Opening Bell

Opening Bell: 05.30.14

Ballmer’s $2 Billion Offer Said to Win Clippers Bidding (Bloomberg)
Donald Sterling’s approval wasn’t needed as his wife completed the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, people familiar with the process said. Guidelines established in a family trust allowed for Shelly Sterling to unilaterally make the record-shattering deal, according to the people who asked not to be identified because the bidding was private…Ballmer, 58, outbid at least four other suitors. Each of the bids shattered the previous record sale price for an NBA team of $550 million paid in April for the Milwaukee Bucks.

M&A Party Attracts Uninvited Guests (WSJ)
As merger activity heats up this year, hostile or unsolicited approaches by companies undeterred by private brushoffs are also rising. Buyers have gone public with unsolicited takeover bids totaling $97.3 billion so far this year, representing about 7% of all global deals by dollar amount, according to Thomson Reuters. That’s the highest percentage since 2007.

U.S. probing 15 banks, payment processors for fraud (Reuters)
The Justice Department’s investigation, known as “Operation Choke Point,” is more than a year old and aims to crack down on fraud by going after firms that handle and move money for various suspect businesses. According to documents released on Thursday by the House of Representatives’ Oversight Committee, the DOJ had criminal probes open of four payment processors, one bank and several officials as of November 2013.

Kentucky’s Big Whiskey Investment: Is the Bourbon Boom a Bubble? (Corporate Intelligence)
A bourbon shortage today reflects decisions made many years — or decades — ago, leaving companies with few good options. Last year Beam Inc. faced a furious backlash from fans of its Maker’s Mark brand when the company said it would reduce the strength of the spirit to make limited supplies stretch further. It eventually backtracked on the decision, but not before panicking customers stockpiled supplies of the bourbon, sending sales up 44% in the quarter. Today’s big distillery expansions will put a flood of new bourbon on the market years from now. Will we still be drinking bourbon by then? Julian Proctor Van Winkle, the chief of the family business that makes Pappy Van Winkle, explained why his company is taking a conservative approach to adding capacity. “They legalize marijuana, and nobody is drinking bourbon anymore,” he said in an interview with Louisville Magazine. ”I don’t want to get caught with a bunch of whiskey.”

Realty Investors Flock to Spain (NYT)
As one of the most moribund housing markets in Europe, Spain has become a magnet for global bargain hunters. Real estate prices are down as much as 50 percent from their peak during a housing bubble, and investors from Asia to the United States and Britain are flocking to Spain to try to catch the uptick. British Airways flights to Madrid are packed with London-based real estate executives. The hedge fund Baupost is buying shopping centers, Goldman Sachs and Blackstone are buying apartments in Madrid, and Paulson & Company and George Soros’s fund are anchor investors in a publicly listed Spanish real estate investment vehicle. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts just bought a stake in a Spanish amusement park complex. Big-name private equity firms and banks are teaming up with and competing against one another on huge loan portfolios with names like Project Hercules and Project Octopus. “It’s surreal,” said Dilip Khullar, a 25-year veteran of Spanish real estate investing and director of Cadena, an investment fund. “One day it’s the worst place in the world to buy real estate and the next, it’s the best.”

