Howard Marks thinks that the drop in oil prices could finally expose low lending standards and provide better value in the markets.» Read More
Every Friday we try to ease you into the weekend with a bit of video candy. Today's edition has a very talented hula hooping girl, a windmill, open fields and a wonderfully catchy Fatboy Slim song.
Nicole Lapin, of CNBC's Worldwide Exchange, explains what she's long and what she's short this week.
Facebook Moves toward IPO [Wall Street Journal] "Facebook Inc., one of the world's hottest technology companies, gave the clearest sign yet that it is preparing to take itself public sometime next year, as it revealed new details in a 100-page document sent to a select group of potential investors. Facebook, of Palo Alto, Calif., said it plans to increase its number of shareholders above 500 this year, according to the private-placement document, forcing the social-networking company to begin disclosing reams of financial information or go public by April 2012."
Citigroup Shops Its Consumer Finance Division [CNBC via Financial Times] "Citigroup is seeking buyers for CitiFinancial, the largest consumer finance company in the US, in a deal that could raise hundreds of millions of dollars and mark a milestone in the bank's efforts to break with its troubled past. People close to the situation said that after months of restructuring, Citi had begun contacting potential buyers for CitiFinancial, which was one of the building blocks in its ill-fated plan to become an all-purpose 'financial supermarket'."
TGIF. Not to rub it in, but it's already happy hour somewhere. Here's what bankers will be drinking to forget there:
Geithner Warns on Debt Ceiling [Washington Post] I'm no policy genius—but the federal debt ceiling is not something either party should play political chicken with. Not smart: Not by a long shot. The Washington Post reports: "Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned lawmakers Thursday that the national debt could hit the legal limit on federal borrowing as soon as March 31, and he urged them to act quickly to avoid a government default that would spark 'catastrophic economic consequences that would last for decades.'"
China's Charms Deconstructed [New York Times] Wait: China is buying European debt for its own selfish reasons? You mean, they aren't helping out just because they're nice boys & girls? This is shocking! Shocking I tell you! The Times Reports: "What’s with China’s charm offensive in Europe? Chinese officials have stepped up their vows of support for Europe in the past several weeks, and have grown increasingly vocal about pledging to help Europe contain a sovereign debt crisis and accelerate a recovery. This past week, Beijing renewed a pledge to buy debt from Spain and other countries feared to be facing a bailout.
ACA Financial Guaranty Corporation is suing Goldman Sachs over the deal that gave rise to fraud charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission last year.
ACA, a once high flying monoline bond insurance company, filed a law suit in New York today, claiming that Goldman had committed fraud and unjustly enriched itself in connection with the sythetic collateralized debt obligation called Abacus. ACA is seeking $120 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
ACA served as the “portfolio selection agent” and collateral manager in the Abacus deal, although the securities in the transaction were primarily selected hedge fund manager John Paulson.
Could a small Manhattan hedge fund be keeping the fact that it was raided by federal agents a secret from investors?
Back on November 22, the FBI raided three hedge funds—Diamonback Capital management, level Global and Loch Capital management.
But about a week before that the Feds searched the offices of another hedge fund—whose identity remains a mystery.
One thing that seems to have escaped everyone’s notice here is that Goldman Sachs —the reviled villain of Wall Street—is actually serving the two traditional functions of an investment bank by doing this deal with Facebook.
The surging power of activist investors is bolstered by a growing ally: public pensions and other big institutions.
Crude oil futures fell sharply, signaling traders that the selling is not over.
The Fed gave banks more time to meet a provision in the Volcker rule that bans them from betting with their own money through investments in risky hedge and private equity funds.