Opening Bell: 09.29.14

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Gross Trading Against Gross Seen Starting Monday (Bloomberg)
The way Gross quit is seen inside Pimco as him going out of his way to do damage to Pimco, the person said, because of all the things Gross did that flew in the face of standard practices at the company. The person requested anonymity because he doesn’t want to jeopardize his relationship with Pimco. First, there is supposed to be a transition period to protect clients that have stakes in the products managed by a departing portfolio manager. Normally this period is at least weeks if not months. Second, the announcement from Janus was supposed to be coordinated with a simultaneous announcement from Pimco, which didn’t happen. Third, there’s normally an understanding that there will be no competition for some period of time, the person said.

Pimco moving away from Bill Gross model, CEO says (Reuters)
Pimco is moving away from a founder-led model and the $2 trillion asset manager's flagship fund, formerly run by co-founder Bill Gross "does not define Pimco," CEO Doug Hodge said on Sunday. "Over the last five years, we have expanded into far more parts of the fixed income market and into other asset classes and other geographies, so the Pimco Total Return Fund does not define Pimco," Hodge said. "It's an important flagship product of this firm but it is not our only strategy." Hodge and Dan Ivascyn, who takes over for Gross at the Newport Beach, California-based firm as group chief investment officer, told Reuters in an interview that they have been speaking to clients all weekend about the new leadership. Pimco is a unit of Munich-based Allianz.

Billions Fly Out the Door at Pimco (WSJ)
Pacific Investment Management Co. suffered roughly $10 billion of withdrawals following the Friday departure of co-founder Bill Gross, a person familiar with the matter said, a sign of how quickly Mr. Gross's surprise move is reshaping the bond-investing landscape. Pimco is bracing for more outflows on the heels of the veteran investor's departure after months of internal strife over his leadership. At the same time, some managers say they remain committed to the firm. Some within the Newport Beach, Calif., investment firm are projecting it will lose at least $100 billion or more in assets due to withdrawals, the person familiar with the matter said, and some analysts peg the estimate higher.

American Apparel Names New Interim CEO, CFO (WSJ)
Scott Brubaker, an Alvarez & Marsal managing director, will serve as interim CEO while the maker of jeans and T-shirts searches for a permanent successor to Dov Charney, the company's founder. Mr. Charney was removed as CEO in June over allegations of misconduct. He is currently serving as a consultant at the company while a special board committee reviews the results of an investigation into allegations that he misused company funds and allowed nude photos to be published on the Internet of a former employee who had sued him alleging sexual harassment. Mr. Charney's lawyer has called the allegations baseless.

Goldman Sachs bars traders from trading (NYP)
Goldman Sachs said it’s now barring its investment bankers from trading individual stocks and bonds, a source told Bloomberg News. Goldman employees were notified on Friday of the change, which takes effect immediately, the source said. They also aren’t allowed to invest in activist or event-driven hedge funds, the person said. Previously, bankers needed approval before they could invest in individual stocks. The change came on the same day that a former employee at the New York Federal Reserve Bank released examiner’s recordings of her ex-colleagues’ dealings with Goldman Sachs.

Bodybuilding Christian Swingers From Florida Start Spouse-Swapping Website (HP)
If you like Jesus, pumping iron and pumping/getting pumped by acquaintances bound by holy matrimony, there's a website just for you. It's called Fitness Swingers, and it's the brainchild of Cristy Parave and her husband, Dean, who dreamed up the site after reportedly having a threesome with this wife and her female friend...The Florida couple, who met at a bodybuilding competition, are interested in sharing their beliefs and their spouses with others who feel similarly. They started their online network 7 years ago, and haven't looked back. The pillars of their relationship: A commitment to their faith, to fitness, and to the ideals of the swinger lifestyle. Dean Parave told Barcroft Media that he doesn't think that his swinger lifestyle conflicts with his Christian beliefs. In fact, he considers it a kind of ministry. "So far today, God hasn't told me, 'Dean stop that, it's a sin. I don't want you to do that.' Until he does that, I'm going to keep trying to help as many people as I can," he told Barcroft. Christy said she needed a little convincing that it was moral at first, but now she's totally convinced that god is on their side.

Yellen Aims to Mimic Greenspan on Jobs, Avoid Bubble Misfire (Bloomberg)
The Federal Reserve chair and her colleagues signaled this month they would be willing to push unemployment below its so-called natural rate -- a feat Greenspan as chairman managed in the late 1990s without fanning much inflation. Yellen showed less desire to pursue her predecessor’s “measured” approach to raising interest rates in the mid-2000s, suggesting his strategy may have fostered complacency that made a small contribution to the financial crisis.

UBS eyes higher shareholder returns in new group structure: CFO (Reuters)
A corporate structure unveiled by UBS AG on Monday will lead to higher shareholder returns in the long run, Chief Financial Officer Tom Naratil told Reuters. Switzerland's largest bank is creating a new group holding company in response to regulatory demands aimed at ensuring banks are easier to break up if they run into trouble. "In the long run it will (increase return on equity)," Naratil told Reuters, adding it was hard to assess the exact uplift on returns but that without a group holding company UBS could have been forced to hold more capital, leading to lower returns per unit of capital.

Hank Greenberg Challenges AIG Bailout (WSJ)
Mr. Greenberg's lawyer, David Boies, is expected starting Monday to ask a federal judge in Washington to rule that the government coerced AIG's board into harsh terms, allegedly cheating shareholders including Mr. Greenberg in the process. At the time of the rescue, Starr International Co., an investment and charitable firm long headed by the businessman, was AIG's largest single shareholder, with roughly an 11% stake. Mr. Greenberg has been adamant over the years that the government ran roughshod over him and others by taking their property without the just compensation he maintains they were owed under the Constitution.

Man Accused Of Trading Stolen $160,000 Diamond For $20 Of Weed (HP)
A former UPS employee in Arizona is accused of stealing a package containing a $160,000 diamond and trading it for $20 worth of weed, ABC-15 reports. Walter Earl Morrison, 20, thought that the package he allegedly swiped while unloading cargo at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix contained cash, according to a probable cause statement obtained by The Smoking Gun. In fact, the package contained one pricey stone. Authorities say the "half-baked bandit" traded the diamond for the equivalent of two joints of marijuana.

Related

Opening Bell: 2.20.15

Argentina won't meet with Paul Singer; Meredith Whitney still being sued; Seattle investor goes on dates with women who think he's the "real" Christian Grey; Man attempts to pay bar tab with rock; AND MORE.