Weil on Finance, P.M.: Dell Downers and a Flight to HEL
Happy Friday, dear readers. Here are your afternoon links.
Buyer's remorse at Silver Lake over Dell?
After all the struggle that Silver Lake Management and Michael Dell went through to win shareholder approval for their deal to buy Dell Inc., this story about the regrets of a few Silver Lake investors is pretty amazing, though perhaps not surprising considering the bleak outlook for the desktop-computer industry: From David Carey and Sabrina Willmer of Bloomberg News: "It’s a task some of Silver Lake’s backers wish it hadn’t taken on, according to interviews with six investors in the Menlo Park, California-based firm. Three said they would have preferred the deal hadn’t gone through, while three others said they were willing to give Silver Lake the benefit of the doubt."
The effect of rising interest rates on Verizon's big debt deal
Suzanne McGee makes some interesting points in this Fiscal Times column about the $49 billion of debt that Verizon is issuing to help buy out Vodafone's stake in Verizon Wireless: "The timing of the buyout may not have been dictated solely by expectations that the Federal Reserve will soon start pulling back its support for the bond market, but the impending policy change clearly meant the companies had a limited window to get the deal done. If interest rates were to climb higher in response to the Fed’s policy change, Verizon’s required financing could become expensive enough to scuttle the deal."
What's in an ellipsis anyway?
So ... does ... writing ... like ... this, suggest some hidden meaning? Broc Romanek, editor of TheCorporateCounsel.net, has a fun post today examining the meaning of an ellipsis. Here's the backstory: Last week Fox Business reporters Katie Roof and Charlie Gasparino wrote a story about how a Twitter spokeswoman had responded "..." to a question about whether anyone at the company could "chat with me about IPO rumors." They took this to mean that Twitter had "finally, possibly, confirmed" it was planning a 2014 initial public offering. Romanek asks: "Does a response of dot-dot-dot mean yes?"
And the EU wonders why no one believes Europe's numbers
This story comes from the U.K.'s Daily Mail. European Union President Herman Van Rompuy told Europe's Court of Auditors to focus on promoting the EU and stop issuing so many critical reports about its finances. The auditors haven't signed off on the EU's budget for 18 years because of concerns about fraud. So obviously the proper solution to that problem is to get the auditors to do some good P.R. for the EU.
Whale watching: the latest twist
Keri Geiger and Dawn Kopecki of Bloomberg report that Julien Grout, one of two former JPMorgan Chase traders charged in over last year's London Whale trading scandal, is arguing to prosecutors that he was following orders from his then-boss. That would be the whale himself, Bruno Iksil, who agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and hasn't been charged. We'll be reading about this case for a long time to come, I'm sure.
Would you board Flight 666 to HEL?
I am not making this up, as Dave Barry would say. From the Associated Press: "For superstitious travelers, that might be tempting fate. But Finnair passengers on AY666 to Helsinki -- which has the 3 letter designation HEL -- don’t seem too bothered. Friday’s flight is almost full."
(Jonathan Weil is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter.)