Fed Sends Signal That April Rate Hike Is Unlikely (WSJ)
Federal Reserve officials signaled an interest-rate increase in April is unlikely, minutes of their March policy meeting showed, confirming markets’ growing conviction that the central bank will move cautiously until the global economy picks up steam.
Ackman Says Valeant May Identify New CEO Within Weeks (Bloomberg)
“We’re cautiously optimistic it’s a matter of weeks and not months in terms of identifying new management for the company,” Ackman said on a Pershing Square investor conference call Wednesday. “There is not a list for 100 candidates for the job, there’s probably a handful of top candidates. Because of all the M&A activity in pharma, there are lots of candidates who are available and there are also people in other businesses that find this opportunity extremely attractive.”
Hedge Funds With Billions at Stake Face Pirate Rules in Iceland (Bloomberg)
In an age of political disruption, where Donald Trump is closing in on the Republican Party nomination and a former communist rules Greece, the Pirate Party may well end up with the most spectacular success of all. Victory in a snap election would bring to power a party that wants to separate commercial and investment banking. It says most decisions will be made by consulting voters directly, with some members suggesting Internet referenda on policy proposals. The party, which doesn’t have a designated leader, has only existed since 2012 and has no experience in government. Meanwhile, Iceland is trying to navigate its way through the final stages of removing capital controls, with $2.4 billion in currency exchange auctions set to take place by mid-year. The transactions will allow offshore investors, mostly hedge funds, to cash in on Glacier bonds issued during Iceland’s economic boom years. When the bust came in 2008, such assets were put in limbo by currency restrictions.
New Tax Rules on Inversion Deals Are Met With Protest (WSJ)
The new Treasury Department rules—the third such attempt to rein in a spate of so-called tax-inversion deals—drew swift condemnation from Allergan Chief Executive Brent Saunders, who criticized them as “un-American” and “capricious.” “The rules are focused on the wrong thing: Our government should be focused on making America competitive on a global stage, not building a wall locking companies into an uncompetitive tax situation,” Mr. Saunders said in an interview. In an Op-Ed written for The Wall Street Journal appearing in Thursday’s newspaper, Pfizer CEO Ian Read wrote that U.S. pharmaceutical companies “compete in a global marketplace at a real disadvantage” to rivals with lower tax burdens. “While the Treasury’s proposal is a shot at Pfizer and Allergan, this unilateral action will hurt other companies as well,” he wrote.
Man leads police on high-speed chase as Uber driver naps (UPI)
Police said a man engaged in a high-speed chase after taking over the wheel for his Uber driver who was taking a nap. According to a news release, New York State Police noticed the Uber vehicle, a 2016 Hyundai Sonata, traveling 86 mph while monitoring traffic near the border between New York and Pennsylvania. Police attempted to stop the vehicle, but driver Juan R. Carlos, 20, reportedly refused to pull over and continued to flee until officers lost sight of the vehicle. Carlos had hired the Uber driver Corey Robinson, 43, to drive him from Philadelphia to a college in Herkimer, NY., but agreed to get behind the wheel when Robinson became tired and asked to take a nap, police said. Robinson woke up mid chase and asked why Carlos was driving so fast. Robinson demanded that Carlos pull over when he informed him they were being chased by police, but Carlos refused.
Hedge Funds Are the New Venture Firms (Dealbook)
Many of [of Julian Robertson's Tiger cub hedge funds] have ventured away from betting on publicly listed companies to taking stakes in private start-ups. Other investment firms, too, are pouring tens of millions of dollars into Silicon Valley. Much of that money is going to companies that focus on financial technology — called fintech — which includes new ways to replace traditional banking using the Internet and automation. Last year, funding for fintech start-ups more than doubled, reaching $12.2 billion, compared with $5.6 billion in 2014, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Key Pieces of Dimon's Annual Letter: Risks, Rates and Trading (Bloomberg)
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon used his annual letter to shareholders to warn about emerging geopolitical risks, predict U.S. interest rates are more likely to rise -- potentially too fast -- than go negative, and explain why he’s standing by certain types of trading while rivals pull back.
Dow Chemical Settles ‘Opt-Out’ Price-Fixing Claims for $400 Million (WSJ)
The company had previously agreed to pay $835 million to settle a related -class action lawsuit and dropped its appeal to the Supreme Court following Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. Midland, Mich.-based Dow, the largest U.S. chemical maker by sales, was one of several companies alleged to have overcharged clients by colluding to set prices for polyurethane-foam materials used in cars, packaging and household materials like mattresses and upholstered furniture.
Cops shut down burlesque show at East Hampton hotel (NYP)
An East Hampton hotel manager was charged by police for staging a burlesque show after cops caught an alluring dancer named Taradise strutting around in feathers and a thong. Officers swooped in on the Maidstone hotel’s restaurant on Saturday night, when Taradise was performing in a Venetian mask “dressed in some type of a feather garment and a black thong,” the East Hampton Star reported. East Hampton Village Police Chief Gerard Larsen said they were tipped off by a “village code enforcement officer” who told the hotel that live performances were not permitted.