company town

Billionaires Have Bad Days, Too

• Two days before Bear Stearns collapsed, someone wagered $1.7 million that the company’s shares would plummet. “That trade amounted to buying a lottery ticket,” says one strategist. “Would you buy $1.7 million worth of lottery tickets just because you could? No. Neither would a hedge fund manager.” [Bloomberg]
• Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson agreed with President Bush’s analysis that Wall Street was drunk and now it’s got a hangover, saying there “absolutely” was “a lot of truth” to the statement. [NYP]
• Poor Carl Icahn! The activist investor’s hedge funds are down 6 percent, shares of Icahn Enterprises have dropped 50 percent, and he’s not winning any boardroom battles: So far this year he’s struggled with Yahoo and faced defeat with auto-parts maker Lear Corporation. He still has billions of dollars, though.[NYP]

• Ex-NYT reporter Sharon Waxman will start an entertainment news aggregation site called The Wrap. [MarketWatch]
• The New York Times explains why it stayed away from the John Edwards affair story for so long, sort of. [NYT]
• The FBI apologized to the New York Times and the Washington Post for botching the way it obtained phone recorders from the newspapers’ reporters when the bureau was involved in a national-security investigation nearly four years ago. [WP]
Rolling Stone is shrinking its size, getting heavier paper stock and a perfect-bound spine, which should make stacking it in piles and ignoring it easier. [NYT]

• New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn, who lives in a rent-stabilized apartment, is one of the many political luminaries who are enjoying the benefits of a government-regulated, below-market Manhattan pad. [NYS]
• Neighbors who were opposed to the Ikea opening in Red Hook now actually kind of like having it there. “It isn’t awful,” one nearby resident said. [NYT]
• The more pedestrian and bike-friendly your street is, the higher property value your house has. [Brownstoner]

• The auction-rate-securities legal investigation happened at a rapid-fire pace. Who is responsible for getting it through the system so fast? [Law Blog/WSJ]
• Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy is being audited for allegedly giving too much assistance to clients seeking green cards for foreign workers, but the firm is fighting back: It claims that the Labor Department’s rules are unconstitutional. [Law Blog/WSJ]
• Barack Obama is a hit with lawyers: The presidential hopeful has pulled in nearly $21 million in donations from the nation’s legal minds. [Forbes]

Billionaires Have Bad Days, Too