UC Irvine Gives Anteaters ‘Superfan’ the Boot (WSJ)
A small crowd of UC Irvine parents and alumni cheered for their Anteaters. But the applause was drowned out by the hoots and hollers of one fan who looked like a California-bred cave man. He was deeply tanned, with thick, cascading blond hair, and wore a full get-up of UC Irvine gear—including fingernails painted in the team’s signature blue and gold colors. “‘Eaters in the house!” he yelled. The rabid reaction came from Keith Franklin, known around UC Irvine as “Superfan.” He has been a zany fixture at the team’s Anteater Ballpark, often clawing the net behind home plate, since 2006. He has nicknames for the players, and knows their statistics and families as if they were his own. Beyond his loud vocal stylings, Superfan is known for a repertoire of stadium theatrics. He has a special cheer for each batter, as well as for every run scored. He also celebrates with physical gusto, high-fiving people up and down rows of seats, even headbanging over the dugout. At dire moments when a run is sorely needed, he calls on the crowd to join him in breaking wind to spark a rally. Those days may be over. Mr. Franklin has been effectively banned from the team’s home games, which means he can only cheer the Anteaters at road contests…Superfan’s antics finally backfired several months ago, after some fans complained, according to the university. Security guards started asking him to behave, as Mr. Franklin recalls it, like “an ordinary fan.” [...] Mr. Franklin’s official ejection has many of UC Irvine’s former players crying foul. They say he had a habit of showing up in unexpected places to shore up the team. He made it onto the field after two UC Irvine players, Matt Summers and Andrew Thurman, pitched no-hitters in recent seasons. He helped with chores like unspooling the stadium’s tarp over the infield. Once, he appeared on campus at 2 a.m. to welcome the Anteaters home after a road trip. Read more »

Opening Bell: 05.29.14

Ackman Plans Public Hedge Fund (Dealbook)
While hedge funds typically raise funds privately, the founder of the $13 billion Pershing Square Capital Management is planning to tap the public stock market. Mr. Ackman is aiming to raise billions of dollars for a closed-end fund that could list on the London Stock Exchange as soon as this summer, according to three people briefed on the matter but not authorized to discuss it. Mr. Ackman, 48, was in London in late April to drum up support among European investors for the fund, according to two of the three people who were briefed.

Snapchat CEO ‘Mortified’ by Leaked Stanford Frat E-Mails (Bloomberg)
Snapchat Inc. Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel apologized for e-mails he sent during his fraternity days that celebrated getting drunk and convincing sorority women to perform sexual acts. The profanity-laced e-mails were published Wednesday by Gawker Media LLC’s Valleywag blog and mostly related to Spiegel organizing Stanford University fraternity parties for Kappa Sigma in 2009 and 2010. In one missive, Spiegel recounts being so drunk he peed on a woman in bed with him. “I’m obviously mortified and embarrassed that my idiotic e-mails during my fraternity days were made public,” Spiegel said in an e-mailed statement. “I have no excuse. I’m sorry I wrote them at the time and I was jerk to have written them. They in no way reflect who I am today or my views towards women.”

Goldman blames economy for trading slide (FT)
Gary Cohn, president of Goldman Sachs, blamed the world economy rather than regulation for sharp declines in trading volumes at his bank and across Wall Street, but said “we’re not just waiting for things to get better”. In remarks to a Sanford Bernstein conference on Wednesday, Mr Cohn said regulation and fiscal and monetary policy played a role in the slide in overall fixed income volumes this year. He added: “We firmly believe that economic fundamentals more than any other factors are responsible for the current operating environment.” But Mr Cohn also sought to combat the perception that Goldman executives were sitting around waiting for an upturn. Headcount in fixed income trading, the misfiring engine of investment bank profits, has been reduced by 10 per cent since 2010, he said, while risk-weighted assets in fixed income, currencies and commodities had dropped by $90bn since June 2012.

Rio Jilts World Cup as $11 Billion Bill Sours Brazil (Bloomberg)
Almost every one of the 12 stadiums being built or remodeled for the event has cost more than anticipated and several promised urban mobility projects have either been scrapped or delayed. During the Confederations Cup, a warm-up event held last year, more than a million people took to the streets in the biggest protests in a generation. They demanded schools and hospitals reach the same standards as stadiums being created to meet soccer governing body FIFA’s criteria. “Tourists: Don’t get sick. We have stadiums but we don’t have hospitals,” reads graffiti across the street from the Pedro Ernesto hospital just 800 meters (2,600 feet) from from the Maracana stadium.

