Opening Bell: 6.25.15

Greece and Puerto Rico are screwed; Uber water taxi; Testicle-eating fish caught in New Jersey; and more.
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Dueling Greece Plans Confound Race for Bailout Deal (Bloomberg)
“We have run out of comments and also run out of patience,” Malta’s Finance Minister Edward Scicluna told reporters as he arrived for the meeting in Brussels Thursday. The two documents were merged minutes before ministers met, he said. “We don’t know what has been deleted or added. We don’t know where the disagreements are.”

Greece’s Fragile Banks Leave Alexis Tsipras Few Options in Bailout Talks (WSJ)
As nervous Greek savers continue to pull their money from banks, the country’s four major lenders are being sustained by a life-support drip of emergency liquidity reviewed daily by the European Central Bank. If the ECB chooses to end that assistance, Greece would be forced overnight into a perilous regime of capital controls.

Puerto Rico Debt Crisis Mounts With Key Deadline Just Week Away (Bloomberg)
Prices of the junk-rated island’s newest general obligations reached a record low Wednesday after David Chafey, chairman of the territory’s Government Development Bank, said he’s resigning for personal reasons. The departure, which sparked worries about a leadership void, came as a group of hedge funds asked GDB officials and the governor for a meeting to discuss terms of a planned bond sale.

Morgan Stanley flouts Fed guidelines with risky $1B loan (NYP)
The investment bank, led by CEO James Gorman, has underwritten a roughly $1 billion highly leveraged loan — one that rivals passed on — at a ratio of 7.5 times debt-to-earnings. That’s 150 basis points over the Federal Reserve guideline designed to limit the amount of loans that banks extend to indebted companies, said a source at a rival bank. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point. Morgan Stanley is providing debt that will fund Stone Point Capital’s agreement to buy Alliant Insurance from KKR.

'Testicle Eating Fish' With Human-Like Teeth Caught In New Jersey (HP)
A fisherman at a South New Jersey lake caught an exotic fish native to South America with human-like teeth and an overblown reputation for munching on male genitalia. Ron Rossi caught a pacu -- a tropical freshwater fish typically found in the Amazon River -- in Swedes Lake on Sunday, according to WPVI. Pacus gained a reputation as "testicle eating fish" after Jeremy Wade featured them on a 2011 episode of his Animal Planet show "River Monsters." Wade said Amazonian locals told him two men died after they had their testicles bitten off by a fish.

Uber Crosses Continents With Istanbul Water-Taxi Service (Bloomberg)
The service, called UberBOAT, will appear on the smartphone app when a user stands near the coastline of the city’s central waterway. Trips will be made in Beneteau boats owned by a local company, Navette-Tezman Holding, which will compete with tanker traffic and pleasure cruisers to take customers to their desired destination.

The Mansion Bedroom Boom (WSJ)
A new crop of luxury homes on the market come with an unusual promise: The owner can go at least two weeks without sleeping in the same bedroom twice. Real-estate agents say there’s a pickup in activity for extreme second homes with 15 or more bedrooms. These summer getaways appeal to billionaires primarily looking for privacy and security—somewhere to host their friends and extended families without having to use hotels or multiple properties.

Last-minute Father’s Day gift turns dad into a millionaire (AP)
Joseph Morrah, 61, was given the winning $1 Million Payout ticket on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. His daughter, Christina Morrah, put the ticket in a card she gave to him. But his wife, Debbie Morrah, said it was her idea to buy the $20 ticket. “I said, ‘Buy a lottery ticket for him,’ because I didn’t get him anything, and I felt bad,” she said.

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Opening Bell: 6.10.16

Puerto Rico debt crisis bill passes house; Whistleblower aided SEC in Deutsche probe; Man reaches day 322 of eating Chipotle every day; and more.

Opening Bell: 6.15.15

Greece; Twitter; Liquidity or lack thereof; Barclays bankers nervous after EmailGate; "My boss grabbed my crotch and broke my testicle"; and more.

Opening Bell: 9.22.15

Blankfein has lymphoma; UBS sued over Puerto Rico; Greece closes in on $3.4 billion; "Woman, 27, Arrested For Pooper Scooper Attack On Her Live-In Boyfriend": AND MORE.

Opening Bell: 7.29.15

Puerto Rico sitch not great for US; Hedge funds like London; Disneyland Paris probe; Twitter; Yelp; Brazil; "Fugitive-turned-actor arrested after U.S. Marshals read film write-up"; and more.

