Bernie Sanders Sharpens His Attacks on Wall Street (WSJ, related)
...the Vermont senator reiterated his calls for breaking up banks that are too big to fail and to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, which kept commercial banks and investment banks separate. Reinstating the 1930s law would effectively break apart banking behemoths such as J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has said that other measures would be more effective than reinstating Glass-Steagall. Mr. Sanders also intensified his attacks on Mrs. Clinton, whose campaign had criticized his policies on Monday. She “says we just need to impose a few more fees and regulations on the financial industry. I disagree,” Mr. Sanders said Tuesday. “Real Wall Street reform means breaking up the big banks and re-establishing firewalls that separate risk taking from traditional banking.”
Economy's Latest Growth Is Looking Increasingly Frail (RTE)
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta said Monday it now believes fourth-quarter GDP grew at just a 0.7% pace, down from a prior estimate of 1.3% growth. J.P. Morgan Chase cut its estimate in half to 1% growth from 2%. Forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisers lowered its estimate by three-tenths of a percentage point to 1.1%. If those estimates pan out, it would mean the economy ended 2015 in roughly the same precarious state in which it began the year. GDP grew 0.6% in the first quarter of 2015 before rebounding in the spring and summer.
North Korea accepts invite to World Economic Forum (NYP)
The World Economic Forum is likely to enrage US participants this year with its controversial decision to invite a government delegation from North Korea. The annual business, political and academic confab in the Swiss mountain resort town of Davos, which is aimed at improving the state of the world, draws bold-faced names like billionaire investor George Soros, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and top tech bosses from Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Google’s Eric Schmidt. The rogue nation’s acceptance of the WEF invite — the first extended in 18 years — comes just a year after Pyongyang was accused of working with hackers to wreak havoc inside Tokyo-headquartered Sony.
China to extend share-sale ban to calm markets (FT)
The extension of the sales ban is likely to reassure markets in the short term, but will raise fresh doubts about the government's willingness to liberalise its capital markets and reduce moral hazard.
Hypnos hoodie with inflatable pillow funded on Kickstarter (UPI)
A Kickstarter campaign to produce a hooded sweatshirt featuring an inflatable pillow in the hood has been funded nearly quadrupling its intended goal of $30,000. The premier product for Los Angeles-based brand Hypnos, the patent pending "sleep hoodie" is set to release in five styles and three colors after raising more than $100,000 on Kickstarter since launching in November..."The neck line of each hoodie is open and the size of the hood is large enough so no matter what the situation you may find yourself in, the hood can be maneuvered for optimal comfort," the hoodie's Kickstarter page states.
Ex-Soros executive raises $4.5bn for fund (FT)
George Soros’s former chief investment officer has raised $4.5bn for what will be one of the biggest hedge fund launches ever, signalling that investment stars can still attract large sums despite weak performance from the industry as a whole. Scott Bessent, who worked at Soros Fund Management until August, opened Key Square with a $2bn cheque from his former employer earlier this week, with commitments from at least eight other institutions that will more than double its size by March.
Credit Market Turmoil Could Sour Outlook for U.S. PE-Backed IPOs (Bloomberg)
Investors have already balked at offerings from PE-backed companies that were poised to be among the biggest of 2015. Supermarket chain Albertsons Cos., owned by Cerberus Capital Management, postponed its plans indefinitely, while KKR & Co.-backed First Data Corp., the payments company, priced its shares below the planned range.
Bank Rule Distorting Performance Is Repealed (Dealbook)
An “Alice in Wonderland” accounting rule that allowed stressed banks to book huge gains simply because they were stressed has been overturned. The Financial Accounting Standards Board, which formulates accounting rules, on Tuesday voted to do away with the rule, which took effect as the financial system was starting to crumble in 2007.
Drunken Ohio Motorist Noshed On Chicken Wings As She Led Cops On Chase (TSG)
When cops arrived on the scene around 7 PM, Knight drove directly toward a police cruiser before veering across the front lawn of an adjacent residence. She then led police on a 25 mph chase that concluded when she “had no more road to travel” inside a new housing development. As Knight staggered from her car, an officer "observed a brownish substance" around her mouth that appeared to be blood. But the cop subsequently “determined it to be barbecue sauce from chicken wings that Ms. Knight was eating in her vehicle.” Police spotted a styrofoam container “that had contained the chicken wings Ms. Knight had been eating.” The chicken remains, the report notes, “were scattered throughout the front interior passenger compartment.”