Opening Bell

Opening Bell: 11.21.14

What? Too much?

What? Too much?

Lavish Perks Spawn New Job Category (WSJ)
The nine employees at Pinterest Inc. who report to Jen Nguyen had a busy week in August. One taught a company-only class in muay thai, a martial-arts style with kicks and punches. They put dried mango and fresh towels throughout the online scrapbook service’s new office. There was a postmortem of why a Japanese-themed lunch ran out of rice. (The reason? The rice was tasty.) “We are just providing basic standards,” says Ms. Nguyen, 40 years old, whose title is head of workplace. Free lunch, dinner, snacks and events like a Jell-O shot-making “studio night” are a big part of what it takes to keep Pinterest’s roughly 450 employees productive and happy, she adds. In the 1980s, technology companies helped pioneer creation of the chief information officer to straddle the worlds of general management and tech. Now, competition among technology companies to outdo each other’s extraordinary perks has grown so fierce that it is spawning another new job category…As perks get bigger and better, some employees figure they can ask for anything. One worker at Pinterest recently wanted the company to build a zip line to a nearby bar, while an Adobe employee asked the maker of Photoshop and Illustrator design software to buy a Slip ’N Slide for workday use.

Fed Faces Pressure to Rein in Wall Street Commodity Businesses (Bloomberg)
“You’ve got to restore the separation,” U.S. Senator Carl Levin, said in an interview yesterday after he grilled executives from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley (MS) at a hearing in Washington. “It’s gone way too far this integration. I don’t like the idea, frankly, of these banks being in physical commodities.” This week, a Senate panel Levin chairs released findings from a two-year investigation that concluded Wall Street’s role in owning commodities provided unfair trading advantages and could threaten the financial system if a bank’s business suffered an industrial catastrophe. A Fed official will face questions today over why the central bank allowed lenders to erode what was once a strict line separating banking from commercial activities. The Fed has drawn criticism from senators who allege it engaged in weak oversight over the last decade as banks expanded into new businesses involving aluminum warehouses, coal mines and trading in electricity and uranium. The central bank said in January that it was reviewing whether to stiffen rules.

Alibaba Becomes Wall Street’s Favorite Customer (WSJ)
The Chinese e-commerce company has emerged as this year’s biggest source of fees for banks working on capital-markets deals. After its $25 billion initial public offering in September, the largest in history, the Chinese Internet company on Thursday sold $8 billion in bonds, one of the largest corporate-bond deals of the year.

SEC director with big stock holdings stirs debate (Reuters)
Keith Higgins, who runs the office that reviews public companies’ books at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, reported stock holdings worth between about $2 million and $6 million last year and the sale of stocks throughout 2014, according to SEC disclosures viewed by Reuters. Higgins disclosed holdings in about 90 public companies during his SEC tenure in 2013, making him the biggest investor in individual stocks among the agency’s top officials last year. Since the beginning of the year, he has reported about 60 transactions involving sales of stocks such as Dollar Tree (DLTR.O), Apple (AAPL.O), Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N) and Raytheon (RTN.N), with about two-thirds of those occurring in late September in a flurry of sales. Higgins may no longer be the biggest stock holder among the top SEC officials Reuters reviewed because of these sales. Such stock holdings are permitted by federal and SEC ethics laws and regulations. The law already protects against conflicts by prohibiting government officials from working on matters that could benefit them financially. But Higgins’ large holdings, and the volume of trading he reported during 2013 and 2014, may stoke debate about whether it’s proper for the Director of Corporation Finance or other top SEC officials to be active stock market participants and whether the SEC needs to tighten its ethics policies to further reduce the appearance of potential conflicts.

