Opening Bell: 07.02.14

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JPMorgan CEO Dimon Will Undergo Treatment for Throat Cancer (Bloomberg)
Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), told employees and shareholders in a memo that he’s beginning treatment for throat cancer and will continue to run the company “as normal.” “The good news is that the prognosis from my doctors is excellent, the cancer was caught quickly and my condition is curable,” Dimon said, according to a statement today from the company. “The cancer is confined to the original site and the adjacent lymph nodes on the right side of my neck. Importantly, there is no evidence of cancer elsewhere in my body.” [...] Dimon will soon begin radiation and chemotherapy treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital in New York, he said in the statement. The treatment should take about eight weeks, he said. “While the treatment will curtail my travel during this period, I have been advised that I will be able to continue to be actively involved in our business, and we will continue to run the company as normal,” he wrote. “Our board has been fully briefed and is totally supportive.”

Ousted American Apparel CEO Charney reports 43 percent stake (Reuters)
Dov Charney, ousted as American Apparel Inc's chairman and chief executive two weeks ago, said he has increased his stake in the apparel retailer to 43 percent, as he fights to regain control of the company he founded. Charney, fired for alleged misuse of corporate funds and his role in disseminating nude photos of an ex-employee, also called for a special meeting of stockholders on Sept. 25. The former CEO and founder, already the biggest shareholder in American Apparel with a previously reported 27.2 percent stake, said he increased his holding last week. The additional shares could enable Charney to gain control of the company if he won the support of shareholders holding 7 percent of the stock.

Goldman ‘Boys Club’ Accused of Mocking Women as 'Bimbos' and 'Party Girls' (Bloomberg)
Goldman Sachs was accused of widespread gender discrimination and a “boy’s club” atmosphere that included bouts of binge drinking and trips to strip clubs, as two former female employees seek to expand their lawsuit against the firm with new evidence. The women asked a federal judge in Manhattan today to let them sue on behalf of current and former female associates and vice presidents. Support for their claims includes statements of former Goldman Sachs employees, expert statistical analyses and evidence on earnings and promotions from the firm’s own records, they said in a court filing. “Women report a ‘boy’s club’ atmosphere, where binge drinking is common and women are either sexualized or ignored,” according to the filing. The two women, H. Cristina Chen-Oster and Shanna Orlich, sued in 2010 and are seeking to broaden the case to include more than a decade of claimed discrimination at Goldman Sachs. A decision by U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres to allow the women to sue as a class would increase the risk to Goldman Sachs.

Tinder Is Target of Sexual Harassment Lawsuit (NYT)
Whitney Wolfe, a former executive at the popular dating start-up Tinder, has filed a lawsuit against the company, along with its majority owner, IAC/InterActiveCorp, on sexual harassment and discrimination claims. The lawsuit, filed on Monday in state court in Los Angeles, says that Tinder’s chief executive and chief marketing officer subjected Ms. Wolfe to “a barrage of horrendously sexist, racist and otherwise inappropriate comments, emails and text messages.” Ms. Wolfe’s suit also said that complaints about the harassment to high-level executives at IAC were ignored and that she was forced to resign as a result. Ms. Wolfe said in the lawsuit that even though she was instrumental in the establishment of the dating app, her colleagues did not call her a founder because of her age and gender. When she would ask why only her name among the five founders was absent from some new coverage, the lawsuit said, the other founders would tell her “you’re a girl” and that a 24-year-old “girl founder” would devalue the company.

Bitcoin Auction Ends, Single Bidder Wins Entire Cache (Bloomberg)
The auction attracted 45 bidders, including New York brokerage SecondMarket Inc., and 63 bids were submitted during the 12 hours of the auction on June 27, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. The agency, which notified the bidder and transferred the money, isn’t disclosing the winner’s identity. The auction of 29,656 bitcoins, part of more than 144,000 the FBI transferred to U.S. Marshals after shutting down the Silk Road marketplace and arresting its operator last year, represented a rare opportunity to secure a large cache of the virtual currency. While the actual price of the winning bid isn’t known, the cache sold yesterday was worth about $19 million at current exchange prices.

Shia LaBeouf voluntarily receiving treatment for alcohol addiction (NYDN)
According to X17Online, the 27-year-old star is getting help at a "celebrity-frequented" treatment facility in Hollywood. LaBeouf was seen heading to the private center Monday afternoon, and greeted at the gate by a nurse and security guard, X17 reports. "Shia was nervous; he didn't look good all morning," a photographer told the website. "He was looking down and wasn't even talking to his driver. It looked like he didn't want to do it, but he knew he had to." Earlier in the day the "Fury" actor was seen toting a book, reportedly the Alcoholics Anonymous "Big Book," outside of his Hollywood Hills home. LaBeouf arrived back in Los Angeles over the weekend, after a tumultuous few days in New York City, which included him getting arrested Thursday for disrupting a "Cabaret" performance on Broadway with an apparently drunken display. He was also seen in Times Square earlier that day engaging with a homeless man.

