Banks Sit Out Riskier Deals (WSJ)
Starting late last summer, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve sent letters to about a dozen big banks saying they need to comply with the guidance—regulators’ latest effort to reduce risk in the banking industry following the financial crisis. The new push could make deals more costly for private-equity firms, which rely on banks to lend much of the borrowed money that helps fuel their corporate takeovers. It could also create opportunity for other firms, such as some securities dealers, that aren’t regulated like banks and thus aren’t subject to the same strict regimen of regulation over lending. And it could crimp the fees banks generate from providing financing for private-equity deals in the U.S., which last year totaled $7.1 billion, according to Dealogic.
Key Witness in Martoma Trial Says He Lied to F.B.I. (Dealbook)
Dr. Sidney Gilman, the government’s star witness in its case against Mathew Martoma, a former SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager, testified on Tuesday that he lied to F.B.I. agents and regulators for nearly a year about passing inside information to Mr. Martoma. “I was intensely ashamed of it,” Dr. Gilman said. “I was hoping the whole thing would go away.” The disclosure emerged as prosecutors questioned Dr. Gilman, a retired University of Michigan professor, for a second day. It could take the sting out of the defense’s strategy to discredit him. Dr. Gilman’s testimony is at the heart of the government’s case against Mr. Martoma who, they contend, cultivated a friendship with Dr. Gilman and then “corrupted” him by seeking to gain confidential information about a clinical trial for an experimental Alzheimer’s drug being developed by Elan and Wyeth.
Two Las Vegas casinos to accept bitcoin currency (Reuters)
The co-owned Golden Gate Hotel and Casino and The D Las Vegas Casino Hotel will begin accepting bitcoins on Wednesday as payment for hotel rooms and related purchases, casino officials said in a statement…The D will also accept the virtual currency at its gift shop, the American Coney Island restaurant and Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italian Steakhouse. “Downtown has really become a technology hub for all of Las Vegas,” Derek Stevens, co-owner and chief operating officer for both casinos, told Reuters.” I think it is fitting that the Golden Gate and The D are the first hotels to offer (bitcoin).” Stevens said patrons increasingly had requested to use bitcoins over the past year. By becoming the first known casino hotels to accept the virtual currency, he hoped to attract customers unable to spend bitcoins at other local businesses.
Sandberg Becomes One of Youngest Billionaires in World (Bloomberg)
Sheryl Sandberg’s fortune surpassed $1 billion yesterday after Facebook Inc. closed at a record. The chief operating officer of the world’s most popular social-networking service owns about 12.3 million shares of the Menlo Park, California-based company, which closed at $58.51 in New York. Her stake is valued at about $750 million. Sandberg has collected more than $300 million selling shares since the company’s 2012 initial public offering, and owns about 4.7 million stock options that began vesting last May. The 44-year-old is one of the youngest female billionaires in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
With This Initial Public Offering, There’s a Lot to Drink In (WSJ)
When a company is going public, it is important that prospective investors understand its business. Magnum, a Hong Kong nightclub, is launching an initial public offering on Thursday, and its prospectus explains the following: how a nightclub works, the popularity of the Jagerbomb and that, sometimes, people drink while dancing. “Clubbing is a popular night time activity which has evolved from the discotheques of the 1970s into a modern form of social gathering with lively music, elaborate lighting and a dance floor, supplemented by both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages,” the IPO-prospectus overview begins. And it describes the scene: “The aura and atmosphere of the modern clubbing scene is filled with images of people moving in unison to the beat of synthesised remixed dance and electronic music spun out by a DJ perched upon an elevated stage.” Late on a Saturday night, the line to get into the Magnum Club can sometimes stretch down the block. As busy as Magnum gets, far more people want to buy into the company’s IPO than to dance amid its flashing walls and use its diamanté-encrusted toilets. Investors placed orders for over 3,000 times the number of shares available in the HK$126 million ($16 million) IPO, making it one of the hottest stock offerings in the city’s history. The prospective buyers are betting that the stock of the nightclub chain will skyrocket when it starts trading on Thursday.
Gold Target Cut by Morgan Stanley Seeing ‘More Pain to Come’ (Bloomberg)
The 2014 target was cut 12 percent to $1,160 an ounce and the prediction for 2015 reduced 13 percent to $1,138, analysts Peter Richardson and Joel Crane wrote in a report today. Gold remains under pressure as the global recovery gains traction, increasing the risk of higher interest rates, they wrote.
Ergen gets heat in LightSquared move (NYP)
LightSquared’s heavyweight lenders are putting the screws to Dish Network founder Charlie Ergen for backing out on his $2.2 billion deal to buy the wireless startup’s spectrum. The group, including investment giants Fortress and Capital Research & Management, are seeking to force Dish to follow through on its purchase agreement, according to court papers. Ergen had no right to walk away from the exclusive deal, the group of lenders claim in a memo filed Monday in Manhattan bankruptcy court. The lenders, owners of a $1.7 billion LightSquared bank loan, claim when Dish walked away from its deal it robbed them of any hope of recovering their investment. The group asked Judge Shelley Chapman, who is overseeing the tangled bankruptcy, to force Ergen, who owns $800 million of that debt, to keep up with his end of the bargain — or face sanctions.
Password denied: ‘123456’ takes mantle as worst code: PCWorld (CNBC)
The world’s worst “password” has finally been dethroned. The term, widely considered by security experts as one of the more frequently used–and most susceptible to hack attempts–passwords has been replaced by “123456”, according to PCWorld. The publication, citing a list compiled by security firm Splashdata, said the numeric chain moved into the number one slot last year. Prior to that, “password” had dominated the rankings for years. The list of dubious passwords also included gems like “qwerty”, “abc123″ and “letmein”.
With Super Bowl on the way, strip club debuts with a super pole (NYDN)
Just in time for the Super Bowl, New York City will finally be able to answer that age-old question: Just how many strippers can you fit on a 25-foot pole? The answer: at least three. Promising never-before-seen heights of eroticism, the new Vivid Cabaret in Midtown boasts this 7.6-meter steel stake, more than twice as tall as other stripper poles in Fun City. “It’s sturdy enough and long enough to do all the tricks I know,” said Vivid Cabaret dancer Carlie, 22. “There are a lot of clubs, but the poles are never big enough to do all the tricks I’ve learned.” [...] The new club is a partnership between Rick’s Cabaret, a national chain of strip clubs listed on NASDAQ, and Vivid Entertainment, a major player in adult-film production. It seems likely that the mammary mast will help Rick’s stock price, which is already at about $11, up from about $8.50 a year ago.