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Easy Street

Easy Street: Hipster Day Trader Takes on Wall Street

Heidi Moore Jun 11, 2011

Easy Street is our daily roundup of the most interesting news stories and commentary about Wall Street, Washington and the curious world of finance. You can see more of what we think are the biggest stories of the day on our News in Brief page. Every day, you can download Marketplace’s daily show on iTunes and follow us for more headlines at twitter.com/mktplaceradio. If you want to listen to Marketplace on the radio, find your local station and time here.

Finance & Bankers

Everyone that defends Goldman Sachs ends up defending themselves. Richard X. Bove, a Wall Street analyst, lashes back at people like author William Cohan, who allegedly said Bove was full of hot air.

Related: Cohan says he never said Bove was full of hot air. To hear more, you’ll have to meet everyone in the high school cafeteria at 4:30.

Harvard Business School is taking fewer applicants who want to be baby bankers or private-equity minions. It is taking more tech and manufacturing wonks. Is this the rise of American industry as a competitive employer, or is it just because banks aren’t recruiting?

Markets & Traders

Greece is now rated below Ecuador, Jamaica and Grenada. S&P says the country will default soon.

The municipal bond market is $775 billion bigger than everyone thought. John McDermott at FT Alphaville explains why that matters.

A Little Guy – a hipster in Queens – conducted a campaign to get an even playing field with hedge funds in the case of Washington Mutual. He has concluded that the game is rigged against him, fighting Wall Street is too exhausting and is going back to freelance Web work. This is easily the best story Easy Street has read in months.

Fannie Mae held $512 billion in junky mortgage assets at the end of last year, tweets Agnes Crane from BreakingViews. That’s more than half a trillion dollars, folks – so, who are the potential buyers? Most people would guess there are none.

Fund Managers & Investing

Guggenheim Partners is hiring traders as it creates a new proprietary trading division. Proprietary trading is when banks trade with their own money – not those of their clients.

Politicians & Regulation

Lobbyists and Wall Street: is the revolving door to blame for the financial crisis?

What happened to the idea of overhauling the credit agencies?

Recreational Reading

Philippe Reines, Hillary Clinton’s aide, says he’s ready to leave Washington and make some money. Read this interview; you won’t believe it. Here’s a sample:

Reines knows full well that, in the image-building business, a wealth of humanizing details can make a character more sympathetic. Even as he shipped out with Clinton to an Arctic summit in Greenland, he e-mailed his profiler: “Would it be helpful if I sent you random factoids, pieces of color? For instance, I don’t ever drink D.C. tap water.”

He then offered a series of bullet-point notes, including such information as “I take Pilates,” “I walk to work” and “When I wear cuff-linked shirts, I wear a set that look like sink faucets, one’s marked hot one’s marked cold. It’s a self-aware reflection that I can be both.” He also noted that he is embarking on a master’s program at night at the National Defense University and that he is currently reading three books.

Reines also sent along more than a dozen photos of himself. They included shots of him riding a tricycle as a baby, chipping away at the Berlin Wall, riding in an elevator with Sen. John McCain and stepping out for an evening with actress Natalie Portman.

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