Opening Bell: 7.13.16

IMF not worried about Brexit impact on U.S. growth; Sequoia exits Valeant; IRS auditing marijuana businesses; "I got caught cheating through Pokémon Go"; and more.
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Longtime Valeant Investor Sequoia Fund Exits After Losses (Bloomberg)
Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb, manager of the Sequoia Fund and once the largest shareholder in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., said the $4.8 billion mutual fund exited that investment last month after losses. Valeant, which once accounted for more than 30 percent of the Sequoia portfolio, was no longer a holding by mid-June, the firm told investors Tuesday.

Fed's Bullard sticks with single U.S. interest rate hike view (Reuters)
The Federal Reserve should be in no rush to raise U.S. interest rates despite a surge in June hiring, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Tuesday, sticking with his view that the central bank may need only a single rate hike for years to come.

IMF sees 'negligible' Brexit impact on U.S. growth (Reuters)
The IMF said in its formal annual review of the U.S. economy and policies that the June 23 "Brexit" vote has prompted a rise in the dollar that has been less than feared, up about 1 percent in nominal effective terms, while stock markets have recovered losses incurred right after the vote. Meanwhile, a safe-haven rush into U.S. Treasuries has lowered yields, and home and business financing costs, considerably.

Dimon Wades Into Inequality Debate With a Raise for the Little Guy (Bloomberg)
At a time when the gap between rich and poor looms large in U.S. politics -- and when a backlash against the global economic establishment is rattling the postwar order on both sides of the Atlantic -- Dimon went public Tuesday with a plan to give thousands of employees a raise. In an opinion piece in The New York Times, Dimon said wage stagnation and income inequality were holding back millions of people. Even as big banks look to reduce pay for top earners, Dimon called on corporate America to help low-paid employees climb the economic ladder. “Wages for many Americans have gone nowhere for too long,” Dimon wrote.

I got caught cheating through Pokémon Go (NYP)
Evan Scribner claims he’s now single after his girlfriend discovered he was “cheating” on her — thanks to the geolocation feature in the addicting scavenger hunt-style cellphone game. Scribner told The Post his big mistake was playing the game after canoodling with an ex-girlfriend in Bushwick. The mobile game leads players to virtual creatures located in the real-world, using a phone’s mapping software to record where each Pokemon is captured. And that means anyone snooping around a player’s phone would be able to see his or her whereabouts at a given time. “She saw that I had caught a Pokémon while at my ex’s house,” Scribner said. And when the Sunnyside, Queens resident didn’t have a good excuse as to why he was wandering around his ex’s Brooklyn neighborhood, his gal pal said see you later Feraligatr. “She found out last night at my house and hasn’t contacted me since then,” Scribner said.

Retrial of Barclays Traders Set for February in Libor Case (Dealbook)
Two former Barclays traders will be retried in February on charges that they plotted to manipulate a benchmark interest rate known as Libor. A jury was unable to reach a verdict this month regarding the former traders, Stylianos Contogoulas and Ryan Michael Reich. Their trial was the third in Britain to focus on a scandal involving the London interbank offered rate, or Libor. The scandal has led to billions of dollars in fines and shook the reputations of some of the world’s biggest banks, including Barclays, Deutsche Bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS.

IRS said to be auditing Colorado marijuana businesses (CNBC)
Colorado pot businesses are increasingly coming under scrutiny from the Internal Revenue Service due to the industry's focus on cash, according to a report Tuesday from Marijuana Business Daily. Marijuana businesses such as dispensaries are known to deal predominantly in cash due to continued U.S. banking restrictions that make it difficult for them to have bank accounts with federally chartered financial institutions. And those cannabis businesses with bank accounts sometimes have accounts closed once the bank learns about the marijuana-related activities.

Ginsburg Abandons High Court Neutrality in Calling Out Trump (Bloomberg)
The 83-year-old Ginsburg has become a liberal icon, in part because of her blunt comments on and off the bench. But her comments in three interviews over the last week went well beyond even her usual candor. "He has no consistency about him," Ginsburg told CNN legal analyst Joan Biskupic. "He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego." The court was already an unusually prominent issue in the race between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton because the next president is likely to make multiple nominations. The vacancy created by Justice Antonin Scalia’s Feb. 13 death remains unfilled, and Ginsburg will be one of three justices 78 or older on Election Day.

