The Latest

Opening Bell: 1.15.15

brian_moynihan-300x3006BlackBerry, Samsung Deny They’re in Talks About a Deal (Bloomberg)
BlackBerry Ltd. and Samsung Electronics Co. denied reports that they are in talks about Samsung potentially acquiring the Canadian smartphone maker. BlackBerry retreated after an earlier surge, falling as much as 17 percent to $10.50 in late trading in New York. Reuters, citing an unnamed person and documents, reported that Samsung had recently approached BlackBerry with an initial offer price of $13.35 to $15.49 a share, valuing the company at as much as $7.5 billion. Reuters also said executives from the two companies met last week to discuss a transaction.

Son accused of murdering hedge-fund dad to share in $1.6M will (NYP)
The spoiled hedge-fund scion charged with murdering his dad after the old man cut his allowance may get the dough after all The will of Thomas Gilbert Sr. was filed in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court Wednesday and it splits his $1.6 million fortune between his wife, daughter and the son who is charged in his death. The will says Thomas Gilbert Jr., 30, should receive quarterly payments from a trust in his name until he’s 35. After that he gets whatever is left in the account in a lump sum.

Continental Resources’ Hamm Pledges Stock as Collateral for Loan (WSJ)
Harold Hamm, chairman of Continental Resources Inc., has pledged 18% of his company’s shares outstanding—a portion valued at about $2.6 billion—as collateral for a personal loan. It isn’t immediately clear from his regulatory filing why Mr. Hamm took out the loan backed by his Continental shares, or where the funds came from. Mr. Hamm’s move comes just days after his ex-wife, Sue Ann Arnall, cashed a check for nearly $975 million, meant to satisfy the couple’s recent divorce decree. Both Mr. Hamm and Ms. Arnall are appealing the judge’s ruling in the divorce, with Ms. Arnall saying she is entitled to more and Mr. Hamm arguing he should owe less.

JP Morgan’s Breakup Agitators Get a Hand as Profit Disappoints (Bloomberg)
“Jamie, could you remind us how you’re thinking about the benefits of keeping the franchise consolidated for the shareholders versus some of the conversation that investors are having today about breaking up or shrinking the bank?” said Erika Najarian, a Bank of America Corp. analyst. JPMorgan benefits from its size and diversity, which helped it weather the financial crisis without a quarterly loss, Dimon said. Splitting up the firm would be a mistake for both customers and shareholders and could give foreign competitors such as Chinese banks an advantage, he said. “The unscrambling would be extraordinarily complex, and it would be extraordinarily complex in debt, in systems and technology,” Dimon said. Disassembling JPMorgan during a low for the banking environment would be “premature,” Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake said.

JP Morgan’s Dimon Says Big Is Beautiful (WSJ)
“A lot of people just look at size, and it scares them,” Mr. Dimon said. “But that isn’t the determinant.” Though he complained about being “under assault” from regulators and used an expletive when referencing the firm’s occasional mistakes, Mr. Dimon argued that the bank is effective in its current form.

Handcuffed woman steals police car, leads 120 mph chase in Pennsylvania: report (NYDN)
A handcuffed woman stole the police car she was in and then led seven different police agencies in western Pennsylvania on a wild chase at speeds up to 120 mph Wednesday evening. The 27-year-old woman briefly evaded authorities before being apprehended after jumping out of a second stolen vehicle, the Beaver County Times reported. Police arrested Roxanne Rimer, of Beaver Falls, Pa., about 30 minutes after she allegedly drove off in a Center Township cruiser. She had initially been taken into custody at 6:45 p.m. after being accused of shoplifting at Kohl’s in Monaca, Pa., 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. Rimer reportedly maneuvered her cuffed hands in front of her and climbed into the driver’s seat of the police car while the officer was dealing with another suspect, the Times reported. “She managed somehow to crawl through the window and get into the controls of the police car,” Center Township Police Chief Barry Kramer told the Times. “The officer sees it, but he is unable to get back in the car.” It kicked off a high-speed chase that included five townships, state police and the Beaver County Sheriff’s Department before cops found the stolen cruiser — which suffered front end damage — abandoned in nearby Crescent, Pa. Read more »

Write-Offs: 1.14.15

$$$ Jamie Dimon Complains Of Regulatory Bukkake [Redline]

$$$ Etsy Crafts IPO Putting New York Tech Companies Back on the Map [Bloomberg]

$$$ Forex Probe Finds New Signs of Potential Wrongdoing [WSJ]

$$$ House Passes Bill to Ease Some Wall Street Regulations [WSJ]

$$$ Police: Baker spiked granola with metal nuts and bolts [UPI] Read more »

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Uncanny.The film version of The Big Short is coming. Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, and Ryan Gosling are attached but no roles have been announced yet. Any guesses which real life characters they’ll be portraying? Who called dibs on Greg Lippmann? Read more »

  • 14 Jan 2015 at 4:50 PM
  • Banks

Wells Fargo Had A Quarter

Pretty weighed down.Some banks are still having difficulty boosting their profits. John Stumpf sympathizes with them. Sure, his bank continues to rake in increasing amounts of dough every quarter, but it’s not like all is rosy on the wagon train. Read more »

Ready to settle this thing like men, if necessary.Jamie Dimon isn’t convinced that JPMorgan Chase would be better off with him running only half of it. He is convinced that it would be better off if the Feds stopped taking their $1 billion of flesh every quarter. Alas, he can’t promise that they will. Read more »

Former SAC Capital Advisors LP chief operating officer Solomon “Sol” Kumin is close to lift off with the launch of a roughly $1 billion hedge fund. Mr. Kumin’s Folger Hill Asset Management LLC has raised about $1 billion as it looks to start trading in March, a person familiar with the firm said. His new employees include Lisa Baroni, a former U.S. Attorney who helped prosecute the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. Ms. Baroni will head compliance for the new firm. [WSJ]

dannyporushNo, not Jordan Belfort, who claims to be on the straight and narrow. We’re talking about his number 2 at boiler room Stratton Oakmont, Danny Porush. For those who need a quick refresher, he’s the one played by Jonah Hill, who felt the need to make a number of clarifications about his portrayal shortly before the movie came out, which included but were not limited to:

  • Copping to threatening to eat an employee’s goldfish, but insisting he never let a chimpanzee run around the office
  • Admitting to hiring “little people to attend and mingle at at least one party” but never “abusing or throwing the midgets”
  • Harshly denying he ever had a male/male/female threesome, saying “I’m not homophobic, but I never had sex with a girl with another guy. I’ve been with a zillion women, several women at the same time—but only just with women…Also, never any minors.”

Anyway, he may be in trouble with the law again. Read more »

bachelorsIs that too much to ask? Read more »