Ziffs Shut Down Hedge Fund, Shift Way Wealth Is Managed (WSJ)
The billionaire Ziff brothers are shutting down the last multibillion-dollar hedge fund that invests their family fortune, one of the biggest such pots of money in the U.S. The three brothers, heirs to the wealth created by their grandfather’s magazine-publishing empire, are shutting the second of their two hedge funds and stepping away from the one-for-all, all-for-one investing style they followed for more than two decades, according to people familiar with their plans. Dirk, Robert and Daniel Ziff, ages 50, 47 and 42 years old, respectively, are closing their London-based hedge fund after its veteran portfolio manager, David Fear, decided to strike out on his own, the people said.

Apollo Uses Wedge Maneuver to Save Caesars (WSJ)
In its efforts to salvage the $1.7 billion-plus it has invested in Caesars Entertainment Corp., Apollo Global Management is employing a tactic often used by the Roman emperor of the same name: divide and conquer. Turf wars between owners and creditors often flare up over financially troubled firms, but in this case Apollo co-founder Marc Rowan and his team are aligning with some funds that have bought into Caesars’s roughly $23 billion of debt and is clashing with others. Some creditors snapped up Caesars debt at discount prices and hope to take away control of the casino company from Apollo if Caesars files for bankruptcy protection.

Molly Schuyler downs two 72oz steak meals in under 15 minutes (TDC)
A mother of four and competitive eater consumed a 72oz steak and all the sides — twice in under 15 minutes. According to The Big Texan Steak Ranch restaurant in Amarillo, Texas, Molly Schuyler, of Bellevue, Nebraska, ate the first meal in under five minutes and the second in just under 10. Schuyler, who was listed as being 5 feet 7 inches and weighing 125 pounds at an eating contest in January, said she rushed to consume the first medium-rare steak and its sides, which including a baked potato, shrimp, a salad and a bread roll, but slowed down on the second meal, the Amarillo Globe News reported. “We witnessed history,” Big Texan co-owner Danny Lee told reporters. “If there’s a zombie apocalypse, I want to stay away from this girl.” The previous record was held by competitive eater Joey Chestnut. Schuyler told the newspaper that she plans to return to the Big Texan with the goal of eating three of the steak dinners in one sitting. Read more »

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. Read more »

Opening Bell: 05.23.14

Wall Street Bets on Bond Revival in Trader Hiring Spree (Bloomberg)
Wall Street firms are starting to bet on an end to the profit-eroding boredom in credit markets by building out their trading desks. Nomura Holdings Inc. has added 10 to its U.S. corporate debt team this year, an increase of about 10 percent, and plans to expand further, according to Michael Guarnieri, the bank’s global head of credit products in New York. The latest hires are high-yield debt traders Daniel Frommer and James Incognito, who joined this month.

Cocaine Sales to Boost Italian GDP in Boon for Budget (Bloomberg)
Italy will include prostitution and illegal drug sales in the gross domestic product calculation this year, a boost for its chronically stagnant economy and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s effort to meet deficit targets. Drugs, prostitution and smuggling will be part of GDP as of 2014 and prior-year figures will be adjusted to reflect the change in methodology, the Istat national statistics office said today. The revision was made to comply with European Union rules, it said.

Colorado cracks down on edible pot products (CNBC)
The new regulations add to the long list of costs for retail marijuana sellers, said Jamie Lewis, COO of marijuana dispensary and edible pot company Good Chemistry. The fresh laws prohibit edible pot products from containing more than 10 milligrams of THC per serving, and they require packaging noticeably different from regular foods on such products. The new rules, however, bring in more business for CannLabs, a company that tests cannabis products in Denver. CannLabs CEO Genifer Murray told CNBC that revenue has skyrocketed at her testing lab, but that the company still gets rebuffed by waste removal companies and other labs for being involved in the marijuana industry. “Shame on them,” Murray said. “It’s going to be a billion-dollar industry.”

