an overzealous Israeli diamond magnate who had plowed $3 billion into prime U.S. real estate just as the frothing market froze over. He rescued the firm, only to be unceremoniously fired two years to the day after he joined.
Now Rich Marin wants to build the world’s largest ferris wheel—in Staten Island, naturally—and the mayor just gave him his blessing.
Did we mention he is big? At the announcement of the project last Thursday, Mr. Marin absolutely dwarfed Mayor Bloomberg and Senator Chuck Schumer, along with the other dignitaries gathered at the ferry terminal. But despite his imposing size—he stands 6-foot-5 and is built like an offensive lineman—Mr. Marin is probably one of the gentlest people on the Street. Were he a real bear, rather than having worked for one, Mr. Marin would be not a grizzly but a teddy. This may help explain his turbulent career.
We learned a lot in the Businessweek profile on Alexander Rovt, the Ukrainian fertilizer billionaire who’s been making huge, all-cash investments into American real estate lately (he spent $303 million to acquire a majority stake in the Banker’s Trust building this April). Mr. Rovt should not be confused with Russian fertilizer billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who spent $88 million on a penthouse at 15 CPW.
Last week, Progressive Insurance had the biggest social media #FAIL of its history when it decided to engage Matt Fisher, a young Brooklyn comedian who wrote a Tumblr post accusing the auto insurance agency of refusing to pay out the premium on his sister’s policy after she was killed in a car accident. In fact, Progressive went so far as to list itself with the defendant of the case in a civil suit.
Now, insurance companies do shady shit all the time. That’s why they are insurance companies an are run by guys who look like Ted Bundy with capped teeth. But they usually aren’t stupid. Yet Progressive’s reaction to Mr. Fisher’s claim wasn’t just to send out a press release saying how sorry they were for the unfortunate turn of events, but actually take to Twitter, where they launched a robo-tweet campaign claiming their innocence at anyone who tried to say otherwise.
This, obviously, did not have great results.
Goldman Sachs has become, in certain circles, a punching bag for demagogues and panderers who would have you believe that the firm somehow symbolizes all that critics dislike about global capitalism in general and Wall Street in particular.
Goldman deserves better, but that’s another argument for another time. For now, it is important to note the firm now has a financial stake in reforming New York’s criminal justice system. It’s the sort of public-private policy initiative that ought to be encouraged at all levels of government, particularly as states and municipalities continue to struggle with budget deficits.
From outside the elite preserves of the financial industry, Britain’s LIBOR scandal follows a wearily familiar narrative arc: Yes, a leading investment bank has confessed to gaming a central borrowing index—the so-called London Interbank Offered Rate, which establishes how much banks charge each other to borrow money. And yes, that bank—Barclays of London—has coughed up 290 million pounds in fines to stave off the prospect of a criminal prosecution. But jaded consumers of financial news can be forgiven for thinking that this all amounts to the perennial status quo for the investment class, in the city and on Wall Street alike. Haven’t these characters always sought to live by their own self-seeking code—and haven’t fund managers long been little more than glorified corruptionists? If we systemically prosecute this sort of behavior, are we just futilely attempting to issue a restraining order against human nature?
In reality, the LIBOR dustup is a very big deal—and largely because of its very routine profile.
It’s the ages-old question: Do people who abuse protected speech—for really no good reason—really deserve it? And is anyone on fair ground to even ask that kind of thing?