Alaska troopers bag ‘underwear bandit’ suspect (UPI)
Alaska State Troopers said they have arrested an 18-year-old suspected of being the “underwear bandit” responsible for a series of burglaries. Investigators said troopers responding to a report of a home invasion about 11:18 a.m. Monday in Kodiak found Ryan Cornelio fleeing the scene. Cornelio was identified as a suspect in a string of seven burglaries in the area stretching back months. The burglaries led troopers to warn residents “various items such as women’s underwear” had been “stolen or rifled through” in the area. Cornelio, who troopers said is also suspected of being behind three attempted break-ins in the area, was charged with three counts of first-degree burglary. Investigators said more charges are likely as the investigation continues. The culprit was nicknamed the “underwear bandit” by one victim. Read more »

Opening Bell: 11.20.14

pucker upGoldman fires staff for NY Fed breach (FT)
Goldman Sachs has fired an investment banker who allegedly accessed confidential information from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, his former employer. Goldman said it had fired Rohit Bansal, a junior employee, in September and then fired his supervisor Joe Jiampietro, a better-known senior banker in the financial institutions group, which advises other banks. Mr Jiampietro was himself a former government official – a top adviser to Sheila Bair when she was chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The New York Fed said: “As soon as we learned that Goldman Sachs suspected one of its employees may have inappropriately obtained confidential supervisory information, we alerted law enforcement authorities.”

Justice Dept. Sets Record in Penalties for Fraud (NYT)
The Justice Department collected a record $24.7 billion in penalties from fraud and other cases in the 2014 fiscal year, the agency said on Wednesday, as fines against banks for financial misconduct soared. Collections from civil and criminal actions, including money collected on behalf of other agencies, was $8 billion in 2013, and $13 billion in 2012. Collections in 2014 were bolstered by multibillion-dollar payouts from JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup to resolve claims they misled investors about the quality of mortgage bonds in the run-up to the financial crisis, and include $11 billion in payments made to federal agencies or states. Payouts in the 2014 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, also include hundreds of millions of dollars in fines levied on UBS and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Ex-Chief of Iceland Bank Sentenced to Jail for Role in 2008 Crisis (Dealbook)
The former chief executive of Landsbanki of Iceland was sentenced to prison on Wednesday, the third of the top executives of the country’s three largest banks that the government has successfully prosecuted and jailed for misconduct during the financial crisis. Sigurjon Arnason was ordered jailed for a year at a hearing at the Reykjavik District Court on Wednesday, but nine months of his sentence were suspended and will be served as probation. Mr. Arnason couldn’t be located for comment on Wednesday. Iceland was one of the countries hardest hit by the financial crisis and was forced to nationalize its three largest lenders in 2008.

Uber May Need Adult Supervision as Controversy Builds (Bloomberg)
Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick, 38, is dealing with a wave of criticism this week from remarks that one of his top lieutenants, Emil Michael, made about snooping on journalists. The situation took another turn yesterday when online publication BuzzFeed said one of its reporters was tracked by an Uber Technologies Inc. executive without her permission. Uber is now investigating that manager, a person with knowledge of the matter has said. Uber in August hired David Plouffe, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, who now directs communications at the startup. The deepening debate suggests that Kalanick might need even more experienced hands to guide him and the San Francisco-based company, which is the most highly valued technology startup in the U.S. “Uber has earned some frat culture publicity, and could benefit from hiring a woman on the board or an Eric Schmidt-type of executive,” said Brian Solis, an analyst at technology research firm Altimeter Group, referring to the former Google Inc. CEO who was brought in to aid founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in the search company’s early years.

GoDaddy seeks nearly $4.5B IPO valuation, talks diversifying (NYP)
GoDaddy.com is pushing ahead with an initial public offering early next year that would value the world’s biggest domain registration service at roughly $4.5 billion, The Post has learned. CFO Scott Wagner met last week with analysts to give an update on GoDaddy since it first filed paperwork to go public in June, a source said. The company, backed by buyout giants KKR and Silver Lake, is trying to woo investors even as the 800-pound gorilla moves into its territory. Just a few weeks after GoDaddy filed for an IPO, Google began testing a domain registration service. In its meeting with the Street, GoDaddy stressed its desire to diversify — building Web sites for customers and helping them to process transactions on their sites, for example — before Google or another rival makes a more serious push.