Is the Hard-Nosed Boss Obsolete? (WSJ)
When bosses simply have to get things done, yelling at subordinates or glaring at them can be OK, depending on the company culture, and is among the “array of techniques that you use as a manager,” Prof. Sutton says. Genuine jerks have been mostly culled from the ranks of corporations in recent years, in part because it is harder to get away with truly bad behavior, he says, adding, “the a—holes among us are getting more skilled, and the ones we are left with are being more subtle about it.” Some companies take formal stands against jerks. A slideshow presentation on corporate culture posted online by Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings declares that the company doesn’t need “brilliant jerks.” Though tolerated at some companies, he writes, Netflix believes their “cost to effective teamwork is too high.”

Rob Ford lets rehab friend use SUV, drunk driving happens (NYP)
The generous politician lent his black Cadillac Escalade to his rehab buddy LeeAnne McRobb, 36, and she wound up getting arrested Tuesday for alleged DWI in the SUV, the Toronto Sun reports. McRobb was a fellow resident at the GreenStone Muskoka treatment center, sources told the Sun. She refused to explain why she was driving the disgraced politician’s car when confronted by two reporters at the impound lot in Gravenhurst, Ontario. “It doesn’t matter. That’s for me to know,” she said in one of two videos posted on YouTube by MooseFM Wednesday. “You guys don’t need to know.” Read more »

Opening Bell: 05.22.14

BofA Scrapping Market-Making Unit Amid Trading Scrutiny (Bloomberg)
Bank of America Corp. is dismantling an electronic market-making unit created last year to serve the lender’s Merrill Lynch wealth-management division, said two people with knowledge of the decision. Increased regulatory scrutiny of U.S. equity markets and managers’ concerns for the potential perception of a conflict of interest killed the project, said the people. The desk advanced to a testing phase before being abandoned in recent weeks and two executives hired to run it, Jonathan Wang and Steven Sadoff, were told to seek new jobs within the firm, the people said, requesting anonymity because the matter is private.

Deutsche Bank to defend capital increase at annual meeting (Reuters)
Germany’s largest bank launched the capital increase in a surprise move only weeks after first hinting that it was unable to retain enough profit to fortify its finances ahead of a regulatory health check slated for later this year. Shareholder approval is not required but some investors will express anger with the issue and with the lack of progress on resolving a long list of investigations that has dogged the bank since the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

Wall Street Finds New Subprime With 125% Business Loans (Bloomberg)
Subprime business lending — the industry prefers to be called “alternative” — has swelled to more than $3 billion a year, estimates Marc Glazer, who has researched his competitors as head of Business Financial Services Inc., a lender in Coral Springs, Florida. That’s twice the volume of small loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration.

Hedge Funds Are Betting The Roomba Will Short Circuit (BFB)
A new report from Spruce Point Capital Management issued Tuesday questions the accounting and corporate governance practices at iRobot, the company that manufactures the Roomba, the Scooba and other robotic home cleaning products. The report also claims competition from cheaper, comparable robotic cleaners means iRobot will face mounting financial obstacles to maintaining its growth.

How Old People and Pricey Shrimp Turned Red Lobster Into a Castoff (BusinessWeek)
Seafood sellers have been whacked over the past year by the surging cost of shrimp due to acute hepatopancreatic necrosis syndrome. Billions of young shrimp have died from the disease, which was first detected in farm-raised populations in Asia. Shrimp prices hit a 14-year high earlier this year. Adding insult to injury, Red Lobster was widely known for its $15.99 “Endless Shrimp” promotions designed to get people into the restaurant…Beyond the expenses of procuring shrimp, Red Lobster also attracts an oversize share of older diners who don’t eat out frequently, while younger and spendier patrons eat their fish at more upscale restaurants—places that can cover rising costs better.

