Bill Gross Says He Avoids China ‘Mystery Meat’ (Bloomberg)
“I call China the mystery meat of emerging-market countries,” Gross said yesterday during an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers” with Erik Schatzker and Stephanie Ruhle. “Nobody knows what’s there and there’s a little bit of bologna, so we’re just going to have to wonder going forward through this year as to the potential problems in China and other emerging markets.”
McDonald's Wants You to Watch How McNuggets Are Made (BusinessWeek)
In response to a consumer’s question about whether McNuggets contain “pink goop,” the chain’s Canada headquarters released a video last week that provides a look inside supplier Cargill’s facility in London, Ont. Bins of chicken breasts are shown going into grinders before being shaped, breaded, and packaged. The same process is used in the U.S., according to the company.
Accused Operator of Silk Road Online Drug Bazaar Indicted (Bloomberg)
Ross William Ulbricht, accused of operating the billion-dollar online Silk Road website where customers used Bitcoins to buy and sell drugs, faces a new charge of running an ongoing criminal enterprise. Ulbricht, 29, allegedly known as “Dread Pirate Roberts,” was indicted today by a federal grand jury in New York that formalizes the charges made by U.S. prosecutors in an Oct. 2 criminal complaint. The new allegation carries a maximum life sentence and a mandatory minimum term of 20 years, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.
Small Banks Face TARP Hit (WSJ)
Small banks across the U.S. are facing a crunchtime decision over federal aid received during the financial crisis: repay the funds soon or face a steeper interest-rate bill. While most banks that accepted government funds paid them back long ago, some 80 lenders still owe a total of roughly $2 billion disbursed under the U.S. Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program. Under TARP rules, if the banks don't reimburse taxpayers soon, they will face an increase in the quarterly dividend on the amount borrowed from the government. That dividend payment is set to rise to 9% of the loan balance outstanding from 5%, for some banks as early as the end of next week. The problem is that many of the banks in arrears are either too weak to pay the aid back or don't want to trade in relatively cheap capital from the government for potentially unfriendly and expensive credit markets. Payback plans also require regulatory approval.
Man threatens tree trimmers with gun, deputies say (Wesh)
Lee Williams was arrested Monday afternoon at his daughter's home in Palm Coast. He is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Investigators said workers were hired by his daughter to cut down trees and grind the stumps. The workers repeatedly asked Williams to stay inside so he wouldn't be hurt, but Williams wanted to watch. When they said "no," Williams allegedly got a gun and pointed it at one of the men, threatening to shoot if they didn't get off his property.
Deutsche fires three New York forex traders - source (Reuters)
Deutsche Bank AG DBKGN.DE has fired three New York-based currency traders, in the latest sign that a probe over alleged manipulation of foreign exchange markets is gathering steam, according to a source familiar with the situation..."Deutsche Bank has received requests for information from regulatory authorities that are investigating trading in the foreign exchange market," a bank spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. "The bank is cooperating with those investigations, and will take disciplinary action with regards to individuals if merited."
New Boss at Microsoft, With Gates at His Side (NYT)
The prospect of having a luminary of Mr. Gates’s stature kicking around the hallways on a regular basis has easy appeal. He can help lift morale — he remains a revered figure at the company — and is known as a strong judge of products and technology. But the company has not nailed every product that Mr. Gates has been closely involved in, most notably Windows Vista, a version of its operating system that was panned for early technical problems. In addition, Mr. Gates, 58, could also complicate matters for Mr. Nadella, a low-key, 22-year employee of the company who can afford no confusion about where the buck stops.
Professor, fearing financial crisis, pulls $1M from bank (CNBC)
A former Harvard economics professor thinks the risks facing the banking system are so great that he has withdrawn nearly $1 million from his checking account, at Bank of America. And, oh yeah, he blames the Federal Reserve. Terence C. Burnham, an associate professor of business and economics at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., told CNBC there is a "psychological connection" between the Fed's low interest rate policies and the subsequent unrest in emerging market currencies. He also draws a connection between the central bank's actions and the zero percent interest rate BofA offers on checking accounts. Though Burnham acknowledged that Bank of America has little exposure to emerging markets, he worries that a sizable financial crisis could trigger a run on banks, leaving depositors unable to withdraw their money from the bank.
Fur seller 'wows' Joe Namath with coat worn at Super Bowl (NYDN)
The Manhattan clothier behind Joe Namath’s flashy, furry Super Bowl jacket says he bonded with the former Jets star over the $3,000 throwback outfit. “I’m stuck with him,” furrier Marc Kaufman joked Tuesday. “And he’s stuck with me.” Kaufman provided Namath with the Men’s Fur Coyote Parker when the Super Bowl III hero stopped in last week at his Midtown store, Marc Kaufman Furs. Kaufman says Namath’s reps first called to ask if he might have something special for Joe Willie to wear for the pre-game coin flip. Kaufman, like Namath before the Jets upset the Colts, guaranteed he did — and then delivered. When Namath arrived last Wednesday, Kaufman sized up the ex-QB and brought out the coyote coat. “He looked at it, and he said, ‘Wow,’” Kaufman recalled. “He put it on. He turned around. He had a big grin on his face.” Namath — famously known for sporting furs during his playing days — looked at a few dozen more but stuck with the one selected by Kaufman. “I can look at someone and know what looks good on them,’ said Kaufman. “They always like the first coat I show them.” According to the owner, business is up since Namath’s pre-game cameo — with media calls pouring in, along with orders from as far off as Dubai. “Go to Google, click on news, and my coat is the first thing that pops up,” he said.