No. 136: Atlas Mara Still Trying to Gain Footing

Last year, I brought up Atlas Mara management getting dressed down in an investor conference call due to the lack of confidence the market had in the firm. Well, their Q1 2016 results can’t be too much more encouraging considering the $2M loss the bank posted.

Apparently, management plans to implement some cost reductions and new plans for generating revenue. We’ll see how that goes. One of the early questions about the firm was how much it was paying the management team. Will they take a pay cut?

Further, is the management team still based in Dubai? If so, perhaps they should consider making a move to the continent. Hanging around Jo’burg or Nairobi on a daily basis may strike up new observations for revenue opportunities.

Then again, I’m no expert on these things. I’ll be checking with some bankers to see what they think about Atlas Mara’s performance.

No. 74: Corruption: FIFA or Wall Street

A couple of weeks ago, several banks agreed to pay criminal fines close to $9 billion for currency rigging, a felony crime. Around the same time, the corruption deal with FIFA started heating up. 

I get that billions of people love the beautiful game and the corruption in the sport has been ongoing for decades. It was definitely time for something to correct that. A total of nearly $9 billion in fines is enormous. Rate fixing is a serious crime, yet the banks involved got exemptions from criminal charges. 

I often hear Wall Street saying that the markets will take care of themselves, as if we’re talking about some all powerful, all knowing being. Really? Since the beginning of time, people have tried to cheat people when it comes to getting something valuable. 

We just went through several painful years during the Great Recession. Some of the same banks involved there faced fines in this case – J.P. Morgan. Citigroup. Corruption in FIFA will negatively impact people’s lives, but hubris on Wall Street could negatively impact a lot more people.