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 »
J.P. Morgan Pact on Table But Other Probe Looms (WSJ)
JP Morgan Chase reached a tentative deal this weekend to pay $13 billion to end a number of civil investigations into its sale of mortgage securities before the 2008 financial crisis, but a separate and potentially more serious criminal probe into the bank and its executives will continue. The Justice Department, convinced it has strong evidence related to the bank’s conduct and eager to send a message to Wall Street, rebuffed repeated attempts by J.P. Morgan to settle the criminal investigation without admitting wrongdoing and agreed only to resolve the civil investigations. It also threatened last Thursday to file its civil case this coming Wednesday if the two sides can’t reach a final deal, said people close to the talks.
Former UBS Official Arrested (WSJ)
Raoul Weill, the former No. 3 official at UBS, has been arrested in Italy based on an Interpol notice requested by U.S. authorities, according to a U.S. official. The U.S. plans to seek his extradition from Italy to face charges of helping conceal billions of dollars from US tax authorities.
Dallas Mavericks owner blasts tactics of SEC’s White (NYP)
“It wasn’t about the money,” said Cuban, who emerged victorious Wednesday in Dallas federal court. “For me, it was about doing the right thing.” Indeed, Cuban has steadily denied the SEC’s key argument, that Mamma.com CEO Guy Fauré told Cuban he couldn’t sell his $7.9 million stake after discussing the company’s plans to raise money in a private stock offering that Cuban passed up. And now he’s fired up about the SEC and is considering “taking steps in Washington” to make his concerns known. “They’re not looking for justice, they’re looking to win,” he said of the watchdog. Cuban also slammed the SEC’s new policy of cracking down on small violations to send a message to the wider culture. The so-called “broken windows” policy, popularized by former mayor Rudy Giuliani to describe his cleanup of New York City, will just lead to lawsuits against “a lot of little guys,” he said.
The Tie Is Dead. (Long Live the Tie) (WSJ)
Anecdotal evidence from the corporate world varies. John Fraser, 51, managing partner of a real-estate investment firm in New York, often wears a tie with his suit, but not always. He has also noticed fewer tie-wearers among his colleagues and associates. “It seems like more of a personal choice, as opposed to several years ago when it was mandatory,” said Mr. Fraser. “Now there’s broader bandwidth of what represents acceptable business clothing.” Patrick Sweeney, 36, however, wears a tie—Hermès, Etro or Salvatore Ferragamo—every day to his real estate job in midtown Manhattan. “I would get fired if I didn’t,” said Mr. Sweeney. “The head of the company wears a tie, so everyone else does as well.” When not obliged to knot up, however, Mr. Sweeney doesn’t wear one. “Generally, I find them uncomfortable and overly formal,” he said.
Twitter Quitters Dog IPO (Reuters)
People who have given up on Twitter cite a variety of reasons, from lack of friends on the service to difficulty understanding how to use it. Twitter declined to comment for this story, saying it is in a quiet period ahead of its IPO. Twitter’s attrition rate highlights a challenge that has dogged the online messaging site over the years: while it has managed to enlist many high-profile and avid users, from the Pope to President Barack Obama, Twitter has yet to go truly mainstream in the way Facebook has. Convincing ordinary people to think of Twitter as an indispensable part of their lives is key to the company’s ability to attract advertisers and generate a profit. Twitter reported it had 232 million “active” users – people who access the service at least once a month – at the end of September, up 6.1 percent from the end of June. Twitter’s quarter-over-quarter growth in active users has not exceeded 11 percent since June 2012. When Facebook was a similar size, its active users were increasing by more than 20 percent every quarter, and it was not until the social network neared the half-a-billion member mark that its user growth decelerated to 12 percent. “Twitter is a great service, it’s still got growth in front of it. But in my opinion, I would say the opportunities are less than that of Facebook, and it has to be valued appropriately,” said Dan Niles, chief investment officer of tech-focused hedge fund firm AlphaOne Capital Partners.
After extremely tight Jets victory over Patriots, male Jets fan punches female Pats fan in face (NYDN, Deadspin)
An unidentified Gang Green fan punched a woman at Met Life stadium during a post-game skirmish on Sunday, according to an video posted on Deadspin.com. The wild fight erupted near one of the exit gates following the intense overtime victory. The punk, wearing a Wayne Chrebet jersey and camouflage pants, clocked a slender blond woman square in the face and was quickly separated from the fracas. The 35-second clip shows no sign of security intervening. For the non-violent majority of Jets fans, the historic penalty that sealed Sunday’s victory was better than sex, capping a week in which coach Rex Ryan implored his players to refrain from hanky panky.
U.S. economy bruised by fiscal fight: Treasury Secretary (Reuters)
The U.S. economy has been hurt by a recent budget standoff in Washington and it is important that the nation does not go through another around of brinkmanship, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Sunday. Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program, Lew said he was confident the economy, which he described as resilient, would recover from the 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government. He described events leading to the shutdown, which eroded both business and consumer confidence, as a political crisis rather than an economic one. “We know that from the shutdown, there was a loss of economic activity,” Lew said. “We need to make sure that government does not go through another round of brinkmanship. This can never happen again.”
U.S. Banks Face Profit Squeeze (WSJ)
The 10 largest traditional commercial banks and securities firms in the U.S. that have reported earnings thus far posted a 6.9% decline in combined adjusted net income, to $17 billion. Adjusted revenue totaled $116 billion for the quarter, a 4.8% decrease from the same period in 2012.
The Man Who’ll Do Triage on Europe’s Banks (NYT)
Mr. Angeloni, 59, heads the European Central Bank’s financial stability division, giving him a lead role in a task about to begin: examining the books of the 130 or so largest banks in the 17 members of the European Union who use the euro. It will be financial triage aimed at determining which banks are sound and which are not…This week, Mr. Angeloni and other central bankers are expected to announce new details of the review process. The undertaking, at the behest of the European Union, is meant to place the big banks of Europe more directly under the supervision of the European Central Bank, instead of the current patchwork of national regulators.
Songwriter Spends Life Savings on Surgeries to Look Like Justin Bieber (Gawker)
LA-based “songwriter” Toby Sheldon idolizes Bieber to such an extent, that he spent the past five years and nearly $100,000 to turn his face into a shrine for the androgynous Canadian. Spurred by an acknowledged fear of aging, Sheldon says he’s undergone multiple plastic surgeries, Aquamid injections, and hair transplants “to look like Justin.” His last time under the knife back in July, Sheldon had the sides of his mouth extended in a controversial procedure known as “smile surgery.” “It’s Justin’s smile that gives him his youthful look,” Sheldon told the British tabloid Closer. That particular elective set Sheldon back some $15,000. “My smile surgery took more than a month to recover from,” Sheldon recalled. “And, after my eyelid surgery, I couldn’t open my eyes for a week.” Still, Sheldon believes his investment has paid off. “My friends shower me with compliments,” he says. “They even call me Toby Bieber.”