Broad Insider-Trading Probe Focuses on Washington Analyst (WSJ)
In Washington’s political-intelligence industry, which digs up tips about coming policy changes that could affect stocks, little is more prized than information about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, the federal agency that spends more than $1 trillion annually on health care for the poor, elderly and disabled. Few people are better at predicting that agency’s decisions than Mr. Blaszczak (pronounced BLAY-zak), a former CMS employee who is now the subject of a federal investigation. Over the past decade, he has regularly been ahead in foretelling moves by CMS, the world’s largest buyer of heart stents, hospital stays, arthritis pills, knee replacements and other medical care and services. Hedge funds routinely buy or sell stocks based on predictions of political-intelligence purveyors such as Mr. Blaszczak.
Credit Suisse banker dispute shows challenge of CEO's new strategy (Reuters)
Credit Suisse Group AG is accusing a group of five investment bankers who left for Jefferies Group LLC in May of stealing confidential information and trying to coax former colleagues to join them. The dispute, which has not been previously reported, offers insight into how the Swiss bank's push into wealth management under Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam may be prompting the departure of bankers that Wall Street businesses want to retain. Credit Suisse said in a petition in New York State Supreme Court in June that the bankers printed out and had access to proprietary information that could be used for the benefit of Jefferies. Documents in the court case also accused the bankers of conspiring to attract members of Credit Suisse's technology banking team to Jefferies.
Hedge Funds Avoided Big Losses Despite ‘Brexit’ Shock (Dealbook)
...for those who were willing to make a wager, the rewards were high. The price to bet on an exit was dirt cheap, prompting some fund managers to buy put options on stock indexes late into the evening of June 23 while the votes were still being tallied. The next morning, a sell-off in stocks around the world meant those trades profited. Conversely, managers said, it did not make sense to speculate on the vote to remain in the European Union. From a market perspective, “the much better bet was the ‘Brexit’ bet,” said Borut Miklavcic, the chief investment officer and managing partner at LindenGrove Capital, a macro hedge fund based in London. “All the instruments that were betting on ‘Brexit’ were very underpriced, so you either took that side or stayed out of the way.”
Fed's Williams says rate hikes 'make sense,' and sooner than later (Reuters)
"If we wait until we see the whites of inflation’s eyes, we don’t just risk having to slam on the monetary policy brakes, we risk having to throw the economy into reverse to undo the damage of overshooting the mark," he said. "And that creates its own risks of a hard landing or even a recession."
Police: Ohio Man, 35, Tried To Have Sex With A Red Van (TSG)
On Tuesday evening, cops in Dayton, Ohio received a 911 call about a man "pulling his pants down and swinging on stop sign," according to a Dayton Police Department report. In a second 911 call, the witness told police that the suspect was attempting to have sex with the front grill of a parked vehicle. The 911 caller reported that during the autoerotic encounter the suspect was seen "sticking his genitals in the grill of a red van at this intersection." The man subsequently "laid down and possibly passed out" before rising to begin walking in circles "like he is on some type of drug." The victim was parked at the time, cops say. Responding officers came upon Michael Henson, 35, who "appeared under the influence of some type of narcotic" and was only wearing gym shorts and shoes. He was then arrested for public indecency and booked into the Montgomery County jail, where he is being held in lieu of $2500 bond.
Square's stock pops after Cohen reveals stake (CNBC)
Shares of payment technology company Square ticked higher after a well-known hedge fund manager reported a higher stake. Steve Cohen now has a 5.4 percent passive stake in Square, according to SEC filings. At Thursday's closing price, the 6.6 million share stake is worth about $78 million. The firm he founded, Point72 Asset Management, also announced a 3.9 percent stake. Shares of Square rose about 2.5 percent after hours.
Netflix just at the beginning of its potential, shareholder says (CNBC)
With shares of Netflix down more than 15 percent this year, investors have a prime opportunity to buy the stock, shareholder Ross Gerber said Thursday. The move lower comes after the streaming service had a huge run last year. "When you have a 150 percent year, of course you are going to take some time to consolidate here before you move to a new level," the CEO and president of Gerber Kawasaki said in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell." ... "There's billions of potential customers. I really think they're at the beginning. The world is a huge place," Gerber said. "Netflix is just scratching at an enormous market."
Judge suggests Apollo, TPG kick in cash for Caesars restructuring (NYP)
A US judge on Wednesday suggested the casino operating unit of Caesars Entertainment ask its parent’s private-equity backers for money to fund a plan to exit its contentious $18 billion bankruptcy. Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital Management formed the Caesars casino holding company in a 2008 buyout and the three groups are facing claims of fraud and asset stripping by creditors of the bankrupt unit.
Dad Mistakenly Eats His Kids's Pot Brownies (TSG)
Cops say that Michael Gollehon, 53, ate four brownies that he found on the back seat of a car that his children had borrowed earlier Tuesday (Gollehon discovered the sweets while retrieving groceries from the vehicle’s back seat). At around 7:30 PM, Gollehon’s wife told Omaha police, the couple was watching television when “Michael started getting bad anxiety.” Julie Gollehon tried to contact her children to determine what was in the brownies, but failed to reach them. While paramedics responding to an overdose call found Gollehon’s vitals in the normal range, “Michael was displaying odd behavior (crawling around on the floor, calling their cat a ‘bitch,’ randomly using profanities and saying he feels like ‘he’s trippin’),” officers noted.