EU Reaches Benchmarks Bill Agreement in Wake of Rigging Scandals (Bloomberg)
The bill imposes the heaviest regulation, including options for mandatory administration and contributions, on benchmarks deemed “critical,” or those used as a reference for valuing at least 500 billion euros ($529 billion) of securities. This category is open all types of benchmarks, including the interest-rate and currency gauges at the heart of recent rigging investigations. A second category of “significant” benchmarks facing more selective oversight kicks in at 50 billion euros, followed by smaller ones get the lightest treatment. The legislation must be formally approved by the parliament and council to become law.
Hedge Funds Stalk Battered Corner of Bond World (WSJ)
Wall Street traders are circling a corner of the bond world they say is taking an unwarranted beating in anticipation of rising interest rates. They are betting on closed-end funds, often-volatile structures that mostly cobble together risky collections of bonds and often employ leverage, or borrowed money, to try to boost returns. These funds as a group are wallowing in their lowest levels since the financial crisis, partly on the expectation that the Federal Reserve’s expected interest-rate increase will make their holdings less attractive.
Exclusive: Three Goldman bankers leave for Uber as tech world raids Wall Street talent (Reuters)
The bankers are the latest to leave Wall Street banks for Silicon Valley startups, where the lure of more flexible hours - and in some cases stock options and share grants - can be hard to resist. For tech companies, having bankers on staff can help smooth the path to an initial public offering and other capital raisings.
Private equity targets Premier League (FT)
People involved in the game point to two driving factors: fast-rising income at Premier League clubs and better cost control. That means wider profit margins and safer investments, going some way to explain why Manchester United’s (NYSE: MANU) New York-listed shares have risen almost a fifth this year, while the S&P 500 has been flat. “A corner has been turned,” says Dan Jones, head of sport at Deloitte. “After two decades of being very successful at generating revenue, football clubs are now finally able to retain some of that revenue. It’s quite hard now not to make money in the Premier League.”
Dairy create nativity scene out of 40kg of Cheddar cheese complete with little baby cheesus (CVG)
A food sculptor spent five days painstakingly crafting the traditional Christmas scene entirely out of cheese. Joseph and Mary, the crib, the shepherds, a sheep, a cow, a donkey, and the Baby Jesus are all carved from cheese - with three wise men bearing gifts of Branston pickle. The figures stand inside a cheese stable measuring 40 cm x 15 cm and the whole scene is illuminated and gives off a bright yellow glow. The cracking effort was made by food artist Prudence Staite, who softened 40kg of cheese in a special food processor, to shape the meticulously-sculpted model. She used a cocktail stick and a magnifying glass to create the face of Jesus, who even has his own shaved cheese straw.
BTG Pactual CEO Esteves Arrested In Brazil's Graft Probe, Police Say (Bloomberg)
It’s among the highest profile arrests to date since the investigation into a pay-to-play scheme between an alleged cartel of builders and oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA (NYSE: PBR) began in March 2014. More than 100 people have already been arrested, including former top executives at Petrobras and Brazil’s biggest construction conglomerate. The probe has helped push Brazil into recession and left President Dilma Rousseff fighting for her political survival.
Japan Said to Probe Activist Murakami for Market Manipulation (Bloomberg)
Murakami is a former trade ministry bureaucrat who quit to start his own investment fund in 1999 and became an outspoken early champion of shareholder rights in Japan. In 2007, Murakami was convicted on charges that he bought shares in a broadcaster after learning that Internet entrepreneur Takafumi Horie’s Livedoor Co. planned to make a hostile bid for its control. Murakami was sentenced to two years in prison, which was suspended on appeal.
Calpers Private-Equity Profit Report Could 'Unleash a Trend' (Bloomberg)
The biggest U.S. public pension system may have set off a race among funds to disclose the amount of profit they’ve shared with private-equity firms. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System on Tuesday released a much-anticipated report saying its private-equity managers, such as Blackstone Group LP (NYSE: BX) and Apollo Global Management LLC. (NYSE: APO) , reaped $3.4 billion since 1990 under profit-sharing agreements. Calpers earned $24 billion on those investments during that time.
Turkeys jump off truck, avoid becoming main dish on Thanksgiving (UPI)
The truck continued driving after accidentally dropping the turkeys and the two birds were eventually discovered by Wausau police. After failing to capture the birds, police received help from wildlife rehabilitation group Wild Instincts. The turkeys were identified as endangered blue state turkeys upon their capture and were sent to live with Raptor Education Group Inc. Executive Director Marge Gibson. "They will have Thanksgiving at our house and not in the way most turkeys experience this holiday!" Gibson wrote in a post on Facebook. (NASD: FB) Gibson said the turkeys sustained leg injuries but are "comfortably recovering" following the crash.