Unstructured Finance

Banks try, but can’t block Facebook

July 31, 2007

200px-markzuckerberg.jpgThe broad popularity of Facebook has reached the point to where investment banks have blocked employees from using the social networking site. But a financial trade publication has found that, in fact, thousands of banking staff continue to use it. 
  
Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers  Holdings, JPMorgan, Bear Stearns and UBS deny access to Facebook because of concerns employees  spend too much time on it, Financial News reported. 
  
Still, nearly 20 percent of Goldman’s employees are members of the Goldman-only network on Facebook, the publication said.  Deutsche Bank was second with 11.3 percent signed up  to the bank’s network and Lehman third with 10.4 percent.

The Redstone Two-Step

July 31, 2007

Sumner Redstone just won’t stop dancing.

CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc.’s executive chairman keeps getting questions about whether he would take one of his media companies private — and he keeps dodging the issue.

Buy it on Overstock, sell it on eBay

July 31, 2007

overstock.gifOverstock.com’s Chief Executive Patrick Byrne thinks consumers could make a buck or two by buying low-priced items on Overstock and selling them for a profit on online auction site eBay.

TXU rumors swirl, market doubts them

July 31, 2007

txu.jpgAre the banks ready to yank TXU’s financing in favor of paying a break up fee and walking away?    

Yogis challenge Nike on dogfighting

July 30, 2007

yogi.jpg

Ok, not that Yogi.

A Los Angeles-area yoga entrepreneur is using her 60,000-person network of teachers and students to spearhead a grassroots protest against Nike’s decision not to terminate its relationship with National Football League star Michael Vick, who pleaded not guilty last week to federal charges of involvement in a dog-fighting operation.

Goldman’s ways to cash in on credit freeze

July 30, 2007

How do you make money when stocks are falling, the credit markets are frozen, private equity titans are muted, and investment banks are treading water in an ocean of debt? All is not lost, Goldman Sachs promises. 

What goes up, must come down

July 30, 2007

jarden1_updated.jpgDiversity is Jarden’s best friend. 
 
Last year, when almost every retailer in sight was bemoaning a startlingly warm winter, folks at Rye, New York-based Jarden Corp., which sells everything from camping gear and coffee makers to playing cards and plastic spoons, sat back while consumers bought kitchen appliances and outdoor products like camping gear.

Consumers still treating themselves — Alberto-Culver CEO

July 30, 2007

vo5.jpgAlberto-Culver, whose products range from Nexxus shampoo to Mrs. Dash seasoning, reported third-quarter results on Monday. Sales growth was better-than-expected, driven by the TRESemme and Nexxus brands, but St. Ives lotions struggled.
 
In an interview, President and Chief Executive V. James Marino said the company plans to launch a retooled line of Alberto VO5 styling products this quarter aimed at a younger consumer. He also said that the company will increase advertising spending in the current fiscal fourth quarter, just as it did in the third quarter.

Oil services M&A boom coming; ‘Hold on’ Bear Stearns says

July 30, 2007

rig1.jpgThe queasy credit markets is bad news for private equity buyers and the M&A banking groups that have financed the leveraged buyout boom.  Stocks have sold off partly on the assumption that the LBO premium is wearing off all sectors.

How to bury a subprime mortgage warning

By Dan Wilchins
July 30, 2007

default2.jpgIf American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. makes a noise on a Friday night, and nobody is there to hear, does it fall? 
 
The answer would seem to be yes. The mortgage lender’s shares plummeted 40 percent on Monday morning, after the company put out a press release at 10:19 p.m. EDT on Friday saying that it was writing down assets and receiving margin calls on credit facilities.