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Opening Bell: 1.13.16

Everyone (in DC) (supposedly) hates Wall Street; BofA economist says chill; "Cops: Woman Battered Fiancee Over Ring Regift"; and more.

GOP, Democrats Agree: We Hate Wall Street (WSJ)
Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders has said “fraud is the business model of Wall Street,” while party front-runner Hillary Clinton has vowed to rein in risky financial activity. In the Republican Party, where financial firms typically can count on a friend, Sen. Marco Rubio has said big banks have been “bragging” that they are too big to fail and that he would repeal the law that grants that status. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has said Wall Street needs “a good ethics lesson...on a regular basis.” Sen. Ted Cruz has said he wouldn’t bail out “rich Wall Street banks.” Even former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who worked at Lehman Brothers and Barclays PLC, has said banks should be required to hold even more capital. The bashfest has put banks in a quandary: Do they defend themselves or sit it out?

Goldman Sachs Sees Governments Coming to ECB Rescue on Stimulus (Bloomberg)
As the ECB president goes all-in on monetary easing to nurture growth and inflation in the 19-nation currency bloc, governments are now heeding his call for more stimulative fiscal policies, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Francesco Garzarelli, London-based co-head of fixed-income strategy at the bank, predicts the measures will boost gross domestic product by 0.4 percentage point this year.

AB InBev Said to Market Debt to Help Finance SABMiller Takeover (Bloomberg)
AB InBev is selling debt in as many as eight parts with maturities ranging between three and 30 years, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak publicly.

Trial Date Is Set for Six Accused of Rigging Benchmark Interest Rate (Dealbook)
Six current and former employees of Barclays and Deutsche Bank are to go on trial in September on criminal charges that they conspired to manipulate a global benchmark interest rate, a British court decided on Wednesday.

Cops: Woman Battered Fiancee Over Ring Regift (TSG)
Investigators allege that Inga Daftartiene, 43, battered Bengt Nyquist during a confrontation Friday night in the master bedroom of their Vero Beach home. As detailed in an arrest affidavit, Nyquist was lying in bed while Daftartiene was downstairs watching TV and drinking wine. At some point, Daftariene began “looking through old photos of Nyquist and noticed a picture of Nyquist and his ex-girlfriend,” cops noted. The photo apparently showed Nyquist’s ex wearing the same engagement ring that sat on a Daftartiene finger. Nyquist told cops that, “Inga stormed upstairs and began screaming" at him about the engagement ring. While Nyquist denied regifting the ring, Daftariene allegedly “grabbed a metal object that was attached to the bed” and “threw it at Nyquist’s head, striking him on the left side of the face.” Nyquist said that Daftartiene became angry when he called 911, and that she chased after him and sought to punch him in the face.

Take a deep breath and relax: BofA economist (CNBC)
Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Ethan Harris said that rather than fret over uncertainty in China, investors should look at the market for what it really is: overdone. "I think that the market is overwhelmed with too many blindside hits," Harris said Tuesday. "You had geopolitical concerns around the Middle East and North Korea, you had weakness in the equity market and currency market in China, you had a little bit of soft data, and if you put it all together it was just a little bit too much for the equity market."

Icahn says he does not have any position in Time Warner (Reuters)
Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn said on Tuesday he did not own any stake in media company Time Warner Inc. "I have no position in Time Warner. No options, no forwards, no stock," Icahn said when reached by phone. Reuters and the New York Post reported on Monday, citing anonymous sources, that Icahn was building an equity stake in Time Warner.

Computer Mogul Michael Dell Stands to Reap Billions From FCC Auction (WSJ)
In more than a dozen deals since 2011, a company controlled by Mr. Dell’s investment fund has spent about $80 million on independent TV stations, according to government records...Those stations collectively broadcast over airwaves that could be valued at as much as $4.2 billion, based on prices recently set by the Federal Communications Commission. The agency is gearing up to run an auction to buy those airwaves, so they can be resold to wireless operators like AT&T Inc. later this year.

