Wall Street higher: After last week's downdraft, the Dow is up 135 points in early trading.
Madoff victims investigated: Feds looking into whether philanthropist Stanley Chais may have known what the scamster was up to. Chais already have been accused of seeking fictitious gains in civil lawsuits brought against him by Irving Picard, who is trustee in the bankruptcy liquidation of Madoff's firm. From the WSJ:
Originally from the New York City borough of the Bronx, Mr. Chais for many years lived as a money manager in Beverly Hills, Calif. He invested substantial client funds with Mr. Madoff. He now lives in New York. Accounts of Mr. Chais and his family averaged annual returns of 40% with Mr. Madoff, and as much as 300%, Mr. Picard alleged. Mr. Chais also requested fictitious losses from Mr. Madoff's firm, apparently to offset gains he made through other investments in order to avoid taxes, Mr. Picard alleged.
Relativity going after MGM?: The Wrap's Sharon Waxman reports that Ryan Kavanaugh's film company wants to take control by buying up a portion of the studio from the major investors and then using control of that stake to force a bankruptcy filing.
Once MGM was in bankruptcy, Relativity could streamline the company's $30 million per year operational costs, use its distribution networks for Relativity's own films and operate without the current burden of creditors.
Geffen update: Now the NYT weighs in on the billionaire's (possible) interest in the paper's parent company.
Mr. Geffen's plan is to wait in the wings rather than making a fresh offer, thinking that the family may eventually seek a buyer if the company's fortunes deteriorate further, according to these people, who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to alienate either Mr. Geffen or the Sulzbergers.Magazine ads down sharply: Ad pages for monthlies are off 23 percent year to date, with only eight of the 118 titles monitored by the research group MIN posting gains. From the NY Post:
Industry sources said it is increasingly unlikely that Condé Nast, which does more than $2 billion a year in revenues, will be able to avoid losing millions of dollars this year. The dive is said to be so steep that even decent September issues -- traditionally the fattest of the year in the fashion world -- will not be able to wipe out the red ink.
Kerkorian buys more MGM Mirage shares: The Bev Hills billionaire, through his Tracinda investment arm, is raising his stake in the troubled Vegas company by 14.3 million shares. Kerkorian already has a majority stake in MGM Mirage. (CNBC/Reuters)