Opening Bell: 04.22.14

Williams Urges Fed to Avoid Stoking Risk as It Boosts Jobs (Bloomberg)
“We’re exactly on the right track” with current policy, Williams said in an interview yesterday in San Francisco, predicting unemployment will fall to 5.5 percent by the end of next year and inflation will accelerate to about 1.7 percent. Trying to achieve the Fed’s goals sooner “would take policy actions that might have more negative effects,” he said.

Dawn raid makes comeback via activist drone strike (Reuters)
Remember the dawn raid, when a would-be acquirer built up a stake before the target realized it was under attack? Activist investor Bill Ackman has come up with a kind of drone strike version. His Pershing Square Capital Management hedge fund and Valeant Pharmaceuticals have teamed up to grab a potential 9.7 percent stake in Allergan, with a hostile takeover by Valeant ready for deployment. The acquisitive Valeant has reasons to be receptive to such an arrangement. For one thing, it’s essentially the creation of an activist hedge fund, ValueAct Capital, which set it on the path of serial dealmaking. Slashing research and development costs and applying its low tax rate to acquired businesses has served investors well. Its stock is up more than tenfold since it started buying rivals in 2008. The prospect of another deal kicked its shares 10 percent higher after regular market hours on Monday, taking its market capitalization up to $46 billion.

HK regulator reprimands, fines RBS over emerging-markets rates trades (Reuters)
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said on Tuesday it reprimanded Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) for internal control failures, fining the bank HK$6 million ($773,800). The SFC said in a statement RBS failed to detect and prevent unauthorized trades in its emerging markets rates business in the city in 2011, following the discovery of unauthorized trades by former trader Shirlina Tsang. Tsang was sentenced last year to 50 months in jail after pleading guilty to fraud after was she caught falsifying records of her trades, Reuters previously reported.

Worker sends 1,000 ducklings to boss’s home in wages dispute (Metro)
Builder Chiu Xiang arranged for the 1,130 live ducklings to be dropped in the home of his employer, Hung Bin, in a dispute over wages. The 60-year-old, who worked for Bin for three years, said he was owed £300 in unpaid wages after quitting his job in China’s Sichuan province last year, according to the Shanghaiist. ‘It was all he deserved,’ he said. ‘I hope the ducks drove him quackers.’ Xiang organised for a contact who runs a poultry business to drop the ducks off, telling him they would be paid for on delivery. Police were called to the scene after Bin refused to pay for the duck delivery. ‘It was drastic but necessary,’ said Xiang, who has been promised a negotiated settlement with the local labour authorities.

BNY Mellon Posts First-Quarter Profit on Higher Assets (Bloomberg)
Net income rose to $661 million, or 57 cents a share, compared with a loss of $266 million, or 23 cents a share, in the same period last year that was caused by a tax court decision, the New York-based bank said today in a statement. Analysts had expected a profit of 53 cents a share.

Ex-Deutsche Bank Trader Bets UBS Call Is Wrong: Argentina Credit (Bloomberg)
UBS AG (UBSN) and Jefferies Group LLC predict Argentina’s world-beating bond gains will fizzle. Former Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) trader Luis Caputo is looking to bet as much as $300 million they’re wrong. Caputo, 49, said he raised $30 million in the first week running Noctua International LLC’s Argentina fund and plans to reach the $300 million goal in three to six months as he seeks to capitalize on soaring demand for Argentine assets. The country’s bonds have returned 21 percent since August, more than any other nation tracked by Bloomberg indexes, when President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner failed to win enough votes in a primary to seek a third term in next year’s election.

U.S. Existing-Home Sales Fall Slightly (WSJ)
Existing-home sales fell 0.2% from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected sales to fall a steeper 0.7% to an annual rate of 4.57 million.

Expectant Parents Asked The Internet To Name Their Child (HPUK)
New dad Stephen McLaughlin set up namemydaughter.com and asked all 2.89 million Redditors to name his newborn. The result was exactly what you would expect when you ask the Internet to name your unborn child. Reddit, the wonderful wild creature that it is, refused to be tamed when it came to name creativity, with suggestions including: Megatron Salad, Streetlamp of-the-sea, Yana Don’t-Blink and Chalupa Batman. The number one baby name choice, out of 150,000 votes in all, was “Cthulhu” – the tentacle-faced monster of South Park and science-fiction fame. The full winning name was Cthulu All-Spark — with Cthulu being the first name, All-Spark being her middle name, obviously. But the name was vetoed by the parents for a much prettier Amelia Savannah Joy McLaughlin. Amelia’s mother, Kathryn, gave a nod to the Internet’s favourite, though, writing in a Facebook post: “All bow down to the great and powerful Cthulhu.”

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Comments (3)

  1. Posted by Puck It | April 22, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    2 p.m is the new 9:30 a.m, except somewhere west of Anchorage, it is actually 9:30 a.m.

  2. Posted by Shaz's beard | April 22, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    Shazzy been trippin' balls with LaxBro?

  3. Posted by guest | April 22, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Sort of like when you know you're late, but try to save face by not using the typical ~7am time stamp.