It used to be that the way to the top of casino management was by starting on the floor and rising through the pits. “You gotta learn to smell the money, to feel the pigeons,” as one old pro said.
Bill Regardie | All Articles
You know times are bad when you see a former hedge fund manager standing on a street corner of a tony Connecticut town offering to work -- any job -- for low seven figures.
Following President Obama’s landslide victory over the “unbeatable” Mitt Romney, even the old toadies that mastermind the GOP need to understand that the times they have a-changed, as the old song goes. And the easiest way to get the White House back is to start with kids, many of whom will be voting in 2016 for the first time.
Last week in Washington, New York and the rest of the financial world, the build-up to America’s budget battle deadline was like the wait for the start of the bombing of Baghdad. The story sucked the air out of everyone and everything.
Until about 20 years ago, local companies and large egos ruled Washington business. Times were good and there were lots of laughs.
Though lobbying may employ more big guns, the big money in Washington these days is in investment banking. After all, not even Tommy Boggs could pull off a billion-dollar public offering.
For the past couple of years, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been busting the chops of insider traders. The mafia doesn’t get this much attention.
I was having lunch at the Palm in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia the other day when Jimmy Yoo walked in. It was like seeing a ghost, a legend I had once written about.
When my son asked if I would like to attend presentation day for his son’s second-grade finance class, I immediately canceled a golf game at Burning Tree. Earlier in the school year, I had served as a judge at their portfolio competition and couldn’t wait to see the little moguls again.
The hottest profit center in upscale hotels today is the lobby lounge. No longer just a place for a casual drink, or a place to meet friends, it’s become essentially a 24-hour cash generator as hotels in the Far East have long known.
My wife and I were recently invited to spend the weekend at one of those fancy golf communities in South Florida. Instead of finding tranquility, we found a war zone.
Late last year, when the Bank of China made an $800 million real estate loan to refinance a major Park Avenue office building, I didn’t think much of it. To me, it was just the latest invasion of foreign money coming after America’s trophy properties. Going back 30 years ago, it was the British, the Dutch and then the Japanese swooping in to buy cheap only to get their asses handed back to them a few years later.
While Gordon Gecko’s Wall Street may be Hollywood fiction, the best story in New York now is Galleon Group hedge fund founder and billionaire Raj Rajaratnam as he fights for his freedom in the trial of the century. In case you haven’t been following the case, he’s accused of making hundreds of millions of dollars from insider trading.
The other day, Renault, the French auto maker, was forced to apologize to three former executives it fired in January after wrongly accusing them of espionage.
We did a spur-of-the-moment visit to the Big Apple last week to catch some shows and do some shopping. Instead, we got one helluva surprise. As soon as we turned on to tony Park Avenue, the home of America’s most expensive real estate, we saw a commercial real estate broker in a Brioni suit who was walking in circles holding a placard: “150,000 SQ. FT, ONLY $65 A FOOT!”
I hadn’t given much thought about inflation until this morning, when I saw a long line trying to get into my neighborhood branch of US Gotcha Bank. Fortunately, I had a preferred Gold Card so I was able to get in the side door and reach Happy Harry Hathaway in only 15 minutes. Harry had been made branch vice president in only six months. He gave me a smile, a cup of Starbucks and one of those big bank chairs to rest my butt.
I was shocked to learn from the Wall Street Journal that America’s pets are as fat as their owners. Nearly 50% are overweight and 20% are obese. Dr. Randy Regutnick, founder and CEO of the Fat Pet Centers, considered the pioneer in this field, was happy to talk to me about his work.
You’ve probably heard that Nascar, the major league of stock car racing, is pulling out its big guns this weekend in an attempt to lure fans back to the track. It’s a smart move, considering that the Great Recession hammered the sport. While baseball, football and basketball took some lumps, Nascar had a figurative crash into the far turn.
If you were counting on Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry as your dark horse candidate for the 2012 presidential race, you might want to find another pony. Suddenly, the great Texas economic miracle has run into a mammoth $27 billion deficit, equal to one-third of the state’s budget.