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Archive for the ‘Bear Stearns’ Category

SEC Settles with JP Morgan/Bear Stearns: Crime Pays . . . . . . . . . . (“Why I Left Bear Stearns”) . . . . . . . . . . .

Posted by Larry Doyle on November 16th, 2012 8:29 PM |

This evening I feel the need to take a shower after having just read the most despicable settlement yet rendered by the SEC. In fact, having just read this settlement, I am embarrassed to be a citizen of a nation with such little moral fiber as to let what is a blatant criminal act go properly unpunished. This is a sad day in America. I do not write that for simple effect.

I write that because I believe a settlement this afternoon between the SEC and JP Morgan/Bear Stearns closes the door on perhaps the single most egregious criminal act I have yet come across while writing this blog. (more…)

How Bear Stearns Really Screwed Investors

Posted by Larry Doyle on November 12th, 2012 8:57 AM |

The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that JP Morgan will merely pay a fine for transgressions that occurred at Bear Stearns prior to the large money-center bank’s life-saving takeover of the former Wall Street broker.

With merely a fine to be paid, global investors and American taxpayers are once again left scratching their heads wondering if the transgressions involved happened without any sort of meaningful human involvement. I mean, how is that JP Morgan will pay a fine likely in the hundreds of millions of dollars and not one single individual is likely to face the music? More on that in a second. What today’s WSJ report and many other reports fail to identify is what really happened at Bear Stearns. Let’s navigate.

Investors got screwed by the actions at Bear Stearns in two ways:  (more…)

Bear Stearns circa 1985, “Thanks for the Memories”

Posted by Larry Doyle on February 8th, 2012 6:31 PM |

I worked as a mortgage trader at Bear Stearns from 1990 until the end of 1996. Having started my career in the early ’80s and learned a lot about the business at First Boston, I will readily admit that my stint at Bear took my time on the sell side of Wall Street to an entirely new level.

While Bear obviously suffered a traumatic demise in 2008, I hope whomever views this marketing video clip of Bear Stearns circa 1985 will appreciate that Bear was a dynamic company filled with many great people and a truly unique culture.

I thank the friend who shared this clip with me. I share it here in the hope that former colleagues may appreciate the memories and others may get a feel for a Wall Street trading desk from this era.

I remember a lot from my days at the Bear. What do I most appreciate? (more…)

Ace Greenberg on Jimmy Cayne: “Dope-Smoking Megalomaniac”

Posted by Larry Doyle on June 22nd, 2010 4:22 PM |

Having worked at Bear Stearns for seven years, I have a keen interest in the behind the scenes stories and personalities leading to the ultimate demise of this once proud firm.

Last summer, I reviewed William Cohan’s book, House of Cards, which details Bear’s demise. In my commentary, I wrote the following about Jimmy Cayne:

Longstanding CEO Jimmy Cayne displays a hardened, street-smart approach throughout the book. At times of stress, however, Cayne showed himself to be a classless individual. I remember this well.

My description of Cayne was more than gracious compared to that provided by former Bear CEO Alan “Ace” Greenberg in his recently released book, The Rise and Fall of Bear Stearns.>>>>> (more…)

Jimmy Cayne: A Man of Very Few Words

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 5th, 2010 2:05 PM |

Jimmy Cayne, Former CEO of Bear Stearns

I am currently watching the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission’s questioning of former Bear Stearns executives Jimmy Cayne and Alan Schwartz. In their opening statements, both Cayne and Schwartz deflected their managerial responsibilities as reasons for the firm’s demise.

Although I have long held out Jimmy Cayne as an exceptionally arrogant and greedy individual, his current performance evokes a range of emotions on my part. On one hand, I see Cayne as somewhat disinterested. On the other hand, I actually feel a tad sympathetic for Jimmy Cayne as he comes across as a frail, almost broken man. His abbreviated answers connote a lack of full understanding and control of the issues.


FCIC Should Ask Bear Stearns Execs About EMC Mortgage

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 5th, 2010 12:04 PM |

Will America ever truly learn the full extent of fraudulently underwritten mortgages that lie at the foundation of our overall economic crisis?

Aside from a less than fully transparent hearing with executives from Washington Mutual, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) has not drilled down to fully expose the fraud within these mortgages. Former bank regulator William K. Black recently highlighted the pervasive nature of this fraud in an interview with Bill Moyers.

Why doesn’t the FCIC dig deeper to reveal which firms were involved with this activity? (more…)

Robert Reich, “The Fed in Hot Water”

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 1st, 2010 5:14 PM |

Former Clinton Secretary of Labor Robert Reich had some very strong words today for the Federal Reserve. In his commentary which I find at Wall Street Pit, Reich questions the constitutionality of the Fed’s actions in 2008. None of this comes as a surprise, but it should cause America to wake up to the fact that the Wall Street-Washington incestuous relationship has run roughshod over America before and now throughout our economic crisis.

Who in Washington is willing to blow the whistle on this incest? Reich writes, The Fed in Hot Water:

The Fed has finally came clean. It now admits it bailed out Bear Stearns – taking on tens of billions of dollars of the bank’s bad loans – in order to smooth Bear Stearns’ takeover by JPMorgan Chase (JPM). (more…)

Bear Stearns: R.I.P

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 8th, 2010 12:09 PM |

As of today, Bear Stearns is no longer.

What? I bet you’re thinking Bear was taken over by JP Morgan in spring 2008 and ceased to exist when the takeover was approved a few months later. You’d be right. I am right also.  How so?

As with many mergers and takeovers, the name of the acquired firm continues to be utilized within certain divisions. That is exactly the case with Bear Stearns, as those two storied names continued to be utilized in the Private Client Services unit at JP Morgan. Until today. (more…)

My Thoughts on the Bear Stearns Hedge Fund Case

Posted by Larry Doyle on November 11th, 2009 10:26 AM |

Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin

Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin

Does yesterday’s verdict in the Bear Stearns hedge fund case establish a precedent that precludes likely guilty verdicts in other financial fraud cases? Let’s hope not.

I did not sit in on this trial, so I am not about to weigh in on the verdict. Consensus opinion from those who did sit in on the trial seems to agree that the prosecution presented a very weak case. Additionally, the prosecution was challenged from the standpoint of not being able to admit selected and seemingly incriminating e-mails as evidence.

The not guilty verdict in this specific case does not preclude Cioffi and Tannin from facing other charges. What was the key to this case? The Wall Street Journal sheds light on this case and verdict in writing, U.S. Loses Bear Fraud Case:

The acquittals are a setback for the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn, N.Y., which along with several other offices is investigating Wall Street for possible criminal wrongdoing stemming from the credit crisis, including at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and American International Group Inc. In Tuesday’s case, the question boiled down to this: Were the two men misleading investors, or simply putting a positive spin on sagging returns? (more…)

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