U.S. Leaves American-US Airways Deal in the Lurch (WSJ)
Some US Airways executives already have moved to the Dallas area, where the combined airline would be based. Now, executives on both sides who had expected to be cut loose must choose whether to stay on and help run the airlines during the litigation—in hopes of collecting the severance packages they have coming if the deal goes ahead—or leave for new jobs elsewhere, said people familiar with the matter.
Hiring in China by JPMorgan Under Scrutiny (DealBook)
Federal authorities have opened a bribery investigation into whether JPMorgan Chase hired the children of powerful Chinese officials to help the bank win lucrative business in the booming nation, according to a confidential United States government document. In one instance, the bank hired the son of a former Chinese banking regulator who is now the chairman of the China Everbright Group, a state-controlled financial conglomerate, according to the document, which was reviewed by The New York Times, as well as public records. After the chairman’s son came on board, JPMorgan secured multiple coveted assignments from the Chinese conglomerate, including advising a subsidiary of the company on a stock offering, records show.
How Ackman’s Herbalife bet inflamed Wall Street passions (Reuters)
Hedge fund industry sources said the timing of the three-hour presentation – less than a week before Christmas – riled other investors and brought out into the open festering resentment against Ackman, already seen by some as too arrogant even for the alpha-male world of hedge fund managers. The source of the frustration was the instant – and so far, ephemeral – boost Pershing Square got by publicizing its bet just as the year was ending. The December 20 presentation led to a 21 percent plunge in Herbalife’s stock. That meant Ackman’s $1 billion wager helped his $11 billion hedge fund gain 5.8 percent that month, and end the year up 12.4 percent. The results were far better than average for hedge funds last year, which matters in an intensely competitive world where strong performance begets fees as well as fame.
Stock Break From Herd (WSJ)
Shares are moving less in tandem with the overall market than at any time since the financial crisis, by some measures. That suggests that investors are zeroing in on the prospects for individual companies rather than making wide bets on stocks as a whole. … One big sign of this change can be seen in correlation, a measure of how closely different stocks tend to move together. This measure has fallen to post-financial-crisis lows. As of the end of July, stocks in the Russell 1000 index of large-capitalization stocks had a weighted average correlation of 0.30 to the index itself, the lowest for and end-of-month since 2007 and down from 0.57 a year earlier, according to Deutsche Bank data.
Slidell man arrested in burglary after bucket-over-head disguise fails (Nola)
A 23-year-old Slidell man is facing burglary charges after police say he broke into a seafood business where he used to work and stole money — then tried to hide his face from surveillance cameras by wearing a bucket on his head. But the cameras glimpsed the suspect’s face as he was peeking around a corner, and police arrested Richard Boudreaux at his home last week, Detective Daniel Seuzeneau said in a news release.
India’s efforts fail to prevent new rupee low (FT)
India and Indonesia appeared trapped in a race to the bottom on Monday, as both the rupee and the rupiah fell sharply against the US dollar, prompting a sell-off in equities. The Indian rupee continued its relentless decline, hitting the latest in a series of all-time lows against the US dollar and dashing hopes the government had succeeded in calming the country’s unsettled financial markets. … The fresh currency falls also increased pressure on the debt markets. Yields on India’s 10-year debt spiked above 9 per cent for the first time since late 2011, while Jakarta’s cost of borrowing jumped 18 basis points to the highest level since March 2011. A series of interventions by the Reserve Bank of India in recent weeks aimed at protecting the rupee have seen India’s bond yields surge, from just above 7 per cent in May, but have not succeeded in stemming the rupee’s fall.