Who robs a monk buying lottery tickets? (HP)
A Philadelphia man is accused of robbing a Buddhist monk as he purchased lottery tickets from a gas station. Security footage shows the 61-year-old victim -- dressed in orange robes -- at a lottery machine on Jan. 3 when he is ambushed by the suspect. Police said that the suspect grabbed about $350 in cash from the monk's hands. The victim chases the suspect out of the Sunoco station in South Philly and into the parking lot. A struggle between the monk and suspect ensued.

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By Heisenberg Media (Flickr: Elon Musk - The Summit 2013) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 8.16.16

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Opening Bell: 6.29.16

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Opening Bell: 03.05.12

Greek Bond Swap Deal Rests on Knife Edge (FT) People close to some bondholders warned other investors to take seriously threats by policymakers that if the deal fails Greece will default on its debt. “Some investors seem to think they will be rescued. That just isn’t the case,” one said. People involved in the deal denied that there was any nervousness about the outcome but nobody was willing to guess how high the participation rate would be. Slim Beats Gates in First Daily Billionaire Ranking (Bloomberg) If you like obsessively measuring your penis you'll love this: Carlos Slim, the telecommunications tycoon who controls Mexico’s America Movil SAB, is the richest person on Earth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s 20 wealthiest individuals...The Bloomberg Billionaires Index takes measure of the world’s wealthiest people based on market and economic changes and Bloomberg News reporting. Each net worth figure is updated every business day at 5:30 p.m. in New York. The valuations are listed in U.S. dollars. Zuckerberg Doesn’t Rank on Billionaire Index (Bloomberg) Sad trombone: At the time of the offering, Zuckerberg is likely to sell about $1.75 billion of Facebook stock to pay off the tax obligation he will incur when he exercises options to buy 120 million shares. The combined transactions will dilute Zuckerberg’s stake from 28.4 percent to about 21 percent. If the company maintains its projected $100 billion valuation, that would make Zuckerberg worth about $21 billion, less than the $28.4 billion implied by his stated ownership. At that net worth, Zuckerberg isn’t rich enough to qualify for the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a new daily ranking of the world’s 20 richest people. The 20th spot is currently occupied by L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. AIG to Sell $6 Billion In Asian Insurer's Stock (WSJ) American International Group Inc. kicked off a $6 billion sale of shares in Asian life insurer AIA Group Ltd. on Monday morning in Hong Kong, moving forward with plans to repay another chunk of its 2008 U.S. bailout. AIG said the shares will be placed with institutional investors and expects them to be priced by Tuesday. The 1.7 billion shares up for sale represent around 14% of AIA, less than half the 32.9% stake AIG holds, according to a term sheet. Proceeds from this week's sale have been earmarked to repay the U.S. government, which rescued AIG from near collapse during the financial crisis with a record $182.3 billion bailout that has been partially repaid. The Treasury Department still has to recoup about $50 billion in taxpayer funds, and about $8.4 billion of that amount will be repaid when AIG sells the AIA shares and other assets, including its airplane-leasing subsidiary. The rest of the money—roughly $42 billion—is supposed to come from the government's sale of its 77% stake in AIG. Lenders Stress Over Test Results (WSJ) The 19 biggest U.S. banks in January submitted reams of data in response to regulators' questions, outlining how they would perform in a severe downturn. Now, citing competitive concerns, bankers are pressing the Fed to limit its release of information—expected as early as next week—to what was published after the first test of big banks in 2009. JFK Airport search of drug mule who said she was three months pregnant reveals she carried $20,000 worth of heroin (NYDN) Awoyemi, coming off an Air France flight from Paris to New York and wearing a “loose-fitting dress” was asked whether she was pregnant, and the woman replied that she was three months along, Homeland Security special agent John Moloney stated in a complaint filed in Brooklyn Federal Court. The customs inspector noted that Awoyemi appeared nervous, so she was selected for a pat-down search. After feeling a “bulge” in Awoyemi’s groin area, the situation escalated to a partial strip-search, according to the complaint. When she dropped her drawers, Awoyemi’s scheme fell