Ex-Goldman Banker to Malaysia Fund Subpoenaed in U.S. Probe (Bloomberg)
Tim Leissner was issued a subpoena about the Malaysia matter in late February, according to three people briefed on the matter, just days after Goldman Sachs confirmed he had left the firm. Leissner, a German national, was most recently chairman of the firm’s Southeast Asia operations but had taken personal leave and relocated to Los Angeles by early this year, according to people with knowledge of the move. From Malaysia to Switzerland to the U.S. investigators have been trying to trace whether money might have flowed out of the fund and illegally into personal accounts. Accusations have boomeranged and been called politically motivated even as authorities outside Malaysia press ahead with their inquiries.
Fed officials set battle lines on rate hikes ahead of March meet (Reuters)
In separate statements on Monday, policymakers at the core of that debate staked out starkly different views, with Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer saying economic data now points to the "first stirrings" of inflation, and Fed Governor Lael Brainard countering that the Fed should not move until inflation proves its "persistence."
Junk-Bond Rebound Signals Easing Fear (WSJ)
The revival is noteworthy because the junk-bond market is widely watched for clues about the state of the U.S. economy. Companies issuing junk debt have less financial flexibility to weather a downturn than higher-rated firms, often making the performance of their bonds an indicator of broader economic health. The junk-bond surge is among the most convincing signs that the recession fears that rattled markets earlier this year have faded. Starting in late 2015, junk bonds were hit by heavy selling, the closure of a fund overseen by Third Avenue Management LLC and deepening commodity-price declines.
Goldman Says Commodity Rally a False Start That's Set to Fizzle (Bloomberg)
Any increase in raw material prices will prompt more supplies to enter the market, making it difficult for any advance to be sustained, analysts including Jeffrey Currie wrote in a report dated March 7. The bank maintained its bearish outlook for gold, said iron ore’s surge would prove temporary and reiterated that oil will fluctuate between $20 and $40 a barrel. Goldman also said it was a good time to make bets that copper and aluminum would decline.
Scuba diver sues after getting sucked into nuclear power plant in Florida (UPI)
Christopher Le Cun said he was scuba diving off the coast of Hutchinson Island with friend Robert Blake last summer when the pair went down to investigate three large shadows underneath a yellow buoy. "I swam right up to this big structure and it looks like a building underwater. I felt a little bit of current. All of a sudden it got a little quicker and I said, 'this ain't right, this ain't right,'" Le Cun told WPTV. Blake said Le Cun got "sucked in like a wet noodle." Blake returned to the surface to get help from the duo's friends and family on a boat, while Le Cun was sucked down one of three 16-foot-wide intake pipes. The diver said he was in the tube for about five minutes before he saw the light of the surface he would soon reach. "All of a sudden it looks like a match, out in the distance, just the littlest bit of what you've ever seen. When it gets a little bigger, then a little bigger. Then all of a sudden just, poof, daylight. Fish everywhere, crystal-clear water the sun is shining and I'm like, 'is this heaven?'" Le Cun said. Le Cun said he shouted for help and was assisted by a confused employee who asked how he got into the plant.
Visium Hedge Fund Being Investigated by Justice Dept. and S.E.C. (Dealbook)
The agencies have requested information from several years ago relating to Visium’s valuation of certain securities in a credit fund it shut down in 2013. The authorities are also looking at Visium’s trading of certain securities and the firm’s use of a consultant more than five years ago.
Cuba-US ties improve, but businesses still face obstacles (CNBC)
A few businesses have found limited success working within the barriers erected by the Cuban government. Airbnb managed to crack the Cuban market following normalized relations by listing rentals in the country, and has managed to navigate successfully the payment problems vendors and consumers often encounter.
Lurid Suit Over Hate Mail Embroils Isaac Perlmutter, Marvel Chief (NYT)
Now you can add a bizarre litigation involving Isaac Perlmutter, the enigmatic billionaire chief executive of the Marvel Entertainment unit of the Walt Disney Company. Befitting a Palm Beach imbroglio, the dispute began over a local tennis pro. Now, at least three lawsuits later, a neighbor of Mr. Perlmutter has accused him and his wife of sending slanderous letters, unsigned, that say the neighbor "sexually assaulted" an 11-year-old "at knife-point" and murdered a local couple.
People Just Won't Stop Stealing 'Katie Crotch Road' Signs (HP)
For the second time in four years, residents of a Maine town will vote on whether or not to change the name of a street called Katie Crotch Road. No one seems to know where the name came from, but it costs the town of Embden hundreds of dollars each year to replace signs presumably stolen by people who find the oddly vulgar-sounding moniker funny, the Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel reports. “You put it up and in a week’s time it’s down again,” Charles Taylor of the town’s Board of Selectmen told the paper. “You would think every dorm room in the state of Maine should have one by now.”