Opening Bell: 11.9.15

Wall Street braces for bonus cuts; Central banker says fed hike makes sense; "Rumblr, the 'Tinder for Fighting' app, to launch its beta trial on Nov. 9"; and more.
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Wall Street Bracing for Lower Bonuses for First Time in Years (WSJ)
Chaotic global markets harmed the returns of many money managers and delayed companies’ plans to go public, affecting pay for asset-management employees and investment bankers charged with underwriting initial public offerings. Bonuses for fixed-income traders are also expected to drop for a fifth year in a row as large banks continue to wrestle with new regulations that rein in risk-taking. The last time year-end payouts dropped across the industry was 2011, according to Johnson Associates. The consulting firm based its 2015 projections on how much firms had set aside for employee pay and benefits through the first nine months of the year, along with discussions with clients.

Hedge-Fund Prodigy Takes a $300 Million Hit (WSJ)
Nehal Chopra has reached a less glorious milestone: more than $300 million in paper losses over the past three months, one of the swiftest and most severe money-losing streaks in a bruising year for hedge funds. Ms. Chopra’s Tiger Ratan Capital Fund LP fell about 33% over the past three months, wiping out her gains for 2015 and eating into more than half of last year’s profits, according to investor documents and people familiar with the matter. Ms. Chopra, without warning, recently stopped updating prospective investors on the firm’s performance.

Fed rate hike 'makes sense,' says US central banker Williams (Reuters)
Now that the United States is closing in on full employment and inflation is likely to rise to target levels, the "next step" should be to start gradually increasing rates, a top U.S. central banker said on Saturday.

Square's Lower IPO Valuation Casts Shadow Over Startups (Bloomberg)
The mobile-payments provider is seeking a market valuation of as much as $4.2 billion in its trading debut, a significant cut from the $6 billion the company sought in its last funding round in 2014. This is fueling concerns that there’s a wide -- and expanding -- gulf between between how private investors and public markets value companies. So far, there’s been a dearth of technology IPOs to test the theory, partially because startups have been staying private longer and bolstering their coffers through large funding rounds. Square’s (NYSE: SQ) IPO -- led by Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey -- could force investors and founders to rethink private valuations and move to go public earlier, said Gil Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc.

Fire at Stamford hedge fund headquarters (Stamford Advocate)
Firefighters battled a blaze at the headquarters of billionaire and former hedge fund giant Steven A. Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management at 72 Cummings Point Road early Saturday morning. Crews encountered heavy smoke when they arrived at the two-alarm blaze around 8:30 a.m., and once on the roof found a “large air conditioning unit well involved and threatening several other adjacent units and the roof of the building,” Acting Deputy Chief Shaun Tripodi said late Saturday evening in an emailed statement...The trading floor and data rooms were unaffected, Tripodi said. A Point72 spokesman, Mark Herr, said the damage inside the building was minimal, with some water damage in the pantry area of the second floor. No Point72 employees were hurt, he said. The fire department’s statement said the firefighters “performed salvage operations,” putting tarps over office equipment to limit water damage.

Rumblr, the 'Tinder for Fighting' app, to launch its beta trial on Nov. 9 (NYDN)
"Rumblr," a pending app idea, is pitching itself as Tinder, but for brawling. Like the dating app, Rumblr users would meet strangers, but instead of hooking up, they'd be swinging right hooks. As bizarre as it sounds, the app's creator claims it's "100% serious," and not a "Fight Club"-style hallucination. "We have raised relatively substantial funding from private American investors and the app is fully developed," the Rumblr team told the Daily News in an email. "Rumblr is an app for recreational fighters to find, meet and fight other brawl enthusiasts nearby," according the app's website. It encourages users to insult their matched opponents with this pro-tip: "tell your match what you don't like about their picture." The fight's location and time is also publicly broadcasted so other users can come and watch the melee, according to the website.

