Popularized in films like Limitless, legal smart drugs called Nootropics are becoming more and more prevalent in board rooms and on Wall Street.Keep reading »
Gupta Lawyers Cite Fourth Goldman Insider (WSJ)
Gary Naftalis, the lead attorney representing Mr. Gupta, said in court Thursday that prosecutors informed him late Wednesday night that federal prosecutors in Los Angeles were investigating another Goldman employee for passing inside information about two public companies to Mr. Rajaratnam.
U.S. Investigates a Goldman Executive Over Insider Trading (Dealbook)
The new evidence could help Mr. Gupta’s defense, by suggesting that Mr. Rajaratnam had other possible tipsters inside Goldman Sachs. The Goldman executive under investigation in California was not named. “The wrong man is on trial,” Gary P. Naftalis, a lawyer for Mr. Gupta, said in a previous hearing. Mr. Naftalis has called the government’s charges baseless.
Bond Trading Surge Boosts Wall Street Banks (FT)
Wall Street has enjoyed its best quarter for bond trading in two years, rounded off with a surge in revenues at Morgan Stanley and Bank of America, in spite of a steep decline in risk-taking and the introduction of new regulations. Morgan Stanley and BofA both beat expectations, with each bank’s fixed income, currencies and commodities businesses driving the outperformance. Credit Suisse said the five biggest banks generated combined revenues of $20bn from their so-called FICC divisions in the first three months of this year, the best since the start of 2010. “We’re all making significantly more amounts of money with less risk,” said Bruce Thompson, chief financial officer at BofA, whose FICC division’s revenues rise 10 per cent to $4.1bn, or 170 per cent higher than the miserable final quarter of last year.
World’s Richest Worth $1 Trillion on Billionaire List (Bloomberg)
Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim, 72, remains the richest person in the world, with a fortune of $68.8 billion, down $572.3 million for the day. Second is Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates, 56, with $62.7 billion, followed by Warren Buffett, who’s worth $44.6 billion. Mark Zuckerberg is 25th on the ranking. Based on a roughly $100 billion valuation the Menlo Park, California-based company was trading at in the private market when it ceased trading April 3, Zuckerberg may be worth $20.5 billion, or about 25 percent less than previous estimates, once Facebook holds its initial public offering.
Barclays Investors Force Bonus Changes (FT)
After a series of bruising meetings with Barclays’ biggest shareholders over the past few weeks, Bob Diamond, chief executive, volunteered on Thursday to forgo half his 2.7 million pounds bonus for 2011 until Barclays had improved profitability.
In Euro Zone, Who Will Renege Budget Targets Next? (CNBC)
France is likely to be the next country to move its budget goalposts, particularly if Socialist Francois Hollande gets into the Elysee in May, according to analysts and economists. The Netherlands is also believed to be in line for changes to its budget targets after an analyst at credit rating agency Fitch warned of possible negative risks to its rating from the country’s heavy debt pile and potential property market devaluation. “The Netherlands has a rather Anglo-Saxon tendency in terms of the property market, and now it’s risking a property bubble,” Jeremy Stretch, head of currency strategy at CIBC, said. “This all shows that problems are getting closer to the core and lapping at the toes of Germany.”
Oreo breastfeeding ad was never supposed to go public, Kraft says (NYDN)
A viral Oreo ad featuring a breastfeeding baby and the tagline “Milk’s Favorite Cookie,” was never meant to go public, the company says. The provocative ad shows a woman’s exposed breast and the breastfeeding baby clenching one of the chocolate cookies, and sparked controversy after several media outlets reported it was legitimate and running in South Korea. But Kraft Foods, Oreo’s parent company, says it didn’t create the ad. “This ad was created by our agency for a one-time use at an advertising forum,” a spokesperson for Kraft said in a statement.
Nine U.S. Banks Said to be Examined on Overdraft Fees (Bloomberg)
The agency, which will decide by the end of the year whether to write new rules, is scrutinizing nine banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and Bank of America Corp., said four people briefed on the examination. The inquiry focuses on how financial institutions persuade customers to enroll in what they call overdraft protection programs. Examiners are looking at online and mailed marketing material as well as scripts used by the banks’ customer-service representatives to determine whether they could be confusing to consumers, said the people.
Lagarde: IMF loan for Egypt won’t be enough (Reuters)
Egypt’s request for a $3.2 billion IMF loan will not be enough to meet the country’s financial needs and will require additional resources from donor countries, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday. “It will not be sufficient, and everybody knows that, so it will require other donors, other participants to also come to the table to help Egypt,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told a news conference before the start of the IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington. “As is always the case, we will play the catalyst role that we always play,” she added.
Doritos tacos spur rebound in Taco Bell sales (NYP)
Taco Bell’s introduction of Doritos Locos Tacos in early March has been “enormously successful,” Carucci told industry analysts Thursday, one day after Yum reported sharply higher first-quarter earnings on the strength of robust overseas sales and a rebound in its U.S. performance. Rollout of tacos that use shells made of Nacho Cheese Doritos came late in the first quarter, so their full impact will be felt in the current quarter. Taco Bell also said at the time of the rollout that Cool Ranch flavored shells are in the works.
Parsons Blames Glass-Steagall Repeal for Crisis (Bloomberg)
“To some extent what we saw in the 2007, 2008 crash was the result of the throwing off of Glass-Steagall,” Parsons, 64, said during a question-and-answer session. “Have we gotten our arms around it yet? I don’t think so because the financial- services sector moves so fast.”
Goldman Sachs building today…w4m-23 (Craigslist/Missed Connections)
“I was entering the building for the interview and you were leaving the building…around 3:30pm…and we looked at each other for a while…I looked back and you also looked back…actually I think you did longer. I thought you are cute to be a banker…my interviewer was a female so no way to compare the cuteness of employees of the firm but I am pretty sure you are in the top tranche…I do not think I can find you here, but I might…the odds says I am being too optimistic, but when one tries to defeat the odds something great happens…”