Monday, December 18, 2006

Wall Street Abuzz

As the financial markets levitate towards year-end on the merger and private equity frenzy, we're starting to see some interesting, time capsule-esque stories. From an Andrew Sorkin piece today (my bolds):
American Apparel, the casual clothing chain whose socially-conscious manufacturing, sexually-charged advertising and snug-fitting T-shirts have generated a cult-like following, will be sold to a little-known investment firm for $382.5 million, according to people briefed on the matter.

The decision to sell the privately held company, expected to be announced tomorrow, is a surprise move by the company’s eccentric founder, Dov Charney, who is known for exercising strict, and at times controversial, control over the retailer’s operations.

Mr. Charney has personally photographed many of the semi-naked women featured in American Apparel advertising and is known for hiring employees, most of them female, on the spot during phone calls or at parties.

American Apparel’s buyer, Endeavor Acquisition Corporation, is a small, publicly traded investment group created last year, with less than $125 million in assets.

Mr. Charney has gained a reputation as the Hugh Hefner of retailing, decorating his stores with covers of Penthouse magazine and acknowledging in interviews that he sleeps with employees. In lawsuits filed in 2005, several employees accused Mr. Charney of creating a work environment in which women did not feel safe.

They asserted, for example, that Mr. Charney conducted job interviews in his underwear, and that he gave vibrators to at least one female worker.
In 1999, money manager Bill Fleckenstein began compiling anecdotal reports of stock market madness in a series he called "The Mania Chronicles." If anyone's interested in starting a 2006-2007 version to chronicle the current deal-related boom, I suspect one could do worse than begin with a news report that contains "little-known investment firm" and "vibrators."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's worse than that. The "little-known investment firm" is run by Jon Ledecky, the "roll-up king", whose ventures (US Office Products, Unicapital, for instance) burned a lot of credulous shareholders.

12/18/2006 8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back in 1999 we had a very real Y2K replacement cycle occurring at the same time the Internet was changing all the rules. Clearly things went too far but the very mention of dotcom anything had folks foaming at the mouth.

1999 had markets popping for some silly reasons but that period also saw many market pullbacks and some hard sell offs. The current environment isn’t anything like 1999 other than rising equities.

I know you watch the financial market and see the indexes being forced green day after day after day when they have every reason to sell down.

The story this time I’m afraid is who and what is behind the obvious agenda being played out. Not the mania of the crowd.

12/19/2006 9:08 PM  
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12/22/2006 4:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1/06/2007 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1/06/2007 5:19 PM  

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