At Thiel’s instruction, Johnson has for the last year been traveling the country teaching Merrill Lynch advisers how to lead healthier lives. He urges brokers – and, in some cases, their family members and clients – to include liver oil, wheatgrass, flax, chia and a type of algae called spirulina in their diets, and to take relaxing baths with Epsom salt to unwind. “They’re starting to go down the medication path. They have acid reflux. They don’t sleep. They feel crummy. They’re drinking too much. They gain too much weight,” Johnson said of the Merrill employees who most need his advice. With that lifestyle, he said, “they’re not going to be a good adviser. If I’m coming to my adviser, I want them to be healthy.” [...] some Merrill employees have told Reuters in recent weeks that Thiel is so enthusiastic about healthy living that it has caused some hard-charging, long-time advisers to bristle. These employees have been annoyed to receive advice about health and wellness from Thiel when they would prefer to discuss business concerns with him, several sources said. One Bank of America executive said brokers have complained about tofu burgers served at a retreat for top producers. [Reuters]
Bonus Season Brings More Pain for Traders (WSJ)
Investment bankers, including those who advise companies on mergers and underwrite stock offerings, and private-equity employees should see bonuses rise as much as 15% from a year ago, according to an analysis by Johnson Associates, a New York compensation-consulting firm. Bonuses paid to fixed-income and stock traders may decline by as much as 10%, Johnson Associates said. Hedge-fund payouts should range from an increase of 5% to a decrease of 10%, the firm said. The study echoes many of the same themes sounded by each of the biggest banks during their quarterly results. A stock-market rally and mounting confidence in the economy’s direction have emboldened corporate chiefs to pursue acquisitions.
Janus Attracted More Than $1 Billion After Gross Joined (Bloomberg)
The Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund (JUCIX), which Gross started managing last month, drew an estimated $364 million in client deposits in its first full month with the bond legend at the helm, bringing assets to $442.9 million through Oct. 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Janus Flexible Bond Fund (JAFIX), a core bond strategy, saw $821 million of deposits in the month, pushing assets to $8.4 billion.
Pimco to Spend $280 Million on Staff Retention (MoneyBeat)
In a bid to stave off further departures during a year of management changes and heavy outflows, the bond giant unveiled a new “enhanced compensation program”. The initiative, implemented in the wake of co-founder Bill Gross’s abrupt departure in September, will cost about €225 million ($279.45) through mid-2017, parent insurer Allianz SE said Friday. Under the new plan, Pimco will make so-called “special performance awards” in addition to normal 2014 year-end compensation. The bonuses will be awarded to staff members that are senior, but below managing director level, and will be paid out over 12 to 30 months.
Paulson Event-Driven Fund Said to Plunge 14% in October (Bloomberg)
Billionaire John Paulson posted a 14 percent loss in his firm’s event-driven hedge fund during October, adding to declines this year, two people with knowledge of the matter said. The monthly drop left the Paulson Advantage fund down about 25 percent in 2014, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Paulson Credit Opportunities lost 6.8 percent in October, leaving it down 3.4 percent in 2014.
Bond Swings Draw Scrutiny (WSJ)
The day’s trading was just hitting its stride in New York on the morning of Oct. 15 when bond investors, traders and strategists were stunned by an unusual move in the $12 trillion U.S. Treasury market playing out on their computer screens. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note took a sharp dive below 2% within minutes, and few could understand exactly why. Some dealers immediately pulled the plug on automated trading systems that provided price quotes to customers. Fund managers rushed to convene meetings. Many investors scrambled to pinpoint the reason behind the accelerating decline. “It starts moving faster and faster, and you can’t point to anything,” recalled Mark Cernicky, managing director at Principal Global Investors , which oversees $78 billion. Now, investors and regulators are burrowing into the causes of the plunge in yields to try to understand whether electronic trading and new regulations are fueling sudden price swings in a market that acts as a key benchmark for interest rates, investments and U.S. home loans.
Meth suspect wore ‘I [heart] Crystal Meth’ T-shirt (UPI)
The Laurel County Sheriff’s Office said Deborah Asher, 37, was wearing the T-shirt when she was arrested alongside Richard Rice, 57, as part of a drug investigation Tuesday. Police said the suspects were in possession of 3.37 grams of crystal meth as well as a set of digital scales. Read more »
$$$ J.P. Morgan to Cut 3,000 More Jobs [WSJ]
$$$ Ex-Moore Capital Trader Pleads Guilty to Insider Dealing [Bloomberg]
$$$ The Raging Bulls on Wall Street, Charity Division [Dealbook]
Wondering where that $400 million went? You know, the $400 million that was the difference between a third-quarter profit and third-quarter loss for Bank of America? Well, it went exactly where you’d expect it to have gone. Read more »
Since having his multi-million dollar art collection stolen last year (and putting out an AMBER alert re: their disappearance before doing the cops’ job for them), bond guru Jeffrey Gundlach has put many a protective measure in place. Read more »
Earlier today, Fox Business revealed a new print campaign it’s running, which takes the network’s previous tagline for reporter Charlie Gasparino– “Charlie Breaks It”– and adds “Others Follow.” The suggestion here is that Mr. Gasparino beats all other outlets on Wall Street’s biggest stories and at least competitor with a social media presence didn’t appreciate the insinuation: CNBC’s Ron Insana. So he did what anyone living in these times does when he or she believes something wrong is happening: took to Twitter. Here’s what Insana had to say:
As those of you familiar with Charles’s temperament and commitment to fact checking might have guessed, that statement didn’t fly. Naturally, instead of responding with a single strand of 140 characters, Gasparino unleashed a torrent of Tweets that would make a Word of the Day calendar quiver. Let’s take a look. Read more »
“Performance contributions” to hedge-fund paydays have been “variable,” indeed, generally to the detriment of hedge-fund investors. But since those generous folks keep handing billion after billion over, it would be churlish for their managers to refuse a cut of the 2% they clearly want to give them just for holding that money. Read more »
Next Time You Come Into Jeff Gundlach’s House You Show Him Some Respect And Eat The God Damn Crudités He Offers YouBy Bess Levin
Just about a month earlier Bill Gross of Pacific Investment Management Co., the reigning master of the bond universe for two decades, requested an audience with Gundlach…“Bill was in his own world,” says a house-proud Gundlach, with a tone of disdain. “He doesn’t say anything [about my place]. Nothing. Doesn’t eat anything or even take a sip of water in three hours.” [Forbes]