Opening Bell: 10.09.14

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Barclays to Pay $20 Million, Assist Libor Plaintiffs (Bloomberg)
Barclays agreed to pay $20 million and cooperate with a group of Eurodollar-futures traders suing other banks, to settle litigation over manipulation of the benchmark London interbank offered rate. The accord, reached yesterday, resolves claims by people and firms that traded in Libor-based Eurodollar futures contracts and options on exchanges including the Chicago Mercantile Exchange from Jan. 1, 2005, to May 31, 2010. Lawyers for the traders disclosed the agreement today in a letter to U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan, who must approve the settlement for it to take effect.

Herbalife’s New Compliance Chief Comfortable Risking Neck (Bloomberg)
Herbalife’s new compliance chief said her experience using the company’s shakes, as well as an informal look at its operations, made her willing to stick her neck out for a business that’s being probed by regulators. Pamela Jones Harbour, who spent seven years with the Federal Trade Commission, was introduced as Herbalife’s first senior vice president for global member compliance and privacy on Oct. 6. That experience with the same agency that’s now investigating allegations Herbalife runs a pyramid scheme boosted the shares 6 percent after her hiring was announced. Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has spent two years trying to shut down Herbalife, saying it profits by recruiting distributors rather than selling products to consumers. Harbour said she was convinced otherwise by a visit to an Herbalife nutrition club, tours of an automated distribution center and testing lab as well as meetings with executives. “There have been times in my career where I’ve stuck my neck out, but I only will do that if I’m really confident of my own convictions and willing to live with the consequences,” she said in an interview. “This is one such instance.”

Businessmen are 'serfs' in Putin's Russia, warns Sergei Pugachev (FT)
A former close associate of Vladimir Putin has said Russian businessmen were all now “serfs” who belonged to the president, with none of the country’s companies beyond his reach. Sergei Pugachev, who was once so close to Mr Putin that he was known as the “Kremlin’s banker”, made the comments in his first interview since the state seized his multibillion-dollar ship building empire in 2012. Speaking to the Financial Times, Mr Pugachev warned that there were no longer any “untouchables” in a Russian business landscape increasingly dominated by Mr Putin. The Russian economy, he argued, had been transformed into a feudal system where businessmen were only nominal owners of their assets.

Icahn promises 'interesting' Apple letter (CNBC)
Carl Icahn will be sending an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday, the activist investor said on Twitter...Icahn also took to Twitter to say that it was just over a year since his firm announced its large position in Apple, and that the stock is up 50.6 percent since then. Icahn has previously pushed for Apple to engage in stock more buybacks, and trumpeted its pipeline of new products.

Man has spent $25,000 seeing ‘Rock of Ages’ 500 times (NYP)
Abe Calimag remembers his first “Rock of Ages.” It was July 1, 2009, and he bought a ticket because actress Amy Spanger was in it, and he loved her in “Kiss Me, Kate.” Turns out Spanger was off that night, but it didn’t matter: Calimag just couldn’t stop believin’ what he saw. And so he saw it again, and again — some 500 times in all, in several states, six countries and on several cruise ships. And he has the ticket stubs to prove it...Calimag has planned entire vacations around seeing “Rock of Ages.” The Fairfax, Va., business consultant says he spent 10 days in Australia, during which time he went to the zoo, toured the museums — and saw the show 12 times.

Fed Officials Saw Global Slowdown Among Risks to Outlook (Bloomberg)
Federal Reserve policy makers last month worried that slowing global growth and a stronger dollar posed risks to the U.S. economy as they decided to maintain a pledge to keep interest rates low for a “considerable time.” A number of officials said the U.S. expansion “might be slower than they expected if foreign economic growth came in weaker than anticipated,” according to minutes of the Sept. 16-17 Federal Open Market Committee meeting released today in Washington.

Geithner: NY Fed unsure until last minute about AIG loan (Reuters)
A U.S. Justice Department lawyer on Wednesday afternoon elicited testimony from Geithner that the New York Fed did not determine until the last minute that it had the authority to provide AIG a loan that could be fully secured. We were "trying to do something we didn't normally do," he said. Geithner described how he believed the terms of the loan, which included a high interest rate, were necessarily harsh and tougher than potential private terms, so that they could not be viewed as attractive to other institutions facing similar circumstances. While few legal experts expect Greenberg's lawsuit to be successful, it has served to reopen a fraught chapter in American economic history and the outcome could shape how regulators respond to future crises.

Chinese Return to the Waldorf, With $2 Billion (Dealbook)
...an obscure Chinese insurance company is now buying the landmark hotel with plans to restore the 83-year-old Art Deco building to its original splendor. Started just a decade ago, the company, the Anbang Insurance Group, has managed to build up the capital and connections to broker the largest deal ever by a Chinese investor for an American building, agreeing to pay $1.95 billion for the 47-story tower owned by Hilton Worldwide Holdings. The record purchase reflects the growing global influence of China’s business elite.

Fidelity hack points to JPMorgan link (FT)
Fidelity Investments, one of the largest US mutual fund companies, was one of 13 financial institutions attacked by hackers, who are believed to be the same group that stole customer information from JPMorgan Chase, according to two people familiar with the matter. The breadth and sophistication of the attack has concerned US officials. Fidelity is home to thousands of American retirees’ accounts, although, unlike in the JPMorgan incident, there is no indication that customer data were stolen.

Burglar looks at pictures, tries on panties (UPI)
A Chicago man's security cameras captured footage of a male burglar entering his home through a window and trying on his girlfriend's panties. Steve Fremond posted a video to YouTube showing the burglar entering the home through a window around 12:45 a.m. Sept. 25 and examining framed photographs before pulling a pair of panties on over his clothes. Fremond said the video and a ladder propped under his window were the only reason he even knew a break-in had occurred. "The guy didn't take any valuables that we know of," he told website NineMSN.

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