Opening Bell: 04.28.14

Ackman Documentary Stars Alleged Herbalife Victims (NYP)
In his quest to bring down Herbalife, activist investor Bill Ackman will publicly showcase a documentary about former Herbalife distributors who say they were defrauded by the company. Ackman, who has bet more than $1 billion that Herbalife’s stock will collapse, is offering the film as his latest evidence that the controversial nutrition products company is a pyramid scheme. He said his Pershing Square hedge fund commissioned the 15-minute documentary last year to get alleged victims before regulators and the public. Herbalife has denied it is a pyramid scheme. The documentary will be shown at an event Friday in New York City. Members of the press, government, community and consumer organizations are invited to attend the showing, which will be simultaneously webcast. The specific time and place is undisclosed to prevent any interference at the actual event, according to Ackman.

Treasuries Irresistible to America’s Banks Awash in Record Cash (Bloomberg)
After culling Treasuries and bonds issued by federal agencies last year for the first time since 2007, commercial lenders such as Bank of America Corp. (BAC) have boosted their holdings every month this year, Federal Reserve data compiled by Bloomberg show. Banks now own $1.85 trillion of the debt, within 2 percent of the record amount held at the end of 2012.

Finra investigating E*Trade for potentially rigged markets (NYP)
Finra opened the probe well before the latest public flare-up over high-frequency trading, or HFT, but the investigation hits many of the same hot buttons. Finra is determined to find out how E*Trade has priced and electronically routed customer orders to G1 Execution Services, a business it bought for a reported $173 million and sold this year to Susquehanna for about $75 million. “Finra notified E*Trade Securities LLC and G1 Execution Services LLC that it is conducting a probe of both firms’ routing practices,” E*Trade disclosed in a footnote in its latest 10-K annual regulatory filing.

Happy Birthday To Greenwich’s Richard ‘Dick’ Severin Fuld Jr. (GDV)
Fuld, who has owned a home in Greenwich, turn[ed] 68 on Saturday. The banker was born April 26, 1946, in New York City. His first career as an Air Force pilot came to an end when he got into a fistfight with a commanding officer. He then began his career with Lehman Brothers in 1969, as a commercial paper trader and rose rapidly.

Flight crews can’t stop taking mile-high selfies (NYP)
Sexy flight attendants across the world have started an underground network of mile-high selfies that they post on Instagram. In one photo, five beautiful Emirates Airlines attendants are seen in uniform draped over each other inside an aircraft in the style of a Vanity Fair spread. “Best crew ever #galley #cabincrew #airhostess #flightattendant #emiratescrew #emiratescabincrew #crewlife #flight” reads the picture’s tag line. Another selfie features an exotic-looking airline hostess posing in a crew locker room, wearing a pilot’s hat and with her lips puckered, with the tagline “#flywithme.” Some flight attendants say the photos create camaraderie and allow them to keep up with one another. “Aviation is a very close-knit community,” said flight attendant and “Rants of a Sassy Stew” blogger Shawn Kathleen, who doesn’t use her last name. “We get each other, because we’re living the same lifestyle.” Kathleen said she’s in the process of trademarking the phrase #crewlife. She’s already encouraged other flight attendants to vent their frustrations at passengers who behave badly by posting embarrassing photos of the fliers with the hashtag #passengershaming.

EU exit could wreck UK financial capital, says City lobby group (Reuters)
A British exit from the European Union could wreck London’s position as the only financial center to rival New York and isolate the country’s economy, research ordered by a lobby group for banks and money managers showed. Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s EU membership and hold an “in-out” referendum by the end of 2017 if his Conservatives win a 2015 national election. But many of the most powerful banks, insurers and money managers in the City of London are increasingly concerned that Cameron’s gamble could allow the country’s $2.5 trillion economy, the world’s sixth largest, to slip out of the EU.

Judge Dismisses Examiner’s Suit Against New York Fed (Dealbook)
A former bank examiner with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York lost a lawsuit against her former employer after a federal judge ruled on Wednesday that she had not shown that she was fired over refusing to change certain findings about Goldman Sachs…Ms. Segarra raised alarm bells at the Fed after discovering that Goldman lacked any firmwide conflict-of-interest policies, and that it had not conducted an anti-money laundering analysis on one deal on which the bank had advised, according to the lawsuit.

Chase closing accounts of p0rn stars: Report (CNBC)
TMZ.com reported Friday that Chase had closed the account of p0rn star Layton Benton, who told the site that Chase said her account was “a risk.” Citing sources, the site reported that Chase is targeting specific types of transactions such as deposits from webcam shows.