Houston Str!pper Sued For Harry Potter DVDs (HP)
Wallace, a Houston-based software developer, thought he was in a “dating relationship” with exotic dancer Nomi Mims. He loaned her $2,000, a laptop and his precious collection of movies based on the J.K. Rowling books, KRIV-TV reports. When the alleged relationship ended May 3, Wallace hoped Mims would return the items. She hasn’t so now he says he’s suing her to get the money, laptop and Harry Potter DVDs. Fat chance, according to Mims. She says she never dated Wallace and that the items were gifts he gave to her. “I don’t believe in loans because I don’t want to pay anybody back,” she said, according to RawStory.com. “I’ve given him gifts too. You know, how do I get my b00ty and b00bs back?” Although Wallace claims the two were intimate and “building a life together,” Mims says they were never more than friends. She concedes that it is unfortunate that she may have given him the wrong impression, MyFoxPhilly.com reports. Read more »

Opening Bell: 05.21.14

U.S. Said to Seek More than $5 Billion in BNP Settlement (Bloomberg)
U.S. authorities are seeking more than $5 billion from BNP Paribas SA (BNP) to settle federal and state investigations into the lender’s dealings with sanctioned countries including Sudan and Iran, according to a person familiar with the matter. The amount sought to resolve the investigation has escalated and now far exceeds the $2.6 billion that Credit Suisse AG (CSGN) agreed to pay in a settlement with the U.S. for helping Americans evade taxes. Discussions are continuing and the final number could change, the person said. Last week, four people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News that U.S. authorities were asking for at least $3.5 billion to settle the BNP case. As they did with Credit Suisse, U.S. prosecutors are seeking a guilty plea from BNP, which said last month it may need more than the $1.1 billion it has set aside to settle the case.

BlackRock’s Fink Says Housing Structure More Unsound Now (Bloomberg)
“We’re more dependent on Fannie and Freddie than we were before the crisis,” Fink said Tuesday at a conference held by the Investment Company Institute in Washington, noting that he was one of the first Freddie Mac bond traders on Wall Street.

Pot Bust: The SEC Issues a Warning on Marijuana-Related Investments (BusinessWeek)
The securities watchdog has temporarily suspended shares of five companies that claim to be operating in the cannabis industry over questions about the accuracy of their public statements and potentially illegal sales of securities and market manipulation, according to an SEC notice published last week. One of the companies suspended…Denver-based FusionPharm, sells a line of cultivation containers called PharmPods, touted as a “plug and grow” solution for cannabis. Information that FusionPharm disclosed on its assets, revenue, financial statements, business transactions, and current financial condition may be inadequate or inaccurate, according to the SEC’s suspension order, which lasts until May 30. FusionPharm didn’t immediately respond to a telephone message left with its sales and marketing department.

The Cheap Pimco Fund That Has Gross Reaching for His Wallet (Bloomberg)
Gross has been adding to his personal holdings this year in Pacific Investment Management Co.’s $1.5 billion Dynamic Income fund as demand picks up for an asset class that was left for dead in 2013, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The closed-end credit fund is up 16.6 percent in 2014 as the discount between its share price and the assets the fund owns has disappeared. Most other such funds are still inexpensive by this measure because they haven’t yet generated enough demand to close the gap between their share prices and the value of the assets they own. The funds — which raise a fixed amount of money through public offerings and typically use leverage to amplify bets — tanked last year as the Federal Reserve signaled it would start tapering its stimulus.

