Time was, anyone in need of both prescription pain killers and a top of the line inkjet printer needn’t look any further than the 24-hour convenience store that was Jeffrey Brian Grove, of the Melbourne, Florida Charles Schwab office. JBG had everything you could possibly need and if he didn’t, he’d simply log into Schwab’s internal system and order it or tell his dealer to chop chop. Unfortunately, for his clients and the beneficiaries of his lucrative side business, all good things must one day come to an end. Read more »
Two and a Half Men Star/Venture Capitalist Was Just Kidding About Liking The Idea Of Investigating JournalistsBy Bess Levin
Ashton Kutcher was just doing a little thought experiment. Don’t worry about it. Read more »
While I was reporting my recent cover story on Uber and its CEO Travis Kalanick, several current and former Uber employees warned me that company higher-ups might access my rider logs. Because I couldn’t independently verify these claims without sacrificing my sources’ anonymity, I didn’t include them in the final piece. However, in light of Buzzfeed’s latest revelations about Uber executives discussing hiring opposition researchers to dig into the personal life of a reporter, Sarah Lacy, who had repeatedly criticized the company, these threats against my own privacy appear to be less of a paranoid possibility than I’d originally thought…My sources could not confirm this or any other incursion by Uber executives into journalists’ rider data. However, they were also not shocked by the accusations. “My general thoughts?” said a former employee in an email, about the ongoing scandal. “It doesn’t surprise me.” [SFM via Dealbook]
Goldman Hits The Mother Lode On Deals (WSJ)
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has cemented its position as the top Wall Street bank for mergers and acquisitions in one of the busiest years in the business. The New York bank, whose name is synonymous with deal making, this week landed roles on two big acquisitions worth a combined $100 billion: Actavis PLC’s $66 billion agreement to buy Allergan Inc. and Halliburton Co. ’s $34.6 billion planned purchase of Baker Hughes Inc.
Uber Exec Proposes Smearing Female Reporters Who Criticized the App (VallyWag)
Uber’s competitors, regulators, and drivers can take a breath. The company, which believes it is worth $25 billion, has a new nemesis: reporters who don’t follow the puff piece protocol. A top Uber executive suggested hiring opposition researchers “specifically to spread details of the personal life of a female journalist who has criticized the company,” reports Buzzfeed. This vindictive response to aggressive reporting about one of the most high-profile companies in the tech industry was uttered by Emil Michael, Uber’s senior vice president of business. Michael previously held a top role at Klout and recently joined a board that advises the Department of Defense. The remarks were made at a chichi gathering at Waverly Inn, the exclusive Manhattan clubhouse, which was attended by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, Ed Norton, Arianna Huffingon, and “a Buzzfeed editor.” The evening’s host was Ian Osborne, an Uber consultant who used to advise Prime Minister David Cameron: Over dinner, [Michael] outlined the notion of spending “a million dollars” to hire four top opposition researchers and four journalists. That team could, he said, help Uber fight back against the press — they’d look into “your personal lives, your families,” and give the media a taste of its own medicine.
Uber Executive’s Comments Leave Company Scrambling (Bits)
“The remarks attributed to me at a private dinner — borne out of frustration during an informal debate over what I feel is sensationalistic media coverage of the company I am proud to work for — do not reflect my actual views and have no relation to the company’s views or approach,” Mr. Michael said in a statement. “They were wrong no matter the circumstance and I regret them.” Uber has said that the private dinner was supposed to be considered an off-the-record affair.
Pimco’s October Outflows Set a Record in Europe (MoneyBeat)
Investors pulled €11.2 billion ($14 billion) from Pacific Investment Management Co.’s European funds in September and October on the heels of Bill Gross’s sudden departure, according to new figures from investment research firm Morningstar. Of the total, €8.7 billion flowed out of Pimco’s fund range in Europe during October, the highest ever level of outflows in a one-month period in the region, according to Morningstar.
Batista Insider-Trading Trial Starts in Rio (WSJ)
The insider-trading trial of former Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista began Tuesday with law officials contending it could be a step forward in the country’s efforts to protect shareholders from abusive practices. The entrepreneur is charged with manipulating financial markets by not fulfilling a promise to invest as much as $1 billion in his failed oil company and with using privileged information to dump shares of the company before the stock price plunged.
Watch Out for Elephants and Llamas at the Next Wedding You Attend (WSJ)
The llamas were a wedding day surprise arranged by groom Garette Ziem for his wife to be, Kim Dalton, who finds them entertaining and calming. When the two creatures appeared, she “exploded in happiness and tears,” he said. “It meant so much to me that Garette went above and beyond to create this extra special moment,” she said. Mr. Ziem’s nieces, who escorted the pair up the aisle, were billed as “llama girls.” Guests lined up to take selfies with the tall, woolly duo, who were fully trained and didn’t spit, contrary to common belief. “They were well-behaved, just like any household dog, better probably,” said Mr. Ziem, a sales manager who paid $500 to have them attend. “People will remember the wedding more because the llamas were there,” he said. Having Fido serve as a ring bearer or riding to the ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage have been primary ways of integrating animals into weddings over the years. But these days, in ways big (elephants) and small (butterflies), the species playing a role in nuptials and other momentous life events are often more exotic…Yet the mingling of wildlife and humans can go awry. At a wedding he attended in Illinois last May, Roger Boisen saw that firsthand. After the bride and groom recited their vows, dozens of Monarch butterflies were released from boxes. Fluttering about, they added a fairy-tale touch to the celebration. One of them, however, landed on the lawn, where it soon met its fate beneath a bridesmaid’s pump. “People were yelling, ‘Watch out for the butterfly!’ ” recalls Mr. Boisen of Appleton, Wis. “Definitely I felt bad for it, and I know other people did.” Read more »
$$$ U.S. Has Record Inflow of Portfolio Investments in September [Bloomberg]
$$$ Moody’s Joins Fitch Slamming Subprime Auto Bonds [Bloomberg]
$$$ Joe Melendez, Canseco’s manager, says his client has the video of the finger falling off and may sell it to media outlets for the right price, CNN reports. Canseco also claims he’s planning to auction both the fallen finger tip and the gun that shot it off to the highest bidder. [HP] Read more »
The Pershing Square chief is back on for dinner at Marea on Dec. 18, while Valeant Pharmaceuticals will have to settle for about $400 million of his winnings and maybe some other sacrificial lamb-drug company that Ackman might care to throw its way. Read more »