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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 »

Has Point72's crack renaming team working on a less-prejudicial term.

Has Point72’s crack renaming team working on a less-prejudicial term.

Which Steve is OK with, just as long as you don’t use the “V” word. Read more »

Opening Bell: 1.27.15

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 3.41.59 PMGoldman Sachs’s Cohn Says Oil Prices May Hit $30 in Extended Slump (Bloomberg)
Oil prices will probably continue to decline and could reach as low as $30 a barrel, according to Gary Cohn, president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. “We’re probably in the lower, longer view,” Cohn, a former oil trader, said Monday in an interview with CNBC.

J.P. Morgan Reportedly Gained Up to $300 Million in Swiss Franc Turmoil (WSJ)
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. notched $250 million to $300 million in gains after the Swiss central bank triggered turmoil in the markets in mid-January, a person familiar with the gains said. This comes as other banks, brokers and individual investors suffered hundreds of millions in losses when the Swiss currency jumped following the Swiss National Bank ’s decision to stop reining in the value of the franc against the euro. The currency grew by nearly 30% against the euro and 18% against the dollar and unleashed new volatility in credit and currency markets around the world.

Fink Says Swiss Avoiding Recession May Be Bad News for Euro (Bloomberg)
“There’s always been a debate, should Germany be in or out of the euro,” Fink told Bloomberg Television’s Erik Schatzker and Stephanie Ruhle during last week’s annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “One of the arguments has always been about Germany — is it would-be suicide if they walked away from the euro because it would have a currency that revalued 20 or 30 percent.” If Switzerland avoids a “recession and the economy continues to fare fairly nicely what does it mean for an economy a little north of here?” he said atop the Alps. “I do believe it will lead to a large debate within Germany from the right wing about look what Switzerland did.”

BBQ Burglar Steals $4,000 Worth Of Ribs, Chicken, Wings And Fries (HP)
Last Wednesday, a robber broke into Jerome Brown BBQ and stole $4,000 worth of ribs, chicken, wings and fries from the restaurant, News4Jax.com reports. The rib-loving robber gained entry by prying open a side door and also took away an empty cash register before winging it out the door. Surveillance video caught the BBQ burglar in the act, but the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office have yet to track down a suspect. Read more »

Write-Offs: 1.26.15

$$$ Blizzard Set to Bring New York, Northeast to a Standstill [Bloomberg]

$$$ Here’s What the Blizzard Is Shutting Down [BusinessWeek]

$$$ Russia Rating Cut to Junk by S&P as Ukraine, Oil Weigh on Growth [Bloomberg]

$$$ Greece Must Repay Debt, Europe Officials Say [WSJ]

$$$ Judge: You cannot name your baby ‘Nutella’ [NYP] Read more »

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  • 26 Jan 2015 at 4:35 PM

Great News: Technology Has Advanced Since 1996

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 4.34.41 PMBack when the business of buying and selling stocks depended on human traders gathering in the same physical location — the New York Stock Exchange in lower Manhattan, for instance — a major snow storm could snarl commutes so badly that exchanges had to shut. That’s what happened during the blizzard of January 1996, which took place before computers dominated. Although pilloried by critics for making markets more difficult for humans, the technological revolution — which shifted most trading to computers housed in data centers in New Jersey and elsewhere — may have made markets more resilient to the weather. “We’re in Chatham, New Jersey, and we can trade tomorrow,” said Joe Saluzzi, co-head of equity trading at Themis Trading LLC. “If they’re open, we’re ready to go. Everybody has backup systems and after things like Hurricane Sandy and some storms of the past couple years, people have really locked down their backup systems and are ready to go.” [Bloomberg]

steve cohenAt some point last year, after he had settled insider trading charges against his firm, the hedge fund formerly known as SAC Capital, Steve Cohen began exhibiting signs of man who felt, if not contrite, than contrite-lite. He agreed to rename his company, stripping his initials from all letterhead, fleece, and signage. He started paying employees to not commit securities fraud. And, most significantly, he agreed to only manage the money of people related to him by blood or marriage, returning billions of dollars to investors, and kissing a whole lot of would-be fees good-bye.

But now? Possibly/probably emboldened by the December appeals court ruling that knocked his No. 2 nemesis, Preet Baharara, down several pegs and officially made it harder for prosecutors to convict people of insider trading? He’s all but finished playing the part of a guy who feels bad about running a firm described as a “veritable magnet for market cheaters.” Not only is he no longer taking orders from Preet, the Feds, of the SEC, but he’s thinking maybe it’s about time he started giving them out. Read more »

bombedoutThe survivors of the Swiss cap-scrapping are beginning to emerge from the rubble of Bern and Zürich into a brave new world, with great big smiles on their faces. Read more »

No One Trashes Louis Bacon For 10 Years And Gets Away With It

Ready to wipe that smile off his face.

Ready to wipe that smile off his face.

For a decade, Moore Capital Management founder Louis Bacon has endured smear after smear on the part of his Bahamas neighbor, Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard: That he’s a racist, and possibly even a top-secret Grand Wizard of the KKK. That he’s a narcotics kingpin. That he’s trying to take over the government of the Bahamas. That he tried to burn Nygard’s somewhat less-than-tasteful Lyford Cay estate to the ground. That he’s employed “military-grade” loudspeakers to try to kill him, or at least to annoy him. That he has actually killed someone else. All because he’s either (a) trying to protect the exclusive enclave’s fragile ecosystem from Nygard’s planned 150,000-square-foot Mayan-style personal resort or (b) because he’s trying to force Nygard out of the Bahamas so that he can have Nygard Cay all to himself.

Well, Bacon’s finally had enough, and wants Nygard to cough up $50 million—coincidentally, the budget for the reconstruction of Nygard Cay following the fire that Bacon’s underlings set mysterious blaze in 2009 that destroyed the place—for saying all that stuff. Read more »