Loud Rooster Might Cost Owners $3,000 In Fines (AP)
It was just the first of Mr. Rooster’s problems that he was first believed to be a Ms. His crowing has given him away, though, and his owners in Cornelius, Oregon, have been dinged six times in five months for violating city ordinances. At a hearing scheduled for Wednesday, Dan and Megan Keller could be fined as much as $3,000. Megan Keller told The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1yTecdO) that she thought she was buying two females at Easter time in 2012 for her granddaughters to show at 4-H. But there was a shipping mix-up that became evident as Mr. Rooster grew up. Keller said, though, that the birds had arrived during a tough patch in her life, and “those two brought me a lot of comfort.” Cornelius is a western Portland suburb of about 12,000 people proclaimed on its website as “an agricultural paradise, where rolling hillsides, vineyards and farms abound.” The town doesn’t, as other cities do, ban roosters outright. But it has an ordinance against animals that annoy or disturb neighbors. In June, a neighbor complained about Mr. Rooster. In August, a judge handed down a $250 fine and ordered that the bird get a new home. Keller sent Mr. Rooster to a farm owned by friends. Along went the other bird from the 2012 shipment, known as Mrs. Rooster. Megan Keller said that didn’t go well: The birds lost their feathers, and then a hawk attack left Mrs. Rooster dead and Mr. Rooster injured. So she retrieved Mr. Rooster. As the injured bird rested his head calmly on her shoulder recently, Keller said she’s sure she did the right thing: “Who would I be if I would have left him up there?” Read more »

Write-Offs: 11.18.14

$$$ U.S. Has Record Inflow of Portfolio Investments in September [Bloomberg]

$$$ Moody’s Joins Fitch Slamming Subprime Auto Bonds [Bloomberg]

$$$ Goldman Ousts Currencies Trader Connected to Probe [WSJ]

$$$ BNP Officials Examined in Insider-Trading Probe [WSJ]

$$$ Joe Melendez, Canseco’s manager, says his client has the video of the finger falling off and may sell it to media outlets for the right price, CNN reports. Canseco also claims he’s planning to auction both the fallen finger tip and the gun that shot it off to the highest bidder. [HP] Read more »

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Opening Bell: 11.17.14

markzuckerbergoffice-260x271Actavis Nears Deal to Acquire Allergan (WSJ)
Actavis PLC is nearing a deal to acquire Allergan Inc. in a tie-up that would likely be the year’s largest and could help shield Botox maker Allergan from a hostile takeover. The boards of Actavis and Allergan are expected to meet in coming days to review a cash-and-stock takeover, people familiar with the matter said, and an announcement is expected this week. The price under discussion couldn’t be learned, but likely would be at a premium to Allergan’s market capitalization of $59 billion. Closing such a deal is still a big if, however, in part because hostile suitor Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. could improve its offer for Allergan, which Valeant already has done several times. And buying Allergan would be a chunky bite for Actavis, whose $64 billion market value is barely bigger than its target’s.

Facebook seeks foothold in your office (FT)
Facebook is secretly working on a new website called “Facebook at Work” to get a foothold in the office that will see the social network of more than 1bn people compete directly with Google, Microsoft and LinkedIn. The Silicon Valley company is developing a new product designed to allow users to chat with colleagues, connect with professional contacts and collaborate over documents, competing with Google Drive and Microsoft Office, according to people familiar with the matter. High quality global journalism requires investment. The new site will look very much like Facebook – with a newsfeed and groups – but will allow users to keep their personal profile with its holiday photos, political rants and silly videos separate from their work identity.

Trading desk bonuses coming from grunts, expenses ‘capped’ (NYP)
The huge swarms who do grunt work for the masters of the universe must rein in costs — because their bank and brokerage employers need more cash for a slimmed-down bonus season, according to financial services pros. From support staff to supervisors, firms are slashing expense accounts — even pulling the plug on once-lavish holiday parties — as they shore up finances for the annual ritual of payouts and year-end bonuses. Overall comp, including cash and stock, will remain flat, according to one analyst, dipping as much as 10 percent from last year for equity, bond and many hedge-fund professionals. Of course, that’s not shabby compared to the traders in hard-hit sectors like commodities. Commodity payouts will be abysmal, said several pros. Wealth management, bolstered by the expanding fortunes of America’s richest families — and served by financial advisers who can earn multimillion-dollar annual pay packages — is the most surprisingly tight fisted, according to one recruiter. Advisers will have a superlative year, but thousands who support them are mad as hell. “It strikes me that the wealth management industry is still behaving and compensating their people as if we are still in a bear market,” recruiter Danny Sarch told The Post. Sarch pointed to Morgan Stanley, which apparently is acting like the Grinch who stole Christmas. “I am hearing there’s a cap per person there on holiday parties, and on what employees can expense elsewhere,” he said. “Employees have to submit an original receipt, say for a meal with a client, rather than a copy, that kind of thing. They are not trusting the employee.” Sarch said employees must grin and bear it. “They are comparing it to the pre-Crash days,” he said, adding that the pattern may be systemic across the Street.

