Opening Bell: 05.28.14

Ex-Goldman Sachs Trader Tourre Says He Won’t Appeal (Bloomberg)
“While my lawyers have advised me there are strong grounds to appeal, I prefer to move forward with my education and close this difficult chapter of my life,” Tourre said in a statement today. “I look forward to finishing my Ph.D. in economics and to making meaningful contributions to my field.”

Banks Raise Caution Flag on Trading (WSJ)
Citigroup Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach told investors the bank expects the slide it has reported in markets revenue to deepen in the second quarter. “People lack direction,” Mr. Gerspach said, speaking about investor behavior at the conference sponsored by Deutsche Bank AG. “People are uncertain. There just isn’t a lot of movement.” His words echoed the comments of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s head of investment banking, Daniel Pinto, who said volatility levels were at 10- to 15-year lows. He said that even if trading volumes rise, it is hard to make money if volatility is low. “If the market doesn’t move, it’s really difficult,” he said.

Draghi Expresses Concern Over Lasting Low Inflation (AP)
…the European Central Bank president, said on Tuesday that he was mindful of the danger of inflation remaining low in the 18-country euro zone and was committed to bringing it back to more tolerable levels. The bank is widely expected to offer some monetary stimulus at its next policy meeting on June 5 to support the European recovery and nudge inflation higher.

A Few CEOs Dominate Pay Ranking (WSJ)
The Wall Street Journal’s annual compensation survey found that, for all the debate around high CEO pay, the biggest rewards go to a relative handful of executives at the very top, and that their pay doesn’t necessarily correlate to their company’s size or results…The three highest-paid CEOs— Oracle Corp.’s Larry Ellison, CBS Corp.’s Leslie Moonves and Liberty Global’s Michael T. Fries —made a total of $188 million, more than the combined pay of the 50 CEOs at the bottom of the same list.

Judge arrested on DUI charge in courthouse parking lot (SS)
Circuit Judge Lynn Rosenthal was arrested Tuesday, accused of driving to work at the Broward County courthouse while under the influence of drugs, striking a patrol car and repeatedly hitting the gate of the judges’ parking lot with her BMW, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office. The judge was also accused of driving into a concrete median on Interstate 595 shortly before her arrest. Deputies said Rosenthal admitted to taking an Ambien pill Monday night and did not appear to have been drinking alcohol. The arrest happened around 8:45 a.m., when Rosenthal’s BMW SUV struck a parked Sheriff’s Office vehicle in the parking lot, Keyla Concepcion, a spokeswoman for the agency said…According to an arrest report, Rosenthal struck the parked patrol car with the passenger side of her SUV, then continued toward the security gate of the judges’ parking lot. She struck the gate, put her vehicle in reverse, then struck the gate several more times before a deputy at the scene stopped her, according to the report.

Marc Andreessen in bitcoin for the long run (CNBC)
“I compare it to the Internet,” he said on CNBC. “The Internet was a new way to transmit data. Bitcoin’s a new way to transmit money. It’s going to take a long time. The good news it’s a big opportunity. Money is a very big deal, and so if you can build a new way to deal with money, it’s very important and valuable. It just takes time.” In an interview on “Fast Money,” tech pioneer and venture capitalist Andreessen said that from his vantage point, bitcoin has a long, robust life ahead of it.

China’s ‘Golden Era’ for Property Over, Vanke President Says (Bloomberg)
“The period in which everybody makes money out of property is gone,” Yu told reporters May 26 in Dongguan, a southern city in Guangdong province.

New Fund Stars Ride Junk Bonds to the Top (WSJ)
Among the 10 largest U.S. bond funds at the end of 2013, the four with the fastest growth in assets since 2008 held an average 20% of their investments in bonds rated below investment grade, also known as junk bonds, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal of data from Morningstar Inc. At the remaining six funds, low-rated debt accounted for 1.4% of the portfolio.

Nike and Adidas get personal in battle over soccer World Cup (Reuters)
U.S. sportswear group Nike is banking on its sponsorship of more of the world’s best-known soccer stars than Adidas in its battle to overtake the German firm as the sport’s top-selling brand at its World Cup this summer. Nike has signed six of the 10 most marketable footballers in the world, to just three for Adidas and one for smaller German brand Puma, according to a new ranking by sports marketing research group Repucom published on Wednesday. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, sponsored by Nike, tops the Repucom ranking, with almost 84 percent of people around the world saying they know the Real Madrid striker, helping to sell over one million shirts with his name on the back in 2013.

Donald Sterling vows fight, says he has offers of $2.5B (USAT)
Sterling’s attorney, Max Blecher, told USA TODAY Sports late Tuesday that Sterling is not interested in selling the Clippers, contrary to a statement made Tuesday by his wife’s attorney. Shelly Sterling’s attorney, Pierce O’Donnell, said Donald Sterling authorized Shelly Sterling in writing to sell the team, including his 50-percent stake. In a scathing 32-page response sent to the league Tuesday and obtained by USA TODAY Sports, Donald Sterling instead says he will fight the league’s move to force him to sell his team, and he noted he has received offers of more than $2.5 billion for the franchise. Sterling also says the league’s proposed punishment would cause his family to take an “egregious” tax hit on the sale of the club. Regardless of his comments in the recording, Sterling says, nothing he said violated his contractual agreements with the league. “A jealous rant to a lover never intended to be published cannot offend the NBA rules,” said the document, signed by Sterling.

9 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (9)

  1. Posted by Fab | May 28, 2014 at 8:30 AM

    Nice bush.

  2. Posted by guest | May 28, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    Why is there a picture of Bear Grylls?

  3. Posted by Puck It | May 28, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    Sterling, yo. I'll spare ya the capital gains tax and have my homies send you straight to estate tax, mothuhfuckuh.

    —The Ghost of Tupac Shakur

  4. Posted by Dad | May 28, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    Frenchman Gives Up – More at 11

  5. Posted by Guest | May 28, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    hmm…almost

  6. Posted by Lord Humongous | May 28, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    tough but fair

  7. Posted by HotKarl | May 28, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    Thank God that female judge wasn't also Asian…somebody definitely would have been killed on top of all the property damage.

  8. Posted by Banking industry | May 28, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    "Money is a very big deal, and so if you can build a new way to deal with money, it’s very important and valuable. It just takes time."

    We agree.

  9. Posted by Vin Scully | May 28, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    And a biiiiiig swing and a miss….