HSBC, BofA apply blockchain to trade finance, seek more partners [Reuters]
HSBC and Bank of America Merrill Lynch said on Wednesday they had created the world's first application using blockchain technology to simplify one of the most cumbersome aspects of trade finance.
The banks joined with Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore to emulate a letter of credit transaction. Letters of credit are one of the most widely used ways to reduce risk between importers and exporters, helping guarantee more than $2 trillion worth of transactions, but the process creates a large paper trail and is time consuming.
By putting the transaction on a distributed ledger, the importer and its bank, together with the exporter and its own bank, can see the data in real time.
Jefferies, Free of the Restraints of Bigger Banks, Is Emboldened [NYT]
In the six years since regulators forced Wall Street banks to rein in risk-taking, Jefferies has emerged with an appetite for risk and a set of relationships to rival bigger Wall Street firms. It never took federal bailout money. Now, as a subsidiary of the conglomerate Leucadia National, Jefferies is not subject to the trading restrictions and capital requirements imposed on other investment banks that did take bailout funds and became part of bank holding companies. That gives it room to make bolder moves than some of its larger peers.
It is easier for Jefferies to do deals that exceed “cookie cutter” debt limits, said Chris Kotowski, an analyst at Oppenheimer.
Whistleblowers Are Poised to Collect $100 Million [WSJ]
After his warnings about Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme went ignored for years, Harry Markopolos urged U.S. regulators to encourage tipsters. Now, the forensic accountant and a team he put together are in position to benefit from those new incentives.
U.S. government settlements with State Street Corp. and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. could produce a windfall for three former employees who blew the whistle on the banks’ alleged mistreatment of foreign-currency-trading clients. Mr. Markopolos, who assembled the group and advised them, could reap a slice of any payouts awarded to the whistleblowers, according to people familiar with the matter.
Those awards could exceed a combined $100 million, the largest such awards on record, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal.
80-year-old woman accused of drugging, robbing suitors during ‘romantic’ meals [NYP]
An 80-year-old woman in Poland drugged and stole from a string of suitors she met through dating ads in her local newspaper — a crime that could put her behind bars for 20 years, investigators told AFP on Tuesday.
Prosecutors claim the suspect, identified as Janina M., would sneak the powerful sedative lorazepam into her victims’ food, lulling them to sleep during what they thought was a romantic meal.
The Bridgewater employee who filed a sexual-harassment claim has left for KKR [BI]
An employee of Bridgewater Associates who filed a sexual-harassment complaint against his supervisor has withdrawn the claim and started a new job at private-equity firm KKR.
With about $150 billion under management, Westport, Connecticut-based Bridgewater is the world's largest hedge fund.
Chris Tarui filed a complaint earlier this year with a Connecticut agency, alleging the harassment and describing Bridgewater as a "cauldron of fear and intimidation" that kept him silent.
Disney beats estimates, buys video streaming stake to lure web viewers [Reuters]
Walt Disney Co's quarterly profit and revenue on Tuesday beat analysts' estimates fueled by movie studio hits, and the media company said it was taking a stake in a streaming video technology company to sell more content directly to consumers.
Disney and other media companies are struggling with "cord cutting" consumers who abandon large bundles of channels sold by cable TV providers. In buying a 33 percent stake in video-streaming firm BAMTech for $1 billion, Disney is hoping to lure online viewers. It will begin with an ESPN subscription streaming service by year's end.
The service will not, however, include any of the content that appears on ESPN's TV networks, Disney said.
One year later, Alphabet is a tale of two Googles [recode]
Happy birthday, Alphabet. You’re one year old, and no less confounding to the outside world.
Today marks the one year anniversary of the day Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin picked a new name and an audacious corporate structure in an attempt to spawn gigantic tech businesses in industries way beyond web search.
So far, the year has been great for Google. Unshackled from the unprofitable moonshots, its balance sheet and steady ads business growth has reassured investors.
Lyft to sell giftcards at Starbucks in latest bid to fight Uber [NYP]
Starting this week, ride-hailing service Lyft will sell $20 gift cards at thousands of Starbucks locations, including 250 stores in New York City.
To get both riders and coffee drinkers on board with the promotion, customers will get a $5 Starbucks gift card for each Lyft card they purchase.
Police: Train car derails in Iowa, hits bar called DeRailed [AP]
Police say a freight train car that derailed in northern Iowa rolled into and damaged a trackside tavern called DeRailed.
Police Chief Hugh Anderson says the accident occurred around 4 a.m. Tuesday as crews moved rail cars and changed connections in Charles City. Anderson says it appears that the track separated and the grain car tipped about 45 degrees into the back of the bar.
Anderson says a patrol officer called him to say a train car had derailed into Derailed, adding that "it's not every day you get to say that."