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Opening Bell: 06.10.14

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Goldman Shuns ‘New Neutral’ After Doubting ‘New Normal’ (Bloomberg)
Goldman Sachs economists led by Jan Hatzius and Dominic Wilson are questioning the bet made last month by investor Bill Gross that Federal Reserve monetary tightening will be much less aggressive than in the past -- when it comes. “We do not disagree that the Fed funds rate will on average be at least modestly lower over the next 20 years than it was over the 20 years preceding the crisis,” New York-based economist Kris Dawsey wrote in a June 6 report. “We lean towards the view that the difference will not be drastic.”

Uber Protests Spread Across Europe as Taxi-App Backlash Grows (Bloomberg)
Uber Technologies Inc. is set to draw more than 30,000 taxis and limos across Europe tomorrow in the region’s biggest protest against the smartphone app that is threatening to upend the car-service industry. At least 3,000 Parisian drivers are planning to block the Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports as well as the A1 highway that circles the French capital starting at 6 a.m. local time. Similar demonstrations are planned in Madrid, Milan and Berlin. In London, between 10,000 and 12,000 black cabs and private hire cars are expected to descend on the tourist hubs of Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square at 2 p.m.

Hedge fund billionaire splits with wife of almost 30 years (NYP)
David Tepper, the world’s highest-paid fund manager for the past two years, has split with his wife of nearly 30 years, Page Six can exclusively reveal. In what could be one of the most expensive hedge fund divorces yet, Tepper, 56, who runs $20 billion Appaloosa Management in Short Hills, NJ, and his wife, Marlene, have separated after 28 years of marriage, multiple sources confirmed. We’re told David and Marlene, who married in 1986 and have three adult children, have yet to formally file for divorce. A source said, “They have separated and are telling friends the marriage has run its course. They hope to settle things quickly, quietly and amicably.” But the split could prove extremely costly. Tepper, a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, has an estimated net worth of $10 billion.

SEC Official Points to Disclosure Failings by Private Equity Firms (WSJ)
Igor Rozenblit, co-head of the SEC's private funds unit, called the private- equity industry to task over its communication and transparency with investors, saying at an industry conference in Boston Tuesday morning that there "does appear to me at least that there is some sort of disconnect between what [general partners] think their [limited partners] know and what LPs actually know."

Unhappy with sex services? Don't call us, Singapore says (CNN)
A foreign minister clearly frustrated with some of his own countrymen has taken to Facebook to expose some of the stranger requests received by consular staff. "Can the government get involved if a Singaporean gets illegal sexual services overseas, but is not satisfied and wants a refund? The answer seems obvious," writes K. Shanmugam, the country's minster for foreign affairs, with an almost audible sigh. The exasperated minister went on to list other examples with the plea: "We have to draw the line between what is personal responsibility and what's not." Personal responsibility could include the lovelorn citizen who asked the foreign office to convince his girlfriend to marry him.

Allergan Rejects Valeant's Latest Takeover Bid (WSJ)
Allergan said its board has rejected the latest takeover bid from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. and William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management L.P., adding the offer substantially undervalues the Botox maker. Allergan said the deal creates significant risks and uncertainties and isn't in the best interests of the company or its stockholders. Valeant boosted its takeover bid for Allergan late last month, offering about $52.7 billion in cash and stock, partly thanks to Mr. Ackman's agreement to take a price cut on his own stake.

PayPal exec leaves firm for Facebook (NYP)
Just four months after gracing the cover of Forbes magazine as PayPal’s savior, David Marcus is jumping ship — for Facebook. Marcus, who took the reins as Paypal’s president two years ago, is leaving the payments company on June 27 to lead Facebook’s burgeoning messaging products, eBay said in a statement. “Bittersweet day,” Marcus tweeted about the switch on Monday. “Immensely sad to leave the team I love, but excited by the journey ahead.”

Inside the $80,000 private-jet safari (CNBC)
CNBC's "Secret Lives of the Super Rich" tagged along with luxury travel pioneer Geoffrey Kent for a portion of his popular "Private Jet Tour of Africa." The trip includes private-jet hops across seven countries over three weeks. It costs $80,000 per person—and it sold out in just two weeks...Kent, the founder and CEO of travel company Abercrombie & Kent, said he's done plenty of safari trips for far more than that as the rich devote more of their spending to rare experiences and exotic trips. "We've had many, many million dollar trips," he said. "Some $2 million, some $2.5 million." The first stop is South Africa, for a five-star welcome dinner at an aquarium. After a short stay at Cape Grace, one of the top hotels in Africa, it's off to Namibia. They get a tour of the dunes, champagne delivered by skydivers and an elaborate dinner in the middle of the desert.

Teen sentenced for contempt after wearing saggy pants to Pennsylvania court (LVL)
When Adam Dennis stood last month to leave the Lehigh County Courthouse, a judge observed the man's pants drooped so low, they were nearly "below his buttocks." "The only thing separating him and the seat was a very thin layer of clothing, which I'm told were gym shorts," Lehigh County District Judge District Judge Wayne Maura. Dennis, 18, received a summary contempt of court conviction due to those sagging pants, and today was fined $50, although he did not receive any prison time. Nevertheless, Dennis' attorney said she intends to appeal the decision, assuming her client wants to fight it, calling the contempt charge inappropriate and claiming the judge overstepped his bounds. "I don't feel I'd be doing my job as an attorney if I said, 'Oh well, it's only $50, let it go,'" Kimberly Makoul said. "I think it's a bad precedent to set."


Photo: Getty Images

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