Citigroup trader David Becker, the company's former head of commodities trading who was fired in March 2004 for inflating trading profits by $20m to bag a bigger bonus, has apparently tried to blow the whistle on alleged wrongdoing at Citigroup and other firms in exchange for leniency. He is to be charged later this month after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and faces up to five years in clink. The trouble is (for Becker) no-one's interested. Federal prosecutors have turned down his offer.
Bloomberg reports that US stocks dropped to a 3 month low last week, the biggest weekly fall since January 2003, after a decline in US consumer confidence led to concerns of recession.
The Times reports that Lucien and Julian Gover, twins who held senior roles in top London-based hedge fund Ikos, are suing the firm for $50.5m, claiming that they were denied a stake in the business after the hedge fund made plans to relocate to Cyprus and are due bonus payments for 2003 and 2004.
The Financial Times reports that US regulator The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has frozen more than $5.3m in suspected insider trading profits made by persons unknown, who traded stock options in TXU Corp. days ahead of the $45bn takeover of the company by buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) last week.
The Financial Times reports that shares in some of Wall Street's biggest securities firms have taken a bath recently, as investors are beginning to think that the good times of the last 3 years or so are coming to an end.
The Financial Times reports that hedge fund Amaranth Advisors confirmed Monday that it had lost 35% of its $7.5bn assets after that bad bet on the price of natural gas last summer (no surprise there). The newspaper quoted one unnamed New York-based hedge fund manager, who said that 'I find it very hard to believe they did not know the risks involved. This is a firm employing 300 plus people. Somebody must have known they could get burned'.
CNN has just published a list compiled by Fortune magazine of the largest charitable donations in US history. Here's the list:
Test your nerve and skill on Thursday 19th April (kick-off 6.30pm) at Daytona Sandown Park in The Bobby Troman Karting Challenge.
We've been following this story on dealbreaker.com and wallstreetfolly.com for the last few days, wondering whether it really had legs. Several Wall Street blogs were describing the item as a US 'Lucy Gao' (The Citigroup intern who hits the headlines in August because of that e-mail about her birthday party at the Ritz). We were initially a little dubious, but now we're convinced. What you are going to read about is probably the most incredible investment banking job application - ever.
The Financial Times reports that Daniel Ridgway, an former options trader over at JP Morgan in London, is suing for $2m. He wants $500,000 for non-payment of a bonus for 2003, and seeks $1.56m in respect of stock options and restricted stock he says he lost when he was forced to leave the firm in 2004.