Icahn and Southeastern Ready Rival Bid for Dell (DealBook)
The effort by Mr. Icahn and Southeastern, disclosed in a letter to Dell’s board Thursday night, is intended as a last-ditch effort to fight the management buyout led by Michael S. Dell, the company’s founder and chief executive, and the private equity firm Silver Lake. Unlike that bid, which would pay shareholders $13.65 a share in cash, Mr. Icahn and Southeastern are offering to pay shareholders about $12 a share either in cash or in additional shares in the company. The offer would still leave a portion of Dell publicly traded.
Yen's Fall Trickles Through Japanese Economy (WSJ)
Just over a month after Japan's central bank vowed to reignite economic growth by flooding markets with yen, the currency fell to ¥100 to the dollar for the first time in four years, a milestone in efforts to end nearly two decades of economic stagnation. ... In new signs of the impact of Abenomics, Japanese domestic institutional money started flowing overseas in pursuit of higher yields while bank lending rose at the fastest pace in four years, data released Friday showed.
Heading to G7 meeting, U.S. tells Japan to stick to currency rules (Reuters)
The United States warned Japan on Friday to stick to the rules when it came to the value of its currency, setting the stage for a potentially uncomfortable meeting of G7 finance ministers outside London. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said that Japan had "growth issues" that needed to be dealt with but that its attempts to stimulate its economy needed to stay within the bounds of international agreements to avoid competitive devaluations.
JPMorgan sued over credit card debt collecting (FT)
JPMorgan Chase has been sued by California’s top law enforcement official for allegedly flooding the state’s courts with thousands of “unlawful” suits aimed at collecting credit card debts. The state’s attorney-general, Kamala Harris, filed suit against JPMorgan on Thursday, saying the bank “engaged in widespread, illegal robo-signing, among other unlawful practices, to commit debt-collection abuses against approximately 100,000 California credit card borrowers over at least a three-year period.” The state is seeking a $2,500 civil penalty for each violation.
Blackstone Targets Bulging Corporate Coffers Via New Unit (Bloomberg)
The firm has started a money-management unit called Blackstone Treasury Solutions Advisors LLC that will cater exclusively to corporations. Its portfolio managers include Blackstone Chief Financial Officer Laurence Tosi and Treasurer Matthew Skurbe, who help run New York-based Blackstone’s internal cash management strategy. Blackstone is targeting company treasurers as the U.S. considers requiring money funds to shift from stable share prices to floating valuations.
Terminally nosy (NYP)
Irked Goldman Sachs brass recently confronted Bloomberg LP over concerns reporters at the business news service have been using the company’s ubiquitous terminals to keep tabs on some employees of the Wall Street bank, The Post has learned. ... In one instance, a Bloomberg reporter asked a Goldman executive if a partner at the bank had recently left the firm — noting casually that he hadn’t logged into his Bloomberg terminal in some time, sources added. Goldman later learned that Bloomberg staffers could determine not only which of its employees had logged into Bloomberg’s proprietary terminals but also how many times they had used particular functions, insiders said. ... “In light of [Goldman’s] concern as well as a general heightened sensitivity to data access, we decided to disable journalist access to this customer relationship information for all clients,” Bloomberg spokesman Ty Trippet said.
Man Attacked by Alligator While Fleeing Deputies (AP)
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says 20-year-old Bryan Zuniga was pulled over for failing to maintain a single lane Thursday at about 2:50 a.m. Deputies say Zuniga stopped the vehicle and jumped out of the passenger door. He then broke through a vinyl fence and escaped. The Tampa Bay area man was found at a local hospital a few hours later. He told deputies he had been attacked by an alligator near a water treatment plant. He was being treated for multiple puncture wounds to the face, arm and armpit area.
SAC Is Said To Extend A Deadline For Clients (DealBook)
SAC has given its investors an extension to decide whether to withdraw money from the $15 billion fund, according to a person briefed on the matter. The deadline has been pushed to June 3 from May 16, this person said. While only a couple of weeks, the extension hints at the tense behind-the-scenes discussions between SAC and its investors over the firm’s central role in the government’s broad crackdown on insider trading. Nine current or former SAC employees have been implicated in the multiyear investigation.
No Lehman Moments as Biggest Banks Deemed Too Big to Fail (Bloomberg)
The people who lend money to the largest banks are betting that Uncle Sam will toss a lifeline to a giant should it stumble, according to a study by Deniz Anginer, a World Bank financial economist. Bondholders who lend money to the six biggest U.S. banks are so convinced the government will bail out these institutions that they are willing to accept lower returns -- a marketplace subsidy worth $82 billion from 2009 through 2011, Anginer calculates.
SEC Is Pressed to Revamp Executive Trading Plans (WSJ)
In a letter Thursday to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Council of Institutional Investors urged the agency for the second time in four months to tighten rules on government-sanctioned trading plans that allow corporate executives and directors to sell shares despite potentially having knowledge of nonpublic information about their companies. ... The group has asked the SEC to consider adopting a number of new guidelines. They include allowing companies and insiders to use 10b5-1 trading plans only during company-adopted trading windows, "which typically open after the announcement of the financial results from a recently completed fiscal quarter and close prior to the close of the next fiscal quarter."
New York may have to drop claims against BofA over Merrill (Reuters)
The 2010 case, one of the highest profile lawsuits brought by Andrew Cuomo when he was New York attorney general, accuses Bank of America and former top executives Ken Lewis and Joseph Price of misleading shareholders about Merrill Lynch's losses. The case appeared to hit trouble on April 5, when a federal judge approved a $2.43 billion settlement in a shareholder class action against Bank of America over the Merrill Lynch deal. Because shareholders have settled, New York can no longer pursue damages on their behalf, according to legal experts. "Once shareholders have made their peace, they can't take a second bite at the apple through the attorney general," said Jacob Zamansky, a New York securities lawyer.
Falling Deficit Alters Debate (WSJ)
"The debt ceiling is the catalyst here," said Chris Krueger, a policy analyst at Guggenheim Securities. "Absent a catalyst, it sure doesn't seem like anything is going to happen. You need basically a forcing mechanism. I hate to say it, but you need another fiscal cliff for action."
Huge cyber bank theft spans 27 countries (Reuters)
In one of the biggest ever bank heists, a global cyber crime ring stole $45 million from two Middle Eastern banks by hacking into credit card processing firms and withdrawing money from ATMs in 27 countries, U.S. prosecutors said on Thursday. The U.S. Justice Department accused eight men of allegedly forming the New York-based cell of the organization, and said seven of them have been arrested. The eighth, allegedly a leader of the cell, was reported to have been murdered in the Dominican Republic on April 27.
Lion Tacos Pulled from Menu at Florida Restaurant; Shark, Bear Remain (Gawker)
A newly opened Florida taquería specializing in "exotic tacos" containing meats from carcasses of sharks, kangaroos, beavers, and other non-traditional fillers has been forced to remove its latest menu addition — lion tacos — due to significant uproar from social network users. ... In addition to serving gator, gazelle, and camel meat, Taco Fusion plans to introduce iguana, zebra and bear meat in the foreseeable future.