Bill Gross Attacks UK and Euro Zone Austerity (FT)
Bill Gross, manager of the world’s largest bond fund for Pimco, has launched a stinging attack on efforts by Britain and much of the euro zone to cut debt rapidly with severe austerity measures, warning that such action risks stifling recovery. “The U.K. and almost all of Europe have erred in terms of believing that austerity, fiscal austerity in the short term, is the way to produce real growth. It is not,” Mr Gross told the Financial Times. “You’ve got to spend money.”
Argentina’s New Debt Offer Rejected by Holdout Creditors (WSJ)
Holdout creditors on Friday rejected Argentina’s proposal to pay them about 20 cents on every U.S. dollar of bonds they own, leaving a U.S. appeals court to decide how to enforce a ruling that may push Argentina into a new default. “Not only are the details of Argentina’s proposal unacceptable and unresponsive; Argentina fails even to provide this court with meaningful ‘assurances’ that it will actually comply with its own proposal,” said Theodore Olson, a lawyer for the holdouts, in a brief filed Friday. Argentina’s own math values the offer at $210 million, less than 15% of the $1.47 billion that holdouts were owed on their defaulted bonds as of March 1, according to the brief.
Hedge Fund Stars Suit Up At Yankee Stadium To Attract Investors (NYP)
Hedge-fund mogul Stevie Cohen will be pitching at Yankee Stadium tomorrow. No, the 56-year-old billionaire is not suiting up for the Bronx Bombers — but he will be hoping the magic of the House that Ruth Built will yield some investment cash. Cohen, whose SAC Capital faces a loss of $1.7 billion from investors who want out of his $15 billion hedge fund, is one of about 70 hedge fund managers who’ll be at the Stadium tomorrow making a pitch to prospective new investors at a day-long event sponsored by Goldman Sachs.
Singapore Will Replace Switzerland As Wealth Capital (CNBC)
Switzerland has $2.8 trillion in assets under management, with $2.1 trillion of that coming from offshore wealth. Switzerland accounts for 34 percent of the $8.15 trillion in total global wealth. Yet the report said Singapore could overtake Switzerland in offshore assets under management by 2020. It said Swiss offshore assets could fall below $2 trillion by 2016, while Singapore’s assets could more than quadruple by then.
Somali Banking Starts From Ground Up (WSJ)
Abdusalam Omer is a central bank governor without much to govern. The Central Bank of Somalia doesn’t hold reserves in the country’s currency, the shilling. There are no functioning commercial banks in the strife-torn country for it to regulate. The 75-strong staff that still turns up for work after two decades of civil war is a motley crew of money men and handymen. “I don’t know why the central bank employs painters,” says the 58-year-old who was named the country’s top banker in January.
Officer nudity was integral in massage parlor sting, Hallandale chief says (Sun Sentinel)
The police officer lay face down on the massage table, on duty, unarmed and naked. For 30 minutes Shu Yuan Sun worked the muscles of the officer’s back, his shoulders and legs, and then told him, “Turn over.” And that, said Hallandale Beach Police Sgt. Todd Crevier, is when the crime went down. While the arrests this month of three women on charges of prostitution and practicing health care without a license are described as part of an ongoing investigation into human trafficking, having undercover officers strip naked and engage in skin-to-skin contact to make arrests has revived an old debate. Just how far should police go to make a prostitution arrest, and just how vulnerable are they when buck-naked and alone in a place run by crime suspects? “This is not just an act of solicitation, but an organized crime effort,” Hallandale Beach Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy said. “It is not just a street-walker. It is a more sophisticated operation that requires a different mode of investigating.”
Eventbrite Funding Slows Its IPO Chase (WSJ)
Eventbrite Inc., an event ticketing company, has raised $60 million from two investors, making it the latest example of a startup to raise significant private late-stage funding that puts off an initial public offering. San Francisco-based Eventbrite had sparked expectations of an imminent IPO when it said earlier this month that it hired a chief financial officer, Mark Rubash, who previously worked at Yahoo Inc. and eBay Inc. Instead, it joins a growing number of companies that have found plentiful funding in the private markets rather than going public at an early stage. The company has raised the new cash from mutual-fund firm T. Rowe Price Group Inc. and Tiger Global Management LLC, an investment-management firm, said Kevin Hartz, co-founder and chief executive. That brings its total private fundraising to some $135 million since its inception in 2006. “This gives us flexibility in setting the timeline for a later IPO, on our schedule,” said Mr. Hartz.
Deutsche Bank Margin Call on Vik Sparks $2.5 Billion Dispute (Bloomberg)
Alexander Vik went to Deutsche Bank AG’s London office in October 2008 to meet account managers who congratulated the Norwegian entrepreneur on how well his Sebastian Holdings Inc. investment fund was doing. Within a month, as global markets tumbled into crisis, the same bankers demanded about $530 million against the fund’s currency bets and began to liquidate its positions. Vik, 58, will argue at a 12-week trial starting in London today that the bank’s actions resulted in losses and missed profits totaling about $2.5 billion. A judge will have to decide whether Sebastian’s calculation of lost trading gains is accurate, said John Day, a lawyer at London-based litigation firm DaySparkes.
Zimbabwe Prepares Law to Seize Company Stakes Without Paying (Bloomberg)
Zimbabwe’s government is preparing a law that would allow it to seize controlling stakes in companies without compensation, according to a draft of the legislation obtained by Bloomberg News. The law would be an amendment to a 2007 act that compels foreign and white-owned companies such as Rio Tinto Group, Sinosteel Corp. and Impala Platinum Holding Ltd. to sell or cede 51 percent of their shares to black nationals or state-approved agencies.
The Record (Steamboat Today)
10:05 p.m. Police received a call from a woman who said her juvenile granddaughter was at the ski area last week and ran into a person who was selling bags of what she thought were portobello mushrooms dipped in chocolate for $30. Police said the granddaughter further informed her grandmother that giraffes were chasing her down the hill after she ate the mushrooms.