Ex-Obama adviser Austan Goolsbee says Fed may cut rates in 2016 (CNBC)
"They want to raise rates; they want to get back to normal. They have said they thought they would raise four times plus this year and I don't think there's any scenario in my mind that they'll be able to do anything remotely like that," Austan Goolsbee, who was chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers from 2010-11, told CNBC's Squawk Box.
Investors Hedge Bets on Crude-Oil Revival (WSJ)
Avenue Capital Group, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC, Carlson Capital LP and Blackstone Group LP’s GSO Capital are among firms that have raised or are raising money from investors to plow into the energy sector, investors say. But wary of the sharp price declines that stung early bargain hunters, they are approaching their investments more cautiously. Some funds are focusing on senior, secured loans—those that are first in line to get paid back if energy companies run into problems handling their debt. Others are buying hedges against further declines in oil or natural-gas prices.
The oil bottom is not yet in: Citi commodity chief (CNBC)
Crude prices have surged on hopes that OPEC and Russia may reach a deal to curtail output, but oil futures could fall to new lows as soon as next week, said Ed Morse, Citigroup's global head of commodities research. "It's always tough to call a bottom, but you know we tested the mid-20 range a couple weeks ago. I don't see why that's not likely to happen again over the next few months," Morse told CNBC's "Fast Money: Halftime Report" on Wednesday.
Facebook Profit Tops $1 Billion (WSJ)
Facebook Inc. on Wednesday posted more than $1 billion in quarterly profit for the first time, showing the social network’s mobile strength as advertisers increasingly look to reach younger users. Investors drove shares up nearly 13% in after-hours trading, to $106.62, giving the 12-year-old company a market capitalization greater than $300 billion. Mobile ads accounted for 80% of Facebook’s ad revenue in the fourth quarter; three years ago, mobile-ad revenue accounted for just over 20%.
Man Seeks Woman for Guy Fieri Sexual Roleplay (Jezebel)
“I have a fantasy where I am Guy Fieri going to a diner on his TV show,” the man writes in his post. “I order a spicy Texas melt with a side of potato wedges, you pull up your skirt and say, ‘I’ve got a hot creamy place you can wedge something into.’ I’ve already spent $12K decorating my apartment like a diner so I can host."
Some $29 Trillion Later, the Corporate Debt Boom Looks Exhausted (Bloomberg)
Strains are emerging in just about every corner of the global credit market. Credit-rating downgrades account for the biggest chunk of ratings actions since 2009; corporate leverage is at a 12-year high; and perhaps most worrisome, growing numbers of companies -- one third globally -- are failing to generate high enough returns on investments to cover their cost of funding. Pooled together into a single snapshot, the data points show how the seven-year-old global growth model based on cheap credit from central banks is running out of steam.
A Woman on the $10 Bill, and Everyone Has 2 Cents to Put In (NYT)
Several million people have responded since Mr. Lew issued an unprecedented invitation to the public last June to help redesign the nation’s cash. His question: Which woman from American history should be chosen as the first on paper currency since Martha Washington briefly graced the $1 silver certificate in the late 19th century? The outpouring of responses about the forthcoming redesign of the $10 bill has surprised administration officials both by its numbers and by the volume of unanticipated complaints, forcing Mr. Lew to miss his self-imposed December deadline for an announcement and leaving unclear when he will decide.
Financial Services Executives Soften, a Bit, to Regulation: Survey (WSJ)
According to a survey published in Duff & Phelps Global Regulatory Outlook 2016, 42% of senior financial services executives queried said that they believe regulations will have little or no effect on making the global industry more stable. Though that may sound pessimistic, the figure is down from the 54% who said they felt that way in the 2013 survey.
Someone Stole A Ton Of Very, Very Valuable Bull Semen (HP)
Fifty thousand dollars worth of bull semen was stolen out of a truck in Turlock, California, late Sunday night, according to KOVR...why on earth is it worth so much, you ask? This particular sperm came from the top one percent of the world's bull population, the Hugh Hefners among heifers. It holds a lot of genetic value, and is used to impregnate cattle around the world. The stolen fluids in question was reportedly enough to impregnate more than 1,000 cattle, who are now udderly disappointed by this sick act of thievery.