Opening Bell: 10.30.14

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The show must go on.

$1.5 Million Sent in Error to Money Manager (Both Are Missing) (Dealbook)
Credit Suisse says it wired a total of $1.5 million in three transactions to the hedge fund’s bank account on one day in January. Two weeks later, according to its lawsuit, the bank realized it had made a mistake: At the time of the wire transfers, the hedge fund, Galbraith Capital Investment Management, was winding down operations and it had no cash left in its account with Credit Suisse. The bank asked for its money back. It is still waiting. The bank sued Galbraith Capital and its manager, Joseph B. Galbraith, seeking to recover the money. Credit Suisse filed a motion in a New York State court in August seeking a default judgment against Mr. Galbraith and the hedge fund. At a hearing this month, a New York State judge orally granted a judgment against the hedge fund but not against Mr. Galbraith, a person briefed on the matter said. Mr. Galbraith has yet to file a legal response in the case or be personally served with court papers. So now Credit Suisse is left to play a different game: Where in the world is Joseph B. Galbraith? People who know Mr. Galbraith, 42, who renounced his United States citizenship in 2011, say they think he is living with his second wife in Europe, possibly in Monaco. Reached by a reporter recently via email, Mr. Galbraith said he had not been aware of the Credit Suisse lawsuit. In an email, he said the accusations against him were “ridiculous, bordering on laughable” and part of an effort to malign and slander his character.

Investor Activism, Already Robust, Expected to Rise in Next Year (Dealbook)
...virtually all the senior corporate executives and activist hedge fund managers surveyed by the law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel and the data provider Mergermarket said they believed that activism would rise over the next 12 months. More than half said the increase would be “substantial.” The results, to be released at an activism conference hosted by Schulte Roth on Wednesday, signal the undiminished confidence in the power of outspoken dissident investors. Over the last year alone, activist shareholders have prompted management changes at Darden Restaurants, helped spur breakups at a slew of companies, and gained seats on numerous corporate boards. Recent data suggests that the success of activism campaigns has more than doubled over the last decade, to more than 70 percent.

Bad Bets Rock Fortress’s Macro Fund (WSJ)
The $3 billion Fortress Macro Fund, which Mr. Novogratz launched in 2002, has lost more than 9% so far this year, with half of that drop coming this month. It is the latest setback for macro funds, which seek to anticipate global economic shifts in various markets. The Fortress loss is worse than most others and stands out following years of market-beating performance. The culprit? A series of bad bets against U.S. government bonds and the Japanese yen, along with a wrong-way wager on Brazil, investors say.

Pimco Brings Back Two Former Executives (WSJ, earlier)
The food truck, called Monsieur Madame, according to its Facebook page, will continue operating, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Barclays bribed Saudi royalty: lawsuit (NYP)
Barclays bribed a member of the Saudi royal family and ignored a defaulted lease payment from the country in order to secure a rare banking license inside Saudi Arabia, a lawsuit against the bank alleges. The giant UK bank should have gone after the lease payment but chose not to because it didn’t want to anger the government and risk losing the lucrative business, according to the lawsuit, filed by a Saudi real estate company in Manhattan state court. “Barclays knew that any such license would be extremely lucrative and that its litigations against the Saudi government made obtaining such a license impossible,” according to the suit. The real estate company, Jadawel International, also claims Barclays paid millions in a “thinly disguised bribe” to a company owned by a Saudi prince for advisory services. Barclays strongly denied the accusations.

Suspected meth dealer turned in by own dog while hiding behind Alabama home: police (NYDN)
The suspected meth head managed to run out the backdoor and down a 25-foot ravine where officers temporarily managed to lose him. It was at that moment they were greeted by Henderson's pit bull-husky mix who came out of the woods where Henderson had fled. "The dog, later identified as Bo, looked at one of the investigators and the investigator pointed at Henderson and said go get him. Bo without hesitation went down the ravine trailed by two Drug Enforcement Investigators," the police department said in a release. While the two investigators weren't immediately successful, Bo apparently was. Upon exiting the brush Bo tipped them off to some tall grass he was now hiding in, all by the swoosh of his tail. There with him they found Henderson lying flat on the ground. "Bo was rewarded with dog biscuits from our K-9 Sergeant," the Prattville Police Department said.

