Citic Securities Draws Beijing’s Ire After Meltdown (WSJ)
Citic Securities had positioned itself as China’s “go-to” financial house for deal making in recent years and took the lead during the bull run to promote instruments like cross-border equity swaps that gave foreign hedge funds access to China’s markets. But the stock market selloff prompted a ham-fisted government bailout that raised doubts globally about the Communist Party’s reputation for sound economic stewardship and now has put the firm’s accomplishments in a new light. The equity swaps and other trading strategies Citic Securities promoted now appear to trouble regulators who are struggling to get a grip on the stock market decline and probing the industry for signs of what they term “abnormal” trading.
Insiders Beat Market Before Event Disclosure: Study (WSJ)
Corporate executives and board members regularly make market-beating returns from buying and selling their companies’ stock in the days before disclosing a significant event, according to a study that says it has found a link between insider knowledge and investment profits. Researchers at Columbia and Harvard universities analyzed 42,820 insider purchases and sales reported by companies between 2004 and 2014. All occurred within the four business days the Securities and Exchange Commission gives companies to disclose major developments. While few scored the eye-popping returns that often attract the attention of regulators, the researchers found that they notched a small but persistent edge.
Brazil to Unveil $14.6 Billion Fiscal Austerity Package (Bloomberg)
The government will reduce expenditures by 26 billion reais ($6.8 billion) next year in large part by capping salaries of civil servants and trimming social programs, Levy said Monday. Brazil also plans to raise 28 billion reais in revenue by boosting taxes, including a levy on financial transactions.
Elizabeth Warren changes mind, sides with Fannie and Freddie (NYP)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), patron saint of the left, has ditched her support for a bill that would shut down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and replace them with a private system. The legislation would block Treasury from ever paying the mortgage giants’ current shareholders — mutual-fund magnate Bruce Berkowitz and hedge-fund moguls Bill Ackman and Richard Perry. The three have sued the government for expropriating all of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s profits in 2012. Sen. Warren’s about-face comes from a realization that the legislation would hurt low-income home borrowers by socking them with higher fees, according to reports.
Online escort ads shot at Atlanta firehouse, investigation underway (NYDN)
An investigation is underway into who allowed at least two female escorts use of an Atlanta firehouse for online sex ads. Sultry images recently posted to Backpage.com showed the scantily-clad women provocatively posing for photos in fire rescue gear and on firetrucks emblazoned with the words: "City of Atlanta." The stunning collection was recently unearthed in the escort and adult entertainment section of the website by local new station WXIA. One photo shows a blonde mounted on the front of a firetruck. Its misspelled caption reads: "THE REAL DEAL. Look know further! Satisfaction Guaranteed!"
Donald Trump makes a quick profit selling Miss Universe stock (NYP)
Donald Trump made a quick profit on Monday flipping the Miss Universe Organization to a Hollywood talent agency — just days after the developer gained complete control of the company that sponsors three beauty pageants. Terms of the sale to WME/IMG were not disclosed, but Alan Garten, general counsel at the Trump Organization, told The Post that Trump “did very well.” Trump gained full control of Miss Universe just last week when he bought from NBCUniversal the 51 percent of the company — which includes the Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageants — that he didn’t already own.
Mark Cuban: I'm not running for president (CNBC)
Billionaire Mark Cuban said Monday he is not going to run for president, despite earlier telling CNBC that he would crush Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton if he entered the race. "I think I can have a bigger impact right now in doing a lot of the other things I'm doing," he said in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell." "I'm invested in over 100 small businesses, and I go and talk to school kids. There are so many ways I think I can impact society. I just don't have the temperament, at least not at this point, to be a politician."
Mobile Phone CEO Charged With Horoscope, Gossip Text Scheme (Bloomberg)
Darcy Wedd, the CEO of a mobile aggregator that wasn’t identified by prosecutors, was charged in an indictment filed in Manhattan federal court. Wedd and Erdolo Eromo, the company’s senior vice president, were accused of engaging in a two-year scheme that used a practice known as “auto-subscribing” to send mobile phone users unauthorized text messages. While customers typically deleted the messages believing them to be spam, they nevertheless were unwittingly billed for the services, prosecutors said. The scheme affected hundreds of thousands of consumers and the defendants used the funds to pay for lavish lifestyles that included gambling and expensive vacations, according to the U.S.
Why Morning Is the Worst Time to Trade Stocks (WSJ)
Buying and selling by individual investors is especially heavy in the minutes immediately after the market opens in the U.S. at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time, when the chances of getting the best price for a stock are lower and swings tend to be bigger, traders and other market observers said. But within minutes, the gap between the price sellers want for a stock, known as the “ask” price, and what buyers are offering, the “bid,” shrinks sharply and continues to narrow up until the end of the trading session. This quirk in the market has been amplified in recent weeks amid the big market swings.
Man Paints Beaver With World's Longest Tongue (HP)
The man with the world's longest tongue is doing what he was born to do: Paint a beaver with his tongue. Nick Stoeberl, 26, currently holds the Guinness World Record for world's longest tongue -- a whopping 3.97 inches from tip to closed lip. That honor might be enough for some people, but Stoeberl feels a giant tongue is nothing if not used for the betterment of humanity. "It's a gift," he told HuffPost. "I have to use it." So Stoeberl has started using his licker as a paint brush, making portraits and art works by dipping his tongue in acrylic paint and then onto canvas.