Opening Bell: 11.17.15

China mulls super-regulator; Soros dumps Herbalife; Critics slam plan for new stock exchange; "Shooting Suspect Snorts Heroin Pulled From Butt While in Custody"; and more.
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Plan for New Stock Exchange Stirs Furious Debate (Dealbook)
The proposal comes from the Investors Exchange, or IEX, a company that became a symbol of the fight against high-frequency trading detailed in Michael Lewis’s book “Flash Boys.” Simply put, the application submitted by IEX to regulators in September explains that as an exchange it intends to use a 350-millisecond “speed bump” to stand in the way of traders that place and cancel orders more frequently than that...But the proposal has also drawn criticism from the other large stock exchange companies, a coalition of high-speed-trading firms and, perhaps most troublesome for IEX, one of the largest companies handling retail stock trades from ordinary investors, Citadel, the huge Chicago-based investment firm founded by Kenneth C. Griffin. Those companies have all said that IEX will introduce one more complex wrinkle that will end up benefiting one set of market participants over another, rather than leveling the playing field.

Security Issues Threaten Global Economy (WSJ)
The global economy is facing an array of headwinds, including slowing growth in China and a number of large developing economies, and a fresh recession in Japan and a still-anemic recovery in Europe. The attacks are likely to add another layer of anxiety around the globe already jittery over many risks. “The G-20 does not have the luxury of turning a blind eye to issues that directly impact the global economy,” said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, which held the group’s presidency this year. “It is impossible to talk about a strong global economy without establishing worldwide peace and stability.”

Exclusive: After market crash, China mulls single 'super-regulator' - sources (Reuters)
The three regulatory agencies that may be merged are the CSRC, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC)...Beijing is looking at Britain's regulatory set-up as a model, among other options, the senior regulator source said. Britain reformed its regulation after the global financial crisis, handing the Bank of England more control over the financial system, partly in the hope of avoiding future bank failures.

DraftKings, FanDuel Fail to Stave Off Court Case (WSJ)
DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel Inc. asked a state court to prevent New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman from following through with a cease-and-desist order he sent to the businesses last week. A judge denied that request Monday. A court hearing on the matter is scheduled for Nov. 25. The attorney general had demanded DraftKings and FanDuel shut down, saying daily fantasy games constitute illegal gambling and are subject to criminal penalties. Mr. Schneiderman called the companies, which dominate the daily-fantasy industry, “leaders of a massive, multibillion-dollar scheme intended to evade the law and fleece sports fans across the country.”

Woman Battered Beau Over Sex Position Dispute (TSG)
According to cops, Wendy Luper and Michael Vaccaro--who were married for 12 years--drove together to retrieve some of his belongings from their storage unit in Bradenton. While parked in the rear of the facility, “Luper got undressed, and asked Vaccaro if he wanted to have sexual intercourse,” police reported. “Vaccaro agreed, and told Luper to lay down.” But Luper, a court filing notes, “did not want to have sexual intercourse in that position and stated no.” It is unclear where the pair was planning to tryst, or the position that was rejected by Luper. During a subsequent argument, Luper allegedly struck Vaccaro in the head with a thrown object. As Vaccaro sought to remove some of his belongings from the car’s rear seat, Luper allegedly accelerated the auto “with Vaccaro still half way inside the vehicle.” As Vaccaro “pulled out of the vehicle,” Luper drove over his right foot.

Top Hedge Funds Are Cutting Back U.S. Stocks (Bloomberg)
Some of the most closely watched money managers are retreating from U.S. stocks after the market has more than tripled from its 2008 low. Druckenmiller, who produced average annual returns of 30 percent from 1986 through 2010 at his Duquesne Capital Management, told an investor conference earlier this month that his outlook on equities could turn negative. Tepper, Appaloosa’s billionaire founder, said in September that he’s not as optimistic on the stock market as he could be because expectations for corporate earnings were high.

