Too many great stories this week. These are the ones you need to check out:
1. Calpers Sues Pretty Much Everyone on Wall Street (Sacramento Bee) - Thanks to the crap bonds Lehman sold to the nation's largest pension fund, a blockbuster lawsuit has been filed against pretty much everyone, including Dick Fuld personally, and 's Global Markets Unit.
2. When Irish Eyes Are Crying (Vanity Fair) - Another home run by . Probably the best explanation of the Irish crisis I've read so far. And it's positively inspiring to read what happens in Ireland to bank CEOs who run their company into the ground. There's a few Wall Street welfare queens I'd like to see flat broke and unable to borrow more than $650 at a time.
3. Kinder Morgan Sells Full Shoe at IPO, Raises $2.86 Billion (Wall Street Journal) - Pipeline company Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) is going public today in the largest energy-related IPO in over a decade. Originally slated to sell 80 million shares at $26-29, the offering has been increased to 95.5 million shares at $30 apiece on strong demand.
4. Is the Proposed NYSE-Deutsche Börse Merger All It's Cracked Up to Be? (Naked Capitalism) - Yves Smith says what we're all thinking in questioning the wisdom of the merger. In a nutshell? Competition between exchanges is good, and consolidation is bad. Never forget, an exchange can go out of business too (almost happened to the Chicago Merc on Black Monday in 1987).
5. Fortune) - File this one under, "Let's see how long we can get away with this shit." It seems the PE division has not only been charging fees on the money they raise for portfolio companies (standard practice), but 's Global Wealth Management unit has been charging individual investors a vig for the privilege of giving their money to the bank.Sticks It to Rich Clients (
6. 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal (Time Magazine) - All you ever wanted to know about Singularity - the notion that at some point computers will become sentient and exponentially more intelligent than their human masters. It might sound like science fiction, but it's probably closer to reality than you think. And some big names are looking forward to it, because they think the computers will use their immeasurable brain power to cure our diseases and reverse aging so we can live forever. Now I ask you, is that more likely than sentient computers getting really pissed off that they have to work around idiot humans all day? I'm short humanity, long Skynet.
7. Bloggers Beat Pro Analysts (Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette) - Meet Horace Dediu. He's not an analyst for a big bank, and he doesn't work in . What he does do is blog from his home in Helsinki. Oh, and whip the shit out of professional analysts when it comes to Apple. Watch out Apple analysts at , , and . He's beaten you guys the past four quarters.
8. The Biggest Mistake Women Make with Alimony (Huffington Post) - This one really made my day, because it's all about women who took their ex-husband for a shitload of money and then promptly went broke. Notable case: Michael Douglas's ex-wife, divorced more than 10 years, tried to sue him for the money he made on Wall Street 2 claiming that the movie was a spin-off and not a sequel, and that she was therefore entitled to her end because she was married to him in 1987 when the original came out. Have you no shame, woman?
9. Unremarkable Couple Who Amassed a Fortune from Insider Trading (Guardian UK) - A fascinating tale of a regular couple who just said screw it at some point and spent the next eight years on inside information. Best part? When the cops show up the husband freaks and runs out of the house in his boxers to destroy evidence with the cops chasing him. Classic. Weirdest thing? They made about $1.5 million from the scam, but the guy was already earning $300-500,000 a year in salary from the company they were on. Think it through next time, Nigel.
10. Is AOL Insane? (The Motley Fool) - The big news in the blogosphere this week was AOL's purchase of the Huffington Post for $315 million. Arianna's no fool, and wanted no part of AOL stock. I'm guessing the original deal was for $300 million cash total, and AOL came back at the last minute and said, "Hey, do you mind if we throw in another $15 mil in stock, just so it looks like you kinda have faith in the outcome of the merger?" To which Arianna no doubt replied, "It's your nickel."
I wanted to include the following two documentary trailers dealing with the Singularity. It's fascinating stuff, and you might be surprised at some of the people who are involved.
That's all I've got this week, monkeys. Let me know what you think of the links, especially if you care to opine on the likelihood or some of the moral/ethical issues with Singularity.
Have a great weekend, guys.