The Latest

Mountains-SwitzerlandIt appears that the Swiss banking arm of UK-based HSBC has quickly adapted to local customs and traditions. Read more »

  • 18 Nov 2014 at 10:00 AM
  • Banks

Wall Street Buying Some Extra-Strong Barn Doors

Probably not a one-man job.Because, you know, they probably should have had them already, and no one wants to have that look that Jamie Dimon had on his face when told about the incident. Read more »

Opening Bell: 11.18.14

William AckmanSnapchat Teams Up With Square to Offer Money-Transfer Feature (Bloomberg)
Snapchat Inc., developer of a mobile application for sending disappearing photos, is teaming up with payments company Square Inc. so that users can send cash to each other. Snapchat, which recently received an investment from Yahoo! Inc. that values the startup at $10 billion, will make the new feature, called Snapcash, available for users who are 18 or older with a debit card, it said in a blog post yesterday. The deal gives Square access to Snapchat’s users, who send more than 700 million disappearing “snaps” a day. Snapcash joins other apps such as Venmo in offering people a way to send and receive money quickly, such as when diners split a restaurant bill. This is Los Angeles-based Snapchat’s second potential revenue-generating product in addition to advertisements, which debuted last month.

Ackman ‘loses’ Allergan, pockets $2.7B profit (NYP)
Ackman’s Pershing Square hedge fund will make $2.7 billion from the $66 billion deal between Botox maker Allergan and Irish drugmaker Actavis. The profit of Pershing Square, which took a 9.7 stake in Allergan last spring and tried to help Valeant Pharmaceuticals buy it, is based on the difference between its average $126-per-share cost and Actavis’ $219-a-share winning bid. The Allergan investment, which accounts for about 30 percent of Pershing Square’s near-$20 billion in assets, had already helped earn his investors a 40 percent return this year as of Nov. 11, the latest numbers available.

Mega-Mergers Popular Again on Wall Street (Dealbook)
Mergers worth $100 billion, made on Monday, put Wall Street on pace for a year of deal-making rivaling those during the dot-com bubble and the private equity upsurge just before the financial crisis. The announcement of two more mega-deals — the $66 billion acquisition of the Botox-maker Allergan by Actavis , and the $34.6 billion takeover of the oil field services firm Baker Hughes by a bigger rival, Halliburton — made Monday a symbolic tipping point. With those transactions on the books, about $1.5 trillion in deals targeting American companies have been announced this year, the most since 2000, according to Thomson Reuters, the financial information company.

Goldman Fund Said to Fall 5.6% on Interest Rate Position (Bloomberg)
A $3.2 billion Goldman Sachs Group Inc. hedge fund that pools some of the firm’s best ideas declined 5.6 percent last month as a bet on the direction of U.S. interest rates went wrong, two people with knowledge of the matter said. Goldman Sachs Global Opportunities Fund, which invests based on the trade ideas from the money-management unit’s fixed-income team, took a position that interest rates would rise, only to see them decline, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

No. 1 With a Bullet: ‘Nadeshot’ Becomes a Call of Duty Star (NYT)
Matt Haag, a professional video game player, makes close to a million dollars a year sitting in a soft chair smashing buttons. It is a fantastically sweet gig, and he will do about anything to keep it. That is why, on a recent morning, he was in a bungalow in Venice Beach, Calif., making pancakes. Not just regular pancakes, but high-protein pancakes with ingredients like flax oil and chia seeds, whose balance of carbohydrates, fat and protein was created by a dietitian hired to teach him how to eat more healthily. The pancakes were just the beginning of a monthlong training session that Red Bull, one of Mr. Haag’s sponsors, organized for him and his team, OpTic Gaming. Over the next several days, he and his fellow players gave blood while riding stationary bicycles, had their brains mapped by a computer and attended an hourlong yoga class where they learned, among other things, how to stretch their throbbing wrists. The purpose of all this: to help them get better at blowing their opponents away in video games. Three years ago, he was flipping burgers at McDonald’s. Today Mr. Haag, 22, skinny and blindingly pale, makes his living playing Call of Duty, a popular series of war games where players run around trying to shoot one another. Mr. Haag has 1.5 million YouTube subscribers along with a lucrative contract to live-stream his daily game sessions online. Known as Nadeshot (shorthand for “grenade shot”), he travels the world playing tournaments as spectators pack arenas to see him. At home near Chicago, he has a problem with fans showing up at his house.

