Opening Bell: 6.21.16

Ackman releases first video in a series (!!) of videos about Herbalife; Wilbur Ross tells Brits to wake the bloody heck up; Memphis police searching for woman who stole stripper pole; and more.
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Photo: Getty Images

Ackman releases new Herbalife video (Reuters)
Billionaire investor William Ackman revved up his campaign against Herbalife on Monday as investors await the outcome of a U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) probe into the business practices of the nutritional supplements maker. Ackman's hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, released a video on Monday that it said illustrated what Ackman has called Herbalife's predatory recruiting practices. Ackman said it is the first in a series of videos that he will release this week on his website www.factsaboutherbalife.com...Ackman has waged a four-year campaign against Herbalife, making a $1 billion short bet against it in 2012 and accusing it of running a pyramid scheme which pays members more for recruiting new members than for selling the company's supplements and weight-loss products.

Soros sees Russia emerging as global power as EU fades (Reuters)
Billionaire investor George Soros said on Monday he saw Russia emerging as a global power as the European Union collapses, in much the same way as the EU flourished when the Soviet Union started falling.

Ex-Morgan Stanley CEO warns about the biggest risk he sees to markets (CNBC)
John Mack, former chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, told CNBC on Monday he sees "geopolitical risk" as the biggest threat to global prosperity and financial markets. "Hopefully, nothing happens. But there's a lot of turmoil, whether it's in the Middle East ... North Korea ... or China and their [disputed] islands," Mack said on "Squawk Box," citing the risk of a "geopolitical blow-up" as his top concern. "All it takes is for one person to make a mistake. And then you have a global event," he added in a wide-ranging interview that included his thoughts on the United Kingdom vote Thursday on whether to stay in the European Union trading block.

Wilbur Ross Says Brexit Would Spark Most Expensive Divorce Ever (Bloomberg)
U.S. billionaire Wilbur Ross said a British vote to leave the European Union would be the “most expensive divorce proceeding in the history of the world” with the potential to roil global markets and hurt his investment in the country. A so-called Brexit through a referendum on Thursday “would be terrible” for sterling as well as U.K., European and U.S. markets, Ross, chairman of private-equity firm WL Ross & Co., said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Guy Johnson and Caroline Hyde. However, the veteran investor said he was going long on the U.K. because “the British public would come to its senses and not make this very foolhardy decision to leave.”

Memphis police searching for woman who stole stripper pole (NYDN)
The Memphis Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a suspected stripper pole-thief in Tennessee. A woman in a T-shirt and jeans shorts was caught on camera hauling a $364 stripper pole out of Christal’s, an adult store outside of Memphis. “We’ve received several tips and we’re still working on it,” a police spokesman told the Daily News.

Wall Street cash or Elizabeth Warren: Hillary's choice (CNBC)
"If Clinton picked Warren, her whole base on Wall Street would leave her," one top Democratic donor who has helped raise millions for Clinton told me. "They would literally just say, 'We have no qualms with you moving left, we understand all the things you've had to do because of Bernie Sanders, but if you are going there with Warren, we just can't trust you, you've killed it.'"

Too-tough capital rules may stifle U.S. lending: Fed's Kashkari (Reuters)
The U.S. banking system needs deep reform to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis and Wall Street firms should hold more capital to brace against economic shocks, said Kashkari, who was a Treasury Department official under the George W. Bush administration. But regulators must be mindful that forcing banks to hold capital means those institutions may have less money to lend, Kashkari told the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Chipotle executives face shareholder lawsuit alleging insider trading (BizJournals)
The suit filed in Denver District Court, alleges that certain Chipotle executives and board members sold off shares of company stock in advance of the illness outbreaks that sickened some customers and sent the company’s shares plunging. It also alleges that various Chipotle leaders “dealt themselves excessive compensation worth hundreds of millions of dollars through a corrupt stock incentive plan” at the expense of shareholders and the company itself.

Millennials reignite long-dead RV market (NYP)
It’s called “glamping” — camping in glamorous fashion — and purchases by millennials, with an elder limit of 35, are helping re-ignite RV sales, insiders said. While RV sales in the US have increased seven straight years — since 2010, the year after the Great Recession ended — the growth had been slowing for three years until millennials stepped into the breach this year.

Police probe car with trunk load of bees (UPI)
Fitchburg police responded Sunday to a report of a large number of bees swarming in the Normandy Road area and officers arrived to discover someone had apparently placed bee hives in the trunk of a parked vehicle. A woman was stung on the nose when the trunk was opened, but did not require medical attention, police said. Beekeepers were summoned to the scene and were seen removing the hives from the vehicle's trunk while dressed in full protective gear. Police said the bees are believed to have been intentionally placed in the trunk of the car. An investigation has been opened to determine whether the bees were intended to harm the owner of the vehicle.