Democratic Presidential Candidates Tackle Wall Street (WSJ)
Hillary Clinton said Friday she isn’t beholden to Wall Street and would stand up for tougher regulations, rejecting suggestions that she is compromised by the speaking fees and donations she has received from financial firms over the years. At a candidate forum hosted by MSNBC, Mrs. Clinton brushed aside questions from moderator Rachel Maddow about her ties to Wall Street firms she represented as a former senator from New York. “Anybody who thinks that they can influence what I will do doesn’t know me very well,” Mrs. Clinton said.

Meet the 29-Year-Old Who Was, Until Today, a Secret Megabillionaire (Daily Intel)
For years, Christy Walton, the widow of Walmart heir John T. Walton, was considered the richest woman in the world. The consensus gossip in plutocratic sewing circles was that Ms. Walton had inherited the bulk of her husband’s vast estate when he perished in a plane crash ten years ago. But according to court documents obtained by Bloomberg [Friday] morning, the late Walton left half of his then-$17 billion fortune to charity, a third to his son Lukas Walton, and the rest to his wife.

China regulators to allow IPOs to resume (Reuters)
China's securities regulator said on Friday it would allow the resumption of initial public offerings in China, lifting a suspension put into effect in July as regulators desperately tried to slow a devastating stock market crash.

Activist stampede pushes board directors into shareholders' arms (Reuters)
The rising power of activist shareholders has added a new responsibility to the role of board director at a publicly traded company: investor relations. From JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) to Microsoft, and Johnson & Johnson to Apache Corp., board directors across North America have increasingly begun serving as a bridge between institutional investors and corporate management teams.

50 Cent Says That Bullet Lodged in His Tongue Is Great for Oral Sex (US)
When asked about the inspiration behind his new single, “9 Shots,” the rapper, 40, opened up about a notorious shooting incident he was involved in before his career took off, when he was shot by nine bullets. And one bullet, well, gave the “Candy Shop” singer a special touch. “It’s great for oral sex, this thing in my mouth,” the rapper, touching his tongue, told Julie Walters.