Goldman at odds with rivals over Alibaba (FT)
Goldman Sachs is at odds with its fellow Alibaba advisers after it awarded a “neutral” rating to the Chinese ecommerce group’s shares with a price target well below those of the other banks most closely involved in the initial public offering last month. The six banks who led Alibaba’s $25bn flotation published research on Wednesday after observing the research blackout that follows a new listing. Price targets for the shares over the next 12 months ranged between $102 from Goldman to $118 from Citigroup...Alibaba’s other lead advisers – JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Citi, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse – all rated the company a “buy” or “overweight” with price targets of $112 (two of them), $118, $111 and $114 respectively.

Harassed consumer scores $22.5K from Dish Network (NYP)
In a move that will bring a smile to every person who has had a frustrating run-in with a TV provider, Dish Network has been ordered by a federal judge to pay $22,500 to a West Virginia man after it made 31 calls to his cell phone to pestering him to pay an overdue bill. It turns out the man, Chester Moore, was never a Dish customer and didn’t owe the Charlie Ergen-controlled satellite-TV outfit a dime. Plus, Moore had alerted a Dish representative on two occasions of the screw-up. On both occasions, Dish’s reps assured Moore the calls would stop. But the calls — made by an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) — kept coming. It seems the former Dish customer the company was after had the same cell number as Moore.

Blackstone Group is the Barclays Center’s white knight (NYP)
Schwarzman is buying up old team and arena loans. Also, he is considering helping the Barclays Center rework its $511 million in Pilot (payment in lieu of taxes) bonds, enabling Barclays to lower an almost 7 percent interest rate on the bonds. “Blackstone has been approached and is analyzing it,” a source said. Goldman Sachs, which issued the Pilot bonds, is working on the arena’s behalf, sources said. Meanwhile, Blackstone in recent weeks through its GSO arm refinanced $60 million of Brooklyn Nets debt. That piece of the team’s $210 million loan was coming due, and Blackstone had the most enticing offer, sources said. The Nets — likely worth nearly $2 billion but posting $144 million in losses last year — are likely paying about 7.5 percent, a source said. Blackstone, too, has lent the Brooklyn Nets new Sunset Park practice facility $50 million, a source said.

Florida woman busted with 6 ounces of cocaine inside her vagina: cops (NYDN)
A 26-year-old Florida woman flying in from Jamaica was busted with six ounces of cocaine she’d hidden in her vagina, according to authorities. KathyAnn Ferguson was likely working as a “drug mule, for lack of a better term,” a judge said at her court appearance Monday, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported. Ferguson arrived in Florida on a JetBlue plane like this one that left from Montego Bay, Jamaica. The Hollywood, Fla., woman arrived on a JetBlue flight from Montego Bay, Jamaica, to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Sunday afternoon and was pulled aside for a secondary search, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the newspaper. At that point she admitted she had a package of coke stuffed inside her privates. After her arrest, Ferguson voluntarily pulled some 175 grams, or about six ounces, of the drug from her vagina, the Sun Sentinel reported.

