Yahoo Delivers Message to Activist Starboard: Back Off (Bloomberg)
Yahoo! Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer delivered a message yesterday to activist shareholder Starboard Value LP: I’ve got this. Mayer began a defense of her leadership yesterday with a third-quarter earnings report that included sales that topped analysts’ estimates. She followed up with a conference call where she talked up her stewardship of the company, ticking off a list of points to show that her turnaround effort is making progress. Mayer argued she has a clear acquisition strategy for growth and said she is focused on maximizing value for shareholders. The shares jumped as much 5.8 percent today, for the biggest intraday increase in more than six months.
Russian Economy Stops Growing (WSJ)
Russia’s economy, hit by Western sanctions, stopped growing in September, data from the economy ministry showed Wednesday. Russia this year is on track to post its lowest growth since 2009. Russia’s standoff with the West over the Ukrainian crisis adds downside pressure on the economy as sanctions and geopolitical uncertainty fuel capital flight and kill investment activity. Alexei Ulyukayev, Russia’s economy minister, said that in the first nine months of 2014 the economy grew by 0.8%, Interfax news agency reported.
Goldman Sachs Shows Investors Path Out of Economic ‘Wonderland’ (Bloomberg)
Just as Alice was confused by the strange world she found herself in, Peter Oppenheimer said in a report published yesterday that investors face the unfamiliar in an environment of zero interest rates and low economic growth. Further complicating matters is that some old relationships have also broken down since the financial crisis. “Curiouser and curiouser,” he writes, quoting from Alice, in noting equities and bonds have often both performed well at the same time. Some of the strongest market performances have also been in the weakest economies.
‘Cannibal Cop’ interested in attending law school (NYP)
Notorious “Cannibal Cop” Gilberto Valle is “interested in attending law school,” his younger brother revealed in a letter to Manhattan federal Judge Paul Gardephe. “I even bought him a number of LSAT books which he completed, and he did very well on the practice tests at the end of the books,” wrote Daniel Valle The younger Valle was one of more than a dozen people who wrote letters on the ex-cop’s behalf before he is sentenced Nov. 4 for illegally using a police database. Gardephe overturned Valle’s conviction for conspiracy to murder in July.
Tepper's not 'too frickin' long' again (NetNet)
David Tepper, manager of the $20 billion hedge-fund company Appaloosa Management, has returned to his cautious stance from late spring after a period of feeling more optimistic about global markets. Speaking late Tuesday afternoon at an investor conference sponsored by the Robin Hood charitable organization and closed to the media, Tepper gave a market outlook that was measured, if not bearish, according to someone who attended the gathering. An end-of-year rally of the type of that money managers like BlackRock's Larry Fink and Dan Loeb have been expecting was possible, but not guaranteed, Tepper reportedly said. Now was the time to tread carefully and not be overextended with stock holdings, he added...In what are now infamous words of warning, Tepper said at the SALT conference in Las Vegas that it was "nervous time" for him in the markets, adding, "I'm not saying go short, but don't be too frickin' long."
Cop’s Daughter Tuned to ESPN on Road to Becoming Bank CEO (Bloomberg)
Margaret Keane often drives to work with her radio tuned to ESPN. While she doesn’t follow any team, it ensures she’s never left out of a conversation. “A lot of times I’m the only woman in the room,” said Keane, who leads Synchrony Financial (SYF), the General Electric Co. unit that was spun off in July and is now the most valuable U.S. bank run by a woman. “If the Yankees won last night, you should know because it’s going to come up. You need to be able to banter with your male colleagues -- you can fight that or you can get in the middle.”
Big Tech winning battle with 'patent trolls' (Reuters)
For two decades, companies that buy software patents to sue technology giants have been the scourge of Silicon Valley. Reviled as patent trolls, they have attacked everything from Google's online ads to Apple's iPhone features, sometimes winning hundreds of millions of dollars. But now the trolls are in retreat from the tech titans, interviews and data reviewed by Reuters show. In the wake of several changes in U.S. law, which make it easier to challenge software patents, patent prices are plummeting, the number of court fights is down, and stock prices of many patent-holding companies have fallen. Some tech firms say they are punching up research budgets as legal costs shrink, while support for major patent reform is under fire as trolls get trounced.
When analysts marry MDs (eFinancial)
...how common is it for bankers at the bottom of the corporate hierarchy to be betrothed to those at the top? We ask, because it’s been pointed out that Nell Diamond, the daughter of ex-Barclays CEO Bob Diamond, just married a Deutsche Bank managing director having herself spent 15 months at Deutsche Bank as an analyst. Diamond’s spouse, Ted Wasserman, is head of equity derivative flow sales for North America at Deutsche. Diamond was an analyst in Deutsche’s institutional rates sales business.
Air Force Member Arrested After Giving Minnesota Cop A "Wet Willy" (TSG)
As a Mankato Department of Public Safety officer was speaking with a municipal bus driver around 2:20 AM, the cop “felt two fingertips that were obvious to him as wet with saliva being pushed into his right and left ear canals,” according to a probable cause statement. The officer turned around and saw a tall white male walking away. “I just gave the cop a wet Willie,” the suspect said as he joined a group of his friends. The officer confronted the man, later identified as Riley Swearingen, a 23-year-old who was home on leave from his post at North Carolina’s Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base. Swearingen told the cop that the “wet Willy” was a joke for which he was sorry. Swearingen, who smelled of booze and appeared drunk, was then arrested. When asked what would happen if he gave a “wet Willy” to a military superior, Swearingen “admitted it would be a very big deal.”