Ex-Barclays Trader Disrupts Libor Testimony With Shouts of ‘No’ (Bloomberg)
A former Barclays Plc trader on trial for rigging Libor was admonished by the judge for shouting as he interrupted a co-defendant who was being questioned by a prosecutor. Ryan Reich shouted "no, no, no, no," from his seat on Friday after the prosecutor asked fellow ex-Barclays trader Alex Pabon on the stand if the Libor rate affected swaps valuations. After the interruption, Reich’s lawyer told him to be quiet and Judge Anthony Leonard said “interruptions should not take place.” Pabon answered that, yes, Libor did affect swaps valuations.
Whether Trump or Clinton, Anxiety Creeps Into U.S. Stock Outlook (Bloomberg)
The best illustration of this may be through measures of expected volatility in options tied to the S&P 500 Index that expire at different points throughout the year. While a broad upward slope is normal in a market where anxiety about the future gets worse with time, price jumps are now noticeable around the time of the Republican National Convention in July and the November election.
Short sellers circle Alibaba amid SEC probe (Reuters)
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N), which disclosed it is under investigation for its accounting practices, has emerged as one of the short-selling community's favorite targets in the relatively short time it has been in the public market. Noted short-sellers Jim Chanos of Kynikos Associates and John Hempton of Bronte Capital have been raising red flags since last year about the Chinese e-commerce giant's accounting practices. Hempton told Reuters in an email on Thursday that Alibaba, which went public in September 2014, is "a real company" but "with questionable accounts." He added: "The ability to value it from the accounts is, thus, tricky."
DoubleLine’s Gundlach Says Chanos Is Greatest Hedge Fund Manager (Bloomberg)
“The greatest hedge fund manager in the world is Jim Chanos,” Gundlach, chief executive officer of DoubleLine Capital, said Thursday during a wide-ranging presentation in Beverly Hills, California. “Jim Chanos is a permanent bear. He’s dour, he’s curmudgeonly, he’s bearish as hell all the time.” Gundlach said he would personally invest with Chanos, who’s best known for short-selling. Unlike Chanos, prominent managers including William Ackman, David Einhorn and Leon Cooperman lost money last year because they were unable to benefit from momentum stocks, Gundlach said.
Welsh sheep go on rampage after eating cannabis plants (UPI)
Officials from a city in South Wales are warning that a group of sheep could have ingested cannabis causing them to stir up trouble in nearby towns. Swansea County Councillor Ioan Richard feared that sheep in the area could ingest cannabis plants that were dumped from an illegal cannabis factory. "I dread to think what will happen if they eat what could well be cannabis plants -- we could have an outbreak out of psychotic sheep rampaging through the village," he said. Richard added that one flock of sheep had already been seen roaming about a Welsh village and intruding on people's homes.
Activist William Ackman, Valeant Investor, Tries Life as an Inside Man (WSJ)
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. Chief Executive Michael Pearson was wrestling with a lot of problems in mid-March, but activist investor William Ackman wasn’t one of them. The two men had remained allies even after the drug company’s slumping stock had dropped 51% on a single day, March 15. Mr. Ackman, a big Valeant investor, demanded to talk with the company’s directors. He insisted bankruptcy was a possibility and sought a board seat. He also told the board Mr. Pearson was the right person to turn around the company. Within three days, Mr. Ackman had changed his mind, and the board got behind him. On March 20, with the board’s blessing, he phoned Mr. Pearson and fired him. The next morning, Mr. Ackman joined the board.
Valeant rejected joint takeover bid from Takeda, TPG in spring (Reuters)
Takeda and private equity firm TPG were ready to offer a substantial premium to Valeant, whose stock had fallen about 65 percent this year up to the close of trade on April 22 as the drugmaker was not just seeking a new head but was also hit by an accounting scandal, the source added. However, analysts from Mizuho Securities USA said that large shareholders and board members are so far 'underwater' on their positions and would not want to part with the stock even at a premium to current levels.
Thiel-Gawker Case Divides Silicon Valley (WSJ)
Mr. Thiel’s acknowledgment Wednesday that he has provided roughly $10 million to back professional wrestler Hulk Hogan’s invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against Gawker triggered a mixed reaction in media and technology circles. Some Silicon Valley insiders were quick to praise Mr. Thiel after Gawker’s now-defunct tech blog Valleywag for years published often salacious stories. “Click-bait journalists need to be taught lessons,” said Vinod Khosla, a fellow billionaire venture capitalist, in a tweet on Thursday...Others sounded an alarm, worried that the financial firepower provided by outside backers could make it difficult for media companies to reach settlements with those who feel they’ve been wronged.
Man proposes to girlfriend using custom Mario level (UPI)
An Arkansas man incorporated his passion for video games into his engagement proposal by creating a custom Mario level. Shane Birkinbine used Nintendo's "Super Mario Maker" a video game/creation tool that allows users to create their own levels from the company's classic side-scrolling game franchise. He shared video of his girlfriend Pam Edwards playing the level, in which he spelled out the message "Pam will you marry me" in blocks. Birkinbine guided Edwards through the level quickly stopping her from destroying the blocks that spelled out her name while encouraging her to move her character to the right, revealing the rest of the message.