Opening Bell: 8.14.15

Flash crash trader out on bail; Hedges funds screwed on China; Tsipras needs a friend; "Man Clogs Casino Pipes With Counterfeit Chips Worth $2.7 Million"; and more.
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Hedge Funds Bloodied by China Rout (Bloomberg)
After riding a market boom to return almost six times the global industry average in the first five months of this year, Greater China-focused hedge funds crashed to earth with the stock rout in July, their worst month since September 2011. Funds run by Pine River Capital Management, EJF Capital LLC, Top Ace Asset Management, Zeal Asset Management and Springs Capital (Hong Kong) were among those that lost money.

Flash Crash Trader to Be Released During Extradition Fight (Bloomberg)
Navinder Singh Sarao won his release by disclosing the existence of roughly 25 million pounds ($39 million) worth of assets invested in Switzerland that will be secured by the U.S. Sarao will have to pay 2.5 million pounds from the Swiss assets to the court once the money becomes available.

Greek PM faces biggest party revolt yet as bailout approved (Reuters)
After lawmakers bickered through the night on procedural matters, Tsipras comfortably won the vote on the country's third financial rescue by foreign creditors in five years thanks to support from pro-euro opposition parties. That clears the way for euro zone ministers to approve the deal later on Friday. But the vote laid bare the depth of anger within Tsipras's leftist Syriza party at austerity measures in exchange for 85 billion euros in aid, as 43 lawmakers - or nearly a third of Syriza deputies - voted against or abstained.

Man in bear costume harasses mother and cubs in Alaska (UPI)
Mark Sogge, a spokesman for the department's Haines office, said Chilkoot Lake weir technician Lou Cenicola saw a man in a "realistic-looking" bear suit run through a group of people standing at the side of a road watching bears by the Chilkoot River. Cenicola saw the man run up to the weir gate "waving and jumping" in an apparent attempt to get the attention of the sow and cubs, which were about 5 to 10 feet away from the gate, Sogge said. The technician's report of the incident said Cenicola told the man he could be cited for wildlife harassment and the costumed man left without identifying himself.

Trump Made Millions Off Marketer (WSJ)
Mr. Trump not only endorsed ACN, he twice featured the company on his former reality TV show, “The Celebrity Apprentice.” Both episodes featured teams of entertainment figures competing to promote versions of a video phone sold by the North Carolina firm. “I think the ACN video phone is amazing,” Mr. Trump said in an ACN news release just before a two-hour, prime time Sunday night Celebrity Apprentice episode on the product in 2011. “I simply can’t imagine anybody using this phone and not loving it.”

Puerto Rico Staring at $400 Million Short-Term Funding Squeeze (Bloomberg)
Garcia Padilla’s administration had already alienated creditors before defaulting on $58 million of bonds Aug. 3 by saying they need to restructure a $72 billion debt burden that it can no longer sustain. Puerto Rico appears to be betting that investors will provide access to capital markets again once the commonwealth unveils a debt-restructuring proposal Sept. 1.

Etsy Taps Secret Irish Tax Haven and Brags About Transparency at Home (Bloomberg)
Now, more revenue may be routed through Etsy’s Irish subsidiary. Last month, the Brooklyn, New York-based company informed users that anyone outside of the Americas will enter a terms of use agreement with Etsy Ireland, instead of the parent company. These changes may help lower tax bills, Etsy says. At the same time, having the unlimited liability company means Etsy doesn’t have to report publicly how much money is being moved through Ireland or the amount of tax its Irish unit will pay.

Man Clogs Casino Pipes With Counterfeit Chips Worth $2.7 Million (AP)
A North Carolina man has admitted bringing millions of dollars in counterfeit poker chips to use in an Atlantic City casino's poker tournament. The scheme was uncovered after the man clogged a pipe by flushing the chips down the toilet in his hotel room. Prosecutors say 43-year-old Christian Lusardi of Fayetteville, North Carolina, pleaded guilty Thursday to trademark counterfeiting and criminal mischief. Officials believe he tried to flush the chips because he feared the scheme would be exposed.