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Opening Bell: 03.01.13

Congress Leaders To Meet With Obama As Budget Cuts Begin (Bloomberg) Democrats and Republicans are in a standoff over how to replace the cuts totaling $1.2 trillion over nine years, $85 billion of which would occur in the remaining seven months of this fiscal year. Republicans reject Democrats’ call for higher taxes on top earners to replace part of the spending reductions. “Middle-class families can’t keep paying the price for dysfunction in Washington,” Obama said in a statement yesterday. The president has until 11:59 p.m. to issue the order officially putting the cuts into effect. “How much more money do we want to steal from the American people to fund more government?” Boehner said at a news conference in Washington yesterday. “I’m for no more.” The White House meeting follows the Senate’s rejection yesterday of a pair of partisan proposals to replace the spending reductions. No additional congressional action is planned before the start of the cuts, to be split between defense and non-defense spending. Fiscal Pain to Be Parceled Out Unevenly (WSJ) Economies in and around the nation's capital are likely to feel the most pain. Federal spending accounts for about a fifth of the economic output of Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, according to the Pew Center on the States. Other areas likely to be hit hard are Hawaii and Alaska, which have a heavy military presence, and states such as New Mexico, Kentucky and Alabama, which have major defense operations or substantial military contracting. Struggling Groupon Ousts Its Quirky CEO (WSJ) Mr. Mason didn't return calls for comment. In a memo to employees that was by turns tongue-in-cheek and rueful, he said, "After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I've decided that I'd like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding—I was fired today." 'Girls' Gone Under (NYP) “Girls Gone Wild” founder Joe Francis has put his video empire into bankruptcy in a bid to wiggle out of some $16 million in debt — most of it owed to casino magnate Steve Wynn. Wynn’s camp claims Francis owes closer to $30 million, including $2 million for unpaid gambling debts and $7.5 million in defamation damages. Wynn first hauled Francis to court to get him to pay the $2 million debt he racked up during a 2007 gambling binge. He sued again for defamation after Francis blabbed to gossip site TMZ that Wynn threatened to kill him and bury him in the desert. Wynn won two defamation awards for $7.5 million and $20 million, although the latter wasn’t listed in the Chapter 11 filing. Michael Weaver, a spokesman for Wynn Las Vegas, said the judgments are against Francis “personally” and not the company. “Consequently, these recent bankruptcy filings by the GGW companies will not slow our efforts to collect on our judgments against Mr. Francis,” he said. New York Investigating Bank of America for Mortgages (Reuters) Bank of America said in a securities filing on Thursday that the New York State Attorney General was investigating the bank over its purchase, securitization and underwriting of home loans. SEC Scrutinizing Chesapeake Energy (WSJ) The SEC notified Chesapeake in December that it was stepping up an informal inquiry into Aubrey McClendon's ability to invest in wells that the company drills, the company disclosed in a regulatory filing. The agency has issued subpoenas for information and testimony to Chesapeake, the country's second-largest natural-gas producer. Mornings Not For Erin Burnett, Demanding Sizable Buyout (NYP) Erin Burnett made her morning-show debut yesterday on CNN with Chris Cuomo for Pope Benedict XVI’s last day on the job. But it doesn’t mean she’s going to end up there permanently, sources tell The Post’s Michael Shain. It seems Burnett is digging in her high heels and refusing the new morning assignment. She has a clause in her contract that requires CNN to air her show in prime time. If new boss Jeff Zucker wants her to get up at 4 a.m., Erin is demanding a sizable chunk of cash — more than her $2.5 million salary — to buy her out of the prime-time clause. Insiders say Zucker believes she should be grateful she’s being offered a marquee job and he has started to look elsewhere for an anchor to partner with Cuomo. Burnett is telling her staff she doesn’t want to go to the morning. “What she means is she doesn’t want to go at the old price,” sniffed a source. 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What’s particularly troubling, he said, is that government expenditures related to programs for the elderly rocketed in the past two decades, even before the first baby boomers, those born in 1946, started turning 65. Lloyds CEO Links Bonus To Stake Sale (WSJ) Chief Executive António Horta-Osório said he is "very confident" U.K. taxpayers will get their money back, referring to the stake of about 40% the government took in the bank following a series of bailouts at the height of the crisis. He requested that his £1.49 million ($2.26 million) bonus only be paid if the government sells at least a third of its holdings in Lloyds at a share price above 61 pence. The average buy-in price for the U.K. government was 63.1 pence, according to U.K. Financial Investments, a body that manages the government's stake in Lloyds. 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Truck crashes on I-80 in Reno, spilling Heinz ketchup 'everywhere' (RGJ) A tractor trailer carrying thousands of bottles of Heinz ketchup crashed on Interstate 80 near the Robb Drive overpass this afternoon, spilling its red contents onto the freeway and snarling traffic in the process. “I have red everywhere on the highway,” said Sgt. Janay Sherven with the Nevada Highway Patrol. “No bodies, no people, just ketchup.” There were no injuries in the accident, which happened when the driver of the semi-truck likely overcorrected to avoid another car while traveling eastbound, she said. The truck hit the center median and then knocked over a light pole that slashed open the left side of the trailer. As a result, thousands of bottles and cans of ketchup were splattered onto the road like a bad horror movie. ‘“The scene looks pretty bad as far as color goes,” Sherven said.

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Opening Bell: 12.14.17

Disney gobbles up Fox; Bill Ackman is going to make a comeback...eventually...just you wait; Wilbur Ross slipped his security detail in the Hamptons; square dancing is actually racist?; and more.

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Opening Bell: 8.23.17

Herbalife readies finishing move on Bill Ackman; Goldman plans finishing move on Volcker rule; firefighters feast on piglets they saved from fire; and more.

By Maggie Hoffman (Tomato Soup Grilled Cheese) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 8.5.16

Wilbur Ross expects Donald Trump to start acting normal; Goldman warns on Brexit effects; Georgia man busted after raging at wife over too cheesy grilled cheese sandwich; and more.

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Opening Bell: 11.6.17

Goldman goes east; Saudi prince's arrest impacts Citi, Twitter investments; Wilbur Ross has a Putin problem; William Dudley to retire; and more.

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Opening Bell: 11.16.17

Nelson Peltz wins recount (maybe); Wilbur Ross sued by former partners; Stephen Feinberg is gunning for Deutsche Bank; hot cop-on-cop action in Detroit; and more.

(Getty Images)

Opening Bell: 1.26.17

Dutch regulator accidentally reveals Soros' shorts; Wilbur Ross is an emotionless business machine; a sex line for Afghan youths; and more.