Woman Pulled Dentures From Rival’s Mouth: Police (AP)
A Massachusetts woman is accused of yanking the false teeth out of another woman’s mouth and throwing a beer bottle at her. Caterina Froio-Chaput, of Oxford, was released on $100 bail after pleading not guilty to assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Police say Froio-Chaput was refused a drink Wednesday at an American Legion and told to leave. They say she started hitting the bartender in the face, then pulled the false teeth from her mouth before hitting her in the chest with the bottle. The Telegram & Gazette reports Froio-Chaput told police she confronted the bartender who she believed was having an affair with her estranged husband. When police found the teeth in her pocket, she said they had been planted there. Read more »

Write-Offs: 11.17.14

$$$ Icahn: ‘Major correction’ in the next few years [Reuters]

$$$ Goldman, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley Executives to Be Questioned at Commodities Hearing [Dealbook]

$$$ Deutsche Bank Ends Most CDS Trade [WSJ]

$$$ Whale Rock Capital Management, Matrix Capital Management, PAR Capital Management, Senator Investment Group, and Starboard Value appear to be the top stock pickers for the fourth quarter so far, according to regulatory filings and performance-based skill assessments conducted by Symmetric, a New York-based research firm. [NetNet]

$$$ Drunken, Vomiting Santas Relocating to Bushwick [Daily Intel] Read more »

Click Here
  • 17 Nov 2014 at 5:35 PM

Maybe Actavis Would Like To Buy Zoetis, Too?

What now?As Bill Ackman’s dear friend Carl Icahn might say, the animal drug company is getting downright unfriendly, telling the Pershing Square chief they’d prefer he kept his stake below 15% until it can decide whether it wants to be acquired by a serial roll-up company with no future. Of course, if there’s no well-heeled white knight hanging around, it could just roll up as many companies as it can to put itself outside of Valeant’s price range. Read more »

stevecohen (1)Also about how he had “no idea” who might’ve been responsible for sideswiping Tim in accounting’s driver side mirror, despite the fact that he was seen peeling out of the parking lot at the time of the incident. This upcoming bout truthiness brought to you by Cohen’s ex-bride, Patricia C. Read more »

Luckily, no earth-shattering news like this bumped the story again.The world’s greatest local newspaper has at last taken the time to fill one of the greatest lacuna in its 147-year history: How Greenwich came to be the world’s hedge-fund capital. Or, if not the de jure capital, at least the de facto one. Or, barring that, a nice place to live that’s close to the real hedge-fund capital and which has over the last two decades developed the kind of critical mass than even an increasingly unfriendly tax regime is unlikely to displace to Florida and where people can gather in posh places to discuss such groundbreakingly complex investment strategies like borrowing money to make meh returns look meh-plus, or, as the jargon as it, “leverage.” Read more »

Steve Cohen Forced To Pretend He Needs Help With Stuff

Does this look like someone who needs an advisory board?A few months ago, Steve Cohen brought Doug Haynes in to run his world-class family office, replacing the long-suffering Tom Conheeney. And even though he had just taken over a **wink, wink** family office, Doug just couldn’t help himself: He wants to be president of the best goddamned asset management entity on God’s green earth, he allowed.

Well, even when you’re perhaps the biggest family office on that earth in terms of employees, all of whom can invest san blood-or-marital relations to Clan Cohen, it’s hard to be the premier asset manager in the world when you’re managing money for so few people, only one of whom really has got a lot of scratch. So someone, perhaps, had an idea: Let’s create some new, extremely well-heeled “employees” who can drop by for coffee a couple of times a year and maybe throw nine or 10 figures our way. You know, just to grease the machine until we can get out from under this trading-for-other-people interdict. We’ll call it an advisory board. Read more »