Friday's nonfarm payrolls report easily beat Wall Street expectations but may not be quite what Wall Street wanted.» Read More
Happy Thursday. A word of advice: Don't get your hopes up for Jobs Friday. It's not going to be pretty.
Loss of long-term unemployment benefits so far has hit about 2 million Americans ... and counting. (Providence Journal)
Remember Mitt Romney? A poll of New Hampshire Republicans shows that he is leading the field for the 2016 presidential race, which should pretty much tell you all you need to know about the GOP these days. (Union Leader)
Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn slammed the state of corporate governance in America on CNBC Wednesday, saying it was even more dysfunctional than the political system.
"I'm not here to defend what goes on in Washington, but even there, it's infinitely better than the corporate boardroom," the chairman of Icahn Enterprises said during a wide-ranging interview on CNBC's Squawk Box.
"You do have a somewhat fair election [in Washington]. You don't have fair elections, you know, in a corporate suite," Icahn added. "You're the ex-CEO, even if you've done a real bad job, they increase your salary, they give you a big bonus. Then you take the corporate treasury and spend millions and millions of bucks to hire a lawyer to defend you."
If bitcoin is going to survive as a digital currency, it's going to have to convince investors their holdings are safe.
That's been a huge problem lately as two exchanges recently have shut down due to hacker attacks, drawing unwanted headlines and adding fuel to detractors who believe cryptocurrencies are untrustworthy stores of wealth.
Enter Falcon Global Capital, a San Diego firm launching a fund this month that will offer investors access to insurance should their bitcoins suddenly disappear, as they have for other unfortunate believers operating in the Mt.Gox or Flexcoin exchanges.
That insurance comes through London-based Elliptic, which is willing to stand strongly enough behind bitcoin that it will offer reimbursement for those subjected to theft or other circumstances.
After weeks of negotiations with the Swiss trading firm Mercuria Energy Trading over a potential purchase of its physical commodities unit, executives at JPMorgan Chase are close to greenlighting a deal, according to people familiar with the matter, one of whom said an announcement could come within the next week.
Mercuria, the Geneva-based trading firm that specializes in sourcing and shipping petroleum and refined products, entered into exclusive negotiations with JPMorgan in early February after the bank completed talks with dozens of other suitors.
In recent weeks, said one of these people, Mercuria representatives have spent time in JPMorgan's U.S. offices, meeting employees and evaluating assets.
A senior portfolio manager at one of largest hedge funds in the world has decamped to Neuberger Berman to help expand the asset manager's growing lineup of alternative mutual funds.
Daniel Geber joined Neuberger in February as a managing director and will be the portfolio manager for the soon-to-launch Neuberger Berman Global Long Short Fund, according to an internal memo announcing the hire.
The new fund, slated to open in May, is the latest in Neuberger's expanding lineup of so-called alternative mutual funds—publicly accessible vehicles that mimic hedge fund strategies.
"This new capability is an important addition to our liquid alternatives platform, which now has approximately $3 billion," the memo said.
Think bank executives bring home the bacon? Think again.
The five chief executives running Wall Street's largest banks will rake in just 3 percent of what their peers at private equity firms stand to make from 2013.
Collectively, the nine founders and chiefs of the publicly traded private equity firms saw their compensation rise to $2.6 billion in 2013, as healthy dividend and profit payouts were matched by a roaring stock market friendly to taking their companies public.
(Read more: 'Wolf of Wall Street' went too far: Lawsuit)
Leading the pack is Leon Black, founder and chief executive of the Apollo Group. Black made an eye-popping $546.3 million last year, more than double what he earned in 2012, according to regulatory filings. His gains came alongside those of Apollo shareholders: Black earned $369 million from the annual dividends on more than 92 million Apollo shares he owns.
Apollo also sold new shares for the first time since its 2012 IPO, which created a windfall for Apollo co-founders Josh Harris (who earned $396.7 million) and Marc Rowan ($365.8 million).