Silk Road kingpin appears to send tweets from jail (NYP)
Blake Benthall — churchgoer by day, alleged drug kingpin by night — appears to be sending tweets from his jail cell asking for money. “Donate bitcoin,” read a recent plea from Benthall’s Twitter page, just days after his arrest for allegedly running online drug bazaar Silk Road.

Forex fines show still much to do on UK banking reform: lawmakers (Reuters)
Regulators last week imposed fines totaling $4.3 billion on HSBC Holdings Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup Inc, UBS AG and Bank of America Corp, for failing to stop traders from trying to manipulate the forex market, following a year-long global investigation. Last year Britain’s Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards (PCBS), set up to look at improving behavior at banks in the wake of scandals including the rigging of interest rate benchmarks such as Libor, recommended a range of reforms. “These reforms are badly needed to tackle serious lapses in banking standards and a collapse of trust in the industry. The forex scandal has exposed how much work there is still to do,” lawmaker Andrew Tyrie, who led the PCBS, said.

Fresno State student accused of having sex with sheep: police (NYDN)
It was his first time. With a sheep. That’s what a Fresno State University student told police early Tuesday after he was caught on top of an ewe with his pants down. “Am I going to be expelled for this,” the 23-year-old man, only described as a fifth-year computer engineering student, told police. He’s now accused of bestiality, according to a KMPH-TV report. A spooked student had called Fresno State police after hearing strange noises near the Fresno Sheep Unit. Officers found the student in the barn, apparently having sex with the defenseless farm animal. The student claimed he had been wrestling with cattle, according to a police report, but when there was obviously not a cow in sight, he referenced the sheep and admitted, “it was all the same,” KMPH-TV wrote. Read more »

Opening Bell: 11.14.14

BUDDYGoldman Sachs Recasts Its Reputation to Woo Tech Talent (Dealbook)
The firm rolled out a new, hipper website for engineering recruits in September, with lots of slick graphics. At the Columbia event, the screen at the front of the room had a word cloud showing the cool fields — at least for computer scientists — that Goldman engineers work in, among them “machine learning,” “data mining” and “cloud computing.” Last month, the firm ran its first Google Hangout for interested computer engineers. Mr. Chavez traveled to Boston last month to talk at the first big recruiting event of the year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In all of these events, the bank is fighting old assumptions that the programmers who work for the firm are just back-office employees making sure the computers and phones work. All of the bank’s new recruiting materials emphasize that engineers at the firm are involved in its most basic businesses, trading securities and advising companies, developing the same sorts of high-level software that Silicon Valley companies work on.

Twitter Debt Rated As Junk (WSJ)
Twitter Inc.’s debt was rated as junk on Thursday by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, a sobering grade that comes a day after executives of the social media service tried to reassure skeptics on Wall Street of its long-term growth plan. S&P gave Twitter a double-B minus rating, noting that Twitter is investing aggressively and that, depending on the level of business reinvestment, the company may not generate positive discretionary cash flow until 2016. S&P said the unsolicited rating came in light of Twitter’s $1.8 billion debt offering in September. Twitter remains unprofitable, weighed down by stock-based pay that represented 47% of third-quarter revenue, reflecting in part the company’s hypergrowth phase as it offers cushy packages to compete for top talent.

Banks Said to Alter IPO Pitches as Finra Faults New Conflicts (Bloomberg)
Issuers typically interview analysts to get a sense of how investors might value the company ahead of going public. While bankers and analysts are required to be in separate meetings, investigators are concerned the research side may still feel pressure to inflate its valuation estimates to help the bankers at its firm win business, the people said. Banks may change their own rules and standards this month, before a settlement is announced, the people said. One possibility is to require that only analysts ask questions of the issuers’ management team, not the other way around, they said. That conversation could be logged, so that there’s a record of the topics discussed, they said.

