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Opening Bell: 1.22.15

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Family Dollar shareholders approve Dollar Tree deal (Reuters)
Family Dollar Stores Inc's shareholders approved the discount retailer's deal to be bought by Dollar Tree Inc (DLTR.O), effectively putting Dollar General Corp out of the race to buy the company. About 84 million shares were voted in favor of the deal, representing 74 percent of the total outstanding shares.

Schneiderman makes another splash in Barclays dark pool (NYP)
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed an amended complaint against the British bank, claiming that two of its top executives aren’t cooperating with the office’s investigation into one of its “dark pools.” The complaint also names additional instances of when Barclays misrepresented its trading platform to investors. The new accusations come as the AG’s office has combed through hundreds of thousands of additional documents since making its initial accusations in June, according to an official from the AG’s office who wasn’t authorized to speak about the case. The complaint points to William White, head of electronic trading, and his second-in-command, David Johnsen, head of product development, as refusing to cooperate with the probe. It’s the first time any names have been singled out in the case.

How Greece and Germany Brought Europe’s Long-Simmering Crisis Back to a Boil (WSJ)
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, under pressure at home to end his country’s financial bailout regimen, sought help last spring from German Chancellor Angela Merkel about relieving some of Greece’s debt. Ms. Merkel asked an interpreter to translate the phrase “debt relief,” according to people familiar with the meeting. Then she told Mr. Samaras: “It doesn’t sound as good in German.” The retort was an early sign Greece could expect little clemency from its German-led creditors.

Best Hedge Fund in Sweden Posts Historic Volatility Returns (Bloomberg)
“It’s become more exciting,” Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Svante Bergstroem said in an interview in Stockholm. “The second half of 2014 was very positive for us and since April we have had nine consecutive months with a plus, which we have never had in the history of the fund.” The $5.5 billion fund has profited from disruptions caused by a slumping oil price, central bank stimulus and even sanctions against Russia. The fund’s investments are determined by its proprietary model, which tracks patterns in financial markets, Bergstroem said.

Patriots Deflation Scandal May Cost Team NFL Draft Pick, Fine (Bloomberg)
The New England Patriots face a potential fine or loss of draft picks if a National Football League investigation finds the team broke rules by deflating footballs used in its conference championship game victory. The NFL’s probe found that 11 of the 12 balls supplied by the Patriots and used by their offense in the 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 18 were underinflated by about 2 pounds per square inch below the league’s 12.5 to 13.5 PSI requirement, according to ESPN. Balls inflated to less than the required weight may be easier for a quarterback to throw and receivers to catch, particularly in wet or cold conditions.

Meth-Drone Crashes Near US-Mexico Border (AP)
Police in a Mexican border city said Wednesday that a drone overloaded with illicit methamphetamine crashed into a supermarket parking lot. Tijuana police spokesman Jorge Morrua said authorities were alerted after the drone fell Tuesday night near the San Ysidro crossing at Mexico's border with California. Six packets of the drug, weighing more than six pounds, were taped to the six-propeller remote-controlled aircraft. Morrua said authorities are investigating where the flight originated and who was controlling it. He said it was not the first time they had seen drones used for smuggling drugs across the border.

Traders Once Starved for Volatility Now See Too Much (Bloomberg)
As the value of the Canadian dollar plunged the most in more than three years in just two minutes, Brad Schruder remembered a lesson he’d learned in the chaos of the financial crisis. “Prices on a screen can no longer be trusted,” Schruder, a director of foreign-exchange sales at Bank of Montreal said Wednesday from Toronto. “No one knows what a price is.” Volatility in the $5.3 trillion-a-day currency market has become too much of a good thing for many traders, who usually depend on fluctuations in exchange rates to generate profits. Price swings surged to the highest level in a year and a half as surprise moves such as the Bank of Canada’s interest-rate cut on Wednesday left investors unable to keep up with changes as quotes flashed on computer screens.

KKR Refunds Some Fees To Investors (WSJ)
KKR & Co. refunded money to investors in some of its buyout funds after regulators found it overcharged them, marking one of the highest-profile results yet of regulators’ increased scrutiny of the private-equity business. The decision by KKR, one of the world’s largest private-equity firms, came in response to an examination by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which found the firm wrongly charged investors for some expenses and failed to properly notify them of certain fees it collected, according to a document from one of KKR’s largest investors.

China Injects $8 Billion Into Banking System (WSJ)
The People’s Bank of China offered 50 billion yuan ($8 billion) of seven-day reverse repos, a short-term lending facility to commercial banks, in its open-market operation Thursday. It last used these in January of 2014, and it was the first net addition of funds since mid-December.

Icahn to Seek 2 Seats on Gannett’s Board (Dealbook)
Fresh off signing a truce with eBay, the activist investor disclosed on Thursday that he planned to seek two seats on the board of Gannett, as well as to make proposals to prevent the media company from installing defenses against potential takeover bids. The move by Mr. Icahn precedes a planned breakup of Gannett into two companies, separating out its newspaper unit, which includes USA Today, from its much bigger broadcast operations.

Bigfoot hunter plans to launch $3 million startup to track mythical beast (NYDN)
A Bigfoot hunter aims to raise $3 million from an initial public offering that he says he'll use to track down the mythical beast. Carmine (Tom) Biscardi is planning to sell stocks in his Bigfoot Project Investments company so he can pay for expeditions to find the creature also known as a Sasquatch, reports the Wall Street Journal. He also plans to spend the money making movies and DVDs about the animal. "Capture the creature known as Bigfoot" is one of the company's goals, according to its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But Wall Street doesn't seem entirely convinced by his project, which is being pursued with his partners under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act. Investment expert Kathy Boyle, who is president of Chapin Hill Advisors, said only true believers would probably be interested in the venture. "If you believed in Bigfoot, or you thought there really was a Bigfoot and you actually had some money to burn and wanted to play with this, then go for it," she added.


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Opening Bell: 1.10.17

French banks rebuff Le Pen; big banks losing junk debt deals to boutiques; Iran's porn shield goes haywire; and more.


Opening Bell: 9.20.16

Mike Mayo thinks Wells chief sucks but should stay on; Jack Ma’s finance biz may be worth more than Goldman Sachs; Bald eagles trained to snatch hostile drones; and more.

Opening Bell: 12.15.15

Big bankers ditch Wall Street for fintech; Bond investors are freaking out; Bill Gross says chill; New startup wants you to bet $10k on your marriage lasting; and more.

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Opening Bell: 5.2.17

Jes Staley is in the hot seat again; Goldman is finally becoming a real bank; the only good outfit at the Met Gala; and more.