Greece, EU Strike Friendlier Tone After Hopes of Quick Deal Are Dashed (WSJ)
“I think today we leave having made important steps,” Greece’s prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, said after a summit of European Union leaders in Brussels. “We didn’t cover the full distance but we covered an important part, and proved that the EU is a field of conflicts and compromises.”
Two J. P. Morgan Executives Connected to Asia Hiring Probe Pushed Out (WSJ)
The executives haven’t been accused of wrongdoing, but the bank wanted to be cautious and freeze the options until the investigation is concluded, one of these people said...U.S. prosecutors and regulators are investigating the hiring practices in Asia of J.P. Morgan and several other banks, people briefed on the investigation have said. The J.P. Morgan investigation deals specifically with whether the bank gave jobs to Chinese government officials’ children in return for lucrative investment-banking assignments the officials could dole out.
Top China Hedge Fund Says Best Trade of 2014 Is Back On (Bloomberg)
The top-performing China hedge fund is piling back into property shares, reviving a trade that propelled it to a 46 percent gain in the second half of 2014. Marco Polo Pure Asset Management has been buying developers, including Poly Real Estate Group Co. and Beijing Capital Development Co., after the industry’s benchmark gauge in Shanghai dropped as much as 19 percent from this year’s high. That same trade helped drive the fund’s gain in 2014 as China’s interest-rate cut in November sent the Shanghai Property Index to a 60 percent surge through Jan. 5, according to Aaron Boesky, Marco Polo’s chief executive officer in Hong Kong.
Strauss-Kahn Called Women at Sex Parties ‘Equipment’ in Text (Bloomberg)
Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, admitted Thursday using the word to refer to women was “inappropriate.” The 65-year-old, who is accused of aggravated pimping, said the use of the phrase doesn’t mean he saw them as sex workers. In a text message, “it’s easy to be uninhibited,” the 65-year-old Strauss-Kahn said on his last day of testimony in Lille, France. “The word equipment was used once.”
'Family Feud' contestant says ‘a gerbil’ is an item doctors commonly remove from patients (NYDN)
In Monday's episode, the contestant, whose first name is Darci, was asked to provide one of the most common answers to the question: "What does a doctor pull out of a person?" "A gerbil!" she replied. Needless to say, it was not one of the top seven answers on the board. She immediately grimaced and shouted, "I didn't say that! I didn't say that!" Darci claimed she "read about that once."
I.M.F. Announces $17.5 Billion Package to Help Kiev Stabilize Economy (NYT)
The new plan replaces a $17 billion emergency bailout that was extended last year after mass street protests in Ukraine ousted the country’s president, Viktor F. Yanukovych; Russia annexed Crimea; and a violent separatist uprising began in the east of the country. That uprising has now stretched into a nearly yearlong battle that has devastated Ukraine’s economy.
Ackman Says Tax Inversion Rules Could Lead to U.S. Drugmakers Selling to Overseas Buyers (Bloomberg)
Instead of buying overseas targets, Ackman said, U.S. drugmakers may become sellers in order to gain similar benefits. “We have more consolidation with a foreign buyer with a more favorable structure buying U.S. companies,” he said Thursday on the sidelines of the Harbor Investment Conference in New York.
Why Shaquille O’Neal still invests in penny stocks (CNBC)
With an estimated net worth of $250 million, Shaquille O'Neal was asked Thursday on CNBC's "Closing Bell" if and why he is still investing in penny stocks. "You wanna know why ... I'll tell you why," O'Neal said happily, while calling over stock broker (and the New York Stock Exchange's most photographed person), Peter Tuchman. The 7-foot-1-inch ex-basketball player placed his arm around the tiny trader and responded: "Peter is smart. So when I'm at home and I got my suit on, I wanna feel like Peter when I'm messing with my penny stocks." O'Neal said he trades these small stocks "because it's fun," admitting that "it hasn't really been going too well." "The big stocks I let my guy handle," he said. That's when things got emotional. "I wanna be like you Peter!" Shaq exclaimed, before planting a few kisses on the top of Tuchman's head.
Ride-Hailing Service Lyft Is Said to Be in Talks to Raise $250 Million (Dealbook)
In the battle over ride-hailing services, Lyft is preparing a counterpunch against Uber, its much bigger rival. Lyft is in talks to raise about $250 million in new financing, putting a value for the three-year-old start-up at $2 billion, people briefed on the matter said on Thursday...Uber’s coffers are also much deeper. The company has raised more than $4 billion from major institutional firms, and is valued by investors at over $40 billion.
Drunk couple fell asleep in dumpster, rode in garbage truck (UPI)
Authorities in Florida said a couple who took a nap in a dumpster after a drunken night at a casino nearly met their end in the back of a garbage truck. Hillsborough County garbage truck driver Radames Valazquez called 911 early Wednesday morning to report a man and a woman were trapped in the back of his truck. Valazquez said he was about to compact his truck's load when he heard the couple shouting for help. "I got two people, I don't know how they got in the back of the truck, but they stuck in the truck. I almost killed both of them," he told the 911 dispatcher. Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies said they determined Donald Jordan, 37, and Lisa Sirabella, 49, had fallen asleep in a WaWa gas station dumpster after a drunken night at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. Jordan, who authorities said appeared highly intoxicated, told deputies he and Sirabella were visiting Tampa from Kissimmee and sought warmth in the dumpster after being left stranded by some friends.