Brazil Aims to Put Eike Batista Behind Bars (BusinessWeek)
Less than three years after President Dilma Rousseff dubbed Eike Batista “the pride of Brazil,” prosecutors are trying to send the former billionaire to prison for alleged insider trading in a trial set for later this month. If they succeed, Batista will be the first person in the nation to serve time for that crime in the 13 years since such activity was outlawed. “Insider trading is clearly widespread in Brazil,” says David Riedel, president of Riedel Equity Research in Greenbrae, Calif. “There is a consistent pattern of leaking. But the problem is not the laws—it’s that they aren’t enforced.” Of the 11 biggest mergers and acquisitions in Brazil in the past two years, at least seven of them were reported by newspapers and news agencies before the official announcement was made, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. The stock of real estate developer Brookfield Incorporações skyrocketed 21 percent on Jan. 23 on rumors its parent company would take the unit private. That deal was announced four days later.

‘Corleone family home’ for sale (BBC)
The mansion which served as the fictional headquarters of the Corleone family in the 1972 film The Godfather has been listed for sale. The five-bedroom, seven bathroom mansion in Staten Island, New York, is being advertised for $2.9m (£1.84m). The house was gutted and renovated in 2012 after having been a family home for six decades…Real estate agent Joseph Profaci said that the film had had an impact on how the house had been renovated. “The current owners have done an amazing job renovating the home, including a first-floor office they remodelled to try to make look like the office in the Godfather movie,” he said. Mr Profaci said the kitchen was “to die for”. “It has anything you would want for entertaining – big open space, a huge island, and a very large eating area that opens up to the yard and pool” he added.

‘Cake Boss’ star Buddy Valastro tried to charm NYPD out of drunk driving charge: prosecutors (NYDN)
“Cake Boss” star Buddy Valastro tried to pull rank when police nailed him for drunken driving in Hell’s Kitchen, a prosecutor revealed Thursday. “You can’t arrest me,” he told cops. “I’m the Cake Boss.” Hoboken’s high priest of pastries then allegedly tried to sweet-talk his way out of trouble. “Is there anything we can do?” he asked. “I’m a good guy. You don’t have to arrest me.” The cops didn’t buy it. And on Thursday, a sullen-looking Valastro, dressed in dark blue jeans and a charcoal blazer, was released after a night in jail — and after he was arraigned on charges of driving while intoxicated and driving while ability impaired. Valastro’s alleged attempts to extricate himself from a jam were recounted in court by a Manhattan prosecutor who said the master baker admitted to the arresting officers that he had been drinking. “I had a couple of drinks about 30 or 40 minutes ago,” he allegedly said. The TLC star was released without bail after rejecting the standard offer to plead guilty. Read more »

Opening Bell: 11.13.14

rupert murdoch wendi dengCitigroup, J.P. Morgan Take Brunt of Currencies Settlement (WSJ)
Citigroup Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. agreed to pay more than $1 billion each to resolve allegations that they tried for years to manipulate the foreign-currency market, the biggest fines wrung from a group of six banks by regulators in the U.S., U.K. and Switzerland.

Barclays Pressed by New York’s Bank Regulator in FX Probe (Bloomberg)
Benjamin Lawsky, the head of New York’s Department of Financial Services, refused to join a group settlement announced yesterday by U.S. and European regulators, causing Barclays Plc (BARC) to pull out at the last minute, according to a person familiar with the matter. Lawsky decided the settlement over rigging foreign-exchange rates wouldn’t be severe enough and instead is continuing his own probe, said another person briefed on the matter who asked not to be named because the investigation isn’t public. He has also appointed a monitor, Devon Capital LLP, to review Barclays’s continuing conduct, confirmed John Padrnos, a partner at the advisory firm, which specializes in derivatives.

Bank of England Officials Cleared of Wrongdoing in Currency Manipulation (Dealbook)
An independent inquiry released on Wednesday found that no one at the Bank of England was involved in unlawful or improper behavior related to the foreign exchange market, but a top official was fired this week after the central bank said he failed to follow internal policies. In October 2013, the Bank of England’s governors began an internal review after accusations arose that officials condoned or knew about manipulation in the foreign exchange market. In March of this year, the bank’s oversight committee took over the investigation, and Lord Grabiner, Queen’s Counsel, was appointed to lead the external review.

