Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bank Careers: exGS trader partner, get "sponsored" to get ahead


In 1996, I made partner. I was 32, and I became the youngest woman and first female trader to do so. Both prior and subsequently to that date, my performance reviews always described me as someone who not only did her job well, but was a true carrier and champion for a strong Goldman culture. ...
In 1999, I hit my first major career pivot point when I was invited to take on a role in the Executive Office where I would report directly to the two Co-Presidents of the firm, John Thain and John Thornton, and then-CEO Hank Paulson. My new role was to help manage the careers of the firm’s managing directors, and although this was a very exciting opportunity, it was not without risk. Although there was a rich history at the firm of moving senior people out of production roles into completely different positions, the outcomes of these moves could be wildly divergent. Sometimes these new roles were a big step up, while sometimes they turned out to be a step toward the door. I wanted it to be the former.
In 2000, the firm decided to embark on a very intensive full-year study of our corporate culture that included a firm-wide people survey, focus groups, interviews and more....the key takeaway was that the world of Goldman Sachs was very different depending on whether you were part of the majority group (white, male, heterosexual, American) or if you were not (non-white, female, non-heterosexual, non-American).Although Goldman got great reviews as a place to work in general, the feeling that the firm was a meritocracy was much more likely to be held by those in the majority group. Non-majority members were more likely to say that there were hidden rules for success, and that it was harder to get the right opportunities and more difficult to be sponsored. ...

A decade ago, when I was a fully engaged partner at Goldman Sachs, it was not only my dream to make them THE financial services firm for women, but it was actually my job to try and do so. I may have left Goldman Sachs, but my passion for women’s full participation and leadership in the financial sector continues. Right now, there exists a huge opportunity for a large financial institution to make such a commitment, and my hope is that one day, one actually does. Perhaps this roadmap will inspire them to do so.

CLevin,EWarren, helping enron grads by "prompting some Wall Street firms to try to shed assets"


Levin said in an April letter that the Fed should limit how much banks can invest in commodities and require that they hold additional capital to protect against business risks. He stopped short of calling for a ban on lenders owning physical commodities.


GENEVA,  3 October 2014 -- Mercuria Energy Group, Ltd (“Mercuria”) announced today it has successfully completed the acquisition of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (“J.P. Morgan”) Physical Commodities Business, following the signing of a definitive Purchase and Sale Agreement in March of 2014.


Mercuria Energy Trading Sp. z o.o. was established in August 1998 originally as Enron Poland and JAC EnTra re-named in February 2002 as a result of a MBO by Mr Jarek Astramowicz in January 2002 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

CRB: WFC, "worries about excess commodity supplies. overdone"


For the past two months, investor anticipation of new and large monetary policy stimulus in Europe and Japan has rallied the U.S. dollar and raised the cost of raw materials in local currencies. In addition, worries about excess commodity supplies accompany slipping global economic data.
We think the impact of these factors is overdone. During the coming weeks, expectations for dollar strength should moderate. The excess supply problem also seems to be resolving, especially in base metals, where miners are cutting production quickly and global markets are gradually rebalancing.
The crude oil market is particularly concerned about excess oil supply and the strong U.S. dollar. After touching $115/barrel in June, the price of benchmark European Brent crude oil fell by $35/barrel by early October, finishing below $100 for the first time since political turmoil erupted in Egypt in 2011. The decline seems unjustified based on our supply and demand outlook, and we advise investors to be careful about assuming $80/barrel oil prices are here to stay. For example, the last $12 of oil price declines came as the dollar also declined this month.

CRB,GC: Leuthold, "sentiment so washed out. bounce for next 4-6 months"


So are any commodities poised for a rebound? Ramsey says grains "could have a pretty good bounce." He also points to copper, because the metal has sold off so hard over the past few years, there is a good possibility of a four- to six-month pop in copper, in his view.

Asness, Optimal Porfolio? "0% equities, 227% bonds, 90% hedge funds"

Cliff Asness On Why Bother to “Hedge” at All if You’re Long-Term

Well now the optimal portfolio is 0% equities (yes, 0%), 227% bonds (yes, 227%), and 90% hedge funds (yes, 90%).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

ROI of Politeness: USPS v Uber, "con artists. are very pleasant people" v "Uber has an asshole problem"


“John Conley is not unlike many other con artists I see that they are very pleasant people,” said U.S. Postal Inspector Roberta Bottoms. “They use their personality to befriend the investor. They prey upon seniors who may be spending a lot of time alone and be lonely, so he’ll spend a lot of time on the phone with them to earn their trust and take their money.”

“Those people are lonely, and they won’t hang up,” Conley said. “So you can keep talking on the phone. You keep talking, and they will literally tell how much is in their bank account.”

Postal inspectors say more than 100 investors lost $3.5 million in this oil and gas scam.


I'd look for them to try a change in optics, this is really sleazy stuff but going forward, just because they don't act on their nastiness doesn't mean it isn't there, from the top down

Matt Yglesias at Vox:
    Uber has an asshole problem

ROI of negative adverts: uber v RU, "dig dirt on journos" v not "effective means of winning"

carl bernstein said journalism is overrun with pros making money from ignorance, misinformation, disinformation....  

from climateer: "Uber Executive Suggests Digging Up Dirt On Journalists".

Following up on this morning's "Uber Executive Suggests Digging Up Dirt On Journalists". I'd look for them to try a change in optics, this is really sleazy stuff but going forward, just because they don't act on their nastiness doesn't mean it isn't there, from the top down.

The Effects of Negative Political Campaigns

  The conventional wisdom about negative political campaigning holds that it works, i.e., it has the consequences itspractitioners intend. Many observers also fear that negative campaigning has unintended but detrimental effects onthe political system itself. An earlier meta-analytic assessment ofthe relevant literature found no reliable evidence forthese claims, but since then the research literature has more than doubled in size and has greatly improved in quality.We reexamine this literature and find that the major conclusions from the earlier meta-analysis still hold. All told,the research literature does not bear out the idea that negative campaigning is an effective means of winning votes,even though it tends to be more memorable and stimulate knowledge about the campaign. Nor is there any reliableevidence that negative campaigning depresses voter turnout, though it does slightly lower feelings of political efficacy,trust in government, and possibly overall public mood