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Here to help.And it’s going to do it the hard way: Not by buying someone else’s ETF platform, both because that wouldn’t really be a GOLDMAN SACH ETF platform and because there’s no sport in it, but by doing it all themselves. Maybe with a little help from on high. Read more »

  • 17 Dec 2014 at 9:45 AM

Bonus Watch ’14: Jefferies

jefferiesHopefully Jefferies employees enjoyed last year’s bonuses because there’s reportedly a lot more where that came from. Read more »

Opening Bell: 12.17.14

Dov CharneyPlunging Ruble Unsettles Russians, Poses Test for Putin (WSJ)
As Russian President Vladimir Putin has ratcheted up the conflict with the West for most of the year, the economic fallout on ordinary Russians has been limited. Suddenly, though, the plunging ruble is reawakening fears of rising prices and the kind of financial crisis Mr. Putin has sought to put behind his country. As the ruble hit a record low, falling as much as 20% against the dollar Tuesday, Moscow residents rushed to buy electronics and other big-ticket items and drained rubles from ATMs to swap them for dollars and euros—signaling a new feeling of vulnerability among Russians and a fresh challenge to their leader. From St. Petersburg to Siberia, money changers ran out of foreign currency and were raising exchange rates. Sberbank , Russia’s state savings bank, and Alfa Bank, Russia’s largest private lender, said they were experiencing a rush for dollars and euros.

A Pimco Emerging-Market Fund Hit by Russian-Debt Bet (WSJ)
The $3.3 billion Pimco Emerging Markets Bond Fund has lost 9% this month, according to Morningstar Inc., fueled by the decline in oil prices and the gathering effect on Russian economic output of U.S. sanctions.

American Apparel Executives Call for Charney’s Return (Bloomberg)
Paula Schneider, American Apparel Inc. (APP)’s incoming chief executive officer, hasn’t even started work yet and she’s already facing a group of disgruntled managers. More than 30 executives asked the board to reconsider their decision to fire former CEO and company founder Dov Charney, according to a letter obtained by Bloomberg News. Charney should be a part of the retailer’s future by helping the next CEO improve the chain because he is what “makes this thing tick,” the managers said. Charney’s loyalists bring an additional headache to a new CEO already coping with red ink and sluggish sales. The chain has racked up more than $300 million in net losses since 2010, forcing it to raise capital to make ends meet — most recently in July. Schneider also has to contend with image problems at a company that’s been criticized for its racy advertising and sexually charged culture.

Billionaires who made and lost the most in 2014 (CNBC)
In a volatile year for the world’s rich, Jack Ma saw his fortune surge to $29.2 billion from just over $10 billion, according to Wealth-X. That 175 percent increase made him the biggest financial gainer of the year for billionaires, Wealth-X said. Warren Buffett came in second place, with a gain of $13.5 billion in 2014, a 23 percent increase from last year, to push his fortune to US$72.6 billion. Bill Gates saw his net worth grow by US$10.5 billion in 2014 to reach US$83.1 billion. The biggest loser, according to Wealth-X, was Russian energy tycoon Leonid Mikhelson, whose fortune shrank to $10 billion from $17 billion.

“I spend 11,000 a year on takeout” (NYP)
A few months ago, Kris Ruby lost her credit card and briefly had to borrow her dad’s while waiting for the replacement. When her dad saw the bill, it wasn’t clothes, cabs or nightclub charges that gave him a fright — it was sushi. “Dad was like, ‘What are all these charges for Seamless?’ ” Ruby, 27, recalls. She used his card for just one week, but in that amount of time she racked up about $225 worth of sushi, superfood salads and other takeout to her Wall Street home. He promptly banned her from using his card on any future delivery purchases. “I felt like it was my guilty little pleasure and secret,” Ruby says. “I couldn’t wait to put my own card back on it so no one could see my meals.” Ordering through Seamless’ handy delivery app almost every night chomps $900 a month off Ruby’s salary as president of her own p.r. and social media agency — almost $11,000 a year, enough for 98 unlimited MetroCards or 4,720 pizza slices. “Oh, my God, this is shocking,” she says, when realizing just how much she spends. “Sometimes I look at this and I’m like, ‘I need to stop this with Seamless.’ ” Read more »

Write-Offs: 12.16.14

$$$ Bad Quarter, and Bad Year, for Jefferies [Dealbook]

$$$ Speed Trader Study Shows Treasuries Hurt When Breaking News Hits [Bloomberg]

$$$ Western Banks Curtail Flow of Cash to Russian Entities [WSJ]

$$$ Icahn Stands to Lose $286 Million on Talisman Deal [Bloomberg]

$$$ Moody’s cuts Alaska’s outlook to negative on oil [CNBC]

$$$ Rudolph’s revenge: Reindeer destroys sleigh [UPI] Read more »

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dov charneyKnowing this guy– who was officially fired as CEO today– he meant that figuratively and literally. God only knows what other personal items he left around corporate headquarters. Read more »

At his thoughtful window staring spot.The holidays are no time to force a man to completely reevaluate everything he stands for. So please, Second Circuit Court of Appeals, let Preet mull over your shattering insider-trading definition in the New Year. Read more »

What's that smell? Oh, right, my hand.Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher and noted head case Zach Greinke teaches us that pretty good baseball players are more often than not pretty god damn stupid. Well, Jorge Posada was a pretty good baseball player, and, you know…. Read more »

  • 16 Dec 2014 at 11:00 AM

The Real American Immigration Problem

Going once...It’s not the people picking your fruit or manicuring your lawn. It’s that we’re selling legal entrée way, way too cheap. If the Maltese can get €650K in cash and another €500K in investment, and the Aussies can get A$15 million in investment for permanent residency, and the British £10 million in investment for a visa, surely we can get more than a measly half-million in investment, no? Ignore the unseemliness of a citizenship auction and start rolling out the red carpet to the highest bidder. Read more »