Two counts tossed in Rajaratnam brother's insider trading trial (Reuters)
A U.S. judge on Tuesday dismissed two securities fraud counts against Rengan Rajaratnam, the younger brother of Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam, in a surprise development in the federal criminal insider trading case. Rengan Rajaratnam, a former Galleon fund manager, still faces a conspiracy count, after U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald at a hearing in Manhattan dismissed other counts related to improper trading in technology company Clearwire Corp. Buchwald said the question was whether Rengan Rajaratnam traded on inside information about Clearwire knowing the tipper breached his duties to keep it secret and in exchange for a personal benefit. "I find a reasonable jury could not so find," she said. The decision, which is not appealable, spared Rajaratnam from the most serious charges he faced. Each carried a maximum term of 20 years in prison, compared with five years for the conspiracy count.

Facebook’s News Feed Experiment Probed by U.K. Regulators (Bloomberg)
Facebook is being investigated by the Information Commissioner’s Office in the U.K. after a study showed a psychological experiment influenced what users saw in their news feeds, raising fresh privacy concerns. A company researcher apologized on June 29 for a test in January 2012 that altered the number of positive and negative comments that almost 700,000 users saw on their online feeds of articles and photos. Disclosure of the experiment prompted some members to express outrage on Twitter about the research as a breach of privacy. The U.K. data regulator’s probe of the social network was reported earlier by the Financial Times.

HSBC Settles Fraud Charges Over Foreclosure Fees Paid by the U.S. Government (Dealbook)
HSBC, prosecutors said, lacked the internal controls to review fees it incurred in the process of foreclosing — expenses that the bank ultimately passed on to the government for reimbursement. The bank, which admitted committing the misconduct as part of the civil settlement, cost the government millions of dollars in losses.

Michigan Man, 43, Busted For Drunkenly Crashing Snowmobile (TSG)
A Michigan man was arrested last night after drunkenly crashing a snowmobile into a tree in Lansing, Michigan, where most other residents were enjoying a balmy Sunday evening in the state capital. According to police, the 43-year-old man--whose name was not released pending charges--lost control of the snowmobile while racing through an alley behind homes in a residential community. The driver was injured in the crash and subsequently admitted to a local hospital. Cops, who obtained a blood sample from the driver, reported that they will ask prosecutors to charge the man with driving with a suspended license and driving while impaired, 3rd offense. Presumably, the man was behind the wheel of a car during his prior two drunk driving collars. At the time of the man’s 7 PM arrest, the temperature in Lansing was 84 degrees, according to the Weather Channel.

