Opening Bell: 7.26.16

AB InBev ups SABMiller offer; Deutsche Bank must face subprime suit; Marissa Mayer probably won't get another CEO job right away; Man head-butted mother in face because she brought home Chick-fil-A for dinner; and more.
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Citigroup, HSBC Dump Customers as Era of Global Empires Ends (Bloomberg)
Citigroup says it’s leaner and safer today. But in serving those clients, the bank has bulked up on trading, a business that helped get it into trouble before. It doubled the amount of derivatives contracts it has underwritten since the crisis to $56 trillion. The company, which used to make most of its profit from consumer banking, now gets the majority from corporate and investment banking.

AB InBev Sweetens SABMiller Offer to Address Sterling’s Plunge (Bloomberg)
SABMiller shareholders will receive 45 pounds a share in cash, 1 pound more than the prior offer, valuing the company at 79 billion pounds ($103.6 billion), AB InBev said in a statement Tuesday. The bidder also increased the amount of cash in a cash-and-stock alternative that it crafted for the two largest investors, Altria Group Inc. and Bevco Ltd. Another SABMiller holder, Aberdeen Asset Management, said the revised proposal undervalues the company and remains unacceptable because stockholders aren’t being treated equally.

Fed seen holding rates steady as inflation watch continues (Reuters)
The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to keep interest rates unchanged this week, deferring any possible increase until September or December, as policymakers hold out for more evidence of a pickup in inflation.

After Yahoo, Marissa Mayer May Have to Wait for Another CEO Chance (WSJ)
Few executive recruiters and Silicon Valley investors expect her to stick around after the sale is completed. And while Ms. Mayer is certainly young enough to lead another company, experts say it is tough to rebound from a rookie reign many observers see as pocked by mistakes that complicated an already-difficult turnaround. Yahoo’s revenue stalled and it failed to deliver consistent profitability. “It’s like a pilot who flew the Hindenburg to then be asked to fly the Goodyear Blimp during the Super Bowl,” said brand-management expert Eric Schiffer of Ms. Mayer turning CEO again. “It won’t happen in the short-term.”

Man, 30, Head-Butted Mother In Face Because She Brought Home Chick-fil-A For Dinner, Cops Say (TSG)
“Def. and Victim had a verbal disagreement because the victim brought home Chick-fil-A and the Def. did not want to eat Chick-fil-A,” a criminal complaint notes. Faced with the fast food grub, Foreman “became upset” and head-butted his mother, causing her bottom lip to split, investigators allege. Foreman was arrested for domestic battery, a misdemeanor, and booked into the county jail. After a court hearing Friday, Foreman was released from custody and directed to have no contact with his mother. A judge also ordered Foreman to be outfitted with a device that monitors his alcohol intake.

Barclays Cartel Trader Told ‘Life Isn’t Fair’ Before Firing (Bloomberg)
Justin Bull, the bank’s former chief operating officer, mocked Chris Ashton during his April 2015 disciplinary hearing, Ashton said in a witness statement made public Tuesday. During the hearing, Ashton said it was unfair to apply rules made in the wake of the scandal to his conduct in 2012. “Justin leaned forward, spread his arms and said ‘Well, life isn’t fair,”’ Ashton said in his statement. "I found it not only unfair, but entirely unreasonable and deeply offensive." Ashton sued, saying he was fired unfairly and made a scapegoat after he blew the whistle on improper conduct in electronic chat rooms in 2012, a year before news of the scandal broke. The bank says Ashton intentionally ignored its code of conduct by using offensive language and sharing confidential information.

Hedge fund linked to kickback probe had alleged ties with massive Ponzi scheme (NYP)
Platinum Partners, the hedge fund at the center of an alleged New York City municipal union kickback scandal, has a history that’s sordid even for Wall Street — with alleged ties to one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history, and a confusing trail of documents that raise more questions than answers, The Post has learned. Murray Huberfeld and Mark Nordlicht, two top executives of the $1.3 billion fund, allegedly enlisted other hedgies and their wives to invest in a feeder fund for Scott Rothstein, a trustee lawsuit claimed. Rothstein was convicted of running a Florida Ponzi scheme and is now serving 50 years for racketeering and securities fraud, according to court documents.

Deutsche Bank must face U.S. lawsuit over subprime disclosures (Reuters)
A U.S. judge on Monday said Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) must face part of a lawsuit claiming it deceived investors who bought more than $5.4 billion of preferred securities by concealing its exposure to the fast-deteriorating subprime mortgage market. U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts in Manhattan rejected the German bank's bid to dismiss claims with respect to roughly $2.55 billion of securities sold in November 2007 and February 2008, court papers show.

I quit my job to play Pokémon Go (NYP)
Sophia Pedraza, 26, has ditched her job in order to devote all her time to being the very best at the mobile game, which uses players’ geolocation services on their cellphones to take them on a virtual scavenger hunt for Pokémon characters. “I downloaded it and immediately realized there is money to be made,” Pedraza told The Sun. “My mum thinks I’m mad but she’s coming round to the idea.” Before Pokémon Go was released earlier this month, Pedraza, who also has a law degree, gave private lessons to students in various subjects including math, English and music. But as of two weeks ago, she has a new expertise — capturing Pokémon. “Some days I play it for 18 hours a day because you can play all the time even when you’re out with your friends in bars and clubs,” she told the British paper. She plans to accumulate multiple phones so she can level up a bunch of accounts and sell them on eBay for more than $1,300.

Related

Opening Bell: 10.9.15

Deutsche Bank just the start for European bank pain; Bonds out, equities in; Ferrari thinks it's worth $12.4 billion; InBev doesn't know why SABMiller keeps rejecting its offers; "Assistant football coach at NJ high school gets into fight with player's mother"; and more.

Opening Bell: 11.12.15

AB InBev seals SABMiller deal; Argentina finally pays off for hedge funds; $50,000 headphones; "Shia LaBeouf Live-Streams Himself Watching All of His Movies"; and more.

By Captain-tucker (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 9.27.16

Stumpf forfeits $41 million; Germany has no plans to save Deutsch Bank; SABMiller backs AB InBev takeover; Warren Beatty denies sleeping with 12,775 women; and more.

Opening Bell: 9.16.15

AB InBev wants SABMiller; Kynikos gains; Bridgewater loses (and tells investors to f*ck off); Young Wall Street has no idea what a rate hike looks like; "Man Throws Brisket At Woman During Beef At BBQ Fest, Police Say"; and more.

Opening Bell: 10.02.12

JPMorgan Sued On Mortgage Bonds (WSJ) New York's top prosecutor opened a new front in efforts to hold banks accountable for the financial crisis by filing a civil lawsuit against J.P. Morgan Chase, alleging widespread fraud by the company's Bear Stearns unit in the sale of mortgage-backed securities. The case is the first to be brought under the aegis of a group of federal and state prosecutors and regulators formed by President Barack Obama in January. If successful, the lawsuit could point the way to significantly more financial pain for the big banks, which face threatened government actions and numerous investor lawsuits tied to mortgage securities that soured in the crisis. Greece's Creditors Look Askance At Cutbacks (WSJ) Greece's international lenders cast doubt on parts of Athens' plans to save billions of euros through new cutbacks and tax measures, throwing a potential wrench in the government's efforts to reach a quick deal to unlock new aid for the country. The troika of Greece's international inspectors—the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank—rejected as much as €2 billion ($2.57 billion) of austerity measures, a senior finance ministry official said. Spain Adds $32 Billion Power-System Bailout to Bank Rescue (Bloomberg) After Spain’s rescue of its banks and cash-strapped regions, the 2013 budget reveals a bailout of the power industry to cover 25 billion euros ($32 billion) of debt accumulated by the electricity system. The spending blueprint released two days ago adds 100 billion euros to the nation’s debt from the rescue packages by the end of 2012, driving its ratio to gross domestic product up 16.8 percentage points to 85.3 percent of total output. Fed Chief Takes On Critics (WSJ) Some Republican lawmakers and foreign government officials say the Fed's policies, by lowering the U.S. government's borrowing costs, take pressure off the White House and Congress to restrain the growing deficit. "I find this argument unpersuasive," Mr. Bernanke said in a speech to the Economic Club of Indiana. "The responsibility for fiscal policy lies squarely with the administration and the Congress." Moreover, he said, "using monetary policy to try to influence the political debate on the budget would be highly inappropriate." Woman who chomped off boyfriend's testicles back in court for breaching non-contact order after he took her (NYDN) Martin Douglas required emergency surgery and 19 stitches to re-attach his scrotum after the drunken assault by his then-girlfriend Maria Topp. But after rekindling their unlikely romance Topp says she was 'stabbed in the back' by Mr Douglas after he reported her to police for breaching her restraining order. Topp, 45, admitted unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm as her trial at Newcastle Crown Court was about to start last October. The mother-of-four was handed a 12-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, plus a restraining order which banned her from contacting Mr Douglas. However, after a ‘chance’ encounter in Newcastle in March this year, the pair got back together again. Topp, 45, had a ‘friendly chat’ with her ex-flame when they bumped into each other in Yates’ wine bar in the city centre. She then sent Mr Douglas a text asking ‘Do you still love me?’ Topp and Mr Douglas resumed their old relationship, which fizzled out again in June this year at which point Mr Douglas reported Topp’s breach of her restraining order. Merrill Plots Raid On Vulnerable Rival (WSJ) In a raid that stands out even in Wall Street's aggressive recruiting culture, Merrill Lynch is arming some managers with lists of top Morgan Stanley Wealth Management brokers who are considered ripe for defection, according to people familiar with the firm's recruiting. The so-called "mapping" of Morgan Stanley brokers shows the Bank of America Corp. unit is pushing to capitalize on technological and reputational blows at Morgan Stanley, according to these people. Morgan Stanley is coming off a tumultuous computer system conversion and Facebook's botched initial public offering, which has left investors nursing billions of dollars in losses. Merrill Lynch has enlisted some of its 11 market executives—regional managers who report to brokerage head John Thiel—to call top-grossing Morgan Stanley brokers. Those calls typically are made by lower-ranking workers such as branch managers, these people said. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has baby boy, becomes first-time mom (NYP) CEO Marissa Mayer is a mom after giving birth last night, her husband, Zachary Bogue, posted on Twitter. “Baby boy Bogue born last night. Mom (@marissamayer) and baby are doing great — we couldn’t be more excited!” Bogue tweeted this morning...Mayer has said she is taking a few weeks of “working” maternity leave and is expected to bring her son to work. Ex-Madoff Workers Face More Charges in Fraud Indictment (Bloomberg) Five longtime employees of Bernard Madoff’s former investment firm face more charges related to the jailed con man’s Ponzi scheme, which the government claims got its start in the 1970s. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan yesterday released a revised indictment expanding the charges against former Madoff employees Daniel Bonventre, Annette Bongiorno, Joann Crupi, Jerome O’Hara and George Perez. The indictment adds to the 17 criminal counts filed against the former employees in November 2010, for a total of 33 counts. Bacon Shortage Is ‘Overblown,’ Economists Say (ABC) If you started stocking your freezer with bacon to prepare for the upcoming pork shortage, you can start cooking some of it. Economists are telling consumers to expect a slight rise in price but not the “overblown” price increase in recent news reports. “It seems alarmist,” said Purdue University economist Christ Hurt, in response to the prediction that pork prices would double by the end of next year. While Hurt says pork prices might increase only 4 or 5 percent, though he notes that the drought has caused feed prices to go up sharply. “The one thing we don’t want to do is scare consumers,” he says, suggesting people try other types of meat if they are trying to save money.

MarissaMayerTiara

Opening Bell: 4.25.17

Marissa Mayer will not be going hungry; Bernanke thinks we're all crazy; of course Elon's new celeb relationship is bullish for Tesla; and more.

Opening Bell: 10.28.15

AB InBev explores sale of US assets; Hillary Clinton is serious about breaking up big banks; Employees don't want your stinking stock; Man turns violent after being asked to sit out Monopoly tournament; and more.

Opening Bell: 5.2.16

Warren Buffett trashes Valeant, hedge fund fees; Marissa Mayer gets $55 million if ousted; Now You Can Get Pizza In A Pizza Box Made Out Of Pizza; and more.