China's Best Bank Called 'Mirage' of Shadow Lending (Bloomberg)
...this small lender reports the fastest growth of 156 Chinese financial institutions and the lowest level of bad loans, a mere 0.06 percent. Its profit jumped 436 percent in two years and assets soared almost 400 percent since the start of 2014 to 177.9 billion yuan ($26.7 billion). It's largely driven by shadow lending. The bank is the most prominent example of the off-loan-book wizardry that's turbo-charging some of China’s small and mid-sized banks, creating opaque risks that could lead to failures, bailouts or liquidity shocks that jolt the nation and global markets in the years ahead. "It's a mirage built upon risks," said He Xuanlai, of Commerzbank AG. The Singapore-based analyst cited smaller banks' use of so-called "investment receivables" — including asset management plans and wealth management products — to boost lending without facing requirements to bolster capital and loan-loss provisions. "It's hard to assess the banks' true asset quality."
Credit Suisse Has Top Investor Betting Big on Thiam's Turnaround (Bloomberg)
"If they do this transformation right, this is a business that should trade for at least 1.5 times book value because the growth and the income that the book is generating should be a lot more stable coming out of that private bank," [Harris Associates Chief Investment Officer David] Herro told Tom Keene and Francine Lacqua in an interview on Bloomberg Radio on Monday. "If they can follow through the execution of this plan, this bank has got a lot more upside."
Trump not getting the big bucks from hedge funds (CNBC)
Filings made with the Federal Election Commission suggest that the Trump effort took in little more than $2 million in hedge fund money last month — and that the bulk of it came largely from a single donor, Renaissance Technologies co-chief Robert Mercer.
Former Fannie Mae CEO settles crisis-related lawsuit with SEC (Reuters)
In one of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's biggest cases tied to the 2008 financial crisis, former Fannie Mae (FNMA.PK) Chief Executive Daniel Mudd has reached a settlement with regulators, according to court papers filed on Monday. The deal with the SEC, detailed in papers filed in Manhattan federal court, resolves a 2011 lawsuit accusing Mudd of misleading investors about Fannie's exposure to risky mortgages before the crisis...Under terms of the latest deal, Fannie Mae will contribute $100,000 on Mudd's behalf to a Treasury Department account that receives financial gifts to the United States, according to documents.
KFC Introduces Fried Chicken-Scented Sunscreen (HP)
In what is probably the most sensical pairing to ever exist, the crispy poultry purveyor is giving away sunscreen that smells like fried chicken. KFC has created an "exclusive and extremely limited run of fried chicken-scented sunscreen" that will be available on a first come, first served basis, according to a press release. Their tagline is, fittingly, "The only skin that should be extra crispy this summer is on your fried chicken."
U.S. appeals court declines to reconsider Bank of America ruling (Reuters)
A U.S. appeals court refused on Monday to reconsider its decision to overturn a $1.27 billion penalty against Bank of America Corp and a jury verdict finding it liable for mortgage fraud leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected a petition by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office to have a three-judge panel rehear the case and give the government at least an opportunity to seek a new trial.
Using Chinese Money, a Hedge-Fund Startup Bets Big in Treasuries (Bloomberg)
The outfit goes by the somewhat unwieldy name of CCSZF Management. The firm is backed by a Citic Group unit, which supplied the seed money, while Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. was brought in to provide financing in return for a cut of the profits. The key man behind it all is Stephen Siu, who spent two decades helping to pioneer arbitrage strategies for Treasuries on the proprietary trading desk at Greenwich Capital Markets, which later became part of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. Former colleagues describe Siu as one of the savviest traders around, with a keen eye for exploiting minuscule price gaps between the bond and futures markets.
Lyft Is Said to Seek a Buyer, Without Success (NYT)
The company, which is based in San Francisco, has in recent months held talks or made approaches to sell itself to companies including General Motors, Apple, Google, Amazon, Uber and Didi Chuxing, according to a dozen people who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussions were private. One person said it was Lyft who was approached by interested parties. Lyft's discussions were most serious with G.M., which is one of the ride-hailing company’s largest investors. Still, G.M. never made a written offer to buy Lyft, said the people, and in the end, Lyft did not find a buyer.
Aggressive seagull spurs supermarket evacuation (NYDN)
A British supermarket was evacuated when an aggressive seagull flew into the store and started harassing customers, striking at least one woman in the face. A video posted to Twitter by user @_bradhutchinson shows the seagull flying around the Tesco store before customers and staff started filing out the door of the Truro, England, market...an employee confirmed that the bird had flown into at least one customer's face. "As far as I'm aware she was not injured just a little bit shocked and who wouldn't be, no-one expects to go into their local Tesco and be greeted by a peed off seagull," the worker said.