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Barclays has banned employees from giving or receiving gifts and entertainment from brokers as the British bank tightens internal controls. The “prohibitions apply regardless of the monetary value or nature of the relevant gift or entertainment,” according to a July letter, a copy of which was seen by Bloomberg News and confirmed by Barclays. The ban applies to relations with so-called executing brokers, who process orders for the bank. Any exceptions require prior approval, according to the letter. Brokers will have to report every six months that they haven’t given or received any presents from Barclays staff. If they have, the item and reason must be explained. [Bloomberg]

Maybe Traders Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Trade Anything

For themselves, anyway. If they work at a bank. It would just make things so much simpler, says BreakingViews. Read more »

You get nichts! Read more »

Just kidding. Janus Capital Group’s newest portfolio manager is responding to his “Mile High welcome” with a “get me the hell out of this Mile High hellhole and into some nice new office space in Newport Beach. Preferably with golf-course views.” Because now that he’s not running a company anymore, he’s going to be spending even more time on those links. Read more »

  • 02 Oct 2014 at 10:00 AM
  • Banks

Will Crisis-Era Litigation Ever End For Banks?

Not any time soon, no. Read more »

Opening Bell: 10.02.14

Gross Exit Gets Tongues Wagging Around Pimco’s Hometown (Bloomberg)
In Newport Beach, a town of 87,000 where the median household income of $109,677 is almost 80 percent above the state’s, the Bill Gross story is dominating conversations at hairdressers, restaurants and golf courses even as Pimco forbade employees to discuss the matter. Gross, who managed about $373 billion at Pimco, is a familiar sight to many in the seaside town, in a suit or carrying his yoga mat and gym bag. “He’s going to manage a $13 million, million with an ‘m,’ global unconstrained bond fund after building an almost $300 billion, with a ‘b,’ fund,” said Mark Moehlman, a managing director at Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors, who was sipping tea at the Starbucks at Fashion Island, near Pimco’s offices. “It’s a little bit like Pavarotti singing at the community fair.”

As PIMCO bleeds assets, Gross shows risk of star culture (Reuters)
Gross’s new employer, Janus Capital, saw its shares soar nearly 40 percent as investors bet Gross would act as a magnet for investor funds. But those who stay put may have played the better hand. Lipper data shows that the heir to the throne of the “Bond King”, Dan Ivascyn, has been a more successful manager in recent years, making nearly three times the gains recorded by Gross over three and five years, and was on the way to beating him again in 2014, although at a much lower asset base.

Fannie, Freddie Shares Plunge After Investor Lawsuit Is Dismissed (WSJ)
Shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plunged on Wednesday, following a federal-court decision that dealt a blow to big stockholders such as money managers Fairholme Capital Management LLC and Perry Capital LLC. A U.S. District Judge on Tuesday threw out lawsuits brought by Fairholme, Perry and other shareholders that challenged the U.S. government’s 2012 decision to sweep nearly all of Fannie and Freddie’s profits to the U.S. Treasury rather than collect set dividend payments. Fannie Mae’s common stock declined 37% to $1.70 on Wednesday, while shares of Freddie Mac were down 38% to $1.65. Some classes of the companies’ preferred shares fell by more than 50%. The single-day declines in the market capitalizations of the companies were the steepest in dollar terms since March 11. For the year, shares of Fannie Mae common stock are down 44%. Freddie Mac has suffered similarly steep declines.

Bank of America Board Gives Chairman Job to Brian Moynihan (WSJ)
The move had been informally discussed among board members at least as early as early 2013, said people familiar with the matter. Some board members who had argued against it have since left.

Corporate U.S. Healthiest in Decades Under Obama With Lower Debt (Bloomberg)
Steve Wynn, founder of the Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) casino empire, once called President Barack Obama’s administration “the greatest wet blanket to business and progress and job creation in my lifetime.” Barry Sternlicht, chief executive officer of Starwood Property Trust Inc. (STWD), said Obamacare was driving down wage growth and “affecting spending and the desire to buy houses and everything else.” They are among a chorus of corporate executives and lobbying groups that regularly assail Obama for policies that they say are stifling investment and hurting companies. Corporate and economic statistics almost six years into his administration paint a different picture. Companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 (SPX) Index are the healthiest in decades, with the lowest net debt to earnings ratio in at least 24 years, $3.59 trillion in cash and marketable securities, and record earnings per share. They are headed this year toward the fastest average monthly job creation since 1999, manufacturing is recovering and the U.S. has returned as an engine for global growth. The recovery, which stands in contrast to weak growth in Europe and Asia, has underpinned an almost threefold gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since March 2009. Wynn has been part of that recovery. Since Obama first took the oath on Jan. 21, 2009, the shares of his luxury hotel company have surged fivefold while the S&P 500 Index more than doubled.

Woman Strips Naked In Corporate Box At Australian League Football Game (HP)
The stadium luxury suite wasn’t supposed to be clothing-optional. But a Scottish woman still stripped naked in a corporate box at an Australian Football League game in Melbourne Saturday, giving fans an eyeful. Heather McCartney apparently pulled the stunt on a dare as she watched Hawthorn play Sydney in the Grand Final. “I said ‘If Hawthorn win I’m getting naked,’” McCartney told the Herald Sun. “They won and I got naked. It was great.” But not everybody appreciated the view. Police at the Melbourne Cricket Ground arrived to arrest McCartney, and she was accused of trying to hit and bite officers. On Sunday the 26-year-old pleaded guilty to indecency and other charges and was fined $300 Australian (about $262 U.S.), according to reports. Both McCartney and the building firm that owns the corporate box have denied allegations that McCartney was hired to strip. Read more »

Write-Offs: 10.01.14

$$$ Hedge Funds Hit With Right Hook on Fannie-Freddie Ruling [Bloomberg]

$$$ Pimco September Total Return Fund Net Outflow $23.5 Billion [WSJ]

$$$Come join Kerrisdale Capital on October 6, 2014 for a live presentation in midtown Manhattan on the biggest stock promotion we’ve come across since Sino-Forest.” [Vimeo]

$$$ Exclusive: Goldman leads investment by Wall Street in new communications platform [Reuters / Lauren LaCapra]

$$$Shawna Bigelow is only a little jealous of the numerous sex dolls her boyfriend keeps in the basement. Most of the time, though, she and Dave Hockey enjoy an ongoing sexual relationship with the dolls, which they spent more than $32,000 on.” [HP] Read more »

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As many of you know, a big part of a lot of people’s jobs on Wall Street is to entertain clients, often times at sporting events. Since the purpose of these outings is to foster relationships and kiss ass, one generally aims to put his or her best foot forward, and not do anything that might make the client embarrassed to be seen with you in public. For instance, even if you’re the type to engage in some serious heckling of players, you maybe dial it back a bit and leave go-to moves like repeatedly grabbing your crotch and shouting “Hey [object of derision], I got your foul shot right here” and then turning to your seat mate and smirking, as if to say “NAILED IT,” at home. So far to our knowledge, trader Anthony Rotondi did not pull out the crotch move one night last winter at the Garden, but he did apparently engage in some sort of behavior that resulted in a lesson learned. Read more »