EIC/Wall Street investigations
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Mar 30, 2012

Exclusive: Soros’ son strikes out on his own

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The tumult within billionaire investor George Soros’ firm continues as one of his sons is separating some of his personal fortune to manage it himself.

Jonathan Soros, who stepped down in September from day-to-day management of Soros Fund Management LLC, plans to hire at least one of his father’s key employees, say two people familiar with the situation.

Mar 30, 2012

Soros’ son strikes out on his own

NEW YORK, March 30 (Reuters) – The tumult within billionaire
investor George Soros’ firm continues as one of his sons is
separating some of his personal fortune to manage it himself.

Jonathan Soros, who stepped down in September from
day-to-day management of Soros Fund Management LLC, plans to
hire at least one of his father’s key employees, say two people
familiar with the situation.

Mar 27, 2012

PIMCO’S Gross sees lower returns in “repressive” environment

NEW YORK (Reuters) – PIMCO co-founder Bill Gross, the manager of the world’s biggest bond fund, is lowering expectations.

In his April investment letter posted on the firm’s website on Tuesday, Gross says: “Total return as a supercharged bond strategy is fading.”

Mar 20, 2012

Insight: The Wall Street gold rush in foreclosed homes

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Dan Magder recently gave up a top job with private equity firm Lone Star Funds to strike out on his own and become a landlord.

He’s joining a growing list of big and small investors who see fat profits to be made in renting out foreclosed homes, especially now the U.S. government is moving ahead with a trial project to sell big pools of single-family homes that Fannie Mae currently owns in some of the hardest-hit housing markets.

Mar 20, 2012

The Wall Street gold rush in foreclosed homes

NEW YORK, March 20 (Reuters) – Dan Magder recently gave up a
top job with private equity firm Lone Star Funds to strike out
on his own and become a landlord.

He’s joining a growing list of big and small investors who
see fat profits to be made in renting out foreclosed homes,
especially now the U.S. government is moving ahead with a trial
project to sell big pools of single-family homes that Fannie Mae
currently owns in some of the hardest-hit housing markets.

Mar 12, 2012
via Unstructured Finance

Suite Scams revisited

Virtual offices can be a great cost-saver for a solo attorney, a lone accountant or any other professional who can’t afford the expense  of maintaining a separate support staff to run a business. But these outfits, in which a solo professional gets to essentially rent the services of a receptionist, a secretary and conference space, also can provide cover for bad guys bent on doing mischief.

A case in point is Robert Sucarato, a New Jersey man, who was sentenced Friday to 11 years in a federal prison for using a virtual office as a front for an alleged multi-billion hedge fund that bilked investors out of $1.6 million. A few years ago, when I was at BusinessWeek, I wrote about Sucarato long before federal prosecutors were on his trail. The BW story was called “Suite Scams” and it focused on much more than Sucarato and showed how virtual offices were proving to be a useful tool for Wall Street fraudsters with a slick website and a good marketing pitch.

Mar 4, 2012

Art world does makeover of American dream

By Jennifer Ablan and Matthew Goldstein

(Reuters) – There is no easy fix to the foreclosure crisis in the U.S., but the art world is offering one possible remedy.

A new exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York looks at five U.S. towns hit hard by foreclosures and asked a group of the nation’s best architects, urban planners, ecologists, engineers and landscape designers to come up with ideas for reimagining the way towns might look in the future and the way people might live in them.

Mar 2, 2012
via Unstructured Finance

UF’s Weekend Reads

We’re introducing a new feature on UF: a link to some weekend reads. Here is the first edition complied by Sam Forgione.

 

From The Guardian:

Andrew Balls, head of European investment for PIMCO from its London office, shares similar views on Europe and regulation with his brother, Ed Balls, of the British Labour Party. Brotherly love even extended to one of PIMCO’s major investment decisions: when Bill Gross decided to sell UK government debt in 2010, and Andrew Balls allegedly disagreed with the move, apparently backing his brother’s political status.

Mar 1, 2012

Bond investors lobby Hill on mortgage settlement

NEW YORK, March 1 (Reuters) – An association of
mortgage bond investors is working Capitol Hill in an effort to
have its interests considered in the final details of a $25
billion mortgage settlement and in any future deals that aim to
fix the nation’s ailing housing market.

Earlier this week, representatives of the Association of
Mortgage Investors met with a number federal lawmakers to press
the point that investors in mortgage-backed securities should
not be penalized in the settlement state and federal authorities
reached last month with five big banks.

Feb 29, 2012
via Unstructured Finance

Gordon Gekko’s Perfect Hedge

By Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan

It’s not every day a public service announcement, much less one for the FBI, makes national headlines. Then again, it’s not every day that Michael Douglas reprises his Gordon Gekko role to make a pitch for informants to come forward and help law enforcement smoke out insider traders.

The ad, which has been featured on network newscasts and was heavily touted on the front-page of The Wall Street Journal, highlights the task at hand for the likes of David Chaves, a senior agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.