This Just In: SEC's 5 New Uptick Rule Proposals

So the SEC voted to propose five uptick rule-related proposals.  The comment period, during which the SEC receives feedback from member firms, will be 60 days before anything is decided on. From Pensions & Investments: Among the proposals being considered, one is to reinstate the original rule that was introduced in 1938 and was in…

The Macy's Bodyguard, and Other Little-Known Security Perks

The eagle-eyed Michelle Leder (of footnoted.org) dug up an interesting detail from a recent proxy filing by Macy’s (M) and posted it in her Dealbook column: From Dealbook (NYT): In the filing, the company (Macy’s) said it spent nearly $300,000 last year as part of the company’s “car program” to provide Terry Lundgren, the company’s chairman…

About F&%$in' Time: Homebuilders Merging

Watching the homebuilders stubbornly try to go it alone over the last few years has been highly frustrating, like an adult chaperon at the 6th grade dance watching the boys stand on one side of the gym and the girls on the other.  When you have a group of companies facing this type of nosedive…

A Day in the Life: Hank Greenberg

A Day in the Life of Maurice “Hank” Greenberg 7:00 am:  Wake up.  CD alarm clock plays “It’s All Over Now” by The Rolling Stones. 7:05 am:  Mutters “wasn’t my fault” on the way into the shower. 7:30 am:  Breakfast, includes 2 egg whites, one half grapefruit, one heaping bowl of Gorilla Munch cereal (from…

Chinese Warren Buffett: Berkshire Hatha-Wei Ponzi Frozen

This is by far my favorite of all the ridiculous Ponzi’s (oh, so many to choose from!) From WSJ: A federal judge agreed to freeze the assets of a man accused of running a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme targeting Chinese-Americans, primarily near Dallas.  The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Weizhen Tang, who describes himself as the…

Fun With Math: How Much Has the Bailout Cost?

I recently used this data in a client presentation to illustrate, and give context to, the cost of the 2008 bailout versus other large expenditures in US history.  The numbers themselves come from Bianco Research LLC and only factor in expenditures as of mid-December, the dollar amounts have only grown since then.  Marshall Plan 115.3 billion…

Jilted JAVA: Sun Micro Left at the Altar

From CNET: Sun’s stock plummeted nearly 23 percent to $6.68 a share in premarket trading, following reports in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal that the company rejected a formal buyout bid of $9.40 a share or less, and terminated an exclusive negotiating agreement, prompting IBM to withdraw its offer. Sucks to…

The Modified Uptick Rule Debate

Coming Soon! The following is not an argument for or against shorting, as that is a non-debate.   The presence of short-selling is a necessary component of a free, liquid and healthy market.  The question we’ll focus on here is what type of form the safeguards against abusive short-selling should take when the discussion by…

Private Equity, Public Embarrasment

Apollo Management sure has made some awful deals recently… From Bloomberg: Apollo founder Leon Black, 57, is trying to salvage some of the $60 billion worth of companies he has acquired since 2006. Retailer Linens ‘n Things Inc. filed for bankruptcy last year. Casino operator Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. is restructuring debt to stave off default….

Where Do Shopping Malls Go When They Die?

This is an interesting topic, albeit a morbid one.  Shopping malls are an American institution, like Baseball or Five Dollar Footlongs. The question of what you can do with the physical space once a mall closes is suddenly apropos, as the retail picture grows more grim with each passing day.  Ever since the first modern,…