Opening Bell: 08.01.14

Argentina Unopposed to Bank Deal With Hedge Funds (Bloomberg)
Argentina’s Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said the government wouldn’t oppose a third-party solution to its dispute with a group of hedge funds who successfully sued the country for $1.5 billion. A U.S. judge has blocked Argentina from paying its debt — including an interest payment due July 30 on $13 billion of bonds — until the hedge funds led by Elliott Management Corp. get their money. Standard & Poor’s declared the country in default while Moody’s Investors Service placed its rating on negative outlook.

Gross Left Behind in Pimco Return to Top as Deputies Rise (Bloomberg)
Bill Gross promised in May that funds managed by his Pacific Investment Management Co. would be back on top by the end of the year. So far, his prediction is looking good — unless you count the funds that Gross himself runs. Nine of Pimco’s 15 largest mutual funds are beating at least 75 percent of peers so far this year, according to data compiled by Chicago-based research company Morningstar Inc. None of those top performers are managed by Chief Investment Officer Gross. Of the four funds trailing more than half their rivals, three including the Pimco Total Return Fund are run by the 70-year-old investor known as the bond king.

Tax-Averse French Seek Shelter in Portugal (BusinessWeek)
Under Portugal’s so-called non-habitual-resident program, foreign pensioners who come to live in the country have their pension income exempt from taxes as long as the income is paid from a foreign source. A foreigner has to live at least 183 days a year in Portugal to qualify as a tax resident. France only taxes citizens who live in the country—not French who live abroad. “This means that the pension income may end up not being taxed at all,” says Luis Filipe Sousa, a tax manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Lisbon.

SEC probes its own leak but can’t find culprit (CNBC)
The inspector general of the Securities and Exchange Commission conducted an intensive, months-long dragnet in 2013 and 2014 involving phone, email and security searches to determine who inside the agency allegedly leaked information to the media about a closed commission meeting discussing the massive JPMorgan “London Whale” settlement, CNBC has learned. Investigators at the Office of the Inspector General produced a 16-page report detailing their findings in March, but that report has never been made public. A copy of the report was obtained by CNBC on Thursday. The document paints a picture of an SEC in which commission members are at odds with one another and investigators scrutinize their colleagues, staff and the media. It also details just how far the inspector general went to learn how information about a Sept. 12, 2013, executive session commission meeting about JPMorgan had apparently been given to a Reuters reporter, Sarah Lynch.

Fired Miami Beach cop gets job back after blaming cocaine test on sex-aid cream (MH)
After Miami Beach police Detective Reinaldo Casas tested positive for cocaine, he insisted that the drug had been unwittingly absorbed into his blood through an erection-enhancing cream he applied to his genitals. His defense worked. An arbitrator this week ordered Casas, who was fired last year because of the positive drug test, be reinstated with complete back pay. “There is no evidence in the record to show that [Casas] was aware the cream contained a controlled substance,” according to the arbitrator’s report, which was released Thursday.

US hiring surge continues with 200,000 jobs in July (AP)
U.S. employers extended their hiring surge into July by adding a solid 209,000 jobs. It was the sixth straight month of job growth above 200,000, evidence that businesses are gradually shedding the caution that had marked the 5-year-old recovery.

SocGen Net Rises on Investment Bank, Lower Loan Losses (Bloomberg)
Net income rose to 1.03 billion euros ($1.4 billion) from 955 million euros a year earlier, the Paris-based bank said today. While earnings were the highest in four years and above analysts’ estimates, the shares fell amid concern over the bank’s business in Russia, where Societe Generale is among the largest foreign banks.

Disgraced banker: I stole $1M for love child (NYP, earlier)
Frank “Perk” Hixon Jr. is facing up to 4³/₄ years behind bars when sentenced in federal court Friday morning, but he is pleading for leniency because, the married millionaire claims, he tipped his Texas girlfriend to upcoming deals only so she could earn enough money to support their love child. And that, his lawyer claims in court papers, is not nearly as evil as the insider trading crimes of hedge fund traders — who did their crimes solely to get rich. Hixon’s love-fueled frauds “pale in comparison to the pervasive, calculated and economically-driven conduct of defendants such as Raj Rajaratnam,” the lawyer wrote in a letter to Judge Ronnie Abrams. The opera-loving Hixon, who met his high-society wife, Marguerite Lammot Lee, when they were both at Harvard Business School, claims his baby momma, Destiny Robinson, is too proud to accept child support checks — but the 37-year old was more than willing to receive investment advice. So Hixon, 55, a former managing director at Evercore Partners, opened up a brokerage account in her name and used inside information on deals he was working from 2011-2013 to profitably trade in those stocks to fatten up the account.There was nearly $1 million in profits in the account.