Most private equity "compensation" doesn't come from a base salary, but a wide range of assets: Founders not only have shares they own and may sell, they also have personal stakes in individual funds, on which they earn a "carry," or a sizeable portion of the fund's profits.
(Read more: Inside a Wall Street 'secret society' party)
Roughly $22 million of Blackstone Group Chairman Steve Schwarzman's $375 million payday came from carried interest; Schwarzman, too, reaped the most of earnings through dividend payouts. As did co-founders of the Carlyle Group - Bill Conway, Daniel D'Aniello and David Rubenstein - who each got some $93 million in dividends and will split total earnings of roughly $750 million. (To boot, Carlyle announced Monday night that Conway and D'Aniello would look to sell an additional $43 million in CG shares apiece.)
George Roberts and Henry Kravis, the Oklahoma natives and cousins that started Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts, will take home more than $160 million each - the most since the firm went public.
On average, private equity compensation had been estimated to rise up to 10 percent, according to compensation consultancy Johnson & Associates - healthy gains, but hardly the wealth creation enjoyed by the elite founding few.
(Read more: Barclays easing up workload on junior bankers)
Private equity has always been a lucrative alternative to Wall Street: Many entry-level analysts begin interviewing for jobs at the top firms almost immediately after starting at the banks, seeking the higher pay and better hours.
After the financial crisis, Wall Street compensation became fuel for public debate, with everyday citizens balking at multi-million dollar paydays for executives whose companies received government bailouts. In 2012, Citigroup shareholders voted against then-CEO Vikram Pandit receiving a $15 million pay package for the prior fiscal year.
Pay for bulge-bracket bank executives has risen steadily since then, and mostly in lock-step with the companies' profit gains and share price increases.
By comparison, Wall Street executives stand to make less than $100 million, after their cash bonuses are disclosed in annual proxies. It's a debatable - but David - of a number, compared to the Goliaths across the Street.
Ignore the rumors—the Philadelphia 76ers aren't moving to New Jersey.
Team co-owner David Blitzer said at a conference Friday that there was "zero" chance he would move the basketball franchise, despite a recent report of the potential for uprooting the team.
Blitzer, a senior managing director at the $265 billion private equity firm Blackstone Group, co-owns the 76ers with $161 billion Apollo Global Management co-founder Joshua Harris.
The pair also bought the New Jersey Devils hockey team in August, fueling rumors that they might move the 76ers to Newark in order to use the same Prudential Center arena. Scott O'Neil is also CEO of both teams.
Harris has previously denied the possibility of a move.
Blitzer was also asked what the "best crazy idea that came your way and you had no belief in it and it turned out to be successful."
"Buy a sports team," Blitzer said to laughs at the Columbia Business School Private Equity and Venture Capital Conference in Manhattan.
Both Blitzer and Harris were at the 76ers game March 1 to retire the number of former star Allen Iverson during a halftime ceremony. They presented him with a boat.
(Read more: The big money behind the Cardinals, Red Sox)
Happy Monday. Nothing cures an Oscar hangover like a Morning Six-Pack.
Ukraine's problems are roiling the markets Monday, but it's Russia that has the most to lose. (Sydney Morning Herald)
The second-most to lose? President Barack Obama, who faces a handful of unappealing options to deal with the crisis. (Politico)
The leading autism nonprofit and Google have teamed in an attempt to link private investors like venture capital, private equity and even hedge funds to inject innovative autism-related business development.
Thanks to increased awareness and diagnosis of autism, it's now known that one in every 88 American children is born with some level of the disorder. That's more than those affected by diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome—combined.
But products and services for autism are woefully inadequate, according to advocates.
The big money is starting to take notice of investment opportunities that both could generate profits and help the autism fight.
The falling out between Bill Gross and his one-time partner Mohamed El-Erian has quickly turned into one of the ugliest bust-ups in recent history.
The founder of a hedge fund with $21 billion under management provided three investing rules and three favorite stocks.
Former executives at Dewey & LeBoeuf were accused of using accounting gimmicks to fool banks and investors.