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Bear Stearns

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Katie Couric Goes There With Larry King

The CBS anchor unleashes her inner adolescent boy, JPMorgan wins again, and a big-time lawyer heads to the pokey in our daily roundup of news from the fields of media, finance, and law.

Jimmy Cayne Gets His Body Guarded

Wall Street goes back to work, Bob Schieffer postpones retirement, and a cat owner is charged with cruelty in our roundup of finance, media, and law news.


For another week, almost all politics was both local and sleazy.

Jamie Dimon: ‘Many’ of Bear's 14,000 Employees Will Lose Jobs

Did Bear Stearns collapse in part because of a whisper campaign? How will Starbucks keep its customers if everyone starts pinching pennies? And what did Sarah Jessica Parker think of Maxim naming her the "unsexiest woman alive"? Our weekly roundup of law, media, and business news.

Touching and Feeling With Jamie And Alan

Everyone was feeling a lot yesterday when JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon met with Bear Stearns executives to discuss the changes he'll make when and if his takeover deal of the firm comes to fruition, and a lot of what they were feeling was anger.

The Epic Battle for Bear Stearns’ Soul, and Other Day-Three Stories

It's been two days since Bear Stearns was sold in a fire sale to JPMorgan, and things are still messy and emotional. Whose fault was all of this, and if it's no one's fault, whom can we blame? What will happen next? And what will the impact be, not just on Wall Street, but on the little people? Several stories in the papers today shed light on these questions, even as they raised more questions. Below, a handy cheat sheet to keep you current:

The Fall of Bear Stearns: A Quickie Guide

The Wall Street Journal today has a big story walking us through the events leading up to the collapse of Bear Stearns this past week. But perhaps you haven't gotten to it yet. It's so large and inky, and you've been busy, going to meetings and calculating your annual income should you become a high-class hooker. Still, you don't want to look like an idiot, should someone, somewhere, bring up What Happened at Bear Stearns. You will want to nod knowledgably and pontificate on how it Might Affect the Economy. Which is why, using handy bullet points, we've summarized how the bank's dalliance with subprime lending, coupled with a dope-smoking CEO, finally caught up with them in a stunning week-or-so period. To keep things in perspective, we started at the beginning. The very beginning.

JPMorgan Gearing Up to Move Into Bear's Sweet HQ

FINANCE • JPMorgan Chase will probably move its investment-banking unit to Bear Stearns' smokin'-hot headquarters on Madison Avenue. The building is valued at $1.2 billion, which is just one-fourth of quadruple the price JPMorgan paid for the firm itself. [NYP] • JPMorgan Chase's valuation of Bear Stearns shows that financial institutions are significantly overvalued. Speaking of which, many employees had their life savings wiped out. [NYP, WSJ] • Meanwhile Goldman Sachs' earnings are down but beat analysts' expectations. [DealBook/NYT]

Lehman to World: ‘And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going’

After this weekend's deal to sell collapsing investment bank Bear Stearns to JPMorgan, market watchers were frantically scanning the horizon to see which financial firm might be next. The name on everybody's lips turned out to be Lehman Brothers. The bank, whose profile is similar to that of Bear Stearns, was a major player in the subprime-mortgage market as of last summer, and its shares have tumbled from $82 then to $31.75 last night. It's also the smallest of the most important Wall Street power firms. But Lehman CEO Richard Fuld aggressively made it clear yesterday that if there is in fact a domino effect among the firms, it won't be his company that will be tumbled first. Why? • Because Lehman learned a ton from a similar crisis in 1998, after a panic over Russian debt, and returned stronger. • As a result, they have a much higher level of liquidity this time around. Like, $35 billion in cash and liquid assets, on top of $160 billion in "unencumbered" assets, so it can borrow more.

Now Carrie Bradshaw Is Really Going to Need a Cell Phone

Bushwick: Teens here are flipping the bird to military recruiters, instead embracing Che Guevara and Cesar Chavez at their own social-justice high school. [Indypendent] East Village: Is the end near for that infamous phone booth on Avenue A where "thousands of heroin orders have been placed"? [Neither More Nor Less] Flatbush: The city wants to refurbish the grand but fading 1929 Loew's Kings Theater, where Brooklyn beep Marty Markowitz got his first kiss. Sexy imagery like that should help accelerate the project. [Real Deal via Ditmas Park Blog]

Who Is Bear Stearns' Biggest Loser?

