CNBC wars: Gasparino vs. everyone else….

and go see today’s Call of the Wild here

Dealbreaker a year ago:

….We think it’s unfair that CNBC anchor Erin Burnett is allegedly taking shit from network brass for being a lover of the finer things in life. So for the rest of January, we’re going to give you 8 Ways To Impress [anchor of your choice]. Today we’ll start with Charlie Gasparino:

1. Buying me a week’s worth of martinis at Tropix …( my favorite joint in Rego Park, where they have a lax policy on underage drinking, would earn you big points in my book.

2. The proper work out gear keeps me calm when I’m getting pumped. Buy me a ten-pack of Champion sweatshirts. Show me you care by taking the time to cut off the sleeves (so that when I go back to the studio after whaling on my pecs, my veins are exposed for the staff’s leering delight).

3. Finding the high end BowFlex–the one with the pull up bar, not the shitty one I bought for myself last Christmas–at my door would be great.

4. My contributions to literature and understanding are a passion of mine, so a gathering with a roomful of literati and Wall Street titans, especially Dick Grasso and Phil Purcell (if you can find him), to hear me read my favorite passages, would make for an exceptional evening. For all involved…..

MiM here, a review of Charlie’s lastest:

Gasparino, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, had excellent access to [Grasso]. . . . This, combined with the author’s entree to financial Goliaths such as former Merill Lynch & Co. CEO David Komansky and Home Depot Inc. co-founder Kenneth Langone, steep the book in rich detail. . . . He paints a portrait of the goings-on at NYSE board meetings that only tireless reporting and good connections can provide. . . .The book does a great job at describing Grasso’s efforts to market an institution that by many accounts has been on the slow journey to extinction ever since the invention of the microchip. — Susan Antilla, Bloomberg News

More of Charlie’s greatest voice mails , audio at the link, from Dealbreaker:

Update: After leaving him several threatening-ish sounding voicemails, we finally got in touch with Mr. Gasparino, who shed some light. Regarding the first message, he doesn’t remember what it was about. The second two were apparently left after he’d been lied to about Lehman Brothers COO Joseph Gregory and CFO Erin Callan getting fired, and needed to “put the pedal to the metal.” Though other journalists might’ve vehemently denied having left such messages, for fear of being called out for juicing, No Sleeves stood his ground.

“I’m unfazed [by the fact that someone put the voicemails on YouTube],” NS told Dealbreaker. “You should’ve seen and heard me ten years ago. I’m mellow now.” Gasparino did add, however, that whoever decided to upload and make public his cell phone number (which we removed from our clip), should sleep with one eye open, because his “buddies at the FBI are going to find out who you are.”

Update 2: Let it be known that Gasparino was the one to break the Gregory/Callan Story.

Update 3: Since we had him on the phone again, we asked No Sleeves why he chose not to curse in any of his messages. They were great, obviously, but a few well-timed ‘mother-fucker’s could’ve really added something special, not to mention probably have gotten the recipients to call back. According to Sans Sleeves, “I didn’t curse because I was on vacation in San Diego and calling from my hotel room, and my wife was within earshot.”

January 26, 2009. Tags: , . Entertainment, Finance, Politics, Wall St. 3 comments.

Update: Treasury Swearing In Ceremony…Senate confirms Geithner 60-34….Obama A Team now assembled..time to git r done!

Update 3: from the  Rollcall:

the Nays:

NAYs —34
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennett (R-UT)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Byrd (D-WV)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
DeMint (R-SC)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feingold (D-WI)
Grassley (R-IA)
Harkin (D-IA)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sanders (I-VT)
Sessions (R-AL)
Specter (R-PA)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)
Not Voting – 4
Bond (R-MO)
Brown (D-OH)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Wyden (D-OR)

Update 2: Byrd, Feingold, Harkin & Sanders voted no…

AP Video of Senate confirmation vote

Inhofe’s speech in opposition to Geithner

Update: CNBC and FOX have a live box up with a large assembly and a POTUS podium seal at Treasury…watch LIVE STREAM for breaking announcements…

***5 members of Democratic Caucus voted against Geithner****

Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner confirmed...

60-34..waiting for updates…

Now let’s get to work on the housing…He has the TARP Tranche Deux a cool 350 billion, he has the authority, now .

“Just Do It…”


Okay, now we have the Obama “A” Team of economic action in get out there and git r done!

LOTR courtesy of Tituskhain

January 26, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Cabinet, CITI, citigroup, Economy, Finance, Foreclosures, Housing, Labor Department, Obama Administration, Politics, TARP, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. 2 comments.

The Empire Strikes Back!!!…Thain says Lewis knew all….

Update: 11:48am EST: And they’re off!!!!  BofA releases a stmt claiming Thain and Merrill Comp Cmte made call on y/e bonuses., reported live on CNBC…this after the FT report yesterday that BofA  had input into those bonuses..

a real pixxing match going on here folks..BofA claiming they had no legal right to challenge the bonus decisions? I say Ken Lewis is on his way out….(PS Charlie Gasparino is once again displaying his lack of uhmm couth on CNBC interrupting everyone to say he knows all..again…Kudlow says something important here, LEWIS BOUGHT COUNTRYWIDE yeah remember that???) To MiM, it looks like BofA is rebuilding in the image of CITI (which failed-hey maybe that’s their plan to be too big to fail…)..

Oh it is getting good now. If I weren’t a frakin shareholder I might even enjoy the drama of it all…

John Thain, erstwhile CEO of Merrill and former CEO of NYX and COO at Golden Slacks, has struck back at one-sided reports leaked by Ken Lewis over at BofA suggesting Thain pulled the wool over his eyes pre merger..


This is not only high drama it is a metaphor for the shift in our economy…a head to head matchup b/w commercial banking heavyweight Ken Lewis and the welterweight of Wall St, John Thain..and don’t evah forget Thain is a Golden Slacks alumnae, that makes him Golden donchaknow…in Vegas odds I give it to Thain…

Bank Of America Personnel

had this been Jamie Dimon going up against Thain, then I would have said hands down Dimon wins it….but Lewis doesn’t have that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ of Jamie…Lewis is still on his way OUT as CEO..believe it…

The media has attempted to cast Thain in the role of poster boy for Wall St malfeasance, and that expense report on his office didn’t help, even Obama mentioned it for cripes sake..yeah methinks Thain is pixxed and not going down alone..


CNBC Maria Bartiromo got an exclusive interview with Thain, we will post linkys as available, Thain also wrote a memo, the ultimate tool in CEO Jousting..the MEMO!!

He said he had been “completely transparent” with Bank of America and pointed out that the acting chief financial officer of his businesses had been Bank of America’s chief accounting officer.

“They learned about these losses when we did,” he wrote. “The acting CFO of my businesses was Bank of America’s former Chief Accounting Officer. They had daily access to our (profit and losses), our positions and our marks. Our year end balance sheet target (which we more than met) was given to us by Bank of America’s CFO.”

Read The Memo here:

To my Merrill Lynch colleagues:

It has been an honor to lead this company over the last very difficult year. The decisions that I made were always with the best interests of our shareholders and employees above all. I believe that the decision to sell to Bank of America was the right one for our company and our clients. While the execution has been difficult, I still believe in the strategic rationale of the transaction and I wish you all the best for the future of the combined companies.

I want to address several topics that have been inaccurately reported in the press. The first issue is our year end bonus payments. Our 2008 discretionary bonus pool was 41% lower than 2007. The size of the pool, its composition (cash and stock mix), and the timing of the payments for both the cash and stock were all determined together with Bank of America and approved by our Management Development and Compensation Committee and our Board. The total bonus pool was also substantially less than the amount allowed under our merger agreement.


The final topic is the expenses related to my office. The $1.2 million reported in the press was for the renovation of my office, two conference rooms and a reception area. The expenses were incurred over a year ago in a very different environment. Nonetheless, they were a mistake in the light of the world we live in today. I will therefore reimburse the company for all of the costs incurred.

I thank all of you for your hard work and your support over the past year. I wish you all success in the future.


Can anyone accurately guess the price of that parchment trashcan?? If you said $1,200.00 you win!!!

Hey I’m a shareholder don’t I even get any TURTLE WAX???

January 26, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, FDIC, Finance, Politics, Popular Culture, TARP, Wall St. 6 comments.

Update: CNBC reports…And the Beat goes on…the beating in Housing that is….

CNBC Video Update on the prior month release, November’s prices, and December housing starts:

Courtesy of RealDealNews:

David Crowe, senior staff vice president of the National Association of Homebuilders, Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s and CNBC’s Diana Olick discussed home purchase stimulus options on CNBC yesterday, in the wake of new data about the drop in home prices and new home starts in 2008. David Crowe argues that a temporary tax credit for home purchases will help to stimulate the housing market.

Yes, housing values have dropped another 15% …shocker!!..uhm NOT…We knew this was coming..where oh where is our HOLC??..once again declines in housing values outpace expectations for a whopping 15% drop in median home price nationwide year over year…we at MiM have been clanging the alarm bell on housing since 2005…our arms are tired ..where the hexx is the action on mortgage modification and foreclosure mitigation???

when will I–I-I-I- see HOLC…..sing it Linda..

And the beat goes on… Team Obama is pushing energy today…let’s hope this team gets a housing rhythm soon…they are WAAY off target to fix this economy…the list of job losses he read off (CAT-20,000; Home Depot 8,000 etc) will NOT be helped by increasing fuel efficiency standards peeps…

here is a laugh for today, cause we sure as hexx need one if Team Obama is this far off target…(and his energy legislation has daycare in it, earmark? who me earmark? I mean MiM is all for daycare but that is a frakin earmark baby)

I am sure the bankrupt auto makers are simply thrilled with this move coming now..good Gawd…I mean this is nonsensical…do this in a year, not NOW…Oh there ya go, GM announcing another few thousand layoffs in OH and MI and shutting in plants for an additional period…


the ever-brilliant MSM has decided to focus on the ‘surprise’ jump in home sales last month..completely missing the enormous JUMP in Deeds in Lieu of Foreclosure that is sweeping the nation..we call it Jingle Mail….CNBC reports:

A real estate group says sales of existing homes rose 6.5 percent from November to December, closing out the worst year for the U.S. real estate market in more than a decade…

But THIS is the real news to follow:

The median sales price plunged to $175,400, down 15.3 percent from $207,000 a year ago.

The price drop represented the largest decline since the NAR started keeping records and probably the largest since the Great Depression, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist told reporters.

That was the lowest price since May 2003 and the biggest year-over-year drop on records going back to 1968.

And how do homeowners FEEL about their home values? Cause ‘everybody knows’ that it is that ephemeral FEELING that leads the consumer to spend or not to spend and THAT is the question….CNBC:

The record 61 percent of homeowners saying their home price fell last year suggests the worst housing market since the Great Depression is less likely to rebound before 2010, according to the survey.

Foreclosures will continue to escalate as home equity keeps falling below outstanding mortgage balances, and homeowners will remain intent on rebuilding their savings and reserve funds, the survey said.



well, the Case-Schiller Index is out this week and should scare the hexx out of everyone so perhaps we will have Geithner in by then and he will make a move…but we are beginning to suspect that Team Obama may have plans to wait…

Here is our worry at MiM, we are concerned that perhaps Obama plans to WAIT for the announcement of TARP 2, which is already funded and which WILL at least partially go to housing..anywho we think he may plan to WAIT to make a move on TARP Deux until AFTER the stimulus plan is passed..that isn’t until the end of FEBRUARY!!!

But, he likely doesn’t want to give the GOP ammo to use on the floor during the debate on the stimulus, ie, wahh wahh we just saw another 350billion in TARP used to no avail wah wah wah…

these are the same yahoos who put NO strings on the first 359 bill which is why NONE of it went to ameliorate the housing CRISIS, yeah its a frakin crisis ‘member?

…good gawd save us from these politicians…

for anyone who missed the carnage, here is the Case-Schiller Index report from December 30, 2008, brutal, just brutal…via CNN Money, the LAST Case Schiller Index was SOOO bad everyone, MiM included, expected ACTION on housing out of the gate from PEBO…

The latest Case-Shiller numbers provide more ammunition to Washington policy makers who want to do more to fix the housing mess, according to Jaret Seiberg, an analyst with the Stanford Group, the policy research firm.

“These data just add to the tremendous pressure on the president-elect and the Democrats to stimulate housing,” he said. “That means more lucrative tax incentives and broad foreclosure prevention. All of this will likely be in the stimulus plan that Congress adopts in January.”

Nicholas Retsinas, Director of Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, agrees. “Housing problems are at the core of our economic problems,” he said, “yet, of the government interventions made during 2008, few were focused on housing.”..

where is the housing action??



Instead Obama is today announcing he plans to allow each state to set their own emissions standards, so P.S. Gas is going back up peeps, yeah how I wish I could buy it up and store it now…WTH is all this focus on ENERGY right now while housing is falling off a frakin cliff and gas is so low?? THIS is NOT the current crisis!!  FIX THE HOUSING!!!

January 26, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Cabinet, Economy, FDIC, Finance, Foreclosures, Housing, Labor Department, Obama Administration, Politics, TARP, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. 2 comments.

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