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  • Bear Stearns Buyout: Insiders and the Merger Contract  [View article]

    Dimon called all the i-banks on the Street and asked them not to recruit away or have interviews with Bear employees. I work at Bear HQ and someone from MS is interested in me, has seen my CV, but said he can't meet or interview me until at least a week or two has passed - on orders from above! All this while I wait to see if Dimon wants to keep me or cull me away in a massive layoff! I am not a SMD or some other big-earner, either; I'm just in a middle office role and need to support my family! Thanks Jamie for screwing us once, then twice! (I also didn't lose a fortune in shares since I got mostly cash - small cash, that is - for a bonus).
    Mar 24, 2008. 06:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bear Stearns: Where We Are and Some Little Known Facts  [View article]
    I work at Bear HQ. We got ripped off, big time. Gun was pointed at our heads on Sunday night, with no other choice. Think there wouldn't have been other banks or SWFs or private investors or funds interested in buying us for $500m, $1b, at least more than $250m? There were. The so-called "toxic stuff" on the balance sheet is largely US paper such as GNMA, FNMA paper, etc. that should be valued fairly, that is not due to the market's total bullshit collapse in trust.

    People are leaving in droves. Headhunters are calling all sorts of people - including in the middle and back office areas such as operations, accounting, execution, etc. Brokers are fleeing for the doors for better names who are still hiring revenue producers. I myself am having no less than three conversations with other names, and I am not on the revenue production side. Will I stay if JPM offers me a job? Don't know, but can't bet on it, so better to get set up and secure and eliminate the risk.

    People have to realize that most of Bear was NOT involved in all the "toxic" stuff such as Alt-A or subprime MBS, but most were doing the normal trading of bonds, equities and the rest, like research, etc. that every other bank does. What about all those people who didn't do anything to lead up to this?

    Get real people. Not every person in Bear was some 'cowboy trader'. You don't have 14,000 cowboy traders in a firm. More than 60% of those people are in support functions and didn't take a sliver of risk of anyone's money or capital. Many had small salaries and bonuses (in the world of the Street) of, say, 60k base, 20k bonus, some in shares - not every person was some MD with a multi-million-dollar package - so all the vitriol being spewed at the firm fails to take into consideration the "everyman" at the firm.
    Mar 22, 2008. 05:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Beware of the Solar Stock Fad  [View article]
    Certain stocks may have a fad-like aura around them but the number of people actually investing in them isn't really that high. If you ask the average investor what "First Solar" is, they probably have heard of it but don't own it. Back in 1999, if you asked them about eBay or Amazon (still around) or or one of those other dot-bombs, they probably knew well of it and likely owned it. That era was indeed a fad - all over the newspapers. Right now, solar isn't really the "big story" and has some room to grow - although regulation, costs, rebates, etc. are in the mix, unlike the nascent internet. That said, probably best to not be long in one of these stocks only (SPWR or FSLR, etc.) but instead look at GEX, which has international, as well as renewable source, diversification, in order to head off any big swings in one name, and take advantage of the entire renewables trend that will grow.

    Look at Germany - one of the world's top, if not top, user of (I believe) wind and solar power. Who would have thought? If anything, biomass for those guys! (all those rusks from the grains from the hops for the beer, etc.)
    Mar 4, 2008. 06:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment