Hot Links: When Giants Clash

Hot Links for Weekend Reading Shedlock vs Schiff The big hullabaloo in Wall Street Blogland this week was the unsolicited Peter Schiff beatdown issued by Michael “Mish” Shedlock (Sitka Advisors) on his Global Economic Trend Analysis site.  Mish was sick of all the “Peter Schiff Was Right” promotional videos floating around and decided to call…

Good Bank, Bad Bank by Dr. Seuss

Good Bank             Bad Bank Wood Bank           Fad Bank Red Bank               Blue Bank Old Bank              New Bank

People I Can Do Without: Winter '09

The greatest stand-up comedian of all time*, George Carlin, had a bit in the late 80’s called “People I Can Do Without“.  While his version included people like “a dentist who has blood in his hair”, I will keep mine strictly investment-related. The Reformed Broker’s “People I Can Do Without” Magazine editors and advertising executives…

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…