Related

Opening Bell: 04.27.12

LightSquared Lenders Pressure Falcone (WSJ) If Mr. Falcone doesn't agree to eventually leave LightSquared's board and make way for new executives and directors at the wireless communications firm, lenders are likely to balk and the company could end up filing for bankruptcy protection, they said. Shareholders Rebuke Barclays, Credit Suisse on Pay (Reuters) More than a quarter of Barclays shareholders look set to vote against the British bank's controversial pay plan for bosses and Credit Suisse is also facing a backlash as investors seek a greater share of profits. Stormy annual shareholder meetings at both banks got underway on Friday with many attendees complaining executives are getting too big a slice of bank income at their expense...Barclays Chairman Marcus Agius apologized for badly communicating the bank's pay strategy and promised to "materially" increase the dividend shareholders receive, helping to lift the bank's shares more than 4 percent. But he was heckled during his speech to a packed hall of about 2,000 shareholders and his comments about pay were greeted with laughter in some quarters. Renowned short-seller bets against Fortescue (SMH) Hedge fund short-seller Jim Chanos has singled out Fortescue Metals as a "value trap" stock, telling a New York conference that shares in billionaire Andrew Forrest's company will fall "materially." In a presentation this month to Grant's Spring Conference, a private investment forum, Mr Chanos, the boss of Kynikos Associates, told investors he feared iron ore miner Fortescue has "a somewhat promotional management team." Goldman Banker Probed For Alleged Leaks To Galleon (WSJ) U.S. prosecutors and securities regulators are investigating whether a senior Goldman investment banker gave Galleon hedge-fund traders advance word of pending health-care deals, according to people familiar with the matter. The banker, whom the people identified as Matthew Korenberg, is a San Francisco-based managing director for Goldman, a senior post. Among the merger deals being scrutinized by Los Angeles federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission is the 2009 acquisition by Abbott Laboratories of Advanced Medical Optics, a Santa Ana, Calif., medical-device maker—a deal in which Mr. Korenberg advised Advanced Medical Optics, the people say. Another is the acquisition of APP Pharmaceuticals Inc. by Fresenius, announced in July 2008, in which Goldman advised APP, they say. Unlikely Allies (NYP) Billionaire hedge-fund mogul and Republican stalwart Paul Singer is in an odd position of late — asking the Obama administration for help to keep troubled mortgage lender ResCap out of bankruptcy. Singer, whose Elliott Associates owns debt in the mortgage lender, a unit of Ally Financial, asked Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in recent weeks to use the government’s 74-percent stake in Ally to press for an alternative financial cure. An out-of-bankruptcy solution would help Elliott, to be sure, but would also assist the White House by keeping a unit of one of its high-profit bailouts from outright failure. But Singer, so far, hasn’t gotten any satisfaction. Geithner, insiders said, doesn’t want to use Treasury’s muscle to stop the likely Chapter 11 filing because it could be interpreted as the government overstepping its bounds. Spain Urges Focus On Reforms After Downgrade (WSJ) The government has embarked on a plan of far-reaching reforms to overhaul the economy, including new labor laws and a cleanup of the banking sector. Mr. Jiménez Latorre said these reforms will pay dividends in the medium- to long-term. The S&P ratings action "just focuses on the immediate effects," which won't be positive, Mr. Jiménez Latorre said. Dream Stenographer / Lucid Dreaming Partner (Craigslist) "I possess the wonderful gift of regularly occuring and incredibly vivid lucid dreams. In these dreams I have written Pulitzer Prize winning novels, bioengineered the cure for HIV, and brokered a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. I have also composed Grammy winning albums. The only problem is humanity hasn't and can't benefit from my accomplishments because I forget how I achieved them shortly after waking. As a modern Renaissance man and philosopher scientist, my conscience cannot be at peace knowing I'm not doing everything possible to save my fellow human beings. Therefore I would like to a hire a dream stenographer to write down my ideas so that I may share them with the world. You, the dream stenographer, will sleep within arm's reach of me on selected nights when I feel my mind is operating at its peak performance level. Sleeping is mandatory as I'm not able to reach my optimum dream state when someone is watching me sleep. Remaining within arm's reach at all times is also mandatory so that I may wake you as quickly as possible to begin recording my stream of consciousness.Qualified applicants will be excellent note takers with unrivaled penmanship." KKR Earnings Beat Expectations (WSJ) Economic net income, a measure of private-equity firms' profitability that analysts follow because it includes both realized and unrealized investment gains, was $727.2 million, or 99 cents a share, compared to $742.5 million, or 96 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. The earnings came in at the top end of analysts' estimates, with a consensus economic net income of $486.6 million, or 74 cents a share, according to Thompson Reuters. NYSE CEO 'very disappointed' to lose out on Facebook listing (DJ) Just so you know. Wells Fargo to Buy Merlin Securities Prime Brokerage (Bloomberg) The purchase is Wells Fargo’s first foray into prime brokerage services and the bank will use the business as a foundation to expand, said Christopher Bartlett, head of equity sales and trading at the San Francisco-based lender. Prime- brokerage includes services such as lending, clearing trades and record-keeping that help hedge fund managers run their firms. Bartlett wouldn’t say how much Wells Fargo paid and a statement set to be released later today didn’t disclose the terms. Bo Xilai's Son Ticketed in Porsche (WSJ) Disputing a notion common in China that he lives a lavish lifestyle, Mr. Bo wrote to the Harvard Crimson on Tuesday saying he wished to address "rumors and allegations about myself." Among other things, "I have never driven a Ferrari," he wrote. The Wall Street Journal reported in November, based on people familiar with the episode, that Mr. Bo, the grandson of an illustrious Communist leader of the Mao era, arrived at the U.S. ambassador's residence in Beijing in a red Ferrari last year to pick up the daughter of the then-ambassador...Massachusetts Department of Transportation records show Mr. Bo was stopped by police for allegedly running stop signs in December 2010 and May 2011, one of them at 2:20 a.m., and for speeding in February 2011. The license plate of the car, which the Journal learned from someone familiar with the matter, showed it was a black 2011 Porsche Panamera registered to someone at his address.

Opening Bell: 6.6.16

Saudi central bank bans use of options against riyal; June rate hike "almost surely off the table"; Murder victim’s parents say parrot witnessed crime; and more.