Australian man finds horse’s head on hood of car (NYDN)
Police believe the re-creation of the famous scene from ‘The Godfather’ was linked to a drug deal gone wrong. They think the horse’s head was obtained from an abattoir. However, the victim says a disgruntled ex-girlfriend may have been responsible for the mobster-style retribution. “It could have been an ex-girlfriend from two or three years ago, that’s about it,” he told the Sydney Daily Telegraph. “I’m not involved (in gangs). That’s 100% true. I’m in a relationship with a girl just trying to live my life and everyone’s turning this into something that it’s not,” the car’s owner said.

27 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (27)

  1. Posted by J Kerry | April 28, 2014 at 7:39 AM

    Irrefutable youtube evidence. Outrageous!

  2. Posted by guest | April 28, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    Unless they're going on joy rides in empty planes, those are most definitely not "mile high"

  3. Posted by Guest | April 28, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    What a self-serving nightmare Ackman is. I'd like to see someone do a "documentary" on his business practices.

  4. Posted by Guest | April 28, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    Is Kenny G going to fall in the ETrade earthquake crack?

  5. Posted by Guest | April 28, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    so much for whistle blowing goldmans. it's god's work to protect them

  6. Posted by Whistle Pig Rye MD | April 28, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    You do get that the suit was thrown out for being absurd and she was not in fact a whistle blower, right?

  7. Posted by Phraseologist | April 28, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    What are "whistle blowing goldmans"?

  8. Posted by VonSloneker | April 28, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Holy fuck, does Aeroflot fly out of Houston Intercontinental?

    – Guy who forgot there were airlines that adhered to the "old ways" after being forced to fly Southwest or Continental/United all the time

  9. Posted by GAAPing Orifice | April 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Wouldn't take too many risks with Ms. Benton.

    FinCEN sanctions> terminal aids > sharing offspring with AVN's 2014 Latino / Ebony Star of the year

  10. Posted by Guest | April 28, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    Most of us are eagerly awaiting Gundlach's documentary.

  11. Posted by Svetlana | April 28, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    This could draw out Geezer Oil on the infamous Houston-Moscow Aeroflot overnight run circa 1993.

  12. Posted by Shaz's beard | April 28, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    Shazzy is no stranger to finding horses in his bed.

  13. Posted by Guest | April 28, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    That's one way to look at it.

  14. Posted by Guest | April 28, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Seems like the only time Goldmans has lost a case was when a French schmuck took the fall for for some sub-prime mortgage derivatives.

  15. Posted by Qoa | April 28, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    Sterling is a Democrat that owns slaves.

  16. Posted by HotKarl | April 28, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Documentary title candidates:

    The Gapes of Wrath: TCW's Scorning of a Genius
    Enema at the Gates: TCW's Dismissal of a Genius

  17. Posted by Narbles | April 28, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    I punched Ackman in the dick once.

  18. Posted by C. Icahn | April 28, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    Did it sink in ?

  19. Posted by Captain Oblivious | April 28, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    Thank God Shazzy isn't paid by the word or he would starve to death. 11:53 on a Monday and all he's done is cut and paste other peoples work

    I'm sure Dick Fuld is getting a ton of birthday cards ffrom all of his former employees

  20. Posted by Rebecca M. | April 28, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    Liars Poke Her

  21. Posted by Shazmataz | April 28, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    I wish someone would punch me in the dick.

  22. Posted by Rebecca M. | April 28, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    I can assure you she was a blower

  23. Posted by AIG quant via LEH | April 28, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    If by card you mean horse heads then ya.

  24. Posted by guesst | April 28, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Tell me about it.

    – M. Broderick

    *Note: obligatory comment.

  25. Posted by Quant me maybe... | April 28, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Personally, I am thinking about opening a bank for cam girls. Seems like a good opportunity. I don't expect they will mind using both the front and rear entrances. And maybe they will get head of the line privileges.

    > They will also be an inverse option where they can take deposits without having to do a withdrawal.

  26. Posted by Quant me maybe... | April 28, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Seeing this reminds me of Erin Callan. Remember her? Anorexic looking hottie who took one to the head as cfo for a week. Apparently she's been forced to downsize to a 1600sf place on the water on Long Island and a humble abode in Florida on the beach.

    >Bess should do a Erin Callan retrospective.

  27. Posted by Lord Humongous | April 29, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    I'd like to hammer her sickle