Bond Traders Are Desperate for Direction From Yellen in Jackson Hole (Bloomberg)
Weeks of conflicting economic reports have whipsawed investors seeking to handicap the path of interest rates, and money managers overseeing about $6 trillion, including Pacific Investment Management Co. and Vanguard Group Inc., say policy makers aren’t making their task any easier. While the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting showed divisions within the rate-setting committee, New York Fed President William Dudley, San Francisco Fed President John Williams and Kansas City Fed President Esther George have signaled that a hike may be coming by year-end. Amid the mixed messages, investors are taking to the sidelines, leaving benchmark 10-year yields stuck in their narrowest range in a decade.
Fed still 'tremendously relevant,' just less effective, says Allianz's El-Erian (CNBC)
Central banks around the world are becoming less influential "in terms of delivering economic outcomes," according to Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic advisor at Allianz. "In the case of the Bank of Japan, they are becoming ineffective, if not counterproductive. But that doesn't mean that the Fed is not relevant. The Fed is tremendously relevant for markets, for the political system. They are just less effective," El-Erian said Thursday on CNBC's "Closing Bell."
Carson Block Takes on St. Jude Medical Claiming Hack Risk (Bloomberg)
Carson Block, the renowned short-seller and founder of research firm Muddy Waters LLC, has taken a short position in St. Jude Medical Inc., denouncing the security of its cardiac devices in an effort that could derail the company’s purchase by Abbott Laboratories. In a report to investors Thursday, Block warned that tens of thousands of Americans are living with ticking-time bombs: St. Jude pacemakers and defibrillators that are easily compromised, causing potentially fatal disruptions.
Cycling Matches the Pace and Pitches of Tech (Dealbook)
For many years cycling has been the sport of choice for workers in the region’s highly competitive tech community, the antidote to more leisurely pursuits like golf. But just like golf, it has become a way for investors and executives to socialize and strike deals. Max Levchin, 41, one of the founders of PayPal who has a well-known cycling obsession, recalls how some people have tried to pitch ideas to him during his typically breakneck daily training sessions, cruising at over 20 miles an hour. “I’ve been pitched companies on the bike, but I tend to ride fairly fast,” said Mr. Levchin, who is an early-stage investor and chief executive of the San Francisco-based financial services company Affirm.
Adventurous Couple Takes Wedding Pics On Volcano With Molten Lava (HP)
When lava from Kilauea began flowing into the ocean on the Big Island’s southeastern coastline last month, photographer Jenna Lee decided she needed to do a wedding shoot featuring the volcano. Lee told The Huffington Post that she prides herself on unique, daring photoshoots ― all she needed to make her vision a reality was a couple with a sense of adventure. Luckily, she found the perfect pair in newlyweds Lauren and Alex, who were willing to hike three miles to get to the lava, stand barefoot on sharp, uneven rock and pose alongside 2,000-degree molten lava for the shots. The group began their trek at 3:30 AM the morning of August 11, so it was still dark when they arrived at the flow. Lee told HuffPost that these early hours were perfect for photographing Lauren and Alex with the lava. “As [the lava] bubbled toward the coast, small little rivers of magma would break away and glow bright red before cooling and crusting over,” she said. “You could feel the heat radiating from within.”
Uber Loses at Least $1.2 Billion in First Half of 2016 (Bloomberg)
The ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc. is not a public company, but every three months, dozens of shareholders get on a conference call to hear the latest details on its business performance from its head of finance, Gautam Gupta...In the first quarter of this year, Uber lost about $520 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, according to people familiar with the matter. In the second quarter the losses significantly exceeded $750 million, including a roughly $100 million shortfall in the U.S., those people said. That means Uber's losses in the first half of 2016 totaled at least $1.27 billion.
J.P. Morgan in a Car-Lending Chase (MoneyBeat)
The largest U.S. bank by assets is planning to launch a new digital offering that lets customers shop for a car and secure financing on their computer or smartphone, potentially trimming some of the time spent in negotiations at the car dealership. Known as Chase Auto Direct, the offering will be powered by TrueCar, a digital-car-buying service. This is the latest instance of a bank partnering with a financial-technology firm rather than facing off against them. The partnerships often speed up processes by integrating new, faster technology and broadening digital options for the consumer.
Ryan Lochte signs endorsement deal for cough drops (Reuters)
Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops, which makes cough drops, said it had signed Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medalist, for a television commercial and print ads. Lochte lost all four of his major sponsors on Monday, including Speedo USA and Ralph Lauren, following his apology for an "exaggerated" story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio.
Cops: Man Broke Into Adult Novelty Shop, Made Off With Sex Toys, Top Half Of $2000 Mannequin (TSG)
A burglar who broke into an Ohio adult novelty store through a ventilation pipe gathered up an assortment of sex toys and lubricant before departing with the upper half of a $2000 sex doll that he topped with a $46.99 blond wig, according to police. Investigators allege that Ellis Doyle, 26, broke into Cirilla’s, a shop in Elyria, around 2:45 AM Saturday and stole several items before leaving. Surveillance video shows the intruder then sought to re-enter the business through the front doors, but they had locked behind him. Doyle, cops say, came back into the building “through the roof and ceiling over the cash register.” During his second pass through the store, Doyle “walks around the store again and then walks over to the ‘Eva’ mannequin and strips the clothing off of it and takes the top half of the mannequin and takes a blond and burgundy wig off a display and places it on its head and walks out the front door.”