Loeb's Third Point Warns Seven & I on Nepotism Deciding CEO (Bloomberg)
Toshifumi Suzuki, 83, is having chronic health problems and investors fear he may try to name his son, Yasuhiro Suzuki, president of Seven‐Eleven Japan and eventually president of Seven & i, Loeb wrote in a letter to the company dated Sunday. Third Point said Ryuichi Isaka, the current president of Seven‐Eleven Japan, should be a leading candidate for the post, and instead may be demoted. “The criteria used to determine the next CEO should be competence and the ability to run this company successfully, not family ties or preserving the Suzuki family dynasty,” Loeb said in a phone interview on Sunday. Kimiyoshi Yamaguchi, a Seven & i spokesman, declined to comment.
Microsoft meets with private equity over Yahoo deal (Reuters)
Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) executives are in early talks with potential Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O) investors about contributing to financing to buy the troubled Internet company, a person familiar with the situation said. The talks are preliminary, the person added, and Microsoft is focused on preserving the relationship between the two companies. Microsoft and Yahoo have longstanding search and advertising agreements. Private equity firms interested in Yahoo approached Microsoft, the person added. Microsoft declined to comment.
Oil Recovery Hits Saudi Devaluation Bet (Bloomberg)
Contracts used to speculate on the kingdom’s exchange rate in the next 12 months have fallen to about the lowest since November. A $1 million wager on the contracts at their peak in January would have lost 68,900 riyals ($18,370), or about 1.8 percent, according to Bloomberg calculations. Several U.S.-based hedge funds were said in February to be among investors that have bet Saudi Arabia would devalue the riyal.
In Hindsight, an ‘American Psycho’ Looks a Lot Like Us (NYT)
It’s impossible, in 2016, to talk about “American Psycho” without mentioning Bateman’s hero-worship of another well-tailored suit: Donald Trump. Bateman keeps a copy of Mr. Trump’s magnum opus, “The Art of the Deal,” on his desk. His dream is to be invited on the Trump yacht...Bateman asks his girlfriend, “Why wasn’t Donald Trump invited to your party?” She replies: “Oh god. Is that why you were acting like such a buffoon? This obsession has got to end!” It provides a sense of this novel’s offbeat comedy to print Bateman’s response to this: “‘It was the Waldorf salad, Evelyn,’ I say, teeth clenched. ‘It was the Waldorf salad that was making me act like an ass!’” Who isn’t driven to the brink by a Waldorf salad?
Cupcake the cat survives 260-mile, 8-day journey through the mail (UPI)
A Siamese cat named Cupcake survived a 260-mile journey through the mail after she fell asleep inside a shipping box with DVDs. The female cat fell asleep in a box in Falmouth, England as her owner was packing it. She arrived eight days later in West Sussex, dehydrated and nervous but otherwise well. Since Cupcake had an identifying microchip, the person who received the box was able to find Cupcake's owner, Julie Baggott. Baggott said she searched frantically for her pet before getting a call from Grove Lodge Veterinarian Hospital, where the cat was taken to search for a microchip. "When I realized she was missing two weeks ago it was the most horrible, scary feeling," she told the BBC. "I feel terrible about what's happened, because I put everything in the box and sealed it straight away so I don't how she managed to get in there."
Fed’s dovish stance squeezes US banks (FT)
Richard Davis, chief executive of US Bancorp — the country’s fifth-largest listed lender by assets — gave a sense of banks’ anguish about monetary policy a year ago when he said waiting for rates to rise was akin to “torture”. But the Federal Exchange this month confirmed what investors had assumed for several weeks: rates are to be kept lower for longer. Officials expect to follow up the modest rate rise they brought in before Christmas with only two increases this year, not four as previously envisioned. The more dovish stance will cost the US banking industry about $5bn, estimates Mike Mayo, analyst at CLSA.
The Race Is On to Control Artificial Intelligence, and Tech’s Future (NYT)
By 2020, the market for machine learning applications will reach $40 billion, IDC, a market research firm, estimates. And 60 percent of those applications, the firm predicts, will run on the platform software of four companies — Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft...IBM is making the broadest entry into A.I. Its Watson unit, set up as a separate division in early 2014, is both a software and a services business, with technology tailored to specific industries. More than 80,000 developers have downloaded and tried out the software, and the Watson division has 500 industry partners, including big companies and start-ups.
British EU exit campaign backed by 250 business leaders (Reuters)
The campaign for Britain to leave the EU has been backed by 250 business leaders including the former chief executive of HSBC, the Vote Leave group said on Saturday, hoping to counter the view that UK businesses back staying in the bloc.
‘The Revenant’ Puts Frontier Living on Center Stage (WSJ)
Brannen Carter, a 45-year-old firefighter in Boise, Idaho, thought he had left his mountain-man days behind him. Then he saw “The Revenant.” It didn’t take long for Mr. Carter to head to his parents’ home to pick up a bunch of 19th-century clothing and dust off his 8-pound rifle. “No modern underwear, no modern socks or anything like that,” said Mr. Carter, ticking off some of the do’s and don’ts of his rediscovered passion—heading into the wilds of the Northwest to live like fur trapper Hugh Glass, the character played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the frontier drama.