Recent quotes:

Wall Street’s Old, Unwanted Bond Salesmen Find a Home in Chicago - Bloomberg

In the new Wall Street, there are simply fewer jobs. Post-crisis rules to curb risk-taking and shrinking bond-trading revenues have compelled banks to cut costs. Electronic trading platforms have let clients bypass salespeople. In the past five years alone, the biggest global firms have cut almost 10,000 trading and investment banking jobs, according to research firm Coalition Ltd. Older, higher-paid traders and salespeople have been especially vulnerable.

Donald Trump in New York: Deep Roots, but Little Influence - The New York Times

At Goldman Sachs, employees have directly contributed since 2013 more than $94,000 to Mrs. Clinton and more than $199,000 to one of Mr. Trump’s opponents in the Republican race, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, according to the commission. Records show just one Goldman employee, a financial adviser in the wealth management division, has donated to Mr. Trump — $534.58, to be precise. That employee’s name is Luke Thorburn. Public records show Mr. Thorburn trademarked the phrase “Make Christianity Great Again” and is selling hats that mirror Mr. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” caps. Mr. Thorburn declined to comment.

Hedge Funds Have Sucked For a Decade

Since the start of 2005 (10+ years), the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index and HFRX Equity Hedge Index (two investable indices widely used as benchmarks in the industry) have posted negative returns (-1% and -6.4% respectively). Over that same time period, the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index was up 62.1% and the S&P 500 up 97.6%.

Crappy equity predictions

“Equity research analysts are in that camp of guessing and sounding impressive, but also working with these models that are relatively shaky,” he says. “They work well when things are slow and steady but don’t work well when people are thrown a curveball.”

Poker shaped American markets

Poker is an American game (invented on the frontier in the early 1800s) with American sensibilities (the decidedly anti-monarchical bent that ranks the ace above the king). But what made it truly special was its use of chips—a novel idea at the time. These markers freely flowed between individuals, creating upstart economies complete with risk, debt, and credit, all in a time and place where actual currency was sparse and stagnant. It makes sense, Brown asserts, that the first futures markets sprouted up in poker-crazy parts of the country, some two decades after the game first became popular. “Futures exchanges are populated by tough, brawling innovators who often make fortunes or lose fortunes,” Brown tells the class. Poker games are named after places that were populated by these types of people—Texas, Omaha, Chicago, etc. That’s why, he argues, “there is no poker game named after any place except places where, if you lose all your money in a game … you float down to New Orleans.”

Ads that build brand boost stock prices

They found that companies that set out to differentiate themselves through brand equity and thus create intangible firm value benefit more from advertising than firms that simply set out to become cost leaders. "They're both very valid strategies. Different companies choose different approaches. They both can be very successful for companies," said Niket Jindal, an assistant professor of marketing at Kelley. "Advertising can increase awareness; it can increase sales regardless," he added. "But it's only for those companies that have a differentiation strategy where advertising's going to build up brand equity ... and shareholder value.

Why Some Start-Ups Are Called Tech Companies and Others Are Not

A new generation of so-called tech companies that deliver food to your door or help you get a ride in a car — but don’t look much like an operation that makes computers or phones or software — might be putting a modern spin on that old story. No doubt, they use technology in their businesses. And many of them wouldn’t exist without the development of smartphone apps and ubiquitous Internet access. But these days, every company is at least a little bit of a tech company. Some Wall Street banks employ more tech workers than all but the biggest Silicon Valley companies. And large manufacturers like General Electric are leading the way in efforts to put Internet-connected sensors on things as varied as streets and turbines.

Greece Saunters Across the Autobahn

In the new Greek finance minister's (pretty great) macho bluster, in the new Greek prime minister's condescending lectures to the German people, in the unquenchable Greek thirst for magazine cartoons of German leaders in Nazi uniforms -- in all of it you see the soul of the Berkeley pedestrian. It's only the source of Greek self-righteousness that is obviously different: The Greek people think the German people should feel shame for the sins of their past, and an obligation to expiate those sins.

How will the Tea Party feel about Heidi Cruz's career at Goldman Sachs?

