Levine on Wall Street: Underwater Airplanes and Sandwich Deals

"There should be a lifetime ban on regulators working for financial institutions they have regulated" is something that was obviously meant ironically.

Here is some fantastic business television.

Tom Perkins spent forty minutes on Bloomberg West last night explaining that, while he could buy "a six-pack of Rolexes" for the price of his watch, he actually got his watch for free from the people who made his giant yacht. Who are not to be confused with the people who made his underwater airplane. Also he's sorry if you misunderstood his point about how taxing rich people is the equivalent of Kristallnacht.

Sheila Bair has a new job.

"There should be a lifetime ban on regulators working for financial institutions they have regulated," Bair once wrote, possibly in her cover letter to Banco Santander. Anyway she's on Santander's board now, which is not quite the same as working for Santander. Really, she just gets to continue supervising them. A good model of the regulatory revolving door is that it actually makes regulation tougher and better: If you want to leave the government for a lucrative private-sector job, you have to be tough and smart to (1) prove to banks that you're tough and smart (they want to hire tough smart people) and (2) make them hate you, so they hire you to get you out of the regulating business and quiet you down. Part (2) breaks down a bit here; I have trouble imagining that being on Santander's board is going to change Bair's public statements much.

Herbalife analyst has a new job.

"Tim Ramey left his job as an analyst for D.A. Davidson & Co. in Lake Oswego, Oregon, to join Post Holdings Inc. as director of strategic ventures on a consulting basis," which seems like a sign of something. Ramey was a bullish Herbalife analyst, and Post's chief executive is a big Herbalife investor, and "strategic ventures" is often code for M&A, so, you never know. The stock was up 6.7 percent on those hints. Meanwhile here is an unconfirmed rumor from Charlie Gasparino that the Pershing Square analyst responsible for shorting Herbalife no longer works at Pershing Square.

Our national crisis of punning federal investigators.

Here is FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos, announcing some insider trading charges: "Trading on inside information negatively impacts individual investors, puts companies at risk, and threatens the public's faith in our financial markets. As alleged, Mr. Prado and Mr. Cornelsen put their faith in a 'sandwich deal' and bit off more than they could chew. The FBI will continue to investigate this type of illegal conduct and prosecute those who violate our laws." And will continue with the shameless awful puns when it catches them.

If you have dogs at work, you need a Dog Tribunal .

This company sounds fun, but also the opposite of fun.

Have some bourbon-flavored beer .

My favorite genre of literature is marketing jargon for food and beverage companies. I could read it all day. Here is what David Kroll, the head of innovation at MillerCoors, says about Miller Fortune, a new bourbon-y beer: "We tortured every aspect to say, 'Are we falling back on what beer would do?' Because this brand is intended to play in a spirits occasion."

College graduate turned down banking for management consulting .

Then she wrote a book about it, which seems excessive.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

    (Matt Levine writes about Wall Street and the financial world for Bloomberg View.)

    To contact the author on this story:
    Matthew S Levine at

    To contact the editor on this story:
    Toby Harshaw at

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