Facebook Investors Cash Out (WSJ)
Mr. Zuckerberg has long exhorted employees not to pay attention to the stock price, instead pushing them to focus on developing the social network. But in a companywide meeting earlier this month, he conceded that it may be "painful" to watch as investors continue to retreat from Facebook's stock, according to people familiar with the meeting.
Facebook Second-Worst IPO Performer After Share Lock-Up (Bloomberg)
Facebook's 6.3 percent drop yesterday, after the end of restrictions on share sales by its biggest investors, was the second-largest post-lock-up decline among companies that have gone public since January 2011.
Wall Street Bonus Estimates Cut By Pay Consultant Johnson (Bloomberg)
Incentive pay for senior management, excluding the executives named on proxy filings, will be unchanged to 10 percent higher, Johnson Associates estimated in an Aug. 14 report. That’s down from May, when the firm predicted senior managers would get bonus boosts of 5 percent to 15 percent. The biggest increases are still likely to come in fixed- income and is now forecast to be 10 percent to 20 percent instead of 15 percent to 25 percent, the new report showed. “They had a terrible 2011, so it’s off of a low base,” Johnson said. “We hoped that that business would have recovered more dramatically, but it hasn’t, so I guess you’d say it’s gone from terrible to so-so.”
Executives Say Obama Better For World Economy (Reuters)
Twice as many business executives around the world say the global economy will prosper better with President Barack Obama than with Mitt Romney, according to a poll out Friday. Democrat Obama was chosen by 42.7 percent in the 1,700-respondent poll, compared with 20.5 percent for Romney. The rest said "neither."
'Broken' Fund Shifts Blame (WSJ)
Nearly four years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. "broke the buck" at his money-market mutual fund, Bruce R. Bent is blaming the U.S. government. The 75-year-old Mr. Bent and his son, Bruce Bent II, are set to go on trial in October on civil charges of misleading investors, ratings firms and trustees of the Reserve Primary fund as it wobbled in September 2008. The Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that the two men falsely claimed they would prop up the fund's $1 net asset value even though they "secretly harbored" doubts. The two Bents have denied the allegations in the SEC's civil lawsuit ever since it was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in 2009.
Former Spitzer call girl Ashley Dupre is engaged and pregnant (NYP)
“On the record, yes, I can confirm I’m almost seven months,” Dupre, 27, enthused when contacted yesterday. “I can’t tell you when the wedding date is just yet.” In four short years, Dupre’s gone from Client No. 9 to Husband No. 1, and now owns Femme by Ashley, a lingerie and swimwear shop in Red Bank, NJ, which her husband to be, New Jersey asphalt scion Thomas “TJ” Earle, helped her open in May.
Ex-MS Banker In China Bribery Case (CNBC)
Garth Peterson joined Morgan Stanley in Asia in 2002, just as the Chinese real estate market was taking off. His job would be making real estate deals for the firm, and Peterson seemed the ideal person for the position. A blonde, blue-eyed American raised in Singapore, Peterson — then in his early 30s — was fluent in Mandarin, and in the local culture. “The language is, you know, essential, I would say, being able to speak Mandarin well,” Peterson said. “But beyond that, I worked in the Chinese real estate industry since 1993.” In 2006 alone, according to news reports at the time, Morgan Stanley invested $3 billion in Chinese real estate. Peterson, by then a vice president, was at the forefront. “I was given more and more support, and the business just grew exponentially,” he said. Today, his fortunes have drastically changed. On Thursday, Peterson was sentenced to 9 months in prison and 3 years supervised release after pleading guilty to evading Morgan Stanley’s internal controls — a federal offense. Prosecutors said he engineered a deal that transferred Morgan Stanley’s interest in a multi-million dollar Shanghai real estate development to a shell company secretly controlled by Peterson and a Chinese government official. The official, who was not identified, made an instant paper profit of $2.5 million.
Treasury To Amend Terms Of Fannie, Freddie Bailout (WSJ)
Under the new arrangement between Treasury and the companies' federal regulator, all the firms' quarterly profits would be turned over to the government as a dividend payment; the government wouldn't require such payments in periods when the firms are unprofitable.
Backstop For Futures Trades (WSJ)
Support is growing for an insurance fund that would protect customers of futures brokerages that collapse. While numerous hurdles remain, the process took an important step Thursday when futures-exchange operator CME Group met with other industry officials and a customer-advocacy group in Chicago to discuss how to set up a customer-protection fund. It could take months or even longer for a specific plan to emerge, but participants in the meeting said it is increasingly likely that the government, futures industry or both will propose such an insurance fund. "Restoring customer confidence is very important," and "we're looking at all potential solutions, including an insurance fund," said Walt Lukken, president of the Futures Industry Association, a trade group.
Long-lost Gorilla Brothers Reunited (Mirror)
Kesho and little brother Alf shook hands, hugged and even laughed as they became reacquainted at a safari park in Wiltshire. The brothers were born and raised in captivity but were parted in 2010 when the elder sibling was sent to London Zoo as part of a breeding programme. But attempts to father a baby gorilla were unsuccessful as 13-year-old Kesho proved to be infertile. He has now been sent to a new three million pounds gorilla enclosure at Longleat Safari Park, Wilts, where nine-year-old Alf has also set up residence. Despite Kesho's reproductive deficiencies, his time spent in female company led to his appearance to change dramatically. His rise in testosterone levels gave him a famous silverback, his weight ballooned by 200lbs and his neck and head also grew in size. Although he looked drastically different, Alf instantly recognised his big brother when the pair were reunited at Longleat.