Posted tagged ‘Nasdaq’

Madoff Scheme Hits Charities Hard

December 18, 2008

The list of charities devastated by Bernard Madoff’s alleged fraud keeps growing and now includes celebrities such as Steven Spielberg.

From the AFP:

Steven Spielberg’s charitable foundation fell victim to the mammoth 50-billion-dollar fraud allegedly carried out by Wall Street heavyweight Bernard Madoff, reports said.

It is not known if the Oscar-winning film-maker had chunks of his personal fortune invested with Madoff but the director’s Wunderkinder Foundation has suffered losses, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The foundation could not be immediately contacted for comment.

The newspaper reported that about 70 percent of the dividend income and interest for the foundation had been handled by Madoff’s securities firm, which is now the subject of one of the biggest fraud investigations in history.

The Journal also cited people familiar with the case as saying that Spielberg’s partner at DreamWorks Animation SKG, chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, had sustained “millions in Madoff-connected losses.”

The report said both Katzenberg and Spielberg were the only two clients of legendary Hollywood financial adviser Jerry Breslauer, who had dealt with Madoff since 2004.

From Reuters:

The alleged $50 billion fraud by former Nasdaq Chairman Bernard Madoff has rippled deep into Boston’s wealthy elite, forcing a charitable foundation to close and triggering losses by prominent philanthropists.

The Robert I. Lappin Charitable Foundation, which financed trips for Jewish youth to Israel, said the money that supported its programs was invested with Madoff, a 70-year-old Wall Street trader arrested on Thursday.

“The money needed to fund the programs of the Lappin Foundation is gone,” the Salem, Massachusetts-based foundation said on its website, adding all staff had been let go.

“It is with a heavy heart that I make this announcement,” Robert I. Lappin, the foundation’s trustee, said in a statement.

The Boston Globe reported on Saturday that other clients of Madoff included philanthropists Carl and Ruth Shapiro, big donors to the Museum of Fine Arts, Brandeis University and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The Shapiro family foundation lost almost half its money, or about $145 million, to Madoff, the newspaper said.

Other clients included Avram and Carol Goldberg, a previous owner of the Stop&Shop supermarket chain, and Stephen Fine, president of privately held Biltrite Corp.

Federal agents arrested Madoff at his apartment on Thursday after prosecutors said he told senior employees that his money management operations were “all just one big lie” and “a giant Ponzi scheme.”

A Ponzi scheme is an illegal investment vehicle that pays off old investors with money from new ones and is dependent on a constant stream of new investment. Because the invested capital is not earning a sufficient return on its own, such schemes eventually collapse under their own weight.

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Ballmer: Microsoft-Yahoo Deal Still Makes Sense

October 16, 2008

At a Gartner conference today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that a deal with Yahoo! may still make economic sense for the shareholders of both companies.

From Bloomberg:

While the companies may pursue a search partnership in the future, there are no discussions now, Ballmer said today at a Gartner Inc. conference in Orlando, Florida.

Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, bid as much as $47.5 billion for Yahoo this year to close the gap with Google Inc. in Internet advertising. After Yahoo rejected the offer and asked for a higher price, Microsoft walked away from the bid in May. Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell said in July and reiterated in September that Yahoo is a “declining asset” and the chances of a deal are “negligible.”

“It’s clear that Yahoo did not want to sell the company. It didn’t want to sell when we offered $33,” Ballmer said. “Perhaps there will be continuing opportunities to” talk about a search partnership in the future, he said.

From Silicon Alley Insider:

Is Steve Ballmer just trying to torture the already-tortured Yahoo sharholders?  During a keynote at the Gartner ITxpo, the Microsoft CEO said a deal between the two companies would “still make sense economically” and not just at Yahoo’s current low-low price:

Marketwatch: However, Ballmer, who made the comments during a keynote interview at the Gartner ITXpo, said he doesn’t know what share price Yahoo would have accepted to be acquired after the company turned down Microsoft’s unsolicted $33-a-share offer earlier this year. Ballmer said that even with the recent drop in Yahoo’s share price, the company “probably thinks its still worth as least as much today,” as when Microsoft made its offer.

Now there’s no chance Microsoft would come back with the old offer. And this still isn’t an indication that Microsoft is still interested at any price. But Yahoo shares are up over 9% today on the news.

Right now, the short report is all we have from the interview — we’ll look out for more to see if there’s any more context to Ballmer’s statements.