Brunch Conversation: The Stories Everyone Will Be Talking About This Weekend

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Try talking to someone at over cocktails about Richard Cordray, Freddie Mac, the SEC’s new settlement guidelines or any of the other weighty headlines of the week and their eyes will glaze over.

Start with a how Christian Bale explains the financial crisis, why a commercial with a squealing pig makes your head want to explode or Jon Corzine’s French real estate adventures and things will go much better.

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[slide
permalink=”bill-cohans-latest-takes-direct-aim-at-the-psyche-of-wall-street-is-a-llittle-psycho-1″
title=”Bill Cohan’s latest takes direct aim at the psyche of Wall Street is a llittle psycho.”
content=”How Wall Street Psychopaths Caused The Financial Crisis

Bloomberg View columnist Bill Cohan has stumbled on a fascinating academic paper from British scholar Clive Boddy on corporate psychopaths and how they may have caused the financial crisis. [You can download the paper here via Springer Science+Business Media.]”
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[slide
permalink=”yet-another-bank-of-america-pr-catastrophe-this-time-involving-newlyweds-2″
title=”Yet another Bank of America PR catastrophe, this time involving Newlyweds.”
content=”You Won’t Believe Why One BofA Branch Refused To Let A New Bride Deposit A Check

From wildly unpopular proposed debit card fees to non-functioning websites to customers resorting to social media stardom to resolve their problems, the client snafus for Bank of America never seem to end.

This time, the bank’s gaffe hindered the personal life of a journalist–Pete Iorizzo, a reporter for the Albany Times-Union in Albany, New York. And Iorizzo did what any well-meaning journalist would do–write about it. [via Huffington Post]”
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permalink=”oddly-the-cftc-is-inching-away-from-letting-people-trade-on-the-presidential-race-3″
title=”Oddly, the CFTC is inching away from letting people trade on the Presidential race.”
content=”Shucks! Looks Like CFTC Doesn’t Want You To Trade Based On The Presidential Race

Investors hoping to make official, regulated bets on the presidential election outcome later this year are out of luck for now.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced yesterday it would put a proposal submitted by the North American Derivatives Exchange–or Nadex–in December to allow trading of ‘political events contracts’ under a 90-day review, according to Reuters. If the Commission had approved the action, trading of these options contracts linked to the results of this year’s presidential election would have been begun today on the exchange.”
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[slide
permalink=”clusterstock-decided-to-stand-up-to-the-geico-pig-terrorizing-its-televisions-4″
title=”Clusterstock decided to stand up to the GEICO Pig terrorizing its televisions.”
content=”A Short, Open Letter To GEICO About Their Pig Commercial

GEICO, how could you?

Your lizard is fine. Tired, but harmless. This pig though, he’s harmful. His shrill little ‘whee’ rings in our ears long after we turn off Bloomberg or CNBC.”
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[slide
permalink=”corzine-went-chateau-shopping-shortly-before-mf-globals-collapse-5″
title=”Corzine went chateau shopping shortly before MF Global’s collapse.”
content=”2 Weeks Before MF Global’s Bankruptcy, Jon Corzine And His Wife Went French Chateau Shopping

Corzine obviously really didn’t see it coming.

The most recent issue of Vanity Fair on the disgraced former CEO of MF Global has revealed that Corzine, along with wife Sharon Elghanayan had attended a party in Paris just two weeks before MF Global filed for bankruptcy and told guests about their intentions to buy a chateau on the French Riviera, according to the New York Post.”
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permalink=”the-age-old-question-how-do-you-invest-all-your-mob-money-was-finally-addressed-6″
title=”The age old question: How do you invest all your mob money? was finally addressed.”
content=”The Most Difficult Part Of Being In The Calabrian Mafia? How To Invest All The Money

Andreas Ulrich has an in-depth look at exactly how the Calabrian Mafia, known as the ‘Ndrangheta, operate in Germany, over at Der Spiegel.

You may have heard of the ‘Ndrangheta. Like their Sicilian counterparts, the Mafia, they are a criminal brotherhood. However, unlike the mafia, the group, from the nearby Italian region of Calabria, rely on strict blood-relationships rather than a pyramid structure (hence less informants) — and they’re growing rapidly.”
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title=”Berkshire In Beijing with a guitar.”
content=”Warren Buffett Will Now Be Taking His Hidden Talent To China

Warren Buffett has decided to grace China with his musical talents–the investment genius and head of Berkshire Hathaway has recorded a video of himself playing guitar and singing for China’s annual Lunar New Year gala, according to various media sources.”
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title=”This could be the best career advice of 2012″
content=”Expenses Watch 2012: Don’t Bill Clients For Porn And Escorts

Being able to expense stuff is great, no question. And no industry quite takes this to heart like the financial industry.

Expenses are an ingrained part of the culture and even the slightest change in policy can devastate employee morale.

When I worked at a bank and the limit for expensing dinner in the office dropped by $5, I was momentarily crushed. Moments later, I sensed a growing shallowness in my daily life.

I have since recovered and live a meaningful life, but imagine how James Hazen feels.”
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permalink=”mf-global-had-a-secret-code-name-its-plan-to-save-the-bank-from-catastrophe-9″
title=”MF Global had a secret code name its plan to save the bank from catastrophe.”
content=”Back In September, MF Global Came Up With A Super Secret Plan To Save The Company

Reuters is reporting that in September of 2011, nearly two months before MF Global filed for bankruptcy, the brokerage had been in talks with Bank of New York Mellon to merge the two institution’s clearinghouse businesses
.”
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title=”And to catch up on one important lesson of the week…”
content=”Click here to see ‘A Quick Run Down Of Non-Bank Financials’ > >
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