Florida woman arrested wearing only a bra after flipping boyfriend’s truck for breaking up with her (NYDN)
Brianda Mayeli Ramirez, 25, was arrested Friday night when she purposely crashed into the truck in Belle Glade in Palm Beach County. The boyfriend, who was unnamed in the police report, tried to break up with Ramirez after their one-year relationship, according to the Palm Beach Post. Ramirez followed him to his aunt’s house, at which point the two had sex and he left the apartment. The scorned woman put a bra on — and nothing else — and followed him in her car, then intentionally crashed into him.

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Opening Bell: 7.18.16

Draghi will ask governments to help counter Brexit fallout; Bridgewater slows hiring; HSBC to cut bond traders; Man quits job to become full-time ‘Pokemon Go’ player; and more.

"Christ, Janet!" Photo: Steve Jurvetson, via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 7.14.16

JP Morgan beats estimates; Larry Fink doesn't trust equities rally; Craigslist users offer 'Pokemon Go' chauffeur service for players; and more.

Opening Bell: 4.20.16

Blythe says banks need blockchain; Wine mogul says Fidelity cheated him out of millions; "Forceful' In-Flight Nipple Tweak Lands Olympic Swimmer In Hot Water; and more.

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Opening Bell: 6.24.16

Brexit, Brexit, Brexit; Banks pass stress tests; Lindsay Lohan live tweets rant on European Union referendum, attacks 'Brexit' voters; and more.