“She and her brother compete baking bread. They bake thousands of loaves of bread and go to the local apple orchard where they sell the bread to people coming to pick apples,” said Cruz, 44. “She goes on to a career in business, excelling and rising to the highest pinnacles, and then Heidi becomes my wife and my very best friend in the world.” Heidi Cruz, 42, has taken unpaid leave from her job at Goldman Sachs in Houston to help with her husband’s run[…] Heidi Cruz, a Harvard Business School graduate who worked in President George W. Bush’s administration, joined New York-based Goldman Sachs in 2005 and was promoted to managing director, the firm’s second-highest rank, in 2012. She serves as regional head of the Houston office in the private wealth-management unit, which serves individuals and families who have on average more than $40 million with the firm. […]Her employment at Goldman Sachs became a political topic when Senator Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, tried to push Ted Cruz into admitting he was on his wife’s Goldman Sachs health insurance plan after criticizing President Barack Obama’s health-care policies, the Times reported. […] he did speak of the time she spent living in Kenya and Nigeria as the daughter of missionaries. […]

VCs betting on lawsuits

For better or worse, the lawsuit-finance market continues to grow. Hedge funds and others speculating on litigation are making more and larger bets. Some corporate lobbyists warn that the new financial engineering encourages wasteful courtroom warfare, but investor demand for fat returns—and big law firms' appetite for business—guarantee the spread of litigation finance.

Bill Gross think he's too lax

Mr. Gross[…]told CNBC he decided to start over, rather than enjoy retirement, because “it’s a competition… like basketball,” and it’s boring playing against yourself. He also said he didn’t think he was a difficult boss at Pimco, despite presiding over a tense work environment in which employees were afraid to make eye contact with him, and where he was known for yelling at other executives he couldn’t understand, and insisting on odd seating arrangements as a snub to other executives. “To my way of thinking, my management style was too lax and loose at Pimco,” Mr. Gross said.
Female vice presidents earned 21 percent less than men and female associates made 8 percent less, the former employees claimed. About 23 percent fewer female vice presidents were promoted to managing director of the bank relative to their male counterparts, they said. Those statistics are attributed to an analysis of Goldman Sachs pay data by Henry S. Farber, a Princeton University economist. His samples included all associates and vice presidents in the firm’s New York class from 2003 to 2011 and throughout the U.S. from 2005 to 2011, according to a court filing yesterday.
The New York Times' code of ethics states if you are asked, you have to identify yourself as a reporter. So I didn't say much to anyone, and no one asked who I was until very late in the dinner when I took my camera out to take a picture. The guy next to me sort of grabbed me and said, "There are no pictures allowed in here—and by the way, who are you?" And I had to tell him. It was like a bomb had gone off in the room! Everyone stopped what they were doing. They saw their careers sort of vanishing before their eyes. Then a few of the members took me out into the hall and started trying to trade favors and say, "Well, if you don't report on this or you take it easy on us, we'll become good sources for you in the future. We'll pick up the phone when you call." They actually thought that would work.
Even as women make up the majority of the industry’s support staff, filling 24,000 of 32,000 administrative positions at Citigroup according to its diversity report last year, they hold few of its top spots. Just two are on the firm’s operating committee with 22 men. The 11 Goldman Sachs executive officers and top dozen at Morgan Stanley include one woman each.
one subtle feature that distinguishes the climbers from the fallers: whether their ticker symbols are pronounceable according to the rules of English—that is, whether it’s possible to read them out loud as if they were words, without adding extra sounds. The pronounceable OCIP, MEP, LEAF, and WUBA (OCI, Midcoast, Springleaf, and 58.com, respectively) appreciated by between one percent and fifteen per cent, whereas the unpronounceable ESNT, BRX, MVNR, and TWTR (Essent, Brixmor, Mavenir, and Twitter) depreciated by between half a per cent and fourteen per cent
My sense is that even though the financial crisis has lessened the appeal of the big Wall Street firm, it’s still appealing to kids in school, for the simple reason that unlike Silicon Valley, where you do have to know something to break in, the barriers to entry on Wall Street are quite low once you have the [Ivy League] credentials. If you’re a certain kind of kid who doesn’t actually know anything about anything, Wall Street is still a great place to go.