Goldman Mortgage Settlement Is Much Less Than Meets the Eye (NYT)
State and federal officials said on Monday that Goldman Sachs would pay $5.1 billion to settle accusations of wrongdoing before the financial crisis. But that is just on paper. Buried in the fine print are provisions that allow Goldman to pay hundreds of millions of dollars less — perhaps as much as $1 billion less — than that headline figure. And that is before the tax benefits of the deal are included. The bank will be able to reduce its bill substantially through a combination of government incentives and tax credits. For example, the settlement calls for Goldman to spend $240 million on affordable housing. But a chart attached to the settlement explains that the bank will have to pay at most only 30 percent of that money to fulfill the deal. That is because it will receive a particularly large credit for each dollar it spends on affordable housing.
Hedge Funds Abandoning Dollar's Biggest Bull Run in a Generation (Bloomberg)
Large speculators cut net bullish positions on the greenback to the lowest in almost two years last week. If they keep trimming at the current pace, those bets will be wiped out entirely by the end of the month. Currency options are signaling a less than one in four chance the greenback will extend its two-year, 25 percent surge against the euro in 2016, while against the yen, the likelihood is less than one in 10.
SEC charges Texas attorney general for stock scam (Reuters)
U.S. regulators charged Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Monday for his alleged role in a stock scam that defrauded investors in a Texas-based technology company called Servergy Inc. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused the company and former Chief Executive Officer William Mapp of selling private stock while misleading investors about the energy efficiency of its sole product, and accused Paxton of working to raise investor funds for the company without disclosing his commissions. The SEC's civil case followed a related criminal case against Paxton for securities fraud. Last year, a Texas state grand jury indicted Paxton on two fraud charges related to stock sales and compensation from Servergy. Paxton, a Tea Party Republican, is also facing charges he illegally acted as a securities agent for another firm run by a political ally. A spokesman for Paxton has said the case was politically motivated.
Under Armour drops as Wall Street traders focus on Spieth meltdown (Reuters)
Shares of sports apparel maker Under Armour (UA.N) dropped nearly 6 percent on Monday, a day after defending champion Jordan Spieth lost the Masters golf tournament in a shocking meltdown. Spieth last year signed a 10-year agreement to wear the No. 2 U.S. sportswear maker's golf shoes and other clothes, and his collapse in Sunday's final round appeared to be partly behind the drop in the company's shares. Also hurting the stock, Morgan Stanley said in a note that Under Armour, a leader in "athleisure," appears to be losing market share for the first time in three years.
Starbucks apologizes for labeling ‘DIABETES HERE I COME’ on Florida man’s coffee order (NYDN)
Starbucks had to apologize for a grande mistake after a Florida employee labeled a customer’s order as “DIABETES HERE I COME.” The upset customer had ordered a Grande White Mocha with classic syrup at the Starbucks in St. Augustine and noticed the insulting message where his name was supposed to be, he told Action News Jax. The intended sugar joke fell sour after it turned out the customer’s family has been afflicted by the disease...The barista was friends with the customer and wrote the insensitive jab about the disease wrote it as an "unfortunately misguided" joke, a Starbucks spokesperson told the Daily News. "The barista meant no offense, but rather believed to have had a friendly relationship with the customer," the rep said.
Who Loses the Most From ‘Brexit’? Try Goldman Sachs (WSJ)
A vast construction site in the heart of London is a testament to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s $500 million bet on the city’s global financial clout. But the bank’s new European headquarters might be a little emptier than planned if the U.K. votes in June to leave the European Union, Goldman’s executives say. The warning underscores a twist in what is turning into an increasingly fractious fight over whether the U.K. should opt for “Brexit”: the business groups that have the most to lose are neither European nor British.
Buffett-Backed BYD Is Looking for Tesla-Like Buzz (Bloomberg)
The automaker perhaps best known globally for winning an investment by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has made branding its top priority for the next two to three years, BYD’s senior vice president Stella Li said in an interview. While likening BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu to a marathon runner and Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk to a sprinter, she acknowledged BYD’s inability to draw lines of consumers out the doors of retail outlets clamoring for its cars.
France seeks G20 tax haven blacklist, EU sanctions on evaders (Reuters)
France will seek tougher EU sanctions on people who help to facilitate tax evasion and a G20 blacklist of uncooperative tax havens, the Finance Ministry said on Monday following the Panama Papers leaks. Countries on the blacklist should be subject to "counter-measures coordinated by different states", the ministry said in a statement outlining the issues that Finance Minister Michel Sapin will push at meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the Group of 20 leading economies this week in Washington.
800-Pound, Cattle-Munching Gator Shot Dead (HP)
A monster alligator, said to weigh 800 pounds, was recently hauled out of Florida’s marshes after being blamed for snacking on a landowner’s cattle...The huge beast was pulled Saturday from a pond at private hunting grounds near Okeechobee. Its head appeared to be the size of a small boy. Blake Godwin, a hunting guide for Outwest Farms, which offers wild boar, alligator and turkey hunts, said they found the gator with the remains of some of their missing livestock. “[The alligator] surfaced and he was coming our way,” he told WPBF-TV. “Even doing this for 10 years, something like that will spook you.” Godwin said a well-placed shot from a hunter with a .30-caliber rifle killed the animal. When they pulled it out of the water, they used a tractor to hold it up.