Hedge Fund Mines Twitter for Stock Tips (Bloomberg)
Tashtego, backed by early Twitter Inc. investor Spark Capital, plans to raise a fund that will use consumer sentiment and trader behavior from social networks to bet on and against U.S. stocks, said Chief Investment Officer Arthur Mateos. The Boston-based firm’s Social Equities Fund, which relies on algorithms, is expected to eventually reach $1 billion in capital, the 45-year-old said.
Bank Bonuses Rise in Europe, Report Finds (Dealbook)
European bonuses were up 18 percent to 136,000 pounds, or about $201,000, in 2015, while bankers’ bonuses in the United States ticked up to the equivalent of £216,000, for the same period. The snapshot of data showed that British banks had increased their bonuses by £5,000, to £126,000, and that Swiss bankers had taken a relative hit, with bonuses falling 26 percent to £162,000.
Silicon Valley Bank Strengthens Its Roots (Dealbook)
Silicon Valley Bank has maintained a dominant position among start-ups and venture capitalists in one of the most promising and lucrative corners of the United States economy. By the bank’s count, it serves 65 percent of all existing start-ups and many of the most prominent venture capital firms. The bank, which is based in a sprawling campus in the heart of Silicon Valley, used to let its start-up clients “graduate” to larger banks as they grew. Now, though, Silicon Valley Bank is making every effort to expand its offerings to hold on to hot technology companies like Fitbit and Square. Silicon Valley Bank’s strategy has brought it into increasing competition with the large banks that want a piece of the technology industry. Though Silicon Valley Bank is relatively small — it has a $40 billion balance sheet, compared to $850 billion for Goldman Sachs — many analysts say they think the bank will maintain its competitive edge.
Treasure hunter ordered to end search for $3 billion in gold in sunken WWII ship (NYDN)
Greg Brooks' company Sea Hunters LP is no longer allowed to salvage additional items from the S.S. Port Nicholson, which was sunk by a Nazi U-boat in 1942, U.S. District Judge George Singal ruled on Wednesday. Brooks said he believed the Port Nicholson carried platinum bars from the Soviet Union that were payment to the U.S. for war supplies. His treasure hunt had led to a criminal investigation and legal action by investors who paid him millions of dollars. The judge also denied an attempt by a group of investors to win recovery rights, claims to what's on the ship if anything is found. The judge wrote that evidence suggests there's nothing valuable to salvage. The record, the judge wrote, suggests that all that remains is "70-year-old truck tires, fenders and miscellaneous other parts and military supplies."
The Nine Ugliest Watches of Baselworld 2015 (Bloomberg)
Ulysse Nardin Erotica Hour Striker: Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like. And yes, those male/female figures do exactly what you think they do when you press the pushers. It’s really hard to have any reaction to this watch other than “Seriously?!” It’s crass, it’s tacky, and it will set you back more than a new Maserati.
For Some Bond Investors, Chicago Isn’t Their Kind of Town (WSJ)
Four pension funds in the nation’s third-largest city are facing a combined funding gap of about $20 billion after years of underfunding and market losses during the recession. In comparison, Chicago has a $3.5 billion annual budget for general operating expenses.
UBS Shareholders to Vote for First Time on Executive and Board Pay (Dealbook)
UBS said on Wednesday that its shareholders would, for the first time, vote on the compensation of its directors and its top executives at its annual meeting in May.
Prosecutors scolded for delay request in ex-Goldman programmer trial (NYP)
Prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office incurred the wrath of a judge on Wednesday after showing up unprepared to try a case on the docket since 2012. “You screwed this up, to put it colloquially,” Justice Daniel Convisor told ADA Daniel Holmes. “This is on you. You and your office.” Convisor is overseeing the prosecution of Sergey Aleynikov, the former Goldman Sachs programmer who inspired Michael Lewis’ 2014 best-seller, “Flash Boys.” It is the second time Aleynikov has been put on trial. He was convicted after a federal court trial — but the verdict was tossed on appeal, but not until Aleynikov served a year of an eight-year sentence.
Brazil’s Richest Man May Reap $5.6 Billion in Kraft-Heinz Merger (Bloomberg)
Brazil’s richest man Jorge Paulo Lemann may add more than $5 billion to his personal fortune after ketchup maker H.J. Heinz merges with Kraft Foods Group Inc. Heinz, controlled by Lemann’s 3G Capital and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., agreed last week to buy the macaroni-and-cheese maker Kraft in a cash-and-stock deal. Heinz’s 51 percent of the combined company will be worth about $45 billion, valuing Lemann’s stake at about $9.6 billion, said Kevin Dreyer, a portfolio manager at Gabelli Equity Trust Inc. Lemann has invested about $4 billion through 3G Capital, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Paul Tudor Jones buys $71 million Palm Beach estate (CNBC)
Paul Tudor Jones, who last week warned of the rising wealth gap sparking a revolution, just spent $71 million on an estate in Palm Beach, Florida...The house was sold by real-estate developer Dwight Schar, who bought the property from Perelman. The estate is on six acres, has 420 feet of oceanfront and a landmarked house reportedly built in 1918.
Ackman Report on Herbalife in China Figures in Probe (WSJ)
When billionaire investor William Ackman organized a widely publicized conference call a year ago, he said it would prove that Herbalife Ltd. was operating a pyramid scheme in China in violation of local laws. The March 2014 event was another jab in the long-running fight between the two sides, a saga that has seen wild turns in Herbalife’s stock and left Wall Street scratching its head about who is right. One year later, the debate about Herbalife’s operations in China and Mr. Ackman’s $1 billion bet against the company rages on. Now, federal prosecutors have begun to look at the presentation as part of their probe into potential market manipulation of Herbalife’s stock, according to people familiar with the matter.
April Fools' Day prank gone wrong burns Michigan apartment (UPI)
A Michigan college student's April Fools' prank gone wrong was blamed for an apartment fire that led to a building being evacuated, firefighters said. The Allendale Fire Department said crews from Allendale, Blendon Township, and Georgetown Township responded Wednesday morning to battle the blaze in an apartment near the campus of Grand Valley State University. Investigators said the fire apparently started when one of the four female college students living in the apartment tossed a fire cracker at a roommate as part of an April Fools' Day prank and the firework landed in hamper, igniting the laundry inside.