This Just In: Nadel Caught in Florida, AG Cuomo Investigating Thain Bonus

Today’s going to be a doozy… Art Nadel just surrendered to authorities in Tampa, Florida according to CNBC. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has subpoenaed ex-Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain and one of his henchmen regarding the bonus snafu according to Dealbreaker. Kind of like the final scene of The Godfather when the family takes…

Agape World: More Red Flags Than An Evening At Medieval Times

There’s a bull market in thieves and dirtbags…quick – create an ETF! They just unearthed yet another Ponzi scheme, this time it’s a construction bridge loan scam called Agape World in Hauppauge, New York. Nicholas Cosmo, an ex-broker with a boiler room past and a conviction for securities fraud, has spent the last 8 years…

Pigs at the Trough: Wall Street Takes a Bonus Anyway

In late December, ex-CEO John Thain snuck in $15 billion worth of Merrill Lynch bonus payments to executives and employees a month earlier than usual.  He did this while his merger partner to-be Bank of America was in Washington telling officials that a $20 billion rescue package was essential for survival. The fact that anyone…

What is a Piker?

One of the first slang terms I came across when I started in the business was “Piker”, as in “so-and-so is a total piker”.

Amongst the brokers, that was the worst name we could call one another, but it could also be used to describe anyone who is involved in or invests in the markets.

Essentially, by calling someone a piker, you were ridiculing them for the fact that they were either a small-time player or too afraid to bet big.

This got me curious enough to start asking about where the term “Piker” came from. Interestingly, those who seemed to use it most often had the least idea of what it truly meant.

Hot Links: Ken Lewis Edition

Hot Links for Weekend Reading: The country is made up of two types of people right now, those who care about the Bank of America/ Merrill Lynch saga and those who truly don’t mind being robbed and pillaged in broad daylight.  When the news came out that Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain requested a $10…

Top 10 ETFs They Haven't Created Yet

With over 400 Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) on the market right now and new ones being issued each week, it would seem that we could be reaching the point of ETF overload. That said, it would be tough to say that we have too many ETF’s until we get to the point that we start seeing products like the ones listed below…

Zombie Bank Showdown in the Met Life Building

Cue rolling tumbleweeds… Is the lobby of the Met Life Building (200 Park Avenue) big enough for two bank branches facing each other across a 20 foot hall?  Are New Yorkers so lazy that they literally need an ATM on both sides of the hall? Coming up from Grand Central every morning via the escalator…

The Lemonade Crisis (Explaining the Bailout to Children)

The Lemonade Crisis or How to Explain the Bailout to Children Cast: Jimmy, Jamie, Kenny, Stan, Dick, Chuck and Sandy as “The Lemonade Stand Kids” Easy Al and Ben as “The Grocers” Summer came early to Bankington Heights and the neighborhood kids were all excited for their vacation.  The previous summer, Jamie, Jimmy, Stan, Dick,…

Missing the Point on Peltz's Sale of Heinz Shares

In Barron’s writer Avi Salzman‘s recent Inside Scoop piece “Peltz Cuts Back on Ketchup Giant” there is a major missed opportunity to put the story into a broader context that is way more interesting than the article’s original premise. Writing about some recent sales of Heinz (HNZ) stock by Nelson Peltz of the Trian Companies,…

Girls of Ponzi 2009 Calendar

Girls of Ponzi 2009 Calendar Ruth Madoff January 2009 Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Michelle Schrenker February 2009 Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday…