14 results back to index

pages: 268 words: 74,724

Who Needs the Fed?: What Taylor Swift, Uber, and Robots Tell Us About Money, Credit, and Why We Should Abolish America's Central Bank by John Tamny


Airbnb, bank run, banks create money, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, Carmen Reinhart, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, Home mortgage interest deduction, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, liquidity trap, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, NetJets, offshore financial centre, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Uber for X, War on Poverty, yield curve

There are others with claims on the same plane, and they also have guaranteed access to it on short notice. This raises an obvious question: What happens if there’s a run on a specific NetJets plane? NetJets has more than seven hundred planes in its fleet and keeps adding to that number. If the jet partially owned by a customer is in use, the NetJets rule is they offer their customers another aircraft that is the same or similar to the one the customer partially owns, or, for that matter, a larger one in their fleet that’s not being used. What if there’s a rush on all the planes in the NetJets’ fleet at the same time? If so, just as hotels have overflow deals with other local hotels, so can NetJets access private air transportation outside its fleet for its well-heeled customer base. It’s neither the only owner of high-end aircraft nor the sole fractional-ownership jet company.

It’s neither the only owner of high-end aircraft nor the sole fractional-ownership jet company. What needs to be stressed is that despite multiple-person ownership of its planes, NetJets isn’t multiplying them. Even though NetJets has many multiples of seven hundred plane owners with guaranteed access at quick notice to the roughly seven hundred planes it its fleet, NetJets is not playing a trick on its customers. Without presuming to do its complicated math for it, I wager that Net-Jets understands probabilities. While all of its owners have guaranteed access to private flight in a timely manner, the company is well aware that they’re not all going to need to fly at once. Something similar is at work in banking. Banks pay for deposits (liabilities) and then almost immediately create loans (assets) with the money they borrow from depositors.

If government is consuming less of the economy’s resources, then entrepreneurs will have more credit to access and utilize in their attempts to turn the luxury that is private flight into a common good. Arguably, the best-known provider of private air transportation is Net-Jets. Based in Columbus, Ohio, and owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway holding company, NetJets sells fractional ownership of the jets in its fleet of seven hundred planes. The benefits to the customer are fairly apparent. Whether they buy fifty hours of flight time per year or four hundred, they have guaranteed access to the plane they’ve purchased a fraction of with little notice required. Obviously, the bigger the fraction they buy, the more annual flight time they have. NetJets oversees the maintenance of each plane, makes sure the pilots are well-trained and licensed, and houses the planes. All of this means that fractional owners don’t have to take on all the expensive busy work that comes with traditional jet ownership.

pages: 1,336 words: 415,037

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bob Noyce, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, card file, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index fund, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, moral hazard, NetJets, new economy, New Journalism, North Sea oil, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Samuelson,, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, telemarketer, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, yellow journalism, zero-coupon bond

At the shareholder meeting, Buffett told investors, “Our idea of tough times is periods like now.”9 With too much cash, too few wonderful ideas, and without calling the Air-a-holic hotline, Buffett now bought a company for Berkshire called NetJets for $725 million.10 He sold the Indefensible and became one of NetJets’ customers. This company sold time-shares in jets of various makes and sizes; its planes all had tail numbers that started with QS, or Quebec Sierra. Susie had gotten Warren to buy her a quarter share in a “fractional” jet from NetJets in 1995, worth two hundred hours a year of flight time, which she referred to as The Richly Deserved.11 She joked that QS stood for Queen Susie. Buffett took to NetJets so much that he had appeared in an ad and endorsed it even before he bought it. Still, on the surface, it was an atypical decision for a man who would, one year later, tell the moguls at Sun Valley that somebody should “have shot Orville down.” The reasoning behind the purchase seemed sound, though. NetJets was dominant in its market; it was too late for any serious competitor to catch up.

Eventually, the competitors would fall away.12 And, indeed, NetJets was outgrowing the competition. Buffett was intrigued with its CEO, Richard Santulli, an entrepreneurial mathematician who had formerly spent his days at Goldman Sachs figuring out trading patterns using chaos-theory mathematics. Now he used those same skills to schedule plane flights on six hours’ notice for a database full of celebrity clients whom he entertained at private events. Buffett met a whole new set of famous people, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tiger Woods. Investors cheered Buffett’s purchase of NetJets but were shocked when he almost simultaneously announced that Berkshire was buying General Re, a huge insurance wholesaler, or “reinsurer,” which bought excess risk from other insurers. At $22 billion, this deal was almost thirty times larger than NetJets. It dwarfed by multiples his largest deal ever, GEICO.13 When he met with the Gen Re management team, Buffett told them, “I’m strictly hands-off.

It didn’t bother him. Most would naturally right themselves over time. NetJets, however, was struggling, not just because of the economy but because the premise for buying it—the uniqueness of its franchise—was looking less unique. Other people who forgot to call the Air-aholic hotline kept setting up businesses to compete with NetJets, even though the economics of the fractional aviation business were unattractive. Buffett now realized that it was testosterone that caused Air-aholism. “If only women could be CEOs of companies that flew planes,” he said, “I think it would be a lot better. It’s like sports franchises. If only women could own sports franchises, they’d sell for one-tenth what they sell for now.” He told the shareholders that NetJets would return to profitability and would dominate its market.

pages: 549 words: 147,112

The Lost Bank: The Story of Washington Mutual-The Biggest Bank Failure in American History by Kirsten Grind


asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, big-box store, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, fixed income, housing crisis, Maui Hawaii, money market fund, mortgage debt, naked short selling, NetJets, shareholder value, short selling, Shoshana Zuboff, Skype, too big to fail, Y2K

Each plane cost $1 million during the life of the contract. Every month the bank paid an additional $14,000 for each of the planes, presumably for maintenance. Each time Killinger flew anywhere, it cost about $700 in fuel costs and about $2,500 each hour the plane spent in the air. It wasn’t unusual for Washington Mutual to shell out a couple hundred thousand dollars each month in plane costs. The cost to the company was not detailed for shareholders. NetJets, the timeshare company WaMu used, described one of the planes, a Cessna Citation X, as “the world’s fastest midsized business jet.” It had a 24-foot cabin and large cushy seats, as well as a refreshment center stocked with sandwiches and drinks. This was hardly the picture of corporate excess; many executives at larger investment banks and finance companies traveled on much bigger planes. Often their companies owned these planes.

That day Tall left the workout room and called Chapman from the hotel. “I think I need to go to the hospital,” he said grimly. Chapman drove Tall to the emergency room. The doctors performed a series of tests late into the evening and delivered bad news: Tall needed open heart surgery, right away. But Tall wanted to return to Seattle and his own doctors. Chapman got on the phone and called Killinger. Could the executives use WaMu’s NetJets account to book a private plane back to Seattle? There was no way Tall could travel on a commercial airline in his fragile condition, Craig Chapman explained. Killinger hesitated. “I don’t know if we can get a private plane down there,” he said. After several minutes of discussion, it seemed to Chapman that Killinger either didn’t want them to use the plane or couldn’t decide whether to let them.

If we don’t get something done soon, this economy is going to collapse.”79 In New York, Alan Fishman, Tom Casey, Fishman’s special consultant Frank Baier (who had been hired to help out with the capital raise), and John McMurray boarded the private jet back to Seattle. They had no further reason to stay on the East Coast. The private auction had failed, and they had received no word from the regulators about WaMu’s capital-raising plan. As they left, investment bankers in New York continued to camp out at the offices of Simpson Thacher, trying to find other ways to save the company. The WaMu executives debated for a long time whether to fly NetJets, which was already paid for, or commercial, which would look better publicly. In the end, they decided it was more important to return quickly and took the private plane. As they sat on the tarmac, waiting to take off, someone got an e-mail: JPMorgan was planning to hold an investor conference call at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time. In Seattle, at about a quarter to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time, several members of WaMu’s communications team stood in the bank’s lobby chatting after a coffee break.

pages: 374 words: 114,600

The Quants by Scott Patterson


Albert Einstein, asset allocation, automated trading system, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, buttonwood tree, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, centralized clearinghouse, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computerized trading, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haight Ashbury, I will remember that I didn’t make the world, and it doesn’t satisfy my equations, index fund, invention of the telegraph, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, law of one price, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, merger arbitrage, money market fund, Myron Scholes, NetJets, new economy, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk-adjusted returns, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Sergey Aleynikov, short selling, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, statistical arbitrage, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Predators' Ball, too big to fail, transaction costs, value at risk, volatility smile, yield curve, éminence grise

Muller had been frequenting poker halls since the 1980s during his days as a young quant in Berkeley, California. In 2004, he’d become so serious about the game—and so good at it—that he joined the World Poker Tour, pocketing nearly $100,000 in winnings. He played online poker obsessively and even toyed with the bizarre notion of launching an online poker hedge fund. Weinstein, more of a blackjack man, was no slouch at the poker table, having won a Maserati in a 2005 NetJets poker tournament. Griffin simply hated to lose to anyone at anything and approached the poker table with the same brainiac killer instinct that infused his day-to-day trading prowess. No matter how hard they might play elsewhere, no poker game mattered more than when the gamblers around the table were their fellow quants. It was more than a battle of wits over massive pots—it was a battle of enormous egos.

In 2005, Weinstein’s boss, Anshu Jain, flew to meet with Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett in Omaha, Nebraska, to discuss a number of the bank’s high-profile trades, including Weinstein’s. The two moguls were chatting about one of their favorite pastimes, bridge, and the conversation eventually switched to poker. Jain mentioned that Weinstein was Deutsche Bank’s poker ace. Intrigued, Buffett invited Weinstein to an upcoming poker tournament in Las Vegas run by NetJets, the private-jet company owned by Berkshire. Weinstein made his boss proud, winning the tournament’s grand prize: a spanking new Maserati. Still, gambling was just a pastime, a mental curiosity or warm-up for the real deal. Weinstein’s main focus, his obsession, remained trading—winning, crushing his opponents, and making money, huge money. He loved it. Soon he started expanding his operation into all kinds of markets, including stocks, currencies, and commodities—much as Ken Griffin was creating a diversified multistrategy fund at Citadel (Weinstein seemed to be modeling his group after Citadel).

Muller, however, had mastered the art of knowing exactly when to fold, when to raise, when to go all in. He never lost his cool, even when he was down. He knew it was only a matter of time before he was back on top. The quant poker games lasted late into the night, at times stretching into the following morning. In 2006, Muller took the PDTers on a ski trip to an exclusive ski resort out west, flying the gang on a NetJets private plane. His treat. It would be one of the last few such trips they would make in years. A credit crisis brewing on Wall Street would put an end to such carefree jaunts. But that was a worry for another day. Muller, meanwhile, was getting restless. Playing endless rounds of poker, hiking exotic trails in Hawaii, kayaking in Peru, shooting off on private jets to the Caribbean, dating models—it was all fun, but something was missing: trading, making millions in the blink of an eye, watching the winnings tick up like a rocket.

pages: 77 words: 18,414

How to Kick Ass on Wall Street by Andy Kessler


Andy Kessler, Bernie Madoff, buttonwood tree, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, family office, fixed income, hiring and firing, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, London Whale, margin call, NetJets, Nick Leeson,, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, time value of money, too big to fail, value at risk

Better to leave the slight impression that your worth every penny, and more. Another note. In good times, you’ll be paid in cash. I don’t know if anyone actually hands out checks anymore, but try to get a check, something tangible for all that work. Then immediately cash it (in case they change their mind) and keep it in the bank. Buy a nice dinner. Don’t buy a Porsche or a place in the Hamptons or a NetJets card. Not yet. Build up the notorious FU money. At least a year or two of living expenses in case you want to leave or have to leave. What you may not realize is that in bad times, you still are going to be paid some bonus, though much lower than you’d like. But that bonus is often paid with little pieces of paper with your CEO’s picture on it. Basically stock that you can’t redeem for years. Lots of people who leverage up and buy huge condos and enjoy massive life styles have a tough time when all they get is stock instead of cash.

pages: 481 words: 120,693

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland


activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, assortative mating, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, call centre, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, double helix, energy security, estate planning, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, global village, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, high net worth, income inequality, invention of the steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberation theology, light touch regulation, linear programming, London Whale, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, NetJets, new economy, Occupy movement, open economy, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, postindustrial economy, Potemkin village, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, Solar eclipse in 1919, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, the new new thing, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, Washington Consensus, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

“There’s so much money on the Upper East Side right now,” she said. “A lot of people under forty years old are making, like, $20 million or $30 million a year in these hedge funds, and they don’t know what to do with it.” As an example, she described a conversation at a dinner party: “They started saying, if you’re going to buy all this stuff, life starts getting really expensive. If you’re going to do the NetJets thing”—this is a service offering “fractional aircraft ownership” for those who do not wish to buy outright—“and if you’re going to have four houses, and you’re going to run the four houses, it’s like you start spending some money.” The clincher, Peterson said, came from one of her dinner companions. “She turns to me and she goes, ‘You know, the thing about twenty is’”—by this she means $20 million per year—“‘twenty is only ten [after taxes].’

A California technology executive—himself a global nomad who has lived and worked in Europe and Asia—explained to me that a company like Bharti has a competitive advantage in what he believes will be the exploding African market: “They know how to provide mobile phones so much more cheaply than we do. In a place like Africa, how can Western firms compete?” ARISTOCRACY OF IDEAS Just as the railroad created new cities, private jets and private jet time-shares like NetJets have contributed to the globalization of the super-elite—owning homes and doing deals around the world becomes feasible when you can travel the planet as easily as the middle class steps into a car. New technologies have helped, too—instant and mobile communication makes it possible to live on the move and around the world. So have the political revolutions that have opened up so many of the world’s borders over the past twenty years.

., 6, 119 Morgan Stanley, 63, 122 Moritz, Michael, 234 mortgage market, 146, 166–67, 169–70, 217 Mossler, Fred, 233 motion picture industry, 98, 100, 109, 127–30 Mount, Harry, 57, 67 Moyo, Dambisa, 266 Mubarak, Hosni, 144 Mullainathan, Sendhil, 138–40 Müller-Ötvös, Torsten, 46 Murphy, Kevin J., 131–34, 137 Murray, Charles, 286 music industry, 109–10, 126–27, 170–71 n-11 economies, 30 Nakamoto, Michiyo, 169 Naspers, 66 Neeleman, David, 156–57 Netherlands, 16 NetJets, 2, 66 New Class, 264–69 New Class, The (Djilas), 89–90 New Deal, 13–14, 132–34, 177 Newsweek, 127 New Yorker, 33 New York Times, 6, 7, 39, 45, 70, 125, 126, 140, 165, 174, 227, 258, 268 New York World, 7 New Zealand, 3, 159–60 Next Convergence, The: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World (Spence), 20 Nicaragua, 191 Niccolini, Julian, 36 Nigeria, 66 Nobel, Alfred, 71 Nobel Prize, 50, 69, 123, 124, 126, 175 Nolte, Nick, 127 Nucor, 158 Oakland A’s, 129 Obama, Barack, x, 18, 92–93, 242–43, 245, 247, 249, 250, 258, 269 as empiricist, 93 Observer, 74 Occupy movement, 28, 42, 80, 83, 92, 238, 244–45, 248–51 O’Connor, Caroline, 171–72 Odnoklassniki, 163 OECD, 3 O’Neill, Jim, 19, 21, 29–30, 33 one percent, xii, 135 0.1 percent vs., 79–83 99 percent vs., 80 during 1940s–1970s period, 14 in economic recovery of 2009–2010, xiii political vs. economic focus on, xiv share of national income, 3, 14 Open Society Foundations, 70, 77 Orange Revolution, 79–80, 192 Orlov, Yuri, 90 Orszag, Peter, 18 Orwell, George, 90 outsourcing, 92, 105, 106, 155, 179, 241 Oxford University, 62 Page, Larry, 55 PaineWebber, 142 Palin, Sarah, 83, 223 Pangea3, 106–7 paradigm shifts, 144, 145, 164 see also revolutions paradox of happy peasants and miserable millionaires, 31–32, 51, 82 Paulson, Hank, 213, 271–72 Paulson, John, 148, 244 Pavarotti, Luciano, 97, 98 pay for performance, 136, 138, 139 PayPal, 171, 183 Perella, Joe, 170 Peru, 82 Peterson, Holly, 1–3, 52, 80–81 Peterson, Pete, 1, 36–37, 44–45, 70, 78, 80 Petrarca, Francesco, 278 philanthro-capitalism, 71, 74–76, 264, 267 philanthropy, 70–76, 246, 264 Philippines, 25 Philippon, Thomas, 48, 53, 220–21 Pierson, Paul, 18 Piff, Paul, 239 Piketty, Thomas, 34, 43 Pimco, 65, 251 Pinchuk, Victor, 72–73, 268, 270 Pipes, Richard, 145 Pisarev, Kirill, 103 pivoting, 171–73 Platinum Study, 43 Pleading Guilty (Turow), 38 Plepler, Richard, 72 Pliny the Elder, 195 Plutarch, 195 political influence, 222–24, 247, 260–62 political revolutions, 144–46 politicians, 76–79, 269–70 Polo, Marco, 278 Poore, Peter, 76 PopTech, 67 Porter, Michael, 23 Posner, Victor, 120, 122 Potanin, Vladimir, 151 Premji, Azim, 155 Prince, Chuck, 169–70 private equity, 120–22, 128, 190, 243, 280 privatization, 193–94, 205, 207, 222, 225 in Russia, 162–64, 176, 179–81, 188, 192–93, 198, 207, 218, 223, 225 telecom, 196–98 privilege, 239 transferred to children, 282–83 Progress and Poverty (George), 38, 40–41 Progressive Era, 39, 78 Prokhorov, Mikhail, 162 Putin, Vladimir, 80, 107, 149–51, 255 Qiu Ying, 96 Quantum Fund, 142, 143, 154, 172 Queen Elisabeth Competition, 126 Quiggin, John, 48 Radia, Niira, 200 railroads, 178, 191 Raja, Andimuthu, 200 Rajan, Raghuram, 188–89, 198, 201, 228 Rajaratnam, Raj, 121–22 Rakoff, Jed, 256 Rand, Ayn, 249 Rauh, Joshua, 119–20 Ravid, Abraham, 130 Reagan, Ronald, 17, 89 Reagan Revolution, xii real estate, 222–23 Red Capitalism (Walter and Howie), 207–8 Reformed Broker, The, 84 Reich, Robert, 3 Renaissance, 96 Renaissance Capital, 65, 159 rentier elite, 42, 43, 283 rent-seeking, 188–228, 283 in China, 204–10 globalization and, 226–28 in India, 198–200, 228 value creation vs., 280–81 Reshef, Ariell, 48, 220–21 revolutions, 141–87 industrial, see industrial revolution political, 144–46 in technology, xiv, 4, 14–15, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 28, 30–31, 67, 100, 104, 146, 157–58, 164, 166, 184, 221, 285 Reynolds, Joshua, 94 “rich,” use of word, x Roach, Stephen, 210 robber barons, xv, 9, 19, 41, 42, 71, 118, 134, 191, 195, 237 Roosevelt on, 177–78 Robertson, Julian, 142 Robinson, James, 279–80 Rockefeller, John D., 195 Rodriguez, Alex, 108–9 Rolls-Royce, 46 Romney, Mitt, 77, 92–94, 236, 237, 286 as empiricist, 93–94 Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 132 Commonwealth Club speech of, 176–78 New Deal of, 13–14, 132–34, 177 Roosevelt, Theodore, 39 Rose, Charlie, 72 Rosen, Sherwin, 97, 99–100, 107–12, 116, 123 Rosoff, Matt, 238 Royal Bank of Canada, 217 Royal Bank of Scotland, 217 Rubenstein, David, 121, 148–49 Rubin, Bob, 213 Russia, 3, 14, 19, 35, 56, 62, 66, 82, 96, 148, 149, 159–61, 163, 164, 178–81, 186, 206, 260 billionaire-to-GDP ratio in, 189 Bolsheviks in, 14, 93, 145, 284 privatization in, 162–64, 176, 179–81, 188, 192–93, 198, 207, 218, 223, 225 Revolution in, 152–53 science and technology in, 178–79 Russian oligarchs, 42, 46, 51–52, 61–62, 72, 92, 107, 147, 149–52, 186, 193, 196, 223, 255, 285 Ryan, Paul, 83, 190 Sabharwal, Manish, 32 Saez, Emmanuel, xiii, 34, 35–36, 43, 117, 281 Saïd, Wafic, 62 Sainath, Palagummi, 32 Saint Laurent, Yves, 114–16 Salganik, Matthew, 126 Salinas, Carlos, 196, 198 Salomon Brothers, 130 Sandberg, Sheryl, 174–75 Santorum, Rick, 246 Sawiris, Naguib, 4, 35, 77 Say’s law, 30–31 Schiff, Peter, 245 Schmidt, Eric, 56, 58, 69, 104–5, 236, 238, 280–81 Schmidt, Jacqueline, 70 Schrage, Elliot, 47 Schultz, Howard, 69 Schumer, Chuck, 211–13, 227 Schumpeter, Joseph, 32, 118 Schwarzman, Steve, 1, 36–37, 45, 46, 60, 147, 237, 243 science, 123–25 screenplays, 128 Seasteading Institute, 250 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), 226, 256 self-interest, 178, 215, 216, 239–40, 243–44, 249, 273–75, 286 Sennett, Mack, 98 Sense and Sensibility (Austen), 274–75 sewing machine, 113–15 Shaw, George Bernard, 39 Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 89 Shubrick, 40 Silicon Valley, 46–47, 56, 93, 163–64, 166, 171, 174, 175, 181–83, 230–31, 235, 236, 238, 283, 285 Silver Lake, 59 Simmons, Ruth, 284 Singapore, 63 Singer, Paul, 77 Singh, Manmohan, 155, 198–99 Sinha, Jayant, 189 skill-biased technical change, 91 skimming, 138 Slim, Carlos, 42, 46, 51, 195–98, 199, 218, 227, 236, 255 Smith, Adam, 67, 131, 138, 194, 229 Smith, Art, 112 Smith, Michael, 102 social mobility, 5, 82, 278–79 income inequality and, 283–84 Socialnet, 183 Somoza family, 191 Sorensen, Alan, 126 Soros, George, 53–54, 70, 73, 77, 141–45, 147, 148, 152–55, 172–73, 242 Soros, Jonathan, 153, 173 Soros, Tivadar, 152–53 South Korea, 32, 193 Soviet republics, former, 20, 77, 149, 155, 192, 193, 267 Soviet Union, 14, 17, 89–90, 144, 155, 178–80, 266 Spectator, 56–57, 59, 67 Spence, Michael, 20, 187 Spitzer, Eliot, 213 Splinter, Michael, 64 sports stars, 108–9, 129, 130, 138 Stalin, Joseph, 20, 90 Stanford Business School, 61, 147 Starr International, 101 Start-Up of You, The (Hoffman), 184–85, 187 Stengel, Rick, 72 Stephenson, Randall, 164, 185–86 Stevenson, Betsey, 32 Stewart, Rod, 36 Stiglitz, Joe, 27 Stock Market Boys, 51 Stoll, Craig, 112–13 Strauss-Kahn, Dominique, 72, 238–39 Stringer, Howard, 36 student activism, 268 Sull, Donald, 145, 147, 167–68, 171 Summers, Larry, xiii, 49, 87, 165, 174 Sunstein, Cass, 93 Sun Valley, 68 Sun Yat-sen, 39 superstars, 88–140 fees charged by, 101–3 globalization and, 91–92, 108 income of, vs. everyone else, 100–101 industrial revolution and, 95–99, 118 and talent vs. capital, 116–17, 122, 129–30 technology and, 91–92, 98–100, 108, 109 “Sustaining New York’s and the US’ Global Financial Services Leadership,” 211–15 Swank, Hilary, 110 Sweden, xii, 3, 12 Switzerland, 35, 63 Szelényi, Ivan, 89–90, 136, 266 Tahrir Square, 80 Taiwan, 35 Tawney, R.

pages: 433 words: 125,031

Brazillionaires: The Godfathers of Modern Brazil by Alex Cuadros


affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, big-box store, BRICs, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, facts on the ground, family office, high net worth, index fund, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, NetJets, offshore financial centre, profit motive, rent-seeking, risk/return, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, We are the 99%, William Langewiesche

I saw Lorenzo Mendoza, Venezuela’s third-richest man, just standing around casually chatting with an acquaintance, because at least in this room, he was not the center of attention. Gradually, little red dots appeared stickered below artworks that had sold. To call your VIP lounge by its name would be crass, so the fair had a Collectors’ Lounge. Crates of Miami Basel’s official champagne were arrayed in a kind of rainbow shape at one side. The champagne brand, Ruinart, was not a conceptual artist’s joke. Past the bar I could see a booth for NetJets, the private-plane time-share company. Toward the back of the lounge was another, smaller lounge administered by UBS, the Swiss bank. You could only enter with some higher-level credential I hadn’t heard of. The fair was organized like Russian nesting dolls of exclusivity. I stopped by my friend’s gallery space for a chat. She told me she’d seen Alfredo Setubal, an heir to Latin America’s largest private-sector bank, Itaú Unibanco.

See also MMX Mineração & Metálicos; Vale Amazon gold rush, 138–39 Carajás, 168–69 Cavalcanti and, 189 first mechanized alluvial mine, 139–40, 169–70 government investments, 168 niobium, 212 Miterhof, Marcelo, 54–55, 293n54 MMX Mineração & Metálicos, 30, 137, 140, 144, 145, 169, 186, 189, 215, 216, 220, 246, 303n140 bankruptcy of, 252 Eike cash injection promise, 191, 308n191 Monteiro de Carvalho, Olavo, 262–63 Moraes, Antônio Ermírio de, 14, 39, 48 wealth of, 90 Moraes, Olacyr de, 48, 294n62 Moraes, Vinícius de, 11 Morgan, J. Pierpont, 131 Moro, Sergio, 273–74, 316n274 MPX Energia, 144, 147, 170, 186, 222, 246, 247 bankruptcy of, 252 Murdoch, Rupert, 93, 298n93 Musk, Elon, 277 Não Somos Racistas (Kamel), 100, 207 Naouri, Jean-Charles, 4 Nasaw, David, 205–6 Natal, Brazil, 313n237 National Foundation of the Indian (Funai), 69, 74 National Oil Agency (ANP), 248 Natura Cosméticos, 213 Nestlé, 291n42 NetJets, 28 Neves, Aécio, noteTK Neves, Tancredo, 89–90 Newcomb, Peter, 29 New York Times Maggi interview, 62, 64 Niemeyer, Oscar, 63 Nissan car company, 190 Niué island, 24 Norte Energia, 71, 73, 74, 75 NRX-Newrest, 155 OAS, 239 bankruptcy of, 273 Belo Monte dam and, 239 Carwash and, 270–71 Natal soccer stadium, 313n237 political donations and favors, 239–40, 285TK, 313n239 Roberto Marinho Ave. costs and, 34, 239 Obama, Barack, 16 Oban (Operação Bandeirante), 40–41, 42–43, 44, 87, 290n40 companies supporting, 40, 42, 291n41, 291n42 Occupy Wall Street, 17, 236 o clube da propina (bribe club), 273, 274 Odebrecht, 30, 32, 36, 44, 45, 55, 289n36, 291–92n44 aligned with Brazil’s interests, 56–57 Arena Corinthians and, 258 Belo Monte dam and, 67, 71, 72, 77 campaign donations and, 275, 284 Carwash and cartel for Petrobras contracts, 51, 270–71 Lula and, 57, 274, 285TK, 293–94n57, 316–17n274 Maracanã stadium and, 226, 227, 238 Olympic Games construction, 274 Olympic Village construction, 283–84 Odebrecht, Emílio, 51, 275 Odebrecht, Marcelo, 58, 76, 202, 273–74, 275, 293–94n57 plea-bargain, noteTK prison sentence, 285TK Odebrecht, Norberto, 291–92n44 OGX Petróleo, 135–36, 144, 145–46, 147, 150, 151–52, 156, 247, 248, 262–64, 303n136, 304n146 auction of assets, 252 auditing of, 152, 245 bankruptcy of, 247, 314n247 bonds sold, 181–82 Carneiro as CEO, 249 cessation of production, 242 CVM investigation and, 248–49, 276, 314n248 efforts to bail out, 220, 222, 223, 240–41 Eike promises to inject cash, 190–91, 241, 249, 308n190 Eike sells stock in, 241 executive luxuries, 215 impact on Eike’s empire, 187, 188 investor losses, 245, 261 investors, 182, 193, 224–25 losses of, 185–88, 189, 215, 224–25 Mendonça as CEO, 216–17 Schlumberger report, 261 stock price and, 186, 241–42 oil production, xv, 15–16, 30, 135–36, 145.

pages: 505 words: 142,118

A Man for All Markets by Edward O. Thorp


3Com Palm IPO, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, beat the dealer, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Brownian motion, buy low sell high, carried interest, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, compound rate of return, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, Edward Thorp, Erdős number, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, George Santayana, German hyperinflation, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, High speed trading, index arbitrage, index fund, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, Kenneth Arrow, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, Mason jar, merger arbitrage, Murray Gell-Mann, Myron Scholes, NetJets, Norbert Wiener, passive investing, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, publish or perish, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, statistical arbitrage, stem cell, survivorship bias, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Predators' Ball, the rule of 72, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, Works Progress Administration

Second, there are wholly owned or controlled companies such as Wesco Financial, World Book Encyclopedia, and Clayton Homes. The 2003 annual report lists some sixty-six of these, with 172,000 employees, orchestrated by Warren and Charlie from a corporate office that has “swollen” to sixteen employees. Third and perhaps most important is the insurance segment consisting mostly of GEICO and the reinsurance company General Re. We headed for lunch and the NetJets exhibit at the local airport. Saturday night we were back at Gorat’s. The price of the T-bone dinner we had Friday was, as a “special for shareholders,” now $3 more. Charlie Munger reluctantly worked the room we were in and I mentioned to him a tale I’d heard about his youth. Charlie had gone to Harvard Law School and, when my friend Paul Marx got his degree there a few years later, he found that Charlie was a legend—with many saying he was the smartest person ever to have attended.

First are the positions in publicly traded companies like Coca-Cola, The Washington Post, and Gillette. The securities markets price these every day. Is this Buffett portfolio worth more than, less than, or the same as its market price? Should one add a premium for Buffett’s market timing and stock-picking prowess? Second are numerous wholly owned companies such as See’s Candies, Clayton Homes, and NetJets. We can value these by applying the principles of security analysis to the balance sheets, and by considering the growth rates of the companies, their “franchise value,” and the quality of management. The third component is the insurance group, with GEICO the most important. To value these non-public companies we use, in addition to security analysis as above, the value of the “float.” This is money paid as premiums that is currently being held to pay off future claims.

pages: 162 words: 50,108

The Little Book of Hedge Funds by Anthony Scaramucci


Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, business process, carried interest, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fear of failure, fixed income, follow your passion, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, index fund, John Meriwether, Long Term Capital Management, mail merge, margin call, mass immigration, merger arbitrage, money market fund, Myron Scholes, NetJets, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, the new new thing, too big to fail, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

As such, investors must ask themselves what type of investment vehicle is the most appropriate given their investment goals. Based upon that answer, they must then ascertain which money manager possesses the best-equipped toolbox and skill set to help them achieve these objectives and make money. By the way, my friends, back in 1956 Mr. Buffett himself had a hedge fund and operated more than 12 hedge fund partnerships until 1970. Furthermore, is it any more grotesque a fee arrangement than to fly on NetJets, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary? Please pass the carrots with the hypocrisy; I need my night vision. As the expression goes, “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” And let hedge fund managers who are incentivized to perform, make the next big trade. In the Words of a Hedge Fund Legend . . . Steve Tananbaum: Chief Executive Officer & Chief Investment Officer, GoldenTree Asset Management 1.

pages: 244 words: 76,192

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy


Albert Einstein, business process, complexity theory, Iridium satellite, Long Term Capital Management, NetJets, old-boy network, shareholder value, six sigma, social software, Socratic dialogue, supply-chain management

Each requires Cross to deal with different competitors, channels, economics, and pricing. A new market segment in the aircraft industry has recently changed the dynamics for manufacturers and suppliers. In the past seven or eight years, as commercial airline service and schedules deteriorated and prices rose, the corporate jet business has taken off. In 1996 Executive Jets pioneered fractional ownership, which is time-sharing in the sky, with its NetJet program. The new segment it created rapidly became the fastest-growing one in the business. Among manufacturers the big winner was Bombardier of Canada, because Bombardier built planes that were right for the market—larger than the ones made by rivals such as Beech Aviation and Cessna and smaller than those of Boeing or McDonnell Douglas, and foreign competitors. Who Is the Competition? Sometimes businesses miss the emergence of new competitors who have more attractive value propositions for their customers.

pages: 240 words: 73,209

The Education of a Value Investor: My Transformative Quest for Wealth, Wisdom, and Enlightenment by Guy Spier


Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Benoit Mandelbrot, big-box store, Black Swan, Checklist Manifesto, Clayton Christensen, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Exxon Valdez, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Arrow, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, NetJets, pattern recognition, pre–internet, random walk, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, winner-take-all economy, young professional, zero-sum game

In each case, we had to work out why they had happened and if there was a cause that we should have seen beforehand. Sometimes I would look back at a situation where I had missed some vital clue, shake my head, and say, “How did I not see that?” Mohnish added his own mistakes to the mix. We combined these with some (infrequent) errors that we had seen Buffett and Munger make, including their investments in NetJets, Dexter Shoe Company, and Diversified Retailing—a reminder that retail is a tougher place to make money than most people realize. Buffett, with characteristic candor, confessed in his 2007 letter to shareholders: “To date, Dexter is the worst deal I’ve made. But I’ll make more mistakes in the future—you can bet on that. A line from Bobby Bare’s country song explains what too often happens with acquisitions: ‘I’ve never gone to bed with an ugly woman, but I’ve sure woke up with a few.’”

pages: 351 words: 102,379

Too big to fail: the inside story of how Wall Street and Washington fought to save the financial system from crisis--and themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin


affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, fixed income, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, moral hazard, NetJets, Northern Rock, oil shock, paper trading, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, supply-chain management, too big to fail, value at risk, éminence grise

KDB was a national institution with what seemed to him to be a local charter. They had no business branching out with a risky international deal. “It’s like the Long Island energy utility trying to buy something in Russia,” he told Barancik. But they promised to do the best they could. 045 Skip McGee, a forty-eight-year-old Texan, commuted to New York every week from Houston to run Lehman’s investment banking operations. He’d board a private plane using the firm’s NetJets account every Sunday evening around 7:30, land in New York around midnight, and take a car to his rental on the Upper West Side. Come Thursday night he’d be on a first-class flight back to Houston on Continental. McGee, a classic, old-school, back-slapping banker, was clearly ambitious. After graduating summa cum laude from Princeton and getting a law degree, he had spent nearly two decades at Lehman, first as a banker for wildcatters in the oil patch of his backyard and then moving up the ranks until he became the head of the entire investment banking division and joined Fuld’s vaunted executive committee.

They settled on setting up a meeting at 6:00 p.m. at the New York Fed. Geithner’s office wouldn’t start calling all the CEOs until just past 4:00 p.m., after the market had closed. The last thing they could afford was for news of the meeting to leak. Paulson, who usually made the trip to New York on US Airways, which offered a government discount—Wendy had always given him grief about flying in a private jet—arranged to charter a plane to New York, using his NetJets accounts. He couldn’t afford to be delayed; the matter at hand was too important, and the weather was atrocious. If anything, he was worried the plane wouldn’t even be able to take off. As they sped toward Dulles to catch the flight, Paulson, almost inaudibly, said, “God help us.” CHAPTER FOURTEEN Lloyd Blankfein was milling about the greenroom at the Hilton Hotel on Fifty-third Street at Sixth Avenue, waiting to make a speech at the Service Nation Summit, an annual conference coordinated by a coalition Service Nation Summit, an annual conference coordinated by a coalition of nonprofits that promotes volunteerism in America.

pages: 302 words: 86,614

The Alpha Masters: Unlocking the Genius of the World's Top Hedge Funds by Maneet Ahuja, Myron Scholes, Mohamed El-Erian


activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, backtesting, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, business process, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, Donald Trump,, family office, fixed income, high net worth, interest rate derivative, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, merger arbitrage, Myron Scholes, NetJets, oil shock, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Renaissance Technologies, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, rolodex, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Steve Jobs, systematic trading, zero-sum game

Photo credit: Nadirah Zakariya Garry Kasparov (left), former world chess champion, and Boaz Weinstein (right), founder of Saba Capital, play a consultation game in the Hudson Square Ballroom in New York, May 17, 2010. Many leading investors, like Weinstein, are recognized experts in chess, and say an affinity for the game is favored in hiring as games of strategy mirror the strategy of financial decision-making. Photo credit: (c) Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times/Redux Boaz Weinstein (center) alongside Warren Buffett (far left) at the NetJets First Annual Poker Championship in June 2005. Photo credit: Boaz Weinstein

pages: 831 words: 98,409

SUPERHUBS: How the Financial Elite and Their Networks Rule Our World by Sandra Navidi


activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, assortative mating, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, butterfly effect, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, diversification, East Village, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, family office, financial repression, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google bus, Gordon Gekko, haute cuisine, high net worth, hindsight bias, income inequality, index fund, intangible asset, Jaron Lanier, John Meriwether, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, McMansion, mittelstand, money market fund, Myron Scholes, NetJets, Network effects, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Parag Khanna, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Renaissance Technologies, rent-seeking, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, The Predators' Ball, too big to fail, women in the workforce, young professional

The CEO of Deutsche Bank has historically had extraordinary standing and gravitas in Germany, since the public views the institution as a reflection of Germany itself and its CEO as its fiduciary. Throughout his tenure, however, Ackermann remained controversial. Ackermann had always been a power broker who successfully placed himself in the center of relevant networks and crucial events. Wherever the financial elite congregated, he was sure to be in their midst. He spent so much time in the air that he became one of NetJets’ top ten fliers in Europe. Due to his superhub position at the core of financial, economic and political networks, he achieved his greatest power at the pinnacle of the financial crisis. As Chancellor Merkel’s confidante and finance minister Peer Steinbrück’s adviser, his status morphed from that of mere banker to quasi-statesman. By virtue of his chairmanship of the International Institute of Finance, he became the unofficial ambassador of financial institutions globally.