Test for Federal Reserve’s Next Chief: Quelling Dissent (WSJ)
With Mr. Bernanke expected to give up the helm when his term ends in January, his leadership style, and the style of his potential successors, warrant extra scrutiny. An already divided Fed could become more fractious when Mr. Bernanke departs, with important implications for the central bank, markets and the economy. … That could result in quicker, bolder central-bank policy actions at times. It also could lead to more market-roiling rancor from inside the Fed or uncertainty about whether the Fed’s new leader can see policies through to completion
Public Funds Take Control of Assets, Dodging Wall Street (DealBook)
The efforts to change the way public money is managed are motivated, in no small part, by the big fees and lackluster performance that many hedge funds and private equity firms have delivered to their biggest clients in recent years. Investment managers like Leo de Bever, at the Canadian province of Alberta’s $70 billion fund, have found they can often manage their own money at a lower cost without losing out on returns. “The big investors are saying, ‘Wait a minute, we don’t have to do this anymore,’ ” said Mr. de Bever, chief executive of the Alberta Investment Management Corporation, which hosted the April meeting in the Rockies. … When Mr. de Bever took the helm of the Alberta fund, known as Aimco, in 2008, it had relationships with about 50 private equity firms. It has since cut that number to 12, and all new investments are being made by an internal team that Mr. de Bever hired in Edmonton.
Brevan Howard Traders Said to Leave as Fund has June Loss (Bloomberg)
Two Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP credit traders left in recent weeks, as the firm scales back after its biggest hedge fund had the worst monthly loss since 2008 in June, two people with knowledge of the matter said. Wayne Leslie, 38, departed less than a year after joining the London-based hedge fund from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., where he was a managing director responsible for European investment-grade credit trading, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the departures haven’t been made public. Jason Feasey, 40, who focused on structured credit, had joined the hedge fund from Bank of America Corp. in 2011.
CME under fire over cash for trades in Brent (FT)
The biggest US futures exchange’s campaign to break into North Sea oil has been marked by unusual trading patterns as computerised firms engineer ways to exploit a cash-for-volume scheme, according to market participants. CME Group has promised a pot of as much as $1m a month to the biggest traders in its upstart Nymex Brent crude futures contract, a June filing shows, as it attempts to wrest market share from ICE Futures Europe, the exchange that launched Brent in 1988. … “There’s no economic benefit to the trades whatsoever, except for the people that at the end of the month get a cheque from the CME,” said one participant in the incentive programme.
Vote Stringer & give ‘Client 9’ the hook (NYP)
In a few short weeks, New Yorkers will choose between two candidates for city comptroller in the Democratic primary. One is Scott Stringer, a conventional Manhattan liberal. The other is a completely unhinged Manhattan liberal. His name is Eliot Spitzer, and for a man who styles himself the “Sheriff of Wall Street,” his real expertise is operating outside the law. As attorney general, he acted like some hick-town bully with a badge and a speed trap. But where it counted — in the courtroom — this sheriff seldom got his man. Then again, Spitzer’s goals in office have always been less about serving the people’s interest and more about feeding his insatiable ego, his giant ambitions and his basest appetites.
Man charged with DUI, hit-and-run after speeding down I-95 with air bags deployed, front end wrecked (Sun Sentinel)
A Margate man was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence Monday after a deputy saw him barreling down Interstate 95 at about 90 mph with his car’s air bags deployed and front end smashed, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said. “I did not, wait a minute, I did drink today,” a shirtless and shoeless Alan Alt told the deputy, according to his arrest report. … He was also foaming at the mouth and throwing up, and had to be helped out of his vehicle.
Seattle Police Ran Out of Free HempFest Doritos in 10 Minutes (Atlantic Wire)
The Seattle Police Department’s plan to hand out safety flyers at this weekend’s HempFest that people would actually want seems to have worked beautifully: the free Doritos attached to each flyer were gone in 10 minutes, according to the department. Each mini-package of snacks (they brought 1,000 of them) was adorned with a series of educational tips for the largest marijuana-themed festival in the world. “Don’t drive while high,” they advise, adding, “Don’t give, sell, or shotgun weed to people under 21.” Do, they say, “listen to Dark Side of the Moon at a Reasonable Volume.”