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Opening Bell: 08.20.14

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Argentina’s Bonds Decline on Plan to Offer Local-Law Swap (Bloomberg)
Argentina’s bonds sank to a two-month low after the government said it plans to pay foreign-currency notes locally to sidestep a U.S. court ruling that blocked payments and caused its second default in 13 years. The government will submit a bill to Congress that lets overseas debt holders swap into new dollar-denominated bonds governed by domestic law, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said in a nationwide address yesterday. Payments will be made into accounts at the central bank instead of through Bank of New York Mellon Corp., the current trustee.

Standard Chartered Said to Probe Failures on Lawsky Fine (Bloomberg)
Standard Chartered Plc (STAN) is probing why anti-money laundering controls implemented as part of a 2012 deal with New York’s banking regulator missed numerous suspicious transactions, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The so-called accountability review could lead to firings over the compliance failures that cost the bank another $300 million in fines yesterday, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the investigation is private. Standard Chartered said that it’s “begun extensive remediation efforts,” without elaborating.

Harvard Wall Streeters Buy Minor-League Dragons for $40 Million (Bloomberg)
Minor-league baseball’s Dayton Dragons have been sold to Palisades Arcadia Baseball LLC, which is led by three Harvard University friends and graduates, according to a news release announcing the transaction. The new ownership group, which is led by Nick Sakellariadis, Greg Rosenbaum and Michael Savit, paid a minor-league record $40 million for the team that had been owned by Mandalay Baseball Properties LLC. Sakellariadis recently retired after a 35-year investment banking career at Citigroup-related companies, according to the news release. Rosenbaum is president of Palisades Associates, Inc., a merchant banking and investment firm, and Savit is a minority owner of the National Basketball Association’s Memphis Grizzlies.

Islanders' Owner Announces He Will Sell N.H.L. Team to an Investment Group (NYT)
The Islanders’ owner, Charles B. Wang, announced Tuesday that he would sell the team to Jonathan Ledecky, a former owner of a minority stake in the Washington Capitals, and Scott Malkin, a London-based investor. Wang said in a statement that he would initially sell the group led by Ledecky and Malkin a “substantial minority interest,” pending N.H.L. approval, and that Ledecky and Malkin would become majority owners of the Islanders in two years. Financial details were not announced, and Wang did not reveal how much of a stake he would retain after surrendering majority control of the team. Wang had been listening to offers for the team since at least March. One of the suitors, Andrew Barroway, a hedge fund manager, thought he had a handshake deal to buy the Islanders for $420 million. Last week, he filed suit against Wang, accusing him of reneging on the sale and raising the asking price to $548 million so that he could pursue an agreement with another buyer. Barroway is seeking $10 million in damages.

Man Gets Stuck In Highchair (HP)
Video of the bloke, identified only as Darren, has captured the attention of many. The incident reportedly took place at a hotel lobby in Cambridge, England. His attempts to escape as his friends watch, help and laugh will astound, but the topper is when he takes off his pants. "No one wants to see that," one pal can be heard saying. Even as Darren appears to get agitated, onlookers still cannot conceal their mirth. CNN reported that friends, who put Darren there in the first place, were finally able to extricate him by "dismantling" the high chair with keys.

Uber Faces Added German Setbacks as More Cities Weigh Ban (Bloomberg)
Uber Technologies Inc., maker of the ride-hailing application that’s fighting bans by two German cities, may face additional setbacks in the country as other communities weigh blocking or restricting the service. The Munich and Dusseldorf administrations agree with Berlin and Hamburg that those offering rides via Uber’s smartphone app need a cab driver’s license because they are doing so to earn a profit, representatives for the cities said. “We’re currently focusing on the drivers whom we’ll control and fine if they transport people without a license,” Daniela Schlegel, a Munich spokeswoman, said in an interview. “But we’re also considering whether to issue a ban later.” Governments and regulators in cities around the world are restricting Uber’s business on the grounds it poses safety risks and unfairly competes with licensed taxi services. Cabbies with licenses that can cost 200,000 euros ($266,000) apiece have staged protests in European cities including London, Madrid, Paris and Berlin.

Citigroup Said to Consider Sale of Japan Consumer Bank (Bloomberg)
Citigroup Inc., the firm that earns the most international revenue of any U.S. lender, is considering selling its consumer-banking business in Japan, two people with knowledge of the matter said. The company has begun approaching Japanese firms including the three largest lenders, trust banks and regional lenders to gauge their interest, one of the people said, asking not to be named as the matter is confidential. New York-based Citigroup could start a bidding process next month, the people said.

Steve Ballmer Steps Down From Microsoft Board (WSJ)
Mr. Ballmer, fresh off his $2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball franchise, indicated that his duties as team owner, among other interests, wouldn't leave enough time to stay on Microsoft's board. "I think it would be impractical for me to continue to serve on the board, and it is best for me to move off," Mr. Ballmer said in a public letter to Mr. Nadella, who became CEO in February. "I see a combination of the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking a lot of time."

Bottles of Corona Extra Beer Recalled for Glass Particles (CNBC)
Constellation Brands, which imports the Mexican beer, is recalling select packages of Corona Extra in the United States because bottles may contain small particles of glass. The recall covers 12-ounce clear glass bottles in select six-pack, 12-pack and 18-pack packages containing bottles with specific production codes. A Constellation spokesman said the problem originated with a third-party company that supplies bottles to the brewery in Mexico. She said the problem of tiny glass shards in the beer was estimated to affect only 1 percent of the bottles shipped. Consumers are asked to call Constellation's hotline for a refund if they purchased bottles with the specific production codes.


Twinkie Trump

Opening Bell: 8.28.18

Trump in a trade cul-de-sac; UBS banker in a pickle; Uber back in the money; Teetotaling kangaroo; and more!

By Sachyn Mital (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 6.15.16

Caspersen's lawyer says fraud was fueled by gambling addiction; Fed expected to hold steady; Billionaire gets approval to build NYC mega-mansion; Sean Penn was going to name his son Steak; and more.

Opening Bell: 11.13.15

Power shifts to bankers at Goldman; Doubleline taking market share from Pimco; Scouts in Silicon Valley; "Official Who Oversaw Public Toilet Closures Caught Peeing In Street"; and more.

Opening Bell: 6.8.15

Deutsche Bank co-CEOs fire themselves; Hedge funds love Japan; "Suit claims principal bribed students with strip club field trip"; and more.