Opening Bell: 06.21.13

U.S. Weighs Doubling Leverage Standard for Biggest Banks (Bloomberg) The standard would increase the amount of capital the lenders must hold to 6 percent of total assets, regardless of their risk, according to four people with knowledge of the talks. That’s twice the level set by global banking supervisors. ... "The 3 percent was clearly inadequate, nothing really,” said Simon Johnson, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former chief economist for the International Monetary Fund. “Going up to five or six will make the rule be worth something. Having a lot of capital is crucial for banks to be sound. The leverage ratio is a good safety tool because risk-weighting can be gamed by banks so easily.” China steps back from severe cash crunch (FT) China pulled back from the brink of a severe cash crunch on Friday, with money rates falling after reports that the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, had acted to alleviate market stresses. Nevertheless, interbank conditions remained tight and analysts said the PBoC would continue its hard line of recent days to compel financial institutions to pare back their leverage. Sprint Beats Dish’s Latest Bid for Clearwire (DealBook) Sprint Nextel raised its bid for Clearwire to $5 a share on Thursday, hoping to knock out a rival offer from Dish Network. The new offer, which values Clearwire at about $14 billion, is 47 percent higher than Sprint’s last proposal. It is also higher than Dish’s most recent bid of $4.40 a share. Banks Race to Increase Salaries to Beat EU Bonus Caps (IBT) Banks are racing to overhaul their remuneration structures by bumping up fixed salaries ahead of European Union-imposed bonus caps in 2015. According to a prominent employment partner at law firm Pinsent Masons, banks are stuck between having to overhaul remuneration procedures by a certain deadline but without concrete rules, which is likely to result in across-the-board increases in salary. FAA to Relax Rules for Gadgets in Flight (WSJ) The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to relax the ban on using some types of personal-electronic devices at low altitudes, allowing passengers leeway during taxiing and even takeoffs and landings, according to industry officials and draft recommendations prepared by a high-level advisory panel to the agency. For fliers, the new rules would likely mean an end to familiar admonitions to turn off and stow all electronic devices. Cellphone calls are expected to remain off limits, however. War of words erupts after wedding guests gift bride 'cheap and embarrassing' food hamper containing marshmallow fluff and croutons Kathy Mason from Hamilton, Ontario, and her boyfriend, who wished to remain anonymous, decided to create a food hamper for their friends' same-sex marriage and packed it with a mix of 'fun' treats including pasta, olive oil, croutons, biscuits, Marshmallow Fluff and Sour Patch Kids. They attached a carefully worded card to the parcel which read: 'Enjoy . . . Life is delicious.' However, the European newlyweds were less than impressed with the gesture and contacted the couple the next day via text message to ask if they had the receipt so they could get the money back instead. ... 'You ate steak, chicken, booze, and a beautiful venue . . . If anything you should be embarrassed for being so cheap and embarrassing,' the brides said in one message. Creeping mistrust stops euro zone banks lending to peers across bloc (Reuters) In a trend that could reignite fears about the euro and its banks, European Central Bank data shows the share of interbank funding that crosses borders within the euro zone dropped by a third, to just 22.5 percent in April from 34.5 percent at the beginning of 2008. Banks are now lending to other banks across euro zone borders at only about the same rate as when the single currency was first launched, 15 years ago. Greek markets rattled by political disarray (FT) The benchmark 10-year bond yield of Greece rose 75 basis points to 11.6 per cent by late morning in London, while the Athens stock exchange index fell 2.9 per cent to its lowest level since early April. ... Investor sentiment towards Greece is not helped by uncertainty over how to plug a funding gap in the country’s bailout programme. The FT reported on Thursday that the International Monetary Fund might suspend aid to Greece next month unless the eurozone stepped in. Losses loom for investors enmeshed in U.S. mortgage chaos (Reuters) A review of loan documents, property records and the monthly reports made available to investors show that mortgage servicers are reporting individual houses are still in foreclosure long after they have been sold to new buyers or the underlying mortgages have been paid off. ... In one case, Reuters found that Bank of America Corp had been collecting a monthlyservicing fee of $50.73 from investors on a loan that had been paid off nearly two years ago, investor reports show. Bank of America filed a document at a local county office on July 22, 2011 showing that the $162,400 loan on a cream-colored duplex in Greenacres, Florida, owned by a drywall hanger named Roman Pino, had been satisfied and "cancelled." But investors in Pino's loan and more than 6,700 other similar mortgages that are bundled together in a subprime mortgage bond still have not been informed that the loan no longer exists, according to the last investor report in May. Good and Evil Battle Volatility on Summer Solstice (CNBC) "Summer Solstice is upon us: the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere where some religions in the western world believe the sun defeats the forces of evil." Also it's triple witching. Oracle to Leave Nasdaq for the Big Board (DealBook) Oracle, one of the most prominent technology companies listed on the Nasdaq, is defecting to a rival exchange. The company, which has been traded on the Nasdaq since 1986, has applied to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, it said in a filing on Thursday. The transfer, among the largest ever between the exchanges, represents a significant gain for the Big Board, which has been trying to bolster its technology credentials. FINRA beefs up policing of arbitrators (Reuters) The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's policy change comes after Reuters asked questions about the background of Demetrio Timban, a Medford, New Jersey-based arbitrator who has become a central figure in a lawsuit between Goldman Sachs Group Inc and a wealthy investor. Timban was indicted by the state of New Jersey for practicing law without a license, although charges were later dropped under a state program to deal with non-violent offences. He was also reprimanded by a Michigan regulator for the New Jersey incident and passing $18,000 in bad checks. Timban said in an interview he had closed his New Jersey office and the check-writing incident was "accidental," as a family member was supposed to wire funds to cover the check. But FINRA said it did not learn of the New Jersey indictment for five months and that Timban failed to tell it about the Michigan problems altogether, while he arbitrated the Goldman case. Brooklyn framer accuses former boss of firing him for being too fat (NYP) The owner of a picture-framing shop in Brooklyn fired a worker because he was too fat to fit in the aisles, a lawsuit claims. Seth Bogadanove, 52, of Bath Beach, is suing Frame It In Brooklyn, in Sunset Park, and owner Jerry Greenberg, claiming he was canned after gaining weight because of medication. “Oh, my God! What happened to you? You got so fat!” the suit says Greenberg told Bogadanove after he returned from a leave. ... But Greenberg told The Post he never hired Bogadanove back, only gave him an opportunity to work from home. He called Bogadonove’s story “ridiculous.” “He was sweating, and he couldn’t make it up stairs,” Greenberg recalled. “But that would never come out of my mouth in my wildest dreams.” Video shows woman tossing perceived rival off cliff (CBS) Surveillance video caught a brutal fight between a woman and her perceived romantic rival in Arequipa, Peru, but it's pretty one-sided. A woman caught her husband walking with a younger woman while they were out on a stroll by a cliff back in January. She is seen grabbing the younger woman by the hair and dragging her off a cliff, where she reportedly plunged about 20 feet. She is okay after the fall - she only sustained some cuts and bruises, was treated at a hospital and released.