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Opening Bell: 09.26.12

Spain Prepares More Austerity, Protesters Battle Police (Reuters) Protesters clashed with police in Spain's capital on Tuesday as the government prepared a new round of unpopular austerity measures for the 2013 budget to be announced on Thursday. Thousands gathered in Neptune plaza, a few metres from El Prado museum in central Madrid, where they formed a human chain around parliament, surrounded by barricades, police trucks and more than 1,500 police in riot gear. Police fired rubber bullets and beat protesters with truncheons, first as protesters were trying to tear down barriers and later to clear the square. The police said at least 22 people had been arrested and at least 32 injured, including four policemen. Facebook's Next Fight: Suits And More Suits (WSJ) About 50 lawsuits have been filed against Facebook, Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. and underwriters of Facebook's May IPO, according to lawyers involved in the cases. In addition, securities lawyers who represent Facebook investors say they expect hundreds of arbitration claims to be launched against brokers and securities firms that pitched the company's shares. Credit Suisse Said to Consider Merging Its Asset-Management Unit (Bloomberg) The bank is considering combining its asset-management unit with the private and investment banking divisions, a person familiar with the matter said. SAC Capital Fund Manager Said To Be Uncharged Conspirator (Bloomberg) The role allegedly played by Michael Steinberg emerged in court papers filed by the U.S. in the securities-fraud case of Jon Horvath, a former technology analyst at Cohen’s $14 billion hedge fund who Steinberg supervised. Steinberg, who hasn’t been charged with a crime, is the fifth person to be tied to insider trading while employed at SAC. Horvath faces trial Oct. 29 in Manhattan federal court along with two other portfolio managers for his part in what Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara called a “criminal club:” a conspiracy of hedge fund managers, co-workers and company insiders who reaped millions of dollars on illegal tips about Dell Inc. and Nvidia Corp. “The government added four additional co-conspirators,” prosecutors wrote in a Sept. 6 letter filed with the court, with the names blacked out. One of them, the U.S. said, is “the portfolio manager to whom Jon Horvath reported at his hedge fund.” That person was Steinberg, said the people, who declined to be identified because the matter isn’t public. UK Group To Give Up Libor Oversight (WSJ) The council of the BBA, a private trade association, voted earlier this month to give up management of Libor, according to people familiar with the matter. The move clears the way for what is likely to be the biggest change in Libor's 26-year history, and introduces the possibility that British or international regulators could be in charge of overseeing the rate, which is tied to trillions of dollars of financial contracts. Rent-a-reptile: Florida company adds alligators to kids’ pool parties (NYDN) Bob Barrett gives Florida kids pool parties they’ll never forget — because they get to swim with real live alligators. Jump houses? Pizza parties? Boring, says Barrett. “You jump for a while and that’s it, we’ve had that party before,” he told the Daily News. “Clown party, Chuck E. Cheese party, they’ve all been done.” Barrett,who runs Alligator Attractions in Madeira Beach — where visitors get to hold gators — was already bringing his reptiles around to birthday parties when he was inspired to take the next step. “We would do [an alligator demonstration] at someone’s house and they would have a pool,” he explained. “And I said, you know, ‘Hey, let’s put ‘em in the pool.’” Hedge Fund Skeptics Warn on ‘QE Infinity’ (FT) “A man’s got to know his limitations,” says “Dirty Harry” Callahan, the gun-toting, rule book-ignoring cop immortalized by Clint Eastwood in “Magnum Force.” It is a principle the U.S. Federal Reserve – which earlier this month embarked upon its own, third bout of “unorthodox” enforcement, “QE3” – could learn from, according to Stephen Jen, the former Morgan Stanley foreign-exchange guru turned hedge fund manager. “The Fed officials are some of the smartest economists around,” he wrote in his most recent note to clients. The trouble is, said Mr. Jen, “they know everything except their own limitations.” Irish Bank Offers Properties For 70% Less Than 2007 Value (Bloomberg) RBS's Irish unit offered to sell properties, including 640 apartments and a hotel, for about 70 percent less than their value at the market’s 2007 peak, according to the broker managing the sale. The Gemini portfolio, containing buildings in the Irish cities of Dublin and Cork, has an asking price of 75 million euros ($97 million), according to Domhnaill O’Sullivan, a director at Savills Plc (SVS)’s Dublin office. MIT Miscounts Its New B-School Students (WSJ) After realizing they had a student surplus, school officials emailed the incoming class on Aug. 7, offering "guaranteed admission to the class of 2015 for the first 20 admitted students who request it." The school gave them until Aug. 13 to respond, according to one student's copy of the letter, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. But it didn't get enough takers. So, like an airline offering vouchers to travelers willing to hop off oversold flights, the school put money on the table, offering students who expressed an interest a $15,000 scholarship to be applied to next year's tuition. Students still balked, and on Aug. 21, a day after pre-term refresher courses began, Sloan raised the offer to $20,000 for the first 10 respondents. (Tuition for the 2012-2013 academic year is $58,200, with total expenses—including books, housing and food—estimated at just under $89,000.) NFL replacement referee who blew touchdown call in Green Bay Packers-Seattle Seahawks game is a full-time banker (NYDN) ...fans, particular those in Wisconsin, said the 52-year-old southern California banker with no previous professional or major college refereeing experience should have never left his desk to become a replacement during the NFL’s lockout of unionized refs. Even the Lingerie Football League piled on, revealing that some of the scab refs weren’t qualified to work its games. “Due to several on-field occurrences of incompetent officiating, we chose to part ways with a crew which apparently is now officiating in the NFL,” said Mitch Mortaza, commissioner of the female bra-and-panty league. “We have a lot of respect for our officials, but we felt the officiating was not in line with our expectations.”

Trump.BurningMoney

Opening Bell: 11.7.16

Wall Street bonuses set to sink again; trading profits are mysteriously on the mend; Ted Nugent went TMI on his anatomy; and much more.