Goldman Names Fewer Traders to Newest Class of Partners (Bloomberg, earlier)
Employees in the trading and research divisions comprise 36 percent of the class, down from 44 percent two years ago, according to the New York-based company. An industrywide slump has driven down Goldman Sachs’s trading revenue to $12 billion in the first nine months of the year, from $27.5 billion in the same period of 2009 and $18.2 billion in 2010.

Martoma In Prison Posture (NYP)
Martoma’s bid to stay out of prison pending his appeal was quickly denied Wednesday by a federal appeals panel that ruled he had “failed to show that the appeal ‘raises a substantial question of law or fact.’”

Alleged coke-dealing priest headed for trial (UPI)
An Italian priest arrested at a cocaine party on suspicion of dealing the drug has been scheduled for a fast-track trial in January. Don Stefano Maria Cavalletti, 45, was arrested in July when police were called to a Milan address on a report of a loud party and they found a large amount of cocaine along with the priest’s shredded passport in the bathroom of the home. Cavalletti told police he had been using cocaine as “self-treatment” for depression he suffered after being convicted in September 2013 of fraud against an elderly woman. The priest is now scheduled for a fast-track trial January 29. Read more »

Opening Bell: 11.12.14

twinkiesAs Currency Settlement Draws Near, Barclays Is Said to Get Cold Feet (Dealbook)
On the eve of a multibillion-dollar settlement with six giant banks suspected of manipulating the foreign currency market, regulators in Washington and Britain encountered a last-second complication: One of the banks was dropping out of the deal. The giant British bank Barclays has informed regulators that it might not join the settlement, according to people briefed on the matter, a decision that grew more and more final as the hours dragged on. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Financial Conduct Authority of Britain were planning to announce the settlement in London around 6 a.m. on Wednesday. JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, the Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS and HSBC were poised to settle, making Barclays the lone holdout.

Will Ferrell’s Funny Or Die Seeks Serious Money in Sale (Bloomberg)
Funny or Die, the comedy website founded by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy, has hired a financial adviser to evaluate options including a possible sale, Chief Executive Officer Dick Glover said in a memo to employees. The asking price is $100 million to $300 million, people with knowledge of the matter said…Management at Funny or Die is working with the investment bank Moelis & Co. (MC), which has contacted potential buyers to gauge their interest in a deal, said one person, who asked not to be identified because the review is private.

Ackman Takes Stake in Animal-Health Company Zoetis (WSJ)
Activist investor William Ackman has taken a roughly $2 billion stake in Zoetis Inc. and could push the animal-health company to sell itself to a large drug maker such as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., according to people familiar with the matter…Zoetis, which was spun off Pfizer Inc. last year, makes vaccines and medicines for livestock and household pets. With $4.6 billion in sales in 2013, Zoetis is the largest company in the animal-health industry.

New York State Bank Regulator Lawsky Likely to Leave Post Next Year (WSJ)
Benjamin Lawsky , New York state’s top banking regulator and one of Wall Street’s most dogged pursuers, will likely leave his government position early next year, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Lawsky has explored options in the private sector in recent weeks, the person said, but has not come to a final decision about when he will leave his state government post.

Owl attacks hawk at L.L. Bean store opening (UPI)
An L.L. Bean grand opening in Vermont was interrupted when violence broke out between two birds of prey brought into the store for the event. Lorrie Schumacher of Talons! A Bird of Prey Experience said the European eagle owl and Harris’ hawk have appeared together at previous events without any trouble, but the owl attacked the hawk Friday at the grand-opening celebration for L.L. Bean at Burlington’s Town Center mall. “They’ve never, ever have gone after each other,” Schumacher told the Burlington Free Press. “They’re always in close proximity, we make sure their leashes are not too close, and this time it was a matter of inches. They’re predators.” Witnesses said the owl had the hawk grasped in its claws for a few minutes before the birds were separated. Schumacher said the owl and hawk have been working together for about six years. She said the hawk suffered multiple puncture wounds in the attack, but is expected to make a full recovery. Read more »