UBS Rises as Investors Bet Legal Challenges May Ease (Bloomberg)
UBS, Switzerland’s biggest bank, rose in Zurich trading after the bank set aside 1.84 billion Swiss francs ($1.94 billion) for litigation provisions, easing investor concern about the future cost of legal challenges. “We are making progress,” Chief Executive Officer Sergio Ermotti said in a Bloomberg Television interview as the bank posted a 32 percent jump in third-quarter profit. “We are today in a position to have a better estimate of how to address those issues. In some cases we may be able to reach conclusions in the foreseeable future.” [...] Net income rose to 762 million francs in the quarter from 577 million francs a year earlier helped by a net tax gain of 1.32 billion francs. While the securities unit had a pretax loss because it booked the bulk of the legal charges, all other businesses, including the wealth-management unit, posted earnings that met or exceeded analyst forecasts.
CIT Profit Rises on Tax Benefit as Assets Grow (WSJ)
The company said CIT Bank’s total assets grew to $20.3 billion as of Sept. 30 from $18.3 billion at the end of June, reflecting its acquisition of Direct Capital as well as new business generation. Its new business volume reached $2.2 billion, up 34% from a year earlier. Loans were $14.7 billion, compared with $10.9 billion a year ago. For the overall firm, assets from continuing operations grew to $46.5 billion as of the end of the third quarter from $42.3 billion a year ago. Overall, CIT posted a profit of $514.9 million, or $2.76 a share, up from $199.6 million, or 99 cents a share, a year earlier. The most recent period included a tax benefit equal to $2.01 a share, the company said.
Phil Falcone isn’t giving up on LightSquared (NYP)
Lawyers for the investor argued in Manhattan Bankruptcy Court on Monday that LightSquared LP is worth more than the $2.5 billion owed to creditors — and therefore Falcone, as majority owner of the equity in LightSquared Inc., its parent, is entitled to receive any excess cash from the sale of its assets. The move by Falcone is a stark turnaround from his position in August — when he said he was seeking a “divorce” from the company. But the latest move shows Falcone is still trying to profit from the company. In addition to the equity, LightSquared Inc., is also part owner of a lease to make telecom’s spectrum work, according to a person familiar with the lease. Falcone tipped the world to his fighting spirit at a Minnesota conference last week. “I will continue to fight for LightSquared,” Falcone said at the Duluth conference, close to where he grew up. “We’re fighting, and will continue to fight until we win, which I know we’ll do,” he said.
Italy's Monte Paschi discussing capital options with government (Reuters)
Italy's Treasury has not ruled out extending repayment deadlines on hundreds of millions of euros in state aid to help troubled lender Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena as it struggles to raise fresh capital, a person close to the matter said on Tuesday. Officials, who declined to be cited by name, said Monte dei Paschi Chairman Alessandro Profumo and Chief Executive Fabrizio Viola had held meetings in the Economy Ministry on Monday to seek options for the bank, after it failed European Central Bank stress tests. Monte dei Paschi, Italy's third-largest bank, was left badly exposed by the ECB's health check of 130 European banks, needing to raise 2.1 billion euros ($2.7 billion) to meet capital thresholds designed to ensure the solidity of the financial system.
Meet the half-blind sanctuary owner who hand feeds his 14 big cats - including a 700lb Siberian tiger - and lets them cuddle in his bed (DM)
He has been bitten on the nose by a leopard and had his shoulder separated after wrestling with a full-grown Bengal tiger. But Carl Bovard, who is blind in one eye, believes living with 14 big cats including two lions, six tigers and a desert lynx, is a risk worth taking to raise awareness about endangered species. They all spend time living in his Florida home before moving into the outside enclosure and are seen clambering over the pool table and cuddling up in his bed. After an accident left him blind around 13 years ago, Mr Bovard realised the main thing he missed was seeing animals – so when he regained sight in one eye he adopted his first two tiger cubs...His biggest tiger is a Siberian named Samson – he weighs more than 700lbs and is over nine and a half feet tall when he stands on his back legs. Despite the fact that Samson could tear him in two with one swipe of his massive paw Carl still carries his food right to him. He added: 'Some people use a guillotine system to feed their tigers but I walk the food right in.
Standard Chartered Profit Falls 16% (Dealbook)
The bank, based in London, said pretax profit declined to $1.53 billion from $1.83 billion in the third quarter of 2013. Standard Chartered said impairments for loans and other credit risks nearly doubled, to $539 million, from $289 million in the period a year earlier.
McDonald’s May Turn Up on Activist’s Menus (Bloomberg)
As the world’s largest restaurant chain loses customers to rivals such as Wendy’s Co. and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., it’s beginning to look vulnerable. McDonald’s valuation relative to earnings is now lower than any of its American peers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That, coupled with the burger chain’s cash and low debt, are key ingredients for an activist campaign that could force more share buybacks or changes in strategy.
Apple CEO Fires Back As Retailers Block Pay (Reuters)
Cook argued on Monday that Apple Pay offered better security and privacy than competing services, and that retailers risked alienating customers by limiting choices at checkout. "It's a skirmish," Cook said in response to a question about the retailers' moves. "Merchants have different objectives sometimes. But in the long arc of time, you only are relevant as a retailer or merchant if your customers love you."
NBA dancers low-balled in ‘rah-rah’ deal (NYP)
Cheerleaders — or dancers as they are called — for the Knicks and for the Brooklyn Nets will pull in $200 or less a game and receive no health insurance coverage from their teams, The Post has learned. “There is no way to live off that money,” Cherielee Passalaqua, a former New Jersey Nets hype team member who now cheers for the NBA, told The Post. The meager earnings come to about $25 to $28.50 an hour. While the pay is low, Passalaqua said, most of the dancers aren’t there to get rich and famous — and they know what they’re getting into. “You’re choosing to put on those shorts where you’re bottom’s hanging out, and a push-up bra, and that makeup,” she said. “You’re there
because you love to dance.”
French police arrest gang of 14 armed clowns (UPI)
Police in southern France said they busted 14 teenagers wearing clown makeup and armed with guns, knives and bats.
Investigators said police received numerous reports of "armed clowns" frightening members of the public during the weekend and 14 teenage suspects in not-so-funny makeup were arrested in a high school parking lot in Agde. The teenagers were in possession of guns, knives and baseball bats, police said. Police said a man wearing clown makeup was arrested in a separate incident in Montpellier. The clown allegedly used an iron bar to attack a pedestrian. Threatening clown sightings have been reported in recent weeks in France, Britain and several locations across the United States.