Activist Investor Bill Ackman Plays Defense (WSJ)
In recent weeks, the 49-year-old Mr. Ackman has been under siege. Valeant’s stock, which once accounted for one-fifth of his fund’s holdings, is down 65% since its August high, and Pershing Square has lost about $4 billion in value during that period. Its four funds, now totaling $16 billion in assets, are down 16% this year, after a record 40% return in 2014. It is the largest decline ever for his firm.
Feeling ignored, Fed jolts markets to prime them for lift-off (Reuters)
When the U.S. Federal Reserve tweaked its policy statement last week and put a December rate rise squarely back in play, it took a calculated gamble that reaching for an old and controversial policy tool would get financial markets' attention. That gamble was to specifically reference the next policy meeting as a date of a possible lift-off, and it had the desired effect: investors quickly rolled back bets that rates would stay near zero until next year.
RBS Official Told Hedge Fund About Libor Fixing, Lawyer Says (Bloomberg)
A Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc executive told a hedge-fund client as early as August 2007 that banks were setting Libor rates to support their own trading, according to evidence from a U.K. lawsuit alleging that RBS’s misconduct has yet to be fully exposed.
Trained mouse caught smuggling drugs through Brazilian prison (UPI)
Officials at a Brazilian prison said they captured a trained mouse used by prisoners to shuttle drugs and other contraband between cells at the facility. Gean Carlos Gomes, director of the Barra da Grota prison in Araguaina, said the tiny trafficker was spotted running through a prison corridor with bags of drugs tied to its tail. The investigation into the drug-smuggling mouse turned up 29 small packets of marijuana and 23 packages of cocaine. Gomes said officers are reviewing CCTV footage in an attempt to determine who was behind the scheme.
Charlotte, New York, Boston: Just Where Is Bank of America’s Home? (WSJ)
As of Wednesday, 10 of the 15 senior executives listed on the bank’s website called a state other than North Carolina home, including the most senior officers. As recently as 2008, most of the senior management lived in Charlotte.
Hedge Funds Get Boost on Mulvaney Bill to Free Fannie, Freddie (Bloomberg)
The South Carolina Republican is planning to propose legislation by the end of the year that would consider the mortgage giants’ debt to be repaid and release them from conservatorship after they build up capital cushions of 5 percent, according to three people familiar with the bill who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public. The bill would face a high hurdle to getting passed since it probably won’t receive enough support in the House.
Five Business Tips From a Buddhist Billionaire (Bloomberg)
3. Conceive optimistically, plan pessimistically: When developing a new product, starting off with a dream is important to success, Inamori says on his website. Once the planning stage begins, you must “become a pessimist” in order to recognize every possible difficulty. Then it’s back to optimism for the execution.
Egg McMuffin Smugglers Face Unhappy Meal In Court (HP)
A British couple has been sentenced to prison after they were caught on surveillance video trying to smuggle a variety of items into a London-area prison, including an Egg McMuffin. Karl Jensen, 27 and his girlfriend, Lisa Mary Hutchinson, 26, were sentenced Thursday for the October 2014 incident at Wormwood Scrubs Prison, the BBC reports. Video cameras captured Jensen tying a bag fulled of goodies to a fishing line that was pulled into a cell. In addition to the Egg McMuffin, the contraband included marijuana, cocaine, a five-inch blade, a cellphone, a smartwatch, a plastic egg containing five SIM cards, a bottle of vodka, and USB chargers, according to Fusion.net. Police did not say who was meant to receive this cornucopia of contraband.