Citigroup Posts $2.5 Billion LossA lot of big news at the banks today — but there’s also crazy stuff going down with Jeff Zucker, Dan Rather, Brooke Astor (from beyond!), and Barack Obama, in our daily industry roundup.
Chairman Cox Bans Naked Short-SellingHeh. Naked short selling. Sounds like something a frat boy would do, right? Well … it sort of is. Read all about the SEC’s bold move to crack down on market manipulators and more, in our daily roundup of finance, media, law, and real-estate news.
Eliot Spitzer Hires Guides to Keep Him From Washing Down River of DespairLAW
• Eliot Spitzer has been careful about the lawyers he’s selected to protect him against potential charges related to his activities with random twentysomething hookers, hiring a set of heavy hitters from white-collar crime specialists Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He’s right to be choosy: “Hiring a lawyer is not unlike selecting a river guide,” the Times says today. “One wants a professional who not only steers clear of the rapids but does so in a reassuring manner. It also helps if he knows what to do should the boat hit the rocks.” Yeah. That’s just how we would have put it. [NYT]
• A New York court rules that the daughter of a Jell-O heiress is not entitled to a taste of the multi-million-dollar fortune. [New York Law Journal]
• Is Hillary Clinton’s legal background hindering her campaign? [Law.com]
in other news
Timothy Sykes: ‘The SEC Are Rapists’So, we don’t really know anybody at the Securities and Exchange Commission. But, statistically, we’d bet that they’re mostly not sexual criminals. They’re busy. But former hedge-fund manager and Internet hero Timothy Sykes begs to differ. “The SEC fucked me,” he told Dealbreaker.com. “The SEC are rapists. And everyone who’s been raped by them is too scared to come forward.” Wow. In addition to the grammatical conundrum that this statement raises (is it, “The SEC is a rapist”?), there’s the whole point that the SEC is basically out to protect the little people. You know, the ones who are the most rape-prone? But we’re arguing a small point here. It’s Friday, and you need someone in the financial world to ridicule who isn’t your own money manager.
Tim Sykes—Find Him Under ‘RichAssJew’ On MySpace — Says We Should Consider Ourselves Lucky He Closed His Fund, Otherwise We Never Would Have Heard About Him*, And What A Pity That Would’ve Been [DealBreaker]
Related: Has Every Wall Streeter Gone Insane? A Graphical Guide
Stephen Colbert Doesn’t Make the BallotMEDIA
• Hollywood and television writers have decided to strike and will announce a walk-out deadline by noon today. Late night will be most immediately effected — guess we’ll find out just how funny Jon Stewart and David Letterman really are. [NYT]
• The South Carolina Democratic executive committee rejected self-proclaimed “favorite son” Stephen Colbert’s attempt to get on the ballot. Colbert now has to accumulate 10,000 signatures to make the ballot as an independent or pay the Republicans $35,000. Tough decision. [HuffPo]
• Don Imus signed a deal with Citadel to return to radio, broadcasting on WABC in New York and syndicated nationally on ABC Radio. The I-Man had to settle for $5 million a year, half of what he made with CBS. [WSJ]
CEO Accused of Golf ManipulationFINANCE
• Hollywood Country Club is looking into allegations of score altering in a July 4 golf tournament by Bear Stearns CEO Jim Cayne. [CNBC]
• The SEC began an investigation into Whole Foods CEO John Mackey’s anonymous online postings. [DealBook/NYT]
• Morgan Stanley’s John Mack is hosting a fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton today. He supported George W. Bush in 2004. [Financial Times]
in other news
The Hamptons Butler Did ItFor once, it appears that the butler actually did do it. That would be Graham J. Lefford, onetime butler to hot-handed media entrepreneur Robert F. X. Sillerman (yes, we love the “x” too). As CFO.com is reporting, it all went down when Sillerman was buying the majority rights to market Graceland, Elvis Presley’s estate, in 2004. (He also owns American Idol.) With deal-related faxes going back and forth between Sillerman’s Hamptons estate and his Manhattan office that summer, Lefford figured he’d be a bit of a hound dog and grab a piece of the action for himself, buying 5,000 shares of Sillerman’s company a mere twelve minutes after the final fax sealed the $100 million deal.