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Opening Bell: 02.26.13

J.P. Morgan’s Investor Day: Cut That Headcount (Deal Journal) JP Morgan is looking to cut another $1 billion out of its expenses this year, including somewhere around 4,000 jobs, according to a new presentation...And that may not be all the cuts. In a separate presentation on the consumer bank and mortgage operations the bank expects to cut costs in mortgage banking by $3 billion over this year and next year and cut headcount there by between 13,000 and 15,000. Banks Face Hurdle In Libor Fight (WSJ) Next week, lawyers for Barclays PLC, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, UBS AG and more than a dozen other banks still under investigation are expected to ask a federal-court judge to throw out many of the suits, which seek class-action status. The suits, filed in civil court in California and New York by plaintiffs ranging from a retired cable-car driver in San Francisco to the city of Baltimore, have been piling up for nearly two years. They seek damages that could reach into the tens of billions of dollars from financial institutions that help determine the London interbank offered rate, or Libor. Barclays, RBS and UBS already have paid about $2.5 billion, and admitted wrongdoing, to settle rate-rigging allegations by U.S. and U.K. regulators. In court filings, lawyers for the 16 banks accused of wrongdoing say the lawsuits have no legal validity. The lawyers say regulatory settlements reached so far don't support the central allegation in most of the civil suits that banks engaged in illegal, anticompetitive behavior. Berlusconi Concedes as He Weighs Alliance (Bloomberg) Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi acknowledged rival Pier Luigi Bersani’s narrow victory in the lower house of Parliament and said he’s open to a broad alliance to avoid a second election. “Everyone needs to think what good can be done for Italy and this will take some time,” Berlusconi said in an interview with Canale 5, a station owned by his Mediaset SpA broadcaster. The country can’t be left without a government, he said. Lew gettin’ close: Senate panel to OK as next Treasury boss (NYP) Treasury Secretary-nominee Jack Lew will get the green light to replace Tim Geithner despite taking heat during and after his confirmation hearing over a loan he received from New York University. The 57-year-old former White House chief of staff has enough votes from the Senate Finance Committee, headed by Max Baucus (D-Mont.), to pass a vote today that will likely lead to his confirmation, sources said. A full Senate vote is likely to be scheduled in a couple of days and held sometime next week. Larry Summers: Sequestration 'Meat Cleaver' Is Irresponsible (CNBC) Avoiding the "sequester" is "round three" in the debt-reduction debate, former Clinton Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers told CNBC Tuesday, arguing for a "balanced approach" because President Barack Obama has agreed to more spending cuts than revenue during the process. In a "Squawk Box" interview, Summers said the funding constraints of the Budget Control Act of 2011 — which resolved that year's debt ceiling crisis — were round one. "You had spending cuts that were far larger from the discretionary side, that were far larger than anything [on revenue] that happened in December. Right now, we're way in balance toward more spending cuts." Dominique Strauss-Kahn seeks to ban 'half-man half-pig' book (Telegraph) The "biographical novel" by Marcela Iacub, a lawyer and journalist, recounts her seven-month affair with the 64-year-old Mr Strauss-Kahn last year. It is due to be published on Wednesday under the title, Belle et Bête, or Beauty and Beast. But the one-time Socialist presidential hopeful will this morning seek to have the book banned for "violation of the intimacy of private life" and the author and her publisher fined 100,000 euros (£88,000) in damages...In the work, she claims Mr Strauss-Kahn would have transformed the Elysée Palace into a "giant swingers' club" had he been elected French president. In fresh accounts by those who have read the book yesterday, the last chapter narrates the pair's final encounter, ending in Miss Iacub receiving treatment in casualty after "the pig" left her with an "eaten ear". Mr Strauss-Kahn has slammed the work of a woman who "seduces to write a book, claiming to have amorous feelings to exploit them for financial gain". Gupta's Gotta Pay GS $6.2 Million (NYP) Former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta was ordered yesterday by a Manhattan federal judge to fork over a whopping $6.2 million to repay the Wall Street bank for legal fees it spent during the government’s probe of Gupta’s insider-trading case. The 64-year-old fallen star was convicted last year of giving up secrets he learned while on Goldman’s board to his pal and hedge fund honcho Raj Rajaratnam. Among the counts, the jury found Gupta guilty of giving Rajaratnam a tip on Warren Buffett’s $5 billion investment in Goldman in the throes of the financial crisis. Gupta, the former head of consulting firm McKinsey, is out on bail while he appeals the ruling. Goldman had requested restitution of $6.9 million — and submitted 542 pages of billing records from its lawyers at Sullivan Cromwell. Yahoo’s Mayer Risks Productivity With Work-From-Home Restriction (Bloomberg) Jackie Reses, Yahoo’s executive vice president of people and development, sent a memo last week asking employees with work-from-home arrangements to make their way to the company’s offices, starting June. “To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side,” according to the memo, whose contents were confirmed by a Yahoo employee who asked not to be identified because it’s not a public document. “Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home.” At a time when Mayer is under pressure to jump-start growth and create innovative products, the shift may compromise Yahoo’s ability to attract employees seeking the freedom to work outside the office -- a perk offered by many of the company’s competitors. Research suggests that working from home enhances productivity, said Jody Thompson, co-founder of workforce consultant CultureRx. BP Oil-Spill Trial Begins (WSJ) Both Transocean and the Justice Department focused part of their opening statements on a 10-minute ship-to-shore phone call between two BP engineers, Donald Vidrine and Mark Hafle, less than an hour before the blast. From the rig, Mr. Vidrine allegedly talked about unusual results from a test designed to ensure the cement sealing in the bottom of the well was successful. Investigators later found that rig workers misinterpreted the results of the test. Dennis Rodman Bound For North Korea (Reuters) Retired U.S. basketball player Dennis Rodman is to visit North Korea to film a television documentary and will arrive in the capital Pyongyang on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. Rodman, now 51 years old, won five NBA championships in his prime, achieving a mix of fame and notoriety for his on- and off-court antics. Thirty-year-old North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who has launched two long-range rockets and carried out a nuclear weapons test during his first year in power, is reported to be an avid NBA fan and had pictures taken with players from the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers during his school days in Switzerland. "At a time when tensions between the two countries (the United States and North Korea) are running high, it's important to keep lines of communication open, no matter how non-traditional those channels are," AP quoted Shane Smith, the founder of VICE, which is to make the TV series, as saying.