Platinum Partners to liquidate two main funds amid government probes (Reuters)
Platinum Partners has hired an independent monitor to oversee the liquidation of its two main hedge funds amid investigations by U.S. authorities, according to a letter sent to investors on Wednesday. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has requested information from New York-based Platinum, according to a person familiar with the situation. The U.S. hedge fund manager said last month it was likely to return the assets of its largest and oldest fund to clients following the arrest of a longtime associate on allegations he orchestrated a $60,000 cash bribe to secure an investment from a New York City union.
HSBC’s Johnson Out on Bond After Airport Arrest in Currency Case (Bloomberg)
Mark Johnson, HSBC’s global head of foreign exchange cash trading in London, appeared in court Wednesday after being held in a Brooklyn jail overnight on charges of manipulating the pound to take advantage of inside information about a client, reaping $8 million for the bank. He was released on bail and returned to his apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
C.E.O.s Meet in Secret Over the Sorry State of Public Companies (NYT)
The agenda — shaped over many conversations Mr. Dimon had had with his friend, Mr. Buffett — was to discuss the sorry state of publicly traded companies: too little trust and connection between shareholders and management, too many rules imposed by so-called governance experts and too many idiosyncratic accounting guidelines. As a result, much of the smart money in the United States is going — and staying — private, creating more companies that have less public accountability and transparency. Over a series of meetings, conference calls and email exchanges that later included the chiefs of General Motors, General Electric and Verizon, among others, the group discussed a series of corporate governance “principles” that the participants could all agree on: Topics included compensation for chief executives and board members (more payment in stock, less cash) and earnings guidance (the group is generally not a fan). Along the way, at least two major investors, Fidelity and Wellington Management, dropped out, refusing to sign the list of “principles.”
Pharma Bro Wu-Tang Clan album fiasco makes it to Off-Broadway (NYP)
The play, “Martin Shkreli’s Game: How Bill Murray Joined the Wu-Tang Clan,” a comedy caper, centers on Shkreli’s $2 million purchase last year of “Once Upon a Time In Shaolin,” the album by legendary Staten Island rap group Wu-Tang Clan — of which only one copy was made. Shkreli allegedly bought it with the proceeds from a financial scam he ran with his now-defunct hedge fund, prosecutors claim. Shkreli has joked about destroying the album. In the play, Bill Murray teams up with three members of the Wu-Tang (including the ghost of Ol’ Dirty Bastard) to steal back the album from the alleged Ponzi schemer.
This Bougie Doughnut Costs Nearly $2,000 (HP)
Created by the Dum Dum Donutterie in London, the “Luxury Zebra Cro” is a croissant-doughnut hybrid with a twist. Made with saffron-infused butter croissant dough, Cristal rosé champagne caviar, gold leaf, Tahitian gold vanilla beans and rare Amedei Porcelana chocolate, this doughnut costs £1,500 (roughly $1,974.55), which is basically a downpayment on a Ford Focus.
AB InBev, SABMiller deal wins U.S. approval, adds craft beer protections (Reuters)
Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR) and SABMiller (SAB.L) received approval for their $107 billion merger from U.S. antitrust regulators on Wednesday after the companies agreed to unload beer assets and preserve competition from independent craft brewers. The Department of Justice approval comes with a number of stipulations and is notable after the regulatory authority derailed several recent mega-mergers over antitrust concerns.
Hedge Funds Sue Puerto Rico’s Governor, Claiming Money Grab (NYT)
A group of hedge funds sued the governor of Puerto Rico on Wednesday, saying he had started violating the island’s hard-won new debt-restructuring law before the ink from President Obama’s pen was even dry. The law, which the president signed on June 30, puts Puerto Rico under the watch of a federal oversight board to police its spending and promote fiscal reform. But the law has a built-in lag of at least two months before the federal board will be in place.
Brexit to Spark U.K. Recession, Forecasters Say (Bloomberg)
The U.K. economy may be heading for its first recession since 2009, with economists slashing their forecasts in the wake of the Brexit vote and now seeing two quarters of contraction this year.
Woman Stabs Husband During Doughnut Dispute (TSG)
According to a police report, Timothy Nelson “went to get doughnuts for his wife” Friday morning at a store near the couple’s home in New Albany, a city about six miles from Louisville. But the store “did not have the type she normally gets.” So, cops say, Nelson returned home “without the doughnuts.” This did not sit well with his wife Michelle, 37, who was upset that her spouse “did not know what else she liked after being together for several years.” When a heated argument over secondary doughnut choices followed, Timothy sought to leave the residence, but “Michelle was blocking the door.” During the ensuing scuffle, “Michelle lunged back at him and she had a grill fork in her hand. The grill fork stuck in Timothy’s chest.” After pulling the fork from his chest, Timothy fled the home, with Michelle “following him and still yelling at him.”