TLC Reunion Tour Demands Fancy Sushi, Oxygen, And No Courtyard By Marriott Hotels, Rider Shows (TSG)
According to the group’s 2014 tour rider, Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas’s food requirements include yellowtail sashimi and shrimp tempura with avocado from Nobu, which has restaurants in New York, Las Vegas, London, Beijing, Monte Carlo Dubai, Milan, and other fashionable outposts. It is unclear how concert promoters in less glamorous locales like Tulsa, Buffalo, or Akron will source “Chilli”’s sushi. They will, presumably, have less trouble securing the 43-year-old singer’s “sugarfree raisins” and smoked almonds. Like Thomas, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins bans pork from her dressing room, but appears to enjoy turkey sandwiches on wheat bread with Miracle Whip in her dressing room. Watkins, 44, also needs two “Ace bandages for knee wraps” and “(1) Oxygen tank.” As for lodging, the duo requires suites in a “5 Star Hotel.” But a “4 Star Hotel” will have to suffice “if a 5 Star Hotel is not available in the applicable location.” The rider also notes that the performers would not accept “motels, inns or Courtyard Marriot’s.”

24 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (24)

  1. Posted by HotKarl | August 1, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    Fuck all y'all bitches with your sushi, oxygen and bandage wrap demands…all I want is a seatbelt that works.

    - Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes

  2. Posted by h20fallchaser | August 1, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    too soon?

  3. Posted by Guest | August 1, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    How I know 'Perk' Hixson is lying….no ho named 'Destiny' has ever been too proud for anything. My observation that 75% of all strippers share the name Destiny supports this.

  4. Posted by Quant me maybe... | August 1, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    I can just imagine the convo between the banker and his future ex wife:

    Evercore Banker: Hey Babe. Have to go to Austin about a deal, gonna head down and do the deck over the weekend..

    Future ex wife: You have to travel over the weekend again? That's tough. Gonna miss you!

    Evercore Banker: I'll miss you too, but I have to go. I have a date with Destiny.

    >Bada Boom!

  5. Posted by h20fallchaser | August 1, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Along the same lines, I'd love to know how many "love children's" biological parents actually love(d) one another.

    Barry "the walrus" White

  6. Posted by Guest | August 1, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    I would have gone with "it musta come off the nose off that hooker I was seeing" – so kudos to Detective Casas…

    - Giving credit where due quant

  7. Posted by Parabolic | August 1, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    Singer is a jerk. Why should all of Argentina suffer so this rich asshole gets even richer? They should take him out.

  8. Posted by Narcissus Bellicose | August 1, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Facebook is down! How will I see all those cute puppy pictures?

  9. Posted by Narcissus Bellicose | August 1, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    If I need it in the morning or the middle of the night…..

  10. Posted by Parabolic | August 1, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    The dow is down 100 points but CYNK is up 22%. Why is the SEC letting this thing still trade?

  11. Posted by Quant me maybe... | August 1, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    Banker arrives in Austin calls his wife:

    Sometime later on Friday Evening….

    Evercore Banker: Hey babe. Just made it safely. Talk to you in the morning.
    Future ex-wife. Miss you!
    Evercore Banker: [muffled noises in the background]
    Future ex-wife: What's that noise? Where are you?
    Evercore Banker: Oh. …. Nothing. Just Destiny's Child. You know how I love Destiny's Child.

    >Bada Bang!

  12. Posted by Meatstick | August 1, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    This makes me wish I could take back my up vote for your original comment.

  13. Posted by Guest | August 1, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    If you think that Argentina should just be able to walk away from their obligations to their creditors with no recourse, I've got a bridge to sell you.

  14. Posted by Parabolic | August 1, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    They are not walking "away." They have been making payments for years. With interest, they have paid back what they owe. This greedy bum Singer just wants blood. Some one should remind that he doesn't have a military to back up his bullshit.

  15. Posted by Guest | August 1, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    He did have an Argentinian naval ship for a couple of days… just saying

  16. Posted by Danker_Banker | August 1, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    If there's coke on his dick, you must not convict.

    –J. Cochran

  17. Posted by Narcissus Bellicose | August 1, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Obama gave them 500b in the stimulus.

  18. Posted by Guest | August 1, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    If they've paid back what they owe, why did ISDA declare the lack of payment a credit default event? Seems like a pretty obvious indication that they have not paid back their creditors, no?

  19. Posted by Al Czervik | August 1, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    I see what you did there.
    Carl Farbman

  20. Posted by Guest | August 1, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    ISDA is a shill for the banksters.

  21. Posted by Guest | August 1, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    Whoever voted me down is a shill for the shill of the banksters.

  22. Posted by Cohn's Grundle | August 1, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    You obviously have a lot of time on your hands since your unemployed so I was wondering if you could come up with something funnier.

  23. Posted by Gary Shilling | August 1, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    What?

  24. Posted by Guest | August 2, 2014 at 2:22 AM

    ISDA used to be the "International Swap Dealers Association," so maybe you would've had an argument before. Now, though, it's the "International Swaps and Derivatives Association," so you're clearly mistaken.