Levine on Wall Street: What's in a Name That Ends in a Number?
You can keep your CLOs for a little while.
The Fed announced a two-year delay in implementing the part of the Volcker Rule that would require banks to get rid of collateralized loan obligations that contain anything other than loans. Because, the way it works is, a CLO that contains only loans is securitized lending, and is fine under the Volcker Rule, but a CLO that contains 90 percent loans and 10 percent bonds is a "hedge fund," and is banned under the Volcker Rule. This seems to be the main Volcker-Rule-related priority for U.S. financial regulators right now, enjoy your hard-won financial stability. Meanwhile Deutsche Bank may need billions of euros in additional capital if it values its assets prudently instead of imprudently.
Which Point72 are you referring to?
Look, the financial industry is full of name confusion. Renaissance Capital is not the hedge fund, which is Renaissance Technologies. People confuse BlackRock and Blackstone, Oaktree and Oak Hill, even Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan. BlueCrest Capital, Blue Mountain Capital, Blue Point Capital, and BluePointe Capital all appear to be different companies. Still, this story of the hedge fund formerly known as SAC Capital, and now known as Point72 Asset Management, is too much:
But in the weeks since deciding on a new name, which is a reference to the 72 Cummings Point Road address of the firm's headquarters, Mr. Cohen's firm has been busy buying domain names for websites that incorporate "Point72." Most notably, the firm acquired the domain name for a former quantitative trading shop called Point72 Technologies that was based in Los Angeles.
We've established that "Point" is popular, but why 72? There is an infinite number of numbers; what are the odds that everyone would want 72?
The business model is right there in the name .
Here is the story of Jerk.com, which according to the Federal Trade Commission was in the business of "harvesting personal information from Facebook to create profiles labeling people a 'Jerk' or 'not a Jerk,' then falsely claiming that consumers could revise their online profiles by paying $30." It allegedly did this "for more than 73 million people, including children," and you have to admire this technology-focused effort to disrupt blackmail. "What if we use the internet to just blackmail everyone?," they apparently asked themselves. Of course nothing helps jerks quite like Facebook; Jerk used the Facebook API to download pictures and, um, you may want to check your privacy settings, though it won't do you any good:
Numerous consumers have complained that photographs and other information about them on Jerk were originally posted on Facebook using controls that enabled users to designate material for dissemination only to a limited group, and that the information was not designated for public viewing.
Oh look more high frequency trading.
Antarctica is lovely this time of year .
We've talked before about a study that found companies that "move their annual meetings a great distance from headquarters" tend to underperform, because that is a signal that management is hiding something. But if you are a bank you have a lot of things you might want to hide besides poor performance. Citi's annual meeting is in St. Louis this year; Goldman's is in Dallas, Wells Fargo's in San Antonio, and JPMorgan's in Tampa. And can you blame them?
Some banks acknowledge privately the attraction of holding meetings in locations that are less likely to attract protesters, trade unions - or indeed shareholders.
"It's not 'let's hide from the press' - because the press shows up anyway," says one bank executive. "It's 'let's hide from the lunatics, who just want pastries'."
And, perhaps, the dominatrices. Last year, dressed in spandex and carrying a whip and a sign that read "bankers need a spanking", Marni Halasa roller-skated outside Citi's annual meeting in New York. "It's embarrassing for them to have protesters outside their doors," she says.
Is Goldman still The Lion of Wall Street? Manishewitz has had a lot of private equity owners; the latest is Bain Capital's Sankaty Advisors. Felix Salmon finished reading "Flash Boys." The most important charts in the world; there are 100 of them. "The Rise of the iPhone Stock Trader." "This stuff has no burn. And then after two of them, you're just invisible." Congratulations, Guy America.
Koch Industries and Goldman Sachs are teaming up .
If they work together, there's no way they can lose that popularity contest!
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.)
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