Soros Fund Management exits its bet on Herbalife (Reuters)
Soros Fund Management, one of the hedge funds industry's most closely watched investors, exited its bet on Herbalife (NYSE: HLF), the nutrition company that rival investor William Ackman has called a fraud. Soros, which has been betting on Herbalife for roughly two years, said in a regulatory filing that it liquidated its position by selling nearly 2 million shares during the third quarter.

Icahn exits eBay stake, opts for PayPal after spinoff (Reuters)
The filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed that Icahn sold his stake of 46.3 million shares in eBay and reported the same number of shares in PayPal (PYPL.O), which completed its spinoff from eBay in mid-July.

Shooting Suspect Snorts Heroin Pulled From Butt While in Custody: DA (DNAI)
The suspect believed to be involved in a fatal shooting during a failed bid to take over [a] drug trade in a Manhattan McDonalds (NYSE: MCD) snorted drugs in a precinct interrogation room from a bag he pulled from his own butt on Saturday, authorities said. Vincent Arcona, 27, snorted the drug and threw the bag on the ground, before admitting to Midtown South Precinct Detective Adrian Calemmo that the bag was full of heroin, according to an affidavit.

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Opening Bell: 08.23.12

Fed Moving Closer To Action (WSJ) The Federal Reserve sent its strongest signal yet that it is preparing new steps to bolster the economic recovery, saying measures would be needed fairly soon unless growth substantially and convincingly picks up. Minutes released Wednesday from the Fed's July 31-Aug. 1 policy meeting suggested that a new round of bond buying, known as quantitative easing, was high on its list of options. Jobless Claims In U.S. Climb For Second Week To One-Month High (Bloomberg) Jobless claims rose by 4,000 for a second week to reach 372,000 in the period ended Aug. 18, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 41 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 365,000. The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, increased to 368,000. SAC Takes New Activist Role (NYP) The move is being spearheaded by SAC portfolio manager David Rosen, who has been butting heads with Spokane, Wash.-based Clearwater Paper Corp. since May, sources said. In May, Rosen penned a letter to Clearwater Chairman and CEO Gordon Jones calling the stock “deeply undervalued.” Last week, SAC, which has a 7.1 percent stake in the papermaker, proposed to Clearwater’s board that the company split itself in two and consider selling one or both parts. “We continue to carefully analyze their ideas, and we look forward to continuing a dialogue,” a Clearwater spokesman said. People familiar with Rosen’s plans say Clearwater won’t be the last, and that Rosen and SAC analyst Shoney Katz are scouting out more opportunities to make money through corporate cage-rattling. “My understanding is that Rosen’s portfolio has expanded its mandate to include activism,” said Ken Squire of activist research firm 13D Monitor. Citigroup Slams Nasdaq's Facebook Compensation Plan (Reuters) Citigroup slammed Nasdaq OMX Group's plan to compensate firms harmed by Facebook's botched market debut to the tune of $62 million, saying in a regulatory filing the exchange should be liable for hundreds of millions more, according to a letter seen by Reuters. Citi said Nasdaq's actions in the May 18 initial public offering amounted to "gross negligence," in the letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which had not yet been made public. Facebook Director’s Quick $1 Billion Share Sale Lacks Precedent (Bloomberg) While venture capitalists commonly sell their stakes after helping startups reach the public markets, they usually whittle their holdings over a period of quarters or even years. That’s to avoid flooding the market with too much new stock, which can drive down the shares, and to show continuing support for the company. Thiel’s timing was particularly precarious, because Facebook was already down about 50 percent from the IPO. “With the benefit of hindsight, you could say that the underwriters probably regret agreeing to an early release of the shares,” said Ted Hollifield, a partner at Alston & Bird LLP in Menlo Park, California, and an expert in venture capital. “The stock still seems to be searching for an actual trading range and you would ideally like to see that take place before there’s additional selling pressure.” The Morning After: A Wedding Album With A Different Spin (NYDN) Wedding photographers are being invited to an unusual kind of afterparty. Brides and grooms — who already often obsessively document their first kiss, first cake slice and first dance — are adding yet another first to their wedding photographer’s list: the morning after. Sexy shoots featuring rumpled beds and steamy showers are a hot new trend within the wedding business. As the seating charts and floral arrangements fade into memory, these intimate photo shoots take place in newlyweds’ bedrooms or even the hotels where they’ve spent their first night as husband and wife. “We do it very sexy and implied,” said New Jersey-based photographer Michelle Jonné, 34, who charges about $650 for the service...Past happy clients include Inna Shamis. “The minute she told me, I thought ‘that is brilliant,’” Shamis said. “When you get married, you’re in the best shape of your life and why not have these memories.” The New Jersey PR exec, 38, only hesitated for a few seconds when Jonné asked her and husband to jump in the shower, she said. “As the day progressed, we established this fantastic chemistry with her," said Shamis, who later posted the racy photos on Facebook and intends to someday share them with her kids. Greek Crisis Evasion To Fore As Merkel Hosts Hollande (Bloomberg) With the leaders of Europe’s two biggest economies still at the confidence-building stage, Merkel and Hollande are seeking common ground on Greece and the wider euro-area debt crisis almost three years after its inception. France sees the program targets set for Greece as too harsh given the state of its economy, a French government official said yesterday on condition of anonymity because the talks are private. Merkel and Hollande are due to give statements at 7 p.m. in Berlin. “On balance we still take the view that they’ll keep Greece ticking over,” David Owen, chief European financial economist at Jefferies International Ltd. in London, said by phone. “If that does require giving it more time, so be it.” Whale Of A Tale (NYP) Boaz Weinstein may have harpooned the London Whale, but his main fund barely has its head above water. Weinstein’s Saba Capital Master Fund is up only 0.62 percent for the year through July 31, according to an investor letter. SEC's Schapiro Cancels Vote on Money-Fund Curbs (WSJ) Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro called off a highly anticipated vote on rules for the money-market mutual-fund industry after losing a swing vote she needed to push through the rules. The newly announced position of Luis Aguilar, a Democrat and former mutual-fund executive, marks a defeat for Ms. Schapiro and a setback for the Obama administration and top federal regulators, who see money funds as a source of systemic risk left over from the last financial crisis. LL Cool J breaks burglar's jaw in 'knock-down, drag-out' fight (LA Times) The burglar who broke into the Studio City home of actor-rapper LL Cool J suffered a broken nose and jaw in what police sources described as a "knock-down, drag-out" fight. Los Angeles police were called to the star's home in the 12000 block of Blairwood Drive around 1 a.m. Wednesday, officials said. LL Cool J was holding the suspect when officers arrived, officials said...LL Cool J was upstairs in his home when he heard noise coming from the kitchen area. When he went down to see what was happening, the unidentified suspect came at him, leading to the fight. LL Cool J, born James Todd Smith, rose to fame with musical hits such as "Mama Said Knock You Out."

