American Apparel updates code of ethics document (Reuters)
American Apparel Inc updated its code of ethics on the company's website, after firing founder Dov Charney as its chief executive last month for alleged misconduct. "No management-level employee may make sexual advances, welcome or unwelcome, toward any subordinate," the ethics document of the retailer read. The retailer, known for its provocative clothing ads, fired Dov Charney last month, ending a tenure racked with sexual assault allegations and scandal. He was fired as chairman and suspended as chief executive in June last year, with alleged misuse of corporate funds and role in disseminating nude photos of an ex-employee who had sued him being cited as reasons. "No employee who has a personal relationship or romantic relationship with another employee may be in a position with any perceived or actual influence over the other's terms of employment," the new ethics code on the company's website said. The new code specified that 'romantic relationship' could refer to both casual dating and committed relationships.
Hamm Divorce Judge Won’t Change $1 Billion Award to Ex-Wife (Bloomberg)
The judge who awarded almost $1 billion to the ex-wife of Continental Resources Inc. (CLR) founder Harold Hamm after a divorce trial won’t revisit his ruling despite requests by both sides to change it, saying “It is what it is.” Hamm, the Oklahoma fracking billionaire, argued in court papers that plunging oil prices should entitle him to a break on the assets awarded to his ex-wife, who countered that the award is too small. Judge Howard Haralson in state court in Oklahoma City today gave short shrift to their claims, telling them at a hearing that he wouldn’t retry the matter. “We knew at the time of trial that oil prices were plummeting,” Haralson said. “I see the relationship between the price of oil and the price of stock.”
Deep Debt Keeps Oil Firms Pumping (WSJ)
American oil and gas companies have gone heavily into debt during the energy boom, increasing their borrowings by 55% since 2010, to almost $200 billion. Their need to service that debt helps explain why U.S. producers plan to continue pumping oil even as crude trades for less than $50 a barrel, down 55% since last June. But signs of strain are building in the oil patch, where revenue growth hasn’t kept pace with borrowing. On Sunday, a private company that drills in Texas, WBH Energy LP, and its partners, filed for bankruptcy protection, saying a lender refused to advance more money and citing debt of between $10 million and $50 million.
Son Who Allegedly Killed Father Over Allowance Also Suspected in Arson (Gawker)
The man suspected of murdering his hedge fund manager father over an allowance cut is also the prime suspect in a suspicious fire at a romantic rival's Hamptons home, police say. Thomas Gilbert Jr., a 30-year-old yoga enthusiast, was apparently under investigation in connection with a suspected arson in Sagaponack, NY. The late-night fire destroyed the home of one Philip Smith, the New York Post reports.
Investment Firm 3G Capital Eyes Next Targets (WSJ)
In the past several weeks, investors have pledged about $5 billion to a new takeover fund being formed by 3G, according to people familiar with the matter. 3G hasn’t publicly disclosed the amount raised or what it plans to do with the money, but 3G usually seeks only what it needs in equity for individual deals, using borrowed money to at least quadruple the firm’s buying power. In a sign of the investment firm’s aspirations, executives are discussing the possibility of trying to buy a food or beverage company such as Campbell Soup Co. , worth about $14 billion, or even PepsiCo Inc., which has a stock-market value of $140 billion, say people familiar with the situation.
NYTimes Feels Sorry for Its Knicks Beat Writer, Asks Readers If He Should Cover Their Rec League Teams Instead (DI)
"...we feel it’s only merciful to give our Knicks beat writer, Scott Cacciola, a break from such woeful basketball. He deserves to see the game played at a higher level. For the next month or so, we would like to point him to some good, quality basketball, wherever it might exist. Any suggestions? Maybe there’s another N.B.A. team that warrants his attention, or perhaps a high school or a college squad. For that matter, maybe you know of a strong coed team at your local Y that Scott should write about."
Finra to investigate US bond trading (FT)
A top regulator for the US brokerage industry said it would begin examining the bond market, including the operations of electronic debt trading platforms that were proliferating as investors seek new ways of trading fixed-income securities.
The review, announced as part of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s annual letter of regulatory and exam priorities, comes as the fixed-income market undergoes a change in the way investors buy and sell a wide variety of debt. Large trades of many fixed-income securities, but especially corporate bonds, have historically been struck over the phone between investors and dealers at big banks, but more of the transactions are migrating to new electronic trading venues as many financial institutions retreat from the bond trading business. The lack of liquidity in parts of the bond market has worried regulators, who are trying to gauge how retail investors may be affected by the evolution of the fixed-income asset class.
Single malt from Taiwan shakes up whiskey industry (CNBC)
While still relatively undiscovered by the masses, Kavalan, Taiwan's first distillery owned by domestic conglomerate King Car Group, has been racking up awards, most recently winning top honors at the 2014 Malt Maniacs Awards, which is followed by industry experts..."Between 2013 and 2014, we've seen a roughly 50 percent growth in exports, and are optimistic we'll see a similar level of growth in 2015," Ian Chang, master blender and global export director at Kavalan, told CNBC in a phone interview.
Janus’ Gross Sees No Rate Increase Until Late 2015 ‘If at All’ (Bloomberg)
While the Fed has concluded its three rounds of asset purchases, known as quantitative easing, interest rates in almost all developed economies will remain near zero as central banks in Europe and Japan embark on similar projects, Gross said in an outlook published on the website of Janus Capital Group Inc., where he runs the $1.2 billion Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund.
'I Have Drugs' T-Shirt Worn By Marijuana And Methamphetamine Suspect (HP)
The words written across John Balmer's chest really fit him to a tee. The 50-year-old was wearing a shirt that read, "Who Needs Drugs?" in big letters, with "Seriously, I Have Drugs" in smaller letters underneath when cops allegedly found him with a bag containing — guess what? — drugs in a Kmart in Hudson, Florida, according to TampaBay.com. The ironic arrest occurred after a Pasco County Sheriff's deputy allegedly saw Balmer attempt to pass a plastic bag containing pot and meth to another customer on the checkout line. When that person didn't take the bag, police said Balmer walked to another register where he allegedly placed the drug-filled baggie on the ground. Balmer returned to pay for his items, but store employees informed officers about the bag. The officers picked up the bag and discovered the drugs...There's a long line of suspects busted while dressed in Incriminating t-shirts. In November, Deborah Delane Asher, 37, was busted in Kentucky for possessing meth while wearing an "I love crystal meth" T-shirt.