Pimco Says No Need to Be Greedy as It Bets on Battered Bank Debt (Bloomberg)
The fund manager, which oversees about $1.4 trillion, believes lenders have strong capital levels and bank notes will ultimately gain on demand from yield-deprived investors, according to Pimco’s global head of corporate bond portfolio management Mark Kiesel. He has been adding to his overweight position in bank securities and favors lenders in the U.S. as well as some firms in Switzerland and the U.K. “The beauty of the market today is that you don’t actually have to be greedy or take a lot of subordination risk,” Kiesel said in an interview on Friday in Sydney. “You can stay relatively safe, stay senior and still get 4 to 5 percent.”
‘Doom Loop’ Fears Cast Pall Over Bank Shares (WSJ)
Weak banks may now drag the economy down further. And with the economy weak and deflation—a damaging spiral of falling wages and prices—looming, central banks that have gone negative will be loath to turn around and raise rates.
Deutsche Bank to Buy Back $5.4 Billion Bonds in Euros, Dollars (Bloomberg)
The bank said in a statement on Friday that it’s “strong liquidity position” allows it to repurchase the senior unsecured securities without any change to its 2016 funding plan. It’s offering to buy 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) of bonds in the single currency and $2 billion of dollar notes.
With Shares Plunging, Deutsche Bank Sets Out to Prove It Can Be Fixed (Dealbook)
Shares in the bank, Germany’s largest, have plunged nearly 40 percent so far this year. The market now effectively values Deutsche at a third of its liquidation value, an astonishing discount that suggests investors do not believe that Mr. Cryan will be able to squeeze solid earnings out of the bank’s businesses. Investors in credit markets have even begun to bet that some of Deutsche Bank’s bonds will not be repaid in full.
Ted Cruz Yanks Ad Featuring Porn Star (NYP)
The God-fearing Republican Texas senator — who has heavily courted the religious right during his run for the White House — produced a 30-second spot featuring actress Amy Lindsay. Lindsay, unbeknownst to him, is a skin-flick veteran who has appeared in such soft-core films as “Deviant Whores,” “Carnal Wishes” and “MILF.” When it found out, the Cruz camp nixed the ad, titled “Conservatives Anonymous.” Lindsay — who said she is deciding between Cruz and Donald Trump — told BuzzFeed that she was under the impression that the campaign knew about her previous work. She said she thought the inclusion of a person with such a diverse background would enhance Cruz’s stuffy image.
AIG strikes deal with Icahn, avoids proxy fight (Reuters)
The agreement with Icahn comes just two days ahead of AIG's deadline for shareholders to submit board candidates. Icahn has been threatening a proxy fight at AIG, the biggest U.S. commercial insurer as he pushes to break it up into three smaller companies. "We continue to believe that smaller and simpler is better," the investor said in a statement on Thursday.
There Are Still a Few Tricks Seen Up Central Bankers' Sleeves (Bloomberg)
“Time and time again policy makers have shown themselves to be bolder and more inventive than asset markets give them credit for,” Stephen Englander, Citigroup Inc.’s New York-based global head of Group-of-10 currency strategy, said in a report to clients late on Thursday. “Pessimism is unwarranted.”
The market has lost its leaders. Expect more pain: BofA (CNBC)
Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Stephen Suttmeier said that the loss of leadership in mega cap stocks will take a dismal toll on the broad market. "Looking at the markets, we've seen this loss of leadership from what have really been the generals," he said. Suttmeier, of course, was referring to the recent deterioration of the high-flying technology and consumer discretionary stocks. "When I look at some of those names I see that they are starting to crack."
The Bearded Lady And Lobster Boy: A Valentine's Day Love Story (HP)
She is best known as a bearded lady. He calls himself "Lobster Boy," because of his claw-like hands. Together, they're just another happy couple getting ready to celebrate Valentine's Day. They just happen to have fallen in love while working at the Venice Beach Freakshow in Los Angeles. "There is someone for everyone. It is just knowing when you find them," Grady Stiles III, 39, told The Huffington Post. He and Jessa Olmstead had known each other for years, but the love affair has heated up in recent months, as they began working more closely together at one of America's premiere sideshows. They enjoy watching movies together, eating sushi or just cuddling.