By Василий Красюк (http://www.herbalife.ru) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 8.29.16

Short-seller says Herbalife may have misled investors, SEC; Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley reinvent themselves; IPO market poised for a rebound; Cop accidentally filmed himself stealing marijuana; and more.

Opening Bell: 7.31.15

Ex-Rabobank trader banned from industry; SAC hires from Bridgewater; Analysts trying to figure out WTF is going on in China; Yahoo's Snapchat; Ukraine; Insider trading; "Burglary Suspect Found Asleep Surrounded By Chicken And Beer"; and more.

Opening Bell: 1.7.16

CHINA; Bonuses; Morgan Stanley; "Another Chinese Billionaire Goes Missing"; Man Vows To Draw A Butt Everyday This Year; and more.

SorosTight

Opening Bell: 2.15.18

Markets ignoring stagflation; Soros is a crypto bro now; Steve Schwarzman is in a bubble of his own; Olympic dick statues are popular; and more!

By kloniwotski (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 9.11.17

Goldman wants to conquer U.K. retail; China is done tolerating bitcoin; Jamie Dimon's fondness for D.C. grows; don't shoot guns at the hurricane; and more.

Opening Bell: 5.11.15

IMF preps for Greek default; Banks want a piece o' India; Millionaires tell UBS they feel insecure; Uber maybe worth $50 billion; Guy smuggles heroin in foreskin; and more.