Carl Icahn setting up son to take his place: sources (NYP)
The billionaire investor is negotiating a new deal with his son, Brett Icahn, in hopes that he will stay at his father’s publicly traded company and eventually succeed him, The Post has learned. Brett and partner David Schechter manage roughly $7 billion of stocks for Icahn Enterprises. Thanks to savvy bets, their Sargon Portfolio, which started out with $3 billion, has grown to represent nearly 20 percent of the firm’s $36 billion of assets. The pair is in line for a huge payday come September. Under a deal struck with Icahn in 2012, each is entitled to a lump sum of more than $250 million, equal to 7.5 percent of the profits over a 4 percent “hurdle” rate of return.
Gold Believers Scoff at Goldman Warning as Wagers on Rally Rise (Bloomberg)
Even with a turnaround in global equities and signs of a more robust U.S. economy, investors are still piling into the metal. Money managers are holding the biggest net-wager on a rally in more than a year, and holdings in bullion-backed funds have climbed for 10 straight weeks, the longest streak since 2012. All this comes as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the bank that foresaw gold’s collapse in 2013, continues to stick by its prediction that prices will start to retreat.
Putin's $50 Billion Oil Cache Gives Russia Luxury to Ignore ECB (Bloomberg)
Russian central bankers have fewer reasons to offer relief to their recession-wracked economy than you might think. Their decision whether to resume an interest rate-cutting cycle this week is almost beside the point as the government of Vladimir Putin lubricates the economy in the background with oil wealth amassed in better times. Russian banks are sitting on the most cash in five years, allowing them to lend to each other at a lower rate than they borrow from the central bank. In the eurozone and in the U.S., money market rates are higher than benchmarks.
On Johannesburg Stock Exchange, CEOs Can’t Toot Their Own Horn (WSJ)
New York, like many exchanges, has a bell. At Brazil’s main exchange in São Paulo, executives herald listings with a giant buzzer. At Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges, they strike a gong. In Johannesburg, they have the kudu horn, which elicits just three notes of low, middle and high and isn’t known for its versatility. It takes years of practice to coax out a consistent melody that sounds like a throaty bird tweet. “It’s just a noise,” said Mandla Mathebula, a music and dance teacher from the nearby Soweto township, who was hired to play alongside the executives to spare their blushes...Neal Froneman, chief executive of South Africa’s biggest gold miner, Sibanye Gold Ltd., was sufficiently embarrassed by his effort at the 2009 listing for miner Gold One International Ltd. that when he got the chance to blow again in 2013, he practiced at home with a didgeridoo, an indigenous Australian instrument that looks a bit like a long, wooden drain pipe.
Price of Hell, Mich., drops to $900K (UPI)
The unofficial mayor of Hell, Mich., is lowering the asking price of his property after it spent a year on the market unsold. John Colone told the Livingston Daily that he would lower the price of his five-acre plot of land in the devilishly named town from $999,666 to $900,000. "It's open to any offers," he said. "We're willing to work with anyone." Colone owns several businesses on the property, including Hell's Chapel of Love and Screams Putt-Putt Golf Course, as well as a gift shop dedicated to selling all kinds of Hell merchandise.
Top Start-Up Investors Are Betting on Growth, Not Waiting for It (NYT)
Known as early-stage investors, they dominate a list of the top 20 venture capitalists worldwide that was recently created by the research firm CB Insights. About three-quarters of the top 20 are investors who put money into start-ups during their early rounds of financing...The top 20 includes Peter Fenton of Benchmark, who invested in Twitter when the social media company had only 25 employees and was trying to fix its once-common service failures; the company went public in 2013. The list also includes Jim Goetz at Sequoia Capital, who was one of the few to invest in the messaging service WhatsApp before it was acquired by Facebook, and Jenny Lee of GGV Capital, who was among the earliest investors in 21Vianet, a Chinese data center services provider that has since gone public.
Bangladesh Vows to Act Against its Central Bank Over Cyber Heist (Bloomberg)
Bangladesh’s finance minister pledged to act against its central bank for not informing him about a cyber heist in which hackers broke into a Bangladesh Bank account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York last month. Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, the finance minister, told reporters in Dhaka on Sunday that he was going to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and planned to issue a statement on the matter, which involved the unauthorized transfer of at least $100 million from the central bank’s account with the New York Fed.
Wall Street’s stressed-out employees flock to shrinks (NYP)
Cass has seen a surge in visits to his practice from stressed-out advisers in the past 12 months — 30 advisers now visit him a week, he says — as markets have wobbled. It’s back up on par with his caseload in the bad old days of 2008. “In 2008, it was about panic,” he said. “Now I am seeing more burnout and more apathy.”
RBS Said to Cut 550 Jobs as In-Person Advice Moves to Web, Phone (Bloomberg)
Chief Executive Officer Ross McEwan has been eliminating thousands of jobs as he cuts expenses and focuses on consumer lending in the U.K. and Ireland to improve earnings after eight straight annual losses. The bank is scaling back its in-person advice as many younger, cost-sensitive investors already are flocking to automated services, such as so-called robo-advisers that use algorithms to make recommendations.
Swedish health minister: Loud sex is healthy (UPI)
One man, fed up with his neighbors' wild and noisy romps, sent a tweet directly to Health Minister Gabriel Wikstrom asking for help Wednesday. "My neighbours are once again having noisy sex. You're my only hope: could you ban risqué exercises after 10pm?" the man asked Wikstrom on Twitter. The reply he received was likely not what he expected. "Sounds nice for them, I think," Wikstrom tweeted back. "Good for their well being and thus, public health as well," The Local reported. Most apartment blocks in Sweden don't allow tenants to conduct loud activities after 10 p.m., like vacuum cleaning or drilliing, but loud sex? It's okay, Wikstrom said.