Opening Bell: 04.01.14


Facebook CEO Zuckerberg’s Base Salary Falls to $1 (Bloomberg)
Zuckerberg, who is Facebook Inc. (FB)’s chief executive officer and also the 22nd richest person in the world as ranked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, was paid $1 in salary for 2013, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today. That’s down from a base salary of $503,205 in 2012, the year that Facebook went public...Zuckerberg, whose wealth totals around $27 billion, owns Facebook shares that give him 61.6 percent of voting power in the Menlo Park, California-based social network, according to the filing. He saw his net worth balloon last year as Facebook’s stock more than doubled in value.

Drug Company Seeks to Be Repaid Legal Fees in SAC Capital Inquiry (Dealbook)
Elan Pharmaceuticals is seeking to recoup the more than $1.5 million in legal fees it paid to comply with document requests by the federal government in its insider trading investigation of the hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors. The drug company is asking the federal judge presiding over the hearing in April on the guilty plea and penalty for Steven A. Cohen’s hedge fund to consider it as a victim under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act. Elan submitted a letter to Judge Laura T. Swain of federal District Court saying it incurred the legal fees from its outside law firm Shearman & Sterling in connection with the SAC inquiry.

FBI Investigates High-Frequency Traders for Abuse of Information (Bloomberg)
The FBI joins a roster of authorities examining high-frequency trading, in which firms typically use super-fast computers to post and cancel orders at rates measured in thousandths or even millionths of a second to capture price discrepancies. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman opened a broad investigation into whether U.S. stock exchanges and alternative venues give such traders improper advantages.

Makers of Bitcoin A.T.M.s See a Not-Quite-Cashless Future (Dealbook)
In addition to the Glocks and Remingtons that have long been available at Central Texas Gun Works, customers can now buy something new: Bitcoin. A bulky blue machine in the lobby of the gun store in Austin, Tex., is one of the first in the country to allow users to buy and sell Bitcoin for cash. “I drove about 20 miles to come use the A.T.M.,” said Mitch Frink, who took $160 out of the machine in its first week in operation. “I wanted to be able say, ‘Yeah, I sold Bitcoin for straight cash and could get it within 30 minutes.’ ” The machine, built by the Las Vegas company Robocoin, is a somewhat odd creation. If Bitcoin is aimed at moving the world toward a cashless future, how long will a cash-dispensing machine for the virtual currency last, particularly when it is more awkward to use than a traditional bank A.T.M.? Just to create an account, Robocoin users have to provide state-issued identification and a palm scan.

Va. couple wins lottery three times in same month (USAT)
Lightning struck again for a Portsmouth, Va., couple who won the Powerball drawing earlier this month. Calvin and Zatera Spencer first won $1 million on March 12. Then, on March 26, Calvin Spencer won $50,000 with 10 winning tickets in the Virginia Lottery's Pick 4 game. But it doesn't stop there. The next day, shortly after dropping his wife off for an appointment, Calvin Spencer bought a Virginia Lottery Scratcher ticket, $100 Million Cash Extravaganza, and won the $1 million prize. "Baby, we did it again!" he told her.

Falcone says suppressing Ergen's debt is key to LightSquared restructuring (Reuters)
Falcone, whose Harbinger Capital Partners owns bankrupt wireless company LightSquared, on Monday said he always intended to cut the debt claims of LightSquared's largest creditor, Dish Network Corp (DISH.O) Chairman Charlie Ergen. "I don't think Charlie should have been in the capital structure," Falcone said during testimony in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, in the third week of hearings in which LightSquared is seeking court approval of its plan to exit bankruptcy and repay creditors. The plan would pay most lenders in cash while paying Ergen in the form of a long-term note, terms to which Ergen has objected. Under intense questioning from Ergen's attorneys, Falcone acknowledged that he believed subordinating Ergen's claims would allow Harbinger to retain equity in a post-bankruptcy LightSquared.

For Deal Makers, China Is a Drag (WSJ)
Major global mergers are being held up by several months because China's antitrust authority has a relatively small staff and an unusually broad mandate that includes weighing a deal's impact on domestic economic development, antitrust experts say. The delays, along with some of the remedies required to overcome the agency's concerns, are prompting deal advisers to try to minimize Beijing's impact or—where possible—bypass its review altogether, they say. China has yet to give the green light to the $35 billion merger of advertising giants Publicis Groupe SA and Omnicom Group Inc., or to Microsoft Corp.'s €5.4 billion ($7.5 billion) acquisition of Nokia Corp.'s handset business, months after both deals were approved by antitrust authorities in the U.S. and the European Union.

OCBC Offers $5 Billion for Wing Hang Bank (WSJ)
Singapore's second-biggest bank by assets will buy all of Wing Hang Bank's shares for HK$125 (US$16.12) each, which is about a 1.6% premium to its last closing price on Friday, OCBC said in a statement Tuesday. Trade in shares of OCBC and Wing Hang have been halted since Friday.

David Hasselhoff's Wacky Memorabilia Auction (THR)
David Hasselhoff is auctioning of items from his personal archive at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills on April 11-12. Think of it as a celebrity yard sale. And there’s lots of wacky stuff up for sale. The coolest item is the actor’s personal Knight Rider KITT car. This version of the iconic 1986 Pontiac Firebird wasn’t used on the the hit 1982-1986 NBC show. Its a replica that was made by fans and given to Hasselhoff as a a gift. The car has the same scissor doors and w-style yoke steering wheel of the original. It also comes pre-programmed to speak over 4,000 sound bites from the show and has a “oh kitt” vanity plate. Estimate: $30,000=$50,000. If a full-size KITT care is out of your budget, Hasselhoff is selling his replica KITT golf cart, which he used to drive his kid’s around on Halloween and for soccer practice...The wackiest item up for auction is an oversized (better than life-sized!) model of Hasselhoff in Baywatch swim trunks stretched to look like he’s gliding across the water that comes mounted on a rolling metal rack. It was used as a prop in the 2004 SpongeBob Squarepants movie. Model Hasselhoff is sporting a very weird and almost psychotic grin. Put a glass top on it and this would make the creepiest coffee table ever. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000.


Opening Bell: 7.22.15

Greece; Volcker; J.P. Morgan hack; Book an Airbnb van down by the river; "Despite Catfish Claims, Loch Ness Monster Hunter 'Not Quitting"; and more.

That's Sisyphus, right? By David Shankbone (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 1.24.17

AIG sued over constant groping; Goldman countersues over Platinum-related trades; Kellyanne Conway punched a dude; and more.