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 »
Geithner Must Provide S&P With Documents in Fraud Lawsuit (Bloomberg)
Ex-U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner must comply with Standard & Poor’s demand that he provide documents related to its claim the U.S. sued the company in retaliation for downgrading government debt. Geithner is the highest former government official the McGraw Hill Financial (MHFI) Inc. unit has pursued for information to support its allegations. S&P, the only credit rating company sued by the Justice Department for allegedly giving fraudulent ratings to mortgage-backed securities, has said it was singled out because of the downgrade.
For BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Too Big to Jail Gets Lost in Translation (BusinessWeek)
While Lawsky has indicated he plans to pursue individuals at the companies who were involved in the alleged wrongdoing, possibly requiring that they lose their jobs and return back compensation, the Justice Department is seeking settlements with the banks rather than charges against individuals—so those eye-popping fines will be paid by the corporation, but no one is threatened with jail. Remarkably, the two banks faced with pleading guilty to an actual crime are both non-U.S. institutions. This can’t be a coincidence: Not only is it less painful politically to extract a guilty plea from a European company, but the effects on the rest of the U.S. financial system would be far less than they would be for an American bank of similar size.
Tech Firms’ Cash Piles Cool Fears of a Meltdown (WSJ)
The two-month swoon in technology stocks has given investors flashbacks to the dot-com meltdown. But at least one harbinger of trouble is absent today: tech firms in danger of collapse. A Wall Street Journal analysis of 148 U.S. tech companies with recent or pending initial public offerings found none on a path to burn through their cash within a year, based on their pace of spending in 2013. Those findings are in contrast to the health of young tech companies during the last run-up of U.S. technology stocks, which peaked in March 2000. A cover story that month in the financial magazine Barron’s spotlighted how one-quarter of 207 Internet companies were on track to run out of cash within a year. And many did.
Fed Warns Of Crackdown On Takeover Deals (WSJ)
The statements by a Fed official in remarks prepared for a regulatory conference were the latest warning that U.S. regulators want banks to end practices they see as risky in so-called leveraged lending markets. The Fed and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency told banks in March 2013 to avoid funding takeover deals that would leave companies with high levels of debt. “Judging from aggregate market data, it appears that many banks have not fully implemented standards set forth” in the March 2013 guidance, said Todd Vermilyea, senior associate director in the Fed’s Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation, at a Charlotte, N.C., event hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
Alec Baldwin arrested for disorderly conduct after flare-up with New York cops (NYDN)
Alec Baldwin…went on a New York City-dissing Twitter tear — after he was busted Tuesday for flipping out on two cops who were just doing their jobs. “New York City is a mismanaged carnival of stupidity that is desperate for revenue and anxious to criminalize behavior once thought benign,” Baldwin wrote. Then, in a subsequent tweet, Baldwin gave up the name and badge number of the female officer who ended his foul-mouthed tirade by cuffing him. And finally, incredibly, Baldwin boo-hooed that “the police did nothing” about the photographers who were drawn by his bad behavior to his East Village building. “Meanwhile, photographers outside my home ONCE AGAIN terrified my daughter and nearly hit her with a camera,” he tweeted…Baldwin’s latest blow-up came after he was stopped at 10:15 a.m. for riding his bicycle against traffic on Fifth Ave. near 16th St. in the Flatiron District. When the cops asked him for identification, Baldwin lost it on them, sources told The Daily News. “He became belligerent, yelling and screaming at the officers, ‘I don’t have ID. Just give me the f—–g summonses,'” one police source said…Baldwin was still seething when he arrived at Manhattan’s 13th Precinct and was charged with disorderly conduct.
“How old are these officers?” Baldwin groused. “They don’t even know who I am.”
U.S. regulator opens door wider for Americans on mortgages (Reuters)
The regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac laid out plans for the government-run companies on Tuesday that could make it easier for Americans to obtain mortgages, marking a sharp departure from a predecessor who wanted to aggressively shrink their role in the housing finance market.
Pimco: Bull markets as we know them about to end (Reuters)
Pimco, the manager of the world’s largest bond fund, said on Tuesday in its three-to-five-year outlook titled “The New Neutral” that low central bank interest rates underscore an end to bull markets in financial assets. In the report released on the firm’s website, Pimco said that neutral real, or inflation-adjusted, central bank policy interest rates close to zero suggest “an end to bull markets as we’ve known them, but no perceptible growling from the bears.”
Goldman Says Appeal of Commodities as an Asset Class Remains (Bloomberg)
Commodities as an asset class remain appealing as the global economic recovery extends into 2015, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The bank raised its 12-month allocation for commodities to neutral from underweight, analysts led by Jeffrey Currie and Damien Courvalin wrote in a report dated yesterday. They increased their three and six-month price forecasts for nickel and rolled the 12-month predictions for aluminum and zinc forward to higher levels.
IRS paid at least $13B in improper tax credits (AP)
The IRS said it is aggressively fighting tax fraud, and is improving its efforts to police EITC payments. The agency said it has stopped nearly 15 million suspicious returns since 2011, blocking more than $50 billion in fraudulent refunds.
Shaq on Charles Barkley: ‘I would definitely kick his ass’ (NYP)
Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal won’t meet in the ring for a mixed martial arts match as planned. “We are not going to fight,” Shaq said of a bout scheduled for Wednesday on “Inside the NBA.” “But I would definitely kick his ass because I’m from the streets and he’s not.” The big man further taunted, “He backed out … I’m serious, I would kill him.” When we asked if he was kidding, the retired star reiterated at BTIG’s Commissions for Charity Day, “That’s no joke. You can quote me on it.”