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The justification for my position is here somewhere, and I'm going to find it.

The justification for my position is here somewhere, and I’m going to find it.

He took his time, mulled it over, considered his life choices, worked on his grief, pondered the criticisms and looked the awful, no-easy-insider-trading-convictions future in the face. It is a future the Manhattan USA isn’t ready to accept just yet.

Prosecutors will ask a full panel of the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review a decision three of its judges made in December that put new limitations on prosecutors’ ability to pursue insider-trading cases, according to a spokeswoman in the U.S. attorney’s office….

If the request is rejected, or if the court accepts it but doesn’t overturn or modify the decision, prosecutors could still appeal to the Supreme Court, a move that would also require sign off from the Justice Department.

The ruination of the life and work of Preet Bharara is, of course, bad news for Preet Bharara. It is also bad news for the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has spent the better part of six years letting Preet’s boys at the U.S. Attorney’s Office do its work for it, and then rushing to a neighboring courtroom to win a quick judgment against the evildoers whose evil, it seems, may no longer rise to the level of criminal. Also understandably, they would prefer that easy route remain open to them. Read more »

Opening Bell: 1.28.15

charliegasparinovintageShake Shack now expects IPO to be priced higher at $17-$19 a share (Reuters)
Burger chain Shake Shack Inc (SHAK.N) now expects its initial public offering to be priced at $17-$19 per share, up from $14-$16 expected earlier, valuing the company at up to $674.5 million. The offering of 5 million Class A shares is expected to raise about $95 million, Shake Shack said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday. The company, which grew out of a hot dog stand in New York’s Madison Square Park, is known for its Shackburgers, flat-top hot dogs and eponymous milkshakes and has developed a cult following since it was founded by restaurateur Daniel Meyer in 2001.

iPhone 6 sales boost Apple profits to stratospheric levels (NYP)
Apple disclosed Tuesday that it sold a mind-blowing 74.5 million iPhones during its holiday quarter, as shoppers snatched up the sleek new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models that boasted faster processors and thinner bodies with bigger screens. The popularity of the new models goosed the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant’s earnings to $18 billion — by some measures the biggest quarterly profit ever to be reported by a publicly traded company — as revenue climbed 29 percent to $74.6 billion. Apple ended the quarter with a whopping $178 billion in cash on its balance sheet — a figure that exceeds the market value of any number of corporate giants including Walt Disney, AT&T and Bank of America. ‘This volume is hard to comprehend,” CEO Tim Cook told analysts on a conference call. On average, Wall Street expected that 66.5 million iPhones would be sold. Doing the math, Cook noted that, for every day of the quarter ended Dec. 27, Apple sold about 34,000 iPhones per hour.

Robbers Crash Into Wells Fargo Museum to Steal Gold Nuggets (Dealbook)
Three masked robbers smashed a stolen sport utility vehicle into the entrance of Wells Fargo’s corporate museum in the heart of San Francisco’s financial district on Tuesday, then held a security guard at gunpoint and made off with gold nuggets from a display case, the San Francisco police said. The police are investigating the bold and apparently well-coordinated robbery early Tuesday at the Wells Fargo History Museum, which is on the street level of the bank’s corporate headquarters. The three robbers abandoned the S.U.V. and fled in a sedan that the police said was either parked nearby or could have been driven by a fourth person who was waiting with a getaway car. While the police say their preliminary estimates of the nuggets’ value is about $10,000, the gold has sentimental value to the bank, which takes its history seriously.

Fed seen remaining patient with rates amid global turmoil (Reuters)
The Fed’s first two-day policy meeting of the year concludes on Wednesday, and policymakers will likely restate their “patient” approach to raising rates, while also voicing faith that the economy will continue improving.

‘Sex theme park’ with giant penis rides to open in Taiwan (Metro)
A sex theme park where tourists can ride astride gigantic stone penises with realistic scrotums is under construction in Taiwan. The park will be called ‘Romantic Boulevard’, and will include an outdoor garden filled with erotic sculptures of mammoth phalluses, as well as statues of people and animals making love…The park will also include a ‘scenic area’ for wedding photos (hopefully not right next to the giant penises), and is to be based on South Korea’s popular Jeju Park. ‘We want people to fall in love with Taiwan, as well as fall in love while in Taiwan,’ said Shih Chao-hui, the deputy director of the local tourist office. Shih claims that 200,000 visitors have already come to marvel at the giant dongs, and hopes to build a hotel into the park ‘just in case visitors want to turn their feelings into actions’. Read more »

Write-Offs: 1.27.15

$$$ Yahoo to Spin Off Remaining Alibaba Stake [WSJ]

$$$ Investors Rethink Taking a Leap Into Junk Bin [WSJ]

$$$ Apple Delivers Quarter for the Ages [WSJ]

$$$ Oil jumps on weaker dollar; traders wary of stock build [Reuters]

$$$ Survey: Valentine’s revelers to spend $703 million on gifts for pets [UPI] Read more »

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Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 5.42.35 PMThis is on your conscience, Roker. Read more »

  • 27 Jan 2015 at 5:20 PM

What KFC Giveth, KFC Taketh Away

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 5.19.57 PMSome might view the fact that Kentucky Fried Chicken is offering the Double Down Dog– its follow-up to 2010’s Double Down Sandwich, which spawned many a food eating contest across Wall Street– in limited quantities, for a limited time, and only in the Philippines as a good thing. A sort of, saving ourselves from ourselves move. Others, like financial services employees who went head to head with the Double Down sandwich and failed or those who didn’t even have the gastrointestinal fortitude to try, and are looking for redemption, as a travesty. If you’re in the latter camp– and presumably, many of you are, remember, this isn’t over yet. You can still petition your representative in Congress to do something, appeal to KFC directly, or, if all else fails, gather the ingredients represented and fashion a homemade Triple D yourself, then fashion a whole bunch more, bring ‘em to your office and announce you came to play. Read more »

Doesn't look strong to him.

Doesn’t look strong to him.

The Swiss National Bank is ready and willing to keep the franc weak. Which it apparently still thinks it is, 30% appreciation notwithstanding. Which may come as quite a surprise to those of you who lost all of that money two weeks ago, or who had to pay an extra 30% for drinks at Davos, when the bank did that thing that seemed to do the opposite of keeping the franc weak. Read more »

  • 27 Jan 2015 at 4:33 PM

Some People Passed The Level I CFA Exam…

cfa…while others, like 56% of those who sat for the test last month, did not. Today, those in the latter camp are contemplating what went wrong, wondering if they threw away 4-6 months of their lives studying (or if it was all a dream), and estimating how much more liquor they have to ingest to have enough fuel in the tank to spell out “Damn you to hell, CFA Institute. Damn you straight to hell!” in snow/if the ticket for public urination would make them feel better or worse about the day. Read more »

Can't say enough good things about this guy.

Can’t say enough good things about this guy.

Raw performance figures failing to adequately capture the scale of Ackman awesomeness for you? His status as an autograph-signing celebrity still not quite illustrative enough? Require, perhaps, a dollar figure? Or a ranking that shows the Pershing Square chief taking his rightful place among the GREATEST HEDGE FUND MANAGERS OF ALL TIME? We can do that for you. Read more »