Pfizer-Allergan Deal Shifts a U.S. Giant to Foreign Address (WSJ)
The conjoined drug company would be the world’s biggest with $63.5 billion in yearly sales, 110,000 employees and $9 billion in annual research spending. The companies expect to achieve $2 billion in cost savings as well as significant tax benefits from the deal. But running—and growing—a company that size will pose a management challenge, according to industry experts. One answer: Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) executives indicate they will consider splitting the combined company by 2018.
Yellen Defends Seven Years of Low Interest Rates in Letter to Nader (Bloomberg)
Warning that “an overly aggressive increase in rates would at most benefit savers only temporarily,” she argued in the letter released Monday in Washington that the Fed’s seven-year era of zero rates had sheltered American savers from dramatic declines in the value of their homes and retirement accounts. “Many of these savers undoubtedly would have lost their jobs or pensions (or faced increased burdens from supporting unemployed children and grandchildren),” if the Fed had not acted with such force, she wrote.
Fed Official Expects Test for Big Banks to Be Stricter (Dealbook)
In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Daniel K. Tarullo, the Fed governor who oversees regulation, said there was “more than a pretty good chance” that banks would have to have a higher amount of minimum capital left after suffering the theoretical losses envisioned in the stress tests.
Actors of ‘The Big Short’ Talk About the Debt Crisis, in Beverly Hills (NYT)
Q: Who wants to explain in a very simple way what a synthetic collateralized debt obligation is? WITTROCK: Is this a test? GOSLING: [Groans.] Oh God. CARELL: [Takes a deep breath.] You have CDO A and CDO B, and you can combine those two and put them into a CDO C, which is then made up of CDO A and B. CDO C is the synthetic CDO. [Smiles.] GOSLING: Nice! [He and Mr. Carell high-five] [Editor’s note: That’s actually the definition of a CDO squared.]
Nestlé Japan to sell gold covered Kit Kats (UPI)
Nestlé Japan (VTX: NESN.VX) announced a new flavor of the popular chocolate Kit Kat that will be covered in real gold. The chocolates dubbed "Sublime Gold Kit Kat" are safe for consumption and will be available at the end of December at Kit Kat Chocolatory shops around Japan for $16. They are being produced in a limited quantity of 500 hand-wrapped sticks.
After Oil-Price Crash, Mideast Bankers Find Desert Is No Oasis (WSJ)
“It’s not a happy time to be in banking right now,” said one of the bankers, who recently quit to leave the banking sector altogether. Falling crude prices have rippled across the oil-dependent Gulf region, where governments have to contend with rising budget deficits and slowing economies after years of rapid growth. At the same time, investors are concerned about security issues spilling over from the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, the splintering of Libya and violence in Iraq.
Icahn May Seek Xerox Board Seats (WSJ)
Icahn disclosed Monday that he has accumulated a 7.1% stake in Xerox (NYSE: XRX), saying the company is undervalued and he may seek board seats. Xerox shares, which had fallen 22% so far this year as of Monday’s close, rose 7.1% in after-hours trading to $11.51.
Luxembourg Goes in for an Image Makeover (NYT)
Buffeted by the accusations that it was helping multinational corporations evade billions of dollars in taxes, the country has embarked on a long-term rebranding effort that the government hopes will help the world see it with different eyes. The effort has yet to yield a catchy slogan, but it may not matter. Unless you remember similar exercises that centered on the themes “The eternal and fascinating Romania,” or “I feel SLOVEnia,” your image of Luxembourg is probably set.
Banker Who Sheltered in London During Greek Crisis Sues Firm (Bloomberg)
Omiros Millas, was head of portfolio and risk officer at NBGI Private Equity Ltd., the buyout firm set up by the National Bank of Greece SA, before his 2014 firing. He said he endured "covert exclusion and covert undermining of his role" for warning the companies that they were at risk of breaching various Financial Conduct Authority regulations, according to a statement filed to a London employment tribunal. Ronnie Dennis, a lawyer for the companies, declined to comment Monday.
Mansion Owner Claims Airbnb X-Rated Scheme (TSG)
Kristina Knapic, owner of the Acacia Mansion in Ojai, a city 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles, charges that she agreed to lease the property for five days in mid-August to a woman who claimed that she and a “group of friends” would stay at the $1095-a-night home “for a quick summer vacation.” In a November 19 Superior Court complaint, Knapic, 46, alleges that “Anna,” the purported renter, was actually Andrei Treivas, the gay porn actor/director/producer known professionally as Michael Lucas...Knapic claims that “enema kits were found throughout the house--on the floors, in the beds, in nightstand drawer and in the trash.” Additionally, “various sexual devices were found in the beds and in the trash,” linens were stained brown, and the “hot tub water was brownish in color.” As Knapic inspected the mansion, she found a business card for Lucas Entertainment, the New York-based porn outfit owned by the 43-year-old Treivas.