Morning Coffee: Fund managers in hot water. Banned rogue trader's redemption

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Puerto Rico crisis, Puerto Rico, Alexander Hamilton, Hamilton, Last Week Tonight, John Oliver, hedge funds, UBS, trader, trading, investment banking, banks, asset management

Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, is on the $10 bill and is the subject of a popular Broadway musical.

Puerto Rico’s Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla said during a TV appearance on Sunday that the commonwealth needs to focus on providing essential services and so its Government Development Bank will default on a $422m bond payment, a tipping point in arguably the biggest crisis ever in the $3.7tn market that state and local entities use to access financing.

Well before the announcement, frustration and anger had been simmering, not only against the U.S. Congress’s inaction as Puerto Rico’s crisis has worsened, but also directed at hedge funds and others in the financial services industry.

Recently, comedian John Oliver dedicated an entire episode of his HBO show, Last Week Tonight, to call attention to the absurdities of the quagmire that Puerto Rico finds itself in, as it is ineligible for bankruptcy protection. He had some choice words for UBS, whose Puerto Rico closed-end funds have led to significant losses for investors and caused major headaches for the bank.

Then Oliver introduced the Puerto Rican creator and star of the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda, who performed a rap song calling out hedge funds and pleading for help for his homeland: “A commonwealth with not a lot of wealth, a not-quite-nation … Vulture funds are circling and lobbying for payouts. There’s nothing left to tax or cut, we’re stuck, we need a way out.”

Separately, a former Citigroup and Merrill Lynch trader, Alexis Stenfors went from generating more than $100m for the latter in 2008 to covering up a half-billion dollars of losses the very next year. He was fired and barred from the industry, effectively ending his investment-banking career and tarnishing his reputation.

So how did he seek redemption?  “Mr. Stenfors enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of London. For his thesis topic, he chose Libor manipulation. His theory was that manipulation was inevitable given the way the benchmark was structured and the way banks pushed traders to be aggressive.”

He then landed a plush position as a professor at the University of Portsmouth in southern England, where he uses his own story to highlight teachable moments to aspiring financial services professionals. However, his students have given him mixed reviews in their written evaluations, ranging from “sketchy” and “shady” to “riveting” and “amazing.”

Meanwhile:                                  

J.P. Morgan's Princeling hiring practices fall under the spotlight again. (Bloomberg)

Fund manager hires CIA agents to teach interrogation techniques (Financial Times)

Deutsche Bank and the ongoing legal crisis (FT)

“If this material works well, I’m going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year, earn me some serious Tubmans.” Obama takes a swipe at Hillary Clinton (attn:)

Hedge funds are not worth the fees, says Buffett. (Bloomberg)

FX salesman fired by J.P. Morgan tried to get a sign on bonus at BAML for lost compensation (Bloomberg)

The New York Federal Reserve Bank’s “alarming” decision to name Wells Fargo a primary dealer allows the bank to underwrite U.S. government debt and expand the bank’s bond-market operations. (Fortune)

Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam tells investors to be like Fonzie. (WSJ)

Credit Suisse and the CIA-backed data analysis company Palantir are spying on traders. (Sputnik)

There have been some really successful people who were caught lying on their CVs, so you’re not the only one. (Telegraph)

Zerohedge is finally unmasked (Bloomberg)

Bye-bye 'RBS' (The Times)

Finra’s BrokerCheck database is “worthless in its current hobbled form” for investors seeking to isolate themselves from bad advisors. (AdvisorHUB)

An ex-banker's second act takes flight...in the cockpit. (CNBC)

How Goldman Sachs feeds its London employees. (Business Insider)

Your career will be a million things, but never exactly what you want when you want it. You will work out which set of sacrifices make sense to you, and those will change over time. (Quartz)

Photo credit: Buba1955/iStock/Thinkstock

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