AIB Seeks $872 Million From Citigroup in Rogue Trader Clash (Bloomberg)
Allied Irish Banks Plc is seeking $872 million from Citigroup Inc. as a 12 year-old dispute over claims the U.S. bank helped rogue AIB currency trader John Rusnak hide almost $700 million in losses nears trial. In the lawsuit, filed in 2003, AIB said units of Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup joined Rusnak’s scheme in 2000 by opening accounts for him, and that brokers there helped conceal his losses. Bank of America settled with AIB, according to court documents.
Barclays Fined for Lax Crime Checks in 'Deal of Century' (Reuters)
Britain's financial watchdog has fined Barclays 72 million pounds ($109 million) for cutting corners in vetting wealthy customers in order to win a huge transaction described by one senior manager as potentially the "deal of the century." Barclays arranged the 1.9 billion pound transaction in 2011 and 2012 for a number of rich clients deemed by the regulator to be politically exposed persons (PEPs), or people holding prominent positions that could be open to financial abuse. That should require a bank to conduct more detailed checks on them, but Barclays failed to do so and in fact cut corners with its compliance procedures, Britain's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said in a damning report on Thursday.
China Calm Shattered as Brokerage Probe Sparks Selloff in Stocks (Bloomberg)
China’s stocks tumbled the most since the depths of a $5 trillion plunge in August as some of the nation’s largest brokerages disclosed regulatory probes, industrial profits fell and two more companies said they’re struggling to repay bonds. The Shanghai Composite Index sank 5.5 percent, with a gauge of volatility surging from the lowest level since March. Citic Securities Co. and Guosen Securities Co. plunged by the daily limit in Shanghai after saying they were under investigation for alleged rule violations. Haitong Securities Co., whose shares were suspended from trading, is also being probed. Industrial profits slid 4.6 percent last month, data showed Friday, compared with a 0.1 percent drop in September.
Black Friday crowds thin after U.S. stores open on Thanksgiving (Reuters)
Many shoppers headed out to stores on Thanksgiving evening, a month before Christmas, reflecting the new normal in U.S. holiday shopping, which was traditionally kicked off the next day, Black Friday.
Gas Driller Hits a Gusher—and Sinks Its Own Stock (WSJ)
That would sound like good news. But in a glutted industry in which natural-gas prices are plunging as record amounts of unused gas build up in storage, it is a problem. Since EQT finished drilling the gusher in July, its shares have lost 29%, while U.S. natural-gas prices have fallen 24%.
Sumner Redstone can barely speak, but wants steak and sex every day (NYP)
Former live-in girlfriend Manuela Herzer, 50, escalated the battle over the nonagenarian billionaire on Wednesday by claiming the chairman and controlling shareholder of Viacom and CBS can barely speak — nothing more than “brief grunt responses” — or scrawl his name, let alone run a multibillion-dollar media empire. Despite his rapidly deteriorating condition, he is obsessed with eating steak and “demands, to the extent he can be understood, to engage in sexual activity every day, even though Dr. Gold has repeatedly recommended that he abstain from daily sexual activity,” according to court documents filed in an LA County Superior Court.
Brazil Hedge Fund Star Looks Elsewhere for His Next Big Bet (Dealbook)
Luis Stuhlberger’s Brazilian hedge fund has had an astonishing run — even in the face of his country’s sinking economy. But he has grown increasingly bearish about the economic outlook for Brazil, and he is no longer placing most of his bets here, deciding to look elsewhere for investment opportunities. “Brazil is going to get much worse before it gets better,” he said. Given his record, when Mr. Stuhlberger talks, Brazil watchers pay attention. His flagship fund Verde, known for its big-picture calls on economic trends, has returned an average of 29 percent a year, after fees, since it was founded in 1997.
Two-decade Pfizer mission pays off for Guggenheim's deal king (Reuters)
Alan Schwartz knows how to play a long game. The executive chairman of boutique investment bank Guggenheim Partners spent almost 20 years cultivating Pfizer boss Ian Read as a client. His strategy paid off handsomely when Guggenheim was named lead adviser for one of the biggest deals in history - Viagra-maker Pfizer's $160 billion acquisition of Botox-maker Allergan. Schwartz, 65, had been working with Read since 2013 to find a European-registered company with which U.S. firm Pfizer could combine and shift its headquarters to a country with a lower tax rate, so-called inverting. But their relationship stretches far further back, to the late 1990s, when Schwartz was a banker at Bear Stearns and Read was an executive working his way up at Pfizer, according to three people who have worked with Schwartz.
Stress Test Pressure May See U.K. Banks Cut Dividends (WSJ)
Analysts say U.K. regulators are making renewed efforts to get banks to hold more capital through increasingly stringent stress tests, even as the results of the most recent exam, due Tuesday, are expected to show a perfect pass rate.
Piketty Says Russia Robbed of Bigger Reserves by Capital Flight (Bloomberg)
Russia, which is struggling to rebuild holdings depleted during last year’s currency crisis, has missed out on building a bigger stockpile in the past 15 years by failing to create a more transparent financial system to ease inequality and distribute the spoils of a boom in commodities prices, said Piketty, the author of the bestselling “Capital in the 21st Century.” Jailing “a couple of billionaires from time to time” is no way to address the challenge, the French economist said in an interview in Moscow on Thursday.
Falciani Found Guilty by Swiss Court in HSBC Data Theft Case (Bloomberg)
Herve Falciani, a former bank employee who took client data from HSBC Holdings Plc’s Geneva unit and leaked it to French tax authorities, was found guilty of violating banking secrecy laws and given a five-year prison sentence by a Swiss court.
Bacon-Scented Undies Mean All Your Panty Problems Are Cured (HP)
If you've ever needed a slightly less creepy way to ask your partner if you could smell their underwear, consider getting them a pair of these sizzling hot bacon undies this holiday season. Created by J&D's, the team behind Bacon Salt, Baconpop Microwave Popcorn, Bacon Croutons and Baconnaise, bacon scented underwear make a perfect holiday gift for people who love pig meat so much they want their genitals to smell like it...The smell will last through multiple wash cycles and wearings, and can last for up to a year.