Treasury Arm Gets Earful From Asset Managers (WSJ)
Large firms such as BlackRock Inc., Pacific Investment Management Co. and Fidelity Investments are blasting a report by the Office of Financial Research that found asset managers could pose risks to the broader financial system. The finding is significant because it is among the criteria a group of senior U.S. regulators will use to determine whether large asset managers are "systemically important" and should be drawn in for stricter oversight.
Officials to Address Bitcoin at U.S. Senate Hearing (WSJ)
U.S. law-enforcement officials are set to outline the pitfalls and promises of virtual currencies such as bitcoin Monday at the first-ever Senate hearing on the matter. In testimony prepared for the hearing before the SenateHomeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, federal law-enforcement agencies said that while the anonymity and decentralized nature of some virtual currencies can pave the way for fraud, they also hold potential benefits. "The Department of Justice recognizes that many virtual currency systems offer legitimate financial services and have the potential to promote more efficient global commerce," Mythili Raman, acting assistant attorney general for the department's criminal division, said in her prepared testimony. "We have also seen, however, that certain aspects of virtual currencies appeal to criminals and present a host of new challenges to law enforcement."
Geithner Joins Wall Street (NYP)
Former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will join private-equity firm Warburg Pincus next year after 26 years in public service, the company said. Geithner will become president at the New York-based buyout firm starting March 1, according to a statement Friday from Warburg Pincus. The former New York Federal Reserve bank president will report to Chip Kaye and Joe Landy, who have led the firm since 2000 and this year began sharing the title of co-chief executive officer, in managing the firm, investing its funds and communicating with investors.
Ireland Baldwin defends dad Alec Baldwin in Twitter rant (NYDN)
Ireland Baldwin, 17, whose father called her a “thoughtless little pig” on a 2007 voicemail message that went viral, told critics to keep their snouts out of her old man’s business after he blamed the meanie media for making him mull retirement. The teenager posted several messages to Twitter on Saturday night, insisting that her pops has a “kind heart” and that his boorish flip-outs should not define him. Baldwin’s ratings-challenged MSNBC show was suspended Friday after he allegedly hurled a homophobic slur at a paparazzo last week. He hinted on Twitter Sunday night that the show might not come back — even though he said it beat Anderson Cooper’s “360” on CNN every night. “Or should I say .... outperformed?” the temper-prone star tweeted.
Ackman Joins Fray to Pry Once-Worthless Fannie From U.S. (Bloomberg)
Ackman’s $12 billion hedge-fund firm, Pershing Square Capital Management LP, said on Nov. 15 that it had bought a 9.98 percent stake in the common shares of Fannie Mae that aren’t owned by the government, as well as a 9.77 percent stake in the Freddie Mac shares available to the public. The stakes were valued at $577 million at the end of last week. The firm said it may seek talks with shareholders, management and the government, which owns almost 80 percent of the agencies since bailing them out. The announcement was prompted by a proposal two days earlier from Berkowitz’s $10.5 billion mutual-fund firm, Fairholme Capital Management LLC, that it and other owners of the preferred shares buy the mortgage insurance business of the companies and leave common shareholders like Ackman with stakes in the legacy business that would be wound down.
Pimco Favors Asian High-Grade Debt as Low U.S. Rates Persist (Bloomberg)
Five-year bonds yielding about 3 percent and rated BBB, the lowest tier of investment-grade securities, are “attractive investments,” according to Ramin Toloui, the money manager’s Singapore-based global co-head of emerging markets portfolio management. Interest rates are likely to stay low for the next couple of years, he said.
Japan's Banks Find It Hard to Lend Easy Money (WSJ)
To be sure, the government's easy-money policy has made some progress. The tide of money released, along with fiscal spending, has weakened the yen, attracted outsiders to Japan's markets, bolstered exporter earnings and lifted some consumer spending—albeit much of it on one-off, feel-good luxuries. In the first six months of the year, Japan's economy had even expanded faster than those of its developed-country peers. The Nikkei Stock Average, meanwhile, is up 46% for the year, also the best performance among advanced economies. But Abenomics, as it is called, has yet to fix a fundamental problem: Japanese companies and individuals still don't feel confident enough to borrow and invest.
Woman, 71, Struck Man, 38, In Face When His Phone Kept Ringing During "12 Years A Slave" Screening (TSG)
On Wednesday, Jean Pierre Louis, 38, was watching the film about the enslavement of Solomon Northup when his “cell phone began ringing several times” inside the Royal Palm cineplex in Bradenton, police report. The distraction did not sit well with Annette Dimon. Seated behind Pierre Louis, the septuagenarian “kicked Pierre Louis’s seat in protest.” When Pierre Louis stood up and turned around, Dimon allegedly “pushed his shoulder” and “struck his face.” When questioned by a sheriff’s deputy, Dimon (pictured above) claimed that “Pierre Louis had hit her hand away when she reached out for him.” Pierre Louis, who sustained no injuries, told a deputy that he “did not want an ‘old lady’ to go to jail and just wanted an apology.” Dimon subsequently apologized to Pierre Louis via the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputy. Pierre Louis signed a waiver of prosecution against Dimon, and was provided “a case number on a victim’s rights brochure.”