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Opening Bell: 4.22.15

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Opening Bell: 4.23.15

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Opening Bell: 07.03.12

Barclays CEO Resigns (WSJ) Robert Diamond Robert Diamond resigned Tuesday amid intense political and investor pressure from the British bank's involvement in rigging an important interest-rate benchmark—and another senior executive appeared close to following him out the door. The scandal is tearing through Barclays's top ranks. Two people close to the bank said Tuesday that Jerry del Missier, the chief operating officer, is likely to step down from his role. Monday, the bank said Chairman Marcus Agius would resign. Mr. Agius will remain chairman while Barclays searches for his replacement—and for a new chief executive, the bank said. Mr. Diamond will leave the bank immediately...Mr. Diamond's departure comes one day before the CEO will face tough questions from the U.K.'s Treasury Select Committee about the rate-fixing efforts at Barclays. Key will be whether Mr. Diamond or his top managers expressly ordered traders to submit lower rates to make the bank's funding position look stronger during the financial crisis. Mr. Diamond had a conversation with top Bank of England official Paul Tucker about Libor rates in 2008, according to the report by regulators and people familiar with the matter. Osborne Hails Diamond Departure With Pledge To Fix Banks (Bloomberg) “It’s the right decision for Barclays, it’s the right decision for the country; we need Barclays to be focused on lending,” Osborne told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program. “I hope it’s the first step towards a new culture of responsibility in British banking.” Barclays Chief Threatens To Hit Back (FT) Bob Diamond isthreatening to reveal potentially embarrassing details about Barclays’ dealings with regulators if he comes under fire at a parliamentary hearing on Wednesday over the Libor rate-setting scandal, according to people close to the bank’s chief executive. “If he is attacked, he will fight back,” said one person familiar with preparations for the Treasury select committee hearing. Athens Seeks Improved Bailout Deal (WSJ) Greece will push for a better bailout agreement when it resumes long-stalled talks with international lenders this week, despite warnings from a European central banker Monday that the country must press ahead with its reform program and not dally further in meeting its commitments. Morgan Stanley Got S&P To Inflate Ratings, Investors Say (Bloomberg) Morgan Stanley successfully pushed Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service Inc. to give unwarranted investment-grade ratings in 2006 to $23 billion worth of notes backed by subprime mortgages, investors claimed in a lawsuit, citing documents unsealed in federal court...The lawsuit focuses on notes issued by Cheyne Finance Plc, a so-called structured-investment vehicle that collapsed in 2007. CEO Of Poker Site Full Tilt Is Arrested (WSJ) The chief executive of Full Tilt Poker, the beleaguered one-time Web poker giant, was arrested Monday on a plane that had just landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport as the government unveiled new criminal charges against him related to an alleged Ponzi scheme. Ray Bitar, 40 years old, is the most significant person yet to turn himself into the Justice Department's 15-month-long effort to prosecute the three one-time leading online poker companies in the U.S. He pleaded not guilty in a hearing in Manhattan federal court Monday, and will be able to be out on bail after posting a $2.5 million bond, a judge ruled. Ex-JPMorgan Trader Feldstein Biggest Winner Betting Against Bank (Bloomberg) Andrew Feldstein, who bet against JPMorgan Chase before helping the bank unwind more than $20 billion of trades, has emerged as one of the biggest winners among hedge-fund managers profiting from a flawed strategy. The $4.3 billion flagship fund of Feldstein’s BlueMountain Capital Management LLC returned 9.5 percent this year through June 22, according to a person familiar with the data. That’s up from the 5.4 percent return before JPMorgan announced a $2 billion loss by one of its traders known as the London Whale. BlueMountain, which was on the other side of those wagers, stands to make as much as $300 million, said market participants familiar with the trades. Facebook wants to cash in on 'like' button (NYP) On the hunt for new revenue streams, Facebook is pitching TV chiefs on a new online video ad model that would monetize its popular “like” button, The Post has learned. Under the plan being discussed by the social network giant and some cable TV executives, Facebook would give the networks the ability to ascertain the popularity of certain video content on its platform while taking a cut of the added ad revenue created by the increased exposure, sources said. The idea has been met with mixed reviews. “It’s hard to pin down the measure of a like,” said one senior TV executive, who added that any deal would likely have a cap to limit a company’s exposure to paying for an astronomical increase in likes. Bob Diamond Withdraws From Romney Event (FT) He's a little tied up now. Who Will Take Over For Diamond? (FT) Antony Jenkins, who runs Barclays’ retail banking operations, is seen as the most likely internal replacement for Mr Diamond as chief executive, with investment banking boss Rich Ricci also seen as a candidate. Jerry del Missier, Mr Diamond’s longtime associate who recently moved from co-head of investment banking to be chief operating officer, is not in the running for the top job. Some say he will also leave the bank. Chinese 'cannibal' attack caught on camera as drunk bus driver leaps on woman and chews on her face (NYDN) The recent terrifying spate of 'cannibal attacks' seems to have spread to China, as a drunk bus driver was caught on camera gnawing at a woman's face in a horrific random attack. The unfortunate woman will apparently require plastic surgery to repair the damage done by her crazed attacker. According to local news reports, the driver, named Dong, had been drinking heavily during lunch with his friends before the outburst on Tuesday.

Opening Bell: 5.13.15

Democrats not feeling banking bill; Greece still screwed; Robin Hood raises $110 million; Hooters Casino Hotel sold; "Kim Jong Un Purges Defense Chief for Napping"; and more.

By Apavlo at English Wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 10.7.16

Pound flash crash; Twitter's no good very bad day; Qatari hearts Deutsche Bank; Vanilla Ice vows to ride out Hurricane Matthew; and more.