Opening Bell: 02.11.13

Two Firms, One Trail, In Probe Of Ratings (WSJ) The Justice Department last week went after Standard & Poor's Ratings Services—not rival Moody's Investors Service —with a $5 billion fraud lawsuit. Some former Moody's employees think they know why. The Moody's Corp. unit took careful steps to avoid creating a trove of potentially embarrassing employee messages like those that came back to haunt S&P in the U.S.'s lawsuit, the former employees say. Moody's analysts in recent years had limited access to instant-message programs and were directed by executives to discuss sensitive matters face to face, according to former employees. The crackdown on communications came after a 2005 investigation by then New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer into Moody's ratings on some mortgage-backed deals, the former employees say. Former employees also point to an April 2001 settlement between Moody's and the Justice Department's antitrust division over the destruction of documents amid a civil inquiry by the agency. Moody's pleaded to one count of obstruction of justice and paid a fine of $195,000. Moody's called that situation "an isolated incident" and said it cooperated with the Justice Department's investigation. That settlement helped lay the groundwork for heightened concerns about sensitive documents, former Moody's employees say. Credit Rating Victims Didn’t Know S&P’s Toxic AAA Born of Greed (Bloomberg) When Charles O. Prince III was chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc. from 2003 to 2007, he didn’t know about a surge in mortgage risk that his own investment bankers loaded on to its bank’s books. Because such debt carried top credit ratings from firms such as Standard & Poor’s, few financial executives paid attention to the potential dangers. When Charles O. Prince III was chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc. from 2003 to 2007, he didn’t know about a surge in mortgage risk that his own investment bankers loaded on to its bank’s books. Because such debt carried top credit ratings from firms such as Standard & Poor’s, few financial executives paid attention to the potential dangers. Makeover At Barclays Won't Be Extreme (WSJ) Mr. Jenkins's cuts are likely to be focused on areas where Barclays lags far behind competitors, executives say. That could include parts of the equities sales-and-trading businesses in Asia and continental Europe, according to analysts and people at other banks. Those are businesses in which Mr. Diamond spearheaded an ambitious expansion but where Barclays remains a second-tier player. But other changes are driven more by polishing the bank's tarnished image than they are by the need to boost profits. A few business lines that don't seem "socially useful" are likely to end up on the chopping block, executives say. For example, Barclays plans to retreat at least in part from the lucrative trading of "soft commodities" such as coffee, executives say. That is a concession to mounting criticism that speculative trading in those commodities contributes to food-price inflation. "We're a big player, but does it pass the smell test of what society would think of this?" a senior executive said. Mr. Jenkins is also expected to trumpet plans to dramaticallyscale back Barclays's tax-planning business, in which it advises clients on how to minimize their tax burdens. The bank will no longer help clients put together transactions that have no businesspurpose other than reducing taxes. "Such activity is incompatible with our purpose," Mr. Jenkins will say on Tuesday, according to the extract of his speech. But the bank isn't expected to exit the business altogether. It will continue to offer tax-minimizing advice. People familiar with the matter say the business has been hiring employees recently. Putin Turns Black Gold Into Bullion as Russia Out-Buys World (Bloomberg) Not only has Putin made Russia the world’s largest oil producer, he’s also made it the biggest gold buyer. His central bank has added 570 metric tons of the metal in the past decade, a quarter more than runner-up China, according to IMF data compiled by Bloomberg. The added gold is also almost triple the weight of the Statue of Liberty. White House Warns Coming Austerity Will Hit Economy Hard (Reuters) Automatic government spending cuts due to go into effect March 1 unless Congress acts to prevent them would bite deeply into programs affecting many Americans, such as law enforcement, small business assistance, food safety and tax collection, the White House said on Friday. The administration urged Congress to blunt the effect of the reductions, which the White House said would slash non-defense programs by 9 percent across the board and defense programs by 13 percent, the White House said. "These large and arbitrary cuts will have severe impacts across the government," the administration said in a statement. World's most prolific stripper calls it a day (DM) For two decades, the Liverpudlian father-of-three has been the Usain Bolt of the naked dash. In 1995, he leapt naked on to Fred Talbot’s weather map on daytime TV show This Morning, and a year later he appeared nude on the green during the Open at Royal Lytham. Then, in 2004, he was fined £550 for trespassing after streaking across the pitch at the Super Bowl in Texas – a match watched by 130 million people in 87 countries. For good measure, Mark has also stripped off at Wembley, Wimbledon and Ascot. ‘There’s no major venue or event I haven’t done,’ he says proudly. ‘But I’m nearly 49 now and my children have begged me to stop. It’s time. I’m not ready for my slippers just yet, but gravity’s against me.’ Treasury Pick Lew Faces Grilling on Citi Bonus, Cayman Account (Reuters) Jack Lew, President Barack Obama's pick to be U.S. treasury secretary, is expected to come under fire for the administration's budget policies and a nearly $1 million bonus he received from bailed-out bank Citigroup when he testifies on Wednesday before a Senate panel vetting him for the job. The hearing will briefly become ground zero in the pitched political battle over the federal budget, with Republicans set to attack over what they contend is Lew's devil-may-care attitude to reducing the U.S. budget deficit. "He'll be used as a political ping-pong ball," said Ted Truman, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for InternationalEconomics who served briefly as an adviser to Obama's former treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner. Treasury Eases Off On Bank Rules (WSJ) The proposal, which will be subject to comment before becoming a final rule, is likely to insist that financial institutions gather beneficial ownership information—who is in charge and who profits—on new corporate accounts, officials said. But in a move that could assuage some industry concerns, financial institutions wouldn't have to vet that ownership data for accuracy. Instead, they would rely on the customer to vouch for the information. With a Focus on Its Future, Financial Times Turns 125 (NYT) On Wednesday, The F.T. is celebrating its 125th birthday. The newspaper’s London headquarters along the south bank of the Thames will be lit up in pink, the color of the paper on which it has been printed since shortly after it was founded. There will be a few parties — understated, of course, for these are straitened times in the City of London, and challenging ones for the newspaper industry. Waxing Our Way To The ER (Salon) A new study from the University of California-San Diego reveals that “Emergency room visits due to pubic hair grooming mishaps,” including “lacerations,” increased fivefold between 2002 and 2010, sending an impressive 11,704 pube-scapers to the E.R. The culprits? Scissors and hot wax did some of the damage, but plain-old non-electric-razors accounted for the lion’s share, at 83 percent...The study also revealed that below-the-belt grooming isn’t just for adult ladies anymore – men accounted for 43.3 percent of the injuries, and almost 30 percent of them were girls under the age of 18. To avoid becoming yet another harrowing grooming gone bad statistic, the researchers advise hair removal aficionados to “Pay attention to where you’re placing that razor. Invest in a non-slip bath mat. And don’t shave while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”

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Opening Bell: 9.26.17

Deutsche Bank is having a no good very bad Monday; Stumpf gets $123.6 million if he walks; Man caught using mannequin torso to cheat California carpool lane; and more.