Opening Bell: 06.18.14

Argentina Plans Debt Swap to Skirt Order to Pay Holdouts (Bloomberg)
Argentina will seek to move its overseas bonds into local jurisdiction to skirt a U.S. court ruling forcing it to pay holders of defaulted debt in full. The swap will ensure holders of restructured bonds keep getting paid while allowing Argentina to avoid complying with the U.S. ruling, Economy Minister Axel Kicillof told reporters yesterday. Cabinet officials will meet with lawmakers today to discuss how to shift investors into local-law bonds while the government will also send lawyers to meet with U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in New York to discuss the ruling, he said. “Everyone stay calm,” Kicillof said. “This has been studied extensively so that the reconstruction of Argentina isn’t jeopardized.”

Fed seen holding steady policy course but could hint on exit (Reuters)
The Federal Reserve’s policy committee concludes its latest meeting on Wednesday with little change expected in its outlook for interest rates but the potential for new details to emerge on the planned exit from its current easy monetary policy. The U.S. central bank is widely expected to decide on a further $10 billion reduction in its monthly bond buying, staying on course to shutter the program entirely by year end. It will announce its decision and release fresh economic and interest rate projections at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT). Fed Chair Janet Yellen will hold a news conference to discuss the results a half hour later. The interest rate “dots” plotting the views of each policymaker will be watched closely for any shift in the expected timing or pace of rate increases, and for whether officials lower their view of the long-run target interest rate in response to a diminished sense of the economy’s potential.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Expects Strong Economic Data in Second Half (WSJ)
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Wednesday that he expects strong economic data for the second half of the year after lackluster growth in the first quarter. “After a harsh winter that restrained growth in the first quarter, we are still expecting the underlying strength of the economy that was evident last year to result in a strong second half of this year,” Lew said in a speech in Jerusalem at a conference of the U.S.-Israel Joint Economic Development Group.

BitPay to Sponsor St. Petersburg (WSJ)
The annual postseason college football game played in St. Petersburg, Florida will for the next four years be known as the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl as part of a sponsorship deal signed between bitcoin payment processor BitPay and ESPN Events. The arrangement marks one of the most high-profile marketing initiatives yet for a bitcoin-related business and comes as the digital currency continues to gradually make inroads into mainstream commerce. In an announcement Wednesday, BitPay and ESPN Events, a subsidiary of sports network ESPN, said the name change would take effect at this year’s Dec. 26 game and would continue each year through the 2016 game. The game will air on ESPN. Tickets, which start at $40 each, and associated merchandise will also be available for purchase with bitcoin through Bitpay’s processing services. The St. Petersburg game, which previously bore the name of the Beef O’Brady’s chain of sports-themed restaurants, is in its first year of a new college football affiliation with the Atlantic Coast Conference and the American Athletic Conference, each of which will field a team for this year’s event. BitPay’s foray into college football sponsorship coincides with a new drive toward bitcoin adoption by retailers and other merchants. Over the past three weeks, satellite TV provider Dish Network and travel site Expedia Inc. have both announced they would accept bitcoin.

Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino arrested after tanning salon fight (CNN)
Former “Jersey Shore” star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino was charged with simple assault after a fight in a tanning salon he co-owns with his brother. Video captured by Splash News showed a smiling Sorrentino walking out of the Middletown, New Jersey, police station after posting a $500 bond Tuesday afternoon. His right eye appeared bruised and scratches were visible on his neck. ‘The Situation’ goes to rehab “The Situation” gets his first acting gig The Situation told the photographer that the fight happened because his brother “was not running the store correctly, so I had to go in there and clean house, in more ways than one.”

Casino battle royale brewing over Caesars sell-off plan (NYP)
The high-stakes battle between hedge-fund players Leon Black and David Tepper is coming to a head. Tepper’s Appaloosa Management and a group of bondholders are set to sue Caesars Entertainment — a move that will pit them against Black’s Apollo Global Management and TPG, The Post has learned. The suit, which could be filed as early as Wednesday, is a bid to stop Caesars from selling four of its casinos to another Caesars-owned entity for $2.2 billion, sources said. The sale is allegedly intended to benefit shareholders, including private-equity owners Apollo and TPG, that control both Caesars entities. Lawyers for Appaloosa, Canyon Partners and Oaktree Capital will argue that the sale is a fraudulent transfer that would make it nearly impossible for Caesars Entertainment to pay down its $24 billion of debt. “The onus will be on Tepper to prove wrongdoing,” one source said.

Harvard Money Managers Exit on Subpar Private Equity Bets (Bloomberg)
Apoorva K. Koticha, 48, among the highest-paid traders at Harvard Management in 2011, has left, according to two people familiar with the matter. News of his departure comes a week after Jane Mendillo, chief executive officer of the university’s investment company since July 2008, said she will resign at the end of the year. Mark McKenna, 43, a money manager at the endowment, moved to BlackRock Inc. (BLK) this month to start an event-driven hedge fund. Since April 2013, Harvard Management has also parted ways with two heads of its private-equity unit.

Knight Vinke sees UBS moving towards break up (Reuters)
Eric Knight, CEO of activist fund manager Knight Vinke, believes Swiss bank UBS will eventually follow his advice to split its wealth management business from its investment bank. Speaking on the sidelines of the GAIM hedge fund conference in Monaco, Knight said he saw no reason to sell his firm’s stake in UBS, despite the bank showing little interest in breaking up. “There’s no reason to sell out. I’m still highly convinced they will do it. It may take a bit of time, but they’ll get there in the end,” he said.

NYSE boss backs ending rebates to high-frequency traders (NYP)
As pressure from regulators and lawmakers mounts over the controversial Wall Street practice, the president of one large stock exchange on Tuesday said he was willing to work to halt one of the key underpinnings of high-frequency trading — the payment of maker-taker rebates. “At an industry level, we are seeking support for the elimination of maker-taker pricing and the use of rebates,” Thomas Farley, president of the New York Stock Exchange, told a Senate committee Tuesday. “Broad adoption of this policy would reduce the conflicts inherent in such pricing schema,” he said.

Cops: Man, 22, Threw Football Stuffed With Drugs, Cell Phones Over Michigan Prison Wall (TSG)
The alleged smuggling bid literally fell short Sunday morning when the football landed between two fences at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson…According to police, a corrections officer spotted Christen Deon-Sterling Moore exit a vehicle and toss the football toward the yard. Moore, 22, was then taken into custody by the prison officer. A subsequent examination of the football revealed that it contained marijuana, heroin, tobacco and three cell phones with chargers…the football landed on a pathway adjacent to the prison yard.

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Comments (3)

  1. Posted by Hambone | June 18, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    pis apoorva results, Apoorva. Simply dreadful.

  2. Posted by guest | June 18, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    His right eye appeared bruised and scratches were visible on his neck. ‘The Situation’ goes to rehab “The Situation” gets his first acting gig The Situation told the photographer that the fight happened because his brother “was not running the store correctly, so I had to go in there and clean house, in more ways than one.”

    I remember the first time I proof read something

  3. Posted by Im_a_Dude | June 18, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Shaxar had a late night last night at the DB drama reading