Why Do Americans Name Babies After Kale and Other Foods? (Bon Appetit)
Kale (2013: 257 boys, 5 girls) Looks like kale has been America’s darling for longer than we originally thought—the name was first used in 1962. And while we were not surprised to learn that the highest concentration of little Kales can currently be found in California (#agriculture), we were intrigued to learn that the first baby Kale was born in Kansas. It’s been gaining popularity since 2005—quite possibly due to the leafy green’s parallel rise to prominence. Can Watercress and Mizuna be far behind? Chai (2013: 8 boys, 7 girls) Fewer folks preferred their babies’ tea-related names to be of the specific variety: Chai was first used as a girl’s name in 1989 and as a boy’s name in 1984 (both in California), but each year produced fewer than 10 little Chais. It’s possible the name’s popularity has something to do with the introduction of Starbucks’s chai tea drinks, but based on that logic we should be seeing a lot of little Pumpkin Spices running around, so we’re still investigating this one. Tamari (2013: 14 boys, 26 girls) Although people have been eating fermented soybean product for centuries, Tamari as a baby name didn’t appear in the U.S. until 2006—with five female Tamaris. Science may be on the fence about soy’s health benefits, but sushi (and all of its accoutrements, like wasabi and soy sauce) have been taking the nation by storm in the last few decades. Miso, however—from which tamari is traditionally made—is missing from the SSA database. Read more »

Opening Bell: 05.20.14

EU Files Formal Charges Against Three Banks Over Interest-Rate Cartel (WSJ)
The move comes five months after EU authorities fined six banks €1.71 billion ($2.3 billion) for colluding to manipulate key benchmark interest rates, representing the EU’s largest ever penalty in a cartel case. Three banks— Crédit Agricole, HSBC, and JP Morgan —didn’t settle with regulators in December over a cartel to rig the pricing of interest rate derivatives denominated in euros. It is those banks that have now been sent a so-called statement of objections, which outlines the European Commission’s concerns. The EU in December settled with four other banks— Barclays, Deutsche Bank, RBS, and Société Générale —which admitted involvement in the cartel, and had their fines reduced by 10% for agreeing to settle.

Princeton’s Top Money Managers Get 46% Pay Raise in 2013 (Bloomberg)
Andrew Golden, the president of Princeton University Investment Co., the company known as Princo that manages the school’s $18.2 billion endowment, collected $3.9 million in total compensation last year. The 55-year-old’s remuneration included a 94 percent increase in retirement and deferred compensation and a 48 percent jump in bonus pay, according to the university’s latest tax return.

Ackman takes aim at Allergan CEO (NYP)
Activist investor Bill Ackman alleged in a letter Monday that Allergan Chairman and CEO David Pyott has been conducting “one-on-one” meetings with the Botox maker’s largest shareholders while refusing to allow independent directors to talk with them. Allergan last week rejected a hostile takeover bid valued at $50 billion by Valeant Pharmaceuticals, supported by Ackman, whose Pershing Square hedge fund holds a 9.7 percent stake in Allergan. The activist investor, in his letter, said Pyott has a “disabling conflict of interest” because he will likely lose his CEO position if the merger goes through. The letter was addressed to Michael Gallagher, Allergan’s lead independent director, who refused to have a private conversation with Ackman.

Swiss Face Conundrum as ECB Signals Further Stimulus (Bloomberg)
Swiss policy makers are under increasing pressure to come up with a contingency plan to curb gains in the franc that would likely result from a fresh round of stimulus from the European Central Bank next month. The Swiss National Bank already has a zero interest-rate policy, in part to keep the nation’s currency from rising beyond the 1.20 franc-per-euro cap in place since 2011. It would need to take steps to defend that level if the ECB cut rates or broadened asset purchases, according to 52 percent of respondents to a Bloomberg News survey this month.

Man Wearing “It’s All Fun & Games Until The Cops Show Up” T-Shirt Is Arrested When The Cops Show Up (TSG)
The 35-year-old bank robbery suspect was wearing a t-shirt declaring “It’s all fun & games until the cops show up” when police showed up yesterday morning and arrested him as he exited an Idaho motel. Fisher and Jennifer Balfe, 19, were collared in connection with Friday’s robbery of a U.S. Bank branch in Cottonwood (pop. 900). They were each jailed on robbery, burglary, and grand theft counts. Investigators reportedly got on Fisher’s tail after receiving an anonymous tip that a man matching the suspect’s description had been spending wads of cash at a local casino. Read more »