apart. Pellets containing brown powder began dropping from her groin area — and the substance tested positive for heroin. Awoyemi was taken to a medical facility at the airport, where the federal cops administered a pregnancy test that came back negative. An X-ray showed more pellets in her intestinal tract, and by the end of the day she had passed about 25 pellets of heroin in a special commode that Customs officials have dubbed the “Drug Loo.” The high-tech toilet sanitizes the incriminating evidence. More On The Morgan Stanley Executive Charged in Cab Hate Crime Attack (Bloomberg) Jennings left a bank holiday party sometime before 11 p.m. and headed to the street, where he was supposed to be met by a car service, Jennings said. He hailed Ammar’s cab after the livery car didn’t appear, according to the report. Ammar said Jennings agreed on the fare and told him he would pay cash. Jennings fell asleep during the trip, the driver said. Once at the destination, though, Jennings said “he did not feel like paying” because he was already home, Ammar told police...When Ammar threatened to call the local police, Jennings said they wouldn’t do anything to help because he pays $10,000 in taxes, according to a report by the Darien police department...The Morgan Stanley executive told police he was afraid to come forward after the incident because the cab driver knew where he lived. He then went on vacation to Florida, police said. Jennings told officers he subsequently called his lawyer after a friend told him police were looking for a suspect in the stabbing incident, according to the report. JPMorgan Star To Launch Own Hedge Fund (FT) London-based Mike Stewart, JPMorgan’s global head of proprietary trading, and former head of emerging markets, is set to start his own new hedge fund, Whard Stewart, in the second quarter, people familiar with his plans said. Mr Stewart’s emerging markets trading team at the bank is expected to join him. The departures come despite word last week that US regulators will probably delay implementation of the so-called “Volcker rule” , under which banks are in effect banned from proprietary trading. Friends With Benefits (NYP) Unlike his fallen pal Raj Rajaratnam, former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta appears to have no shortage of character witnesses willing to testify at his upcoming insider trading trial. Indeed, dozens of well-heeled supporters are already putting their names on the line for the former consulting titan, including world-renowned speaker Deepak Chopra and Mukesh Ambani, the ninth-richest man in the world. “I have never seen him ask for anything for himself, always for the greater good,” Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries, said recently on a little-noticed website called friendsofrajat.com. Cigarettes: The Most Stable International Currency (BusinessWeek) Cartons of Good Cat brand cigarettes are selling for as much as RMB5,600 (US$890) per carton in the city of Xi’an, in Shaanxi Province. The suspicion, according to reports this week, is that they are being used to bribe officials. Election Year Poses Challenge For Stocks (WSJ) The Dow is off to its best start to a year since 1998. But if history is a guide, this exuberance soon could give way to the first pangs of electoral anxiety. In a typical presidential-election year, stocks start well but slip into a funk by spring, according to Ned Davis Research, which has measured election-year trends back to 1900. At least in part, the slump reflects the electoral unknowns, Ned Davis has concluded. In a good year, investors deal with their jitters by late summer or early autumn and stocks recover. People get more comfortable with the November election outlook and put money back into stocks. This year, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 6.2% in just over two months, many investors and analysts expect a pullback soon. The looming election adds to ambient uncertainty about European debt and U.S. and Chinese growth prospects. Tony Welch, an analyst at Ned Davis Research, says the Dow could pull back 5% or 6% in the coming weeks. "We think the election-year trend could be strong this year," Mr. Welch says. "The market prefers certainty. It doesn't like unknowns." Ochocinco was urinated on by a lion and lived to tweet the tale (YS) The New England Patriots receiver was at a charity event in Miami on Saturday night when he ran into the caged animal. According to Ochocinco's Twitter account, the king of the jungle proceeded to become the urine sprayer at the party. Tweets included: "Swear to lil 10 pound bearded baby Jesus I just got peed on by a real "Lion" I'm not lying either. And y'all wonder why I don't go out!!!!!," "It's not funny i have on my good church clothes," and "I wasn't that close, he sprayed like a water gun."