FINANCE • Joseph Lewis, the British billionaire who built up his stake in Bear Stearns last summer, lost about $1.6 billion this past weekend, approximately half of his entire fortune. Bear's biggest investor, Dallas-based money manager James Barrow, whose firm had a 9.95 percent stake, also lost big — at least $750 million. Activist shareholder Bruce Sherman and departed CEO James Cayne each lost big on their 5 percent stakes, although Cayne might not care so much: He just closed on a $28.24 million Plaza pad and spent late last week playing bridge in a tournament in Detroit. [Bloomberg] • Meanwhile, Bear's "fire sale" is spreading like wildfire down the street, singing Lehman Brothers, among other top banks. [DealBook/NYT] • And Barry Diller's IAC is "sputtering." [NYT]

World Reels After Bear Stearns Is Sold For Pocket Change

"This is like waking up in summer with snow on the ground,” Ron Geffner, a former SEC lawyer, told the Times of the news that last night JPMorgan, aided by the Federal Reserve Bank, bought Bear Stearns at a shocking 93 percent discount on Bear's Friday closing price: $2 a share, or $236 million. Including the Madison Avenue headquarters, a property valued at least $1.2 billion. It was a nice present for JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who celebrated his 52nd birthday on Thursday, but not so much for the world economy: Although the last-minute buyout was supposed to stem the credit crisis and, as the Fed said yesterday, "bolster market liquidity and promote orderly market functioning," it seems to have done precisely the opposite. Markets in Europe and Asia tanked overnight, the dollar plunged, and trading on Wall Street is hobbled by fears of a domino effect. Today's economic conditions are "the most wrenching since the end of the second World War," Alan Greenspan told CNN. Fortunately, it's Saint Patrick's Day, so even though there's no green circulating in the market, there is green beer. Drink up, folks. It's going to be a long, depressing ride. JP Morgan Pays $2 a Share For Bear Stearns [NYT] A Deal For Bear Stearns [WSJ] Press Release [Federal Reserve]

Jimmy Cayne Closes on Sweet Plaza Pad

Jimmy Cayne
Former Bear Stearns CEO Jimmy Cayne is apparently feeling pretty mellow about the fact that Bear Stearns stock is at an all-time low; the 74-year-old bridge-master and alleged pothead and his wife, Patricia, just closed on not one but two adjacent apartments at the Plaza for $28.24 million. Altogether, they'll have 6,000 square feet, plus room service, maid service, and unparalleled views of Central Park. Yeah. And if you think that sounds sick, you should check it out after a few hits of the Purple Haze. Neighbors include foundering real-estate developer Harry Macklowe, Tommy Hilfiger, and a noted egg lover Joanna Cutler. Which reminds us: Cayne might want to be careful when he's all stoned up and taking out the garbage. We hear that the trash room on that floor can be kind of a bad trip. Posh Plaza Purchase [PageSix.com] Earlier: Joanna Cutler Reunited With Egg After Horrifying Ordeal

‘Esquire’ Feels That Heath Ledger’s Final Days Haven’t Been Examined Tastelessly Enough

MEDIAEsquire reports on how Heath Ledger spent his last days... except the story is not exactly true. Or, um, tasteful. [Vulture] • Let the deluge begin! Media companies line up to bid for Weather Channel, which is up for auction. [DealBook/NYT] • Wal-Mart appears to be irritated by Meredith Corporation's creative tactic of selling its magazines, which include Better Homes and Garden and Ladies' Home Journal, at the Dollar Tree store. [Folio]

Jimmy Cayne and Richard Fuld Disinvited From the Billionaire Party

How humiliating is it to be dropped off Forbes' annual list of the world's billionaires? Just ask Jimmy Cayne and Lehman Brothers' Richard Fuld. Cayne, who stepped down from Bear Stearns earlier this year, and Fuld, who it was just announced raked in a paltry $40 million in 2007, were notably absent from this year's list, which was released yesterday. Does this mean they will be turned away from Steve Schwarzman's next birthday party? Will it be like, I'm sorry, sirs. Only billionaires are allowed here? If that's the case, it's going to be a pretty small crowd, unless Schwarzie plans to hold his fiesta in Moscow. This year, the Russian capital eclipsed New York in the amount of billionaires per capita: We have only 71, with an average net worth of $3.3 billion each, whereas in Russia, 74 billionaires, with an average net worth of $5.9 billion each, are whooping it up with the caviar blini. So other than deadbeats Fuld and Cayne, who else is keeping us down?

Barack Is the New Brangelina!

MEDIA • Turns out Barack Obama's underwear is more interesting to Us Weekly readers than Britney Spears's custody battles. A Q&A with the Chicago senator in which he refused to answer the boxers-or-briefs question generated the some of the highest-ever traffic for a single article on the site, second only to news of Heath Ledger's death [WWD] • The Sam Zell bloodbath continues: The Tribune Co. owner axes 120 Newsday jobs. [NYP] •Is Matt Drudge the world's most powerful journalist? [Telegraph] • The FBI isn't happy with a recent Rolling Stone article on the Joint Terrorism Task Forces. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]

Print Organizations Band Together, But Who Will Remain on the Island?

MEDIA • Print organizations make like Survivor: The New York Times, Hearst, Tribune, and Gannet form an alliance to back a new online company called quadrantONE. [USAT] • Star magazine makes no apologies for paying sources for scoops. In fact, "right underneath [Candace] Trunzo's editor's note in the current issue is an unbridled pitch with dollar signs around the edges." [NYP] • Bad blood is brewing between Barron's and CNBC after the publication ran a critical story about Mad Money's Jim Cramer. [CJR]