Opening Bell: 8.31.16

El-Erian sees September rate hike; The CIA has a venture capital firm; Paris targeting Brexit jobs; Police hunt for armed, naked candy bandit; and more.
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El-Erian says there could be 80 pct chance of Sept hike with strong jobs report (CNBC)
"What makes that probability go a lot higher is a Friday report that has three things: job creation in excess of 180,000, wage growth going up and no significant move in the participation rate that pushes the unemployment rate up," El-Erian said in an interview on CNBC's "Fast Money" on Tuesday.

The CIA’s Venture-Capital Firm, Like Its Sponsor, Operates in the Shadows (WSJ)
Like the agency that founded it, the CIA-funded venture-capital firm operates largely in the shadows. In-Q-Tel officials regard the firm as independent, yet it has extremely close ties to the CIA and runs almost all investment decisions by the spy agency. The firm discloses little about how it picks companies to invest in, never says how much, and sometimes doesn’t reveal the investments at all. Even less well-known are potential conflicts of interest the arrangement entails...Nearly half of In-Q-Tel’s trustees have a financial connection of one kind or another with a company In-Q-Tel has funded, a Wall Street Journal examination of its investments found.

Apple Ireland Ruling Could Be the End of Easy European Tax Deals (Bloomberg)
The days when big U.S. technology companies could easily slice tax bills in Europe are coming to an end. For decades, businesses like Apple Inc. that generate significant revenue abroad flocked to Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, where they counted on amenable fiscal regimes to reduce their tax, even if they had minimal operations on the ground. On Tuesday, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager sent the strongest signal yet that she won’t abide by these strategies when she demanded Apple pay $14.5 billion in back taxes.

Pharma entrepreneur Shkreli sells KaloBios stake (USAT)
Martin Shkreli has liquidated his stake in KaloBios Pharmaceuticals (KBIO) as the company and the controversial drug industry entrepreneur cut ties nine months after he led investors who gained control of the California-based firm. The New York City-based businessman widely criticized over a drug price hike at an unrelated company sold more than 1.9 million shares of KaloBios stock in private transactions with investors last week. according to a Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure and a company statement Monday.

Mother fulfills 4-year-old's birthday cake request: a cow giving birth (UPI)
A customized birthday cake a Canadian mom made for her nature-loving son's 4th birthday party features the image he specifically requested: the birth of a calf. Jamie Packard of Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, said in a Facebook post her son had been asking for a cake picturing a "cow having a calf" for several months leading up to his birthday. Packard said she and her husband, Tyler, tried talking Benz into more traditional cake designs. "We tried our best to persuade him, in fact I overheard Tyler say to Benz, 'a Thomas the Train cake would be cool. Would you like Mom to make one for your birthday?' To which he replied, 'I don't even watch Thomas the train.' We tried. So there I sat, Google imaging 'cow having a calf cake' and guess what, there were zero results, surprise, surprise! So as I'm molding rice crispy squares into little hooves I'm thinking to myself, no Mother is ever really prepared for this kind of stuff. And as I'm applying cherry pie filling as afterbirth, I found myself thinking.. Thank goodness it's only family coming to this party!"

America's Top Business Court Gets Dragged Into a Lover's Quarrel (Bloomberg)
Elizabeth Elting and Philip Shawe founded a Manhattan-based translation-services company in their New York University dorm room for MBA students two decades ago. They owned it 50-50. Eventually, they got engaged. But by 2011 the couple was feuding over who should run the company, TransPerfect Global Inc., and bickering about everything from taxes to payroll. They broke off their engagement. Today, this story of love and business gone bad is at the center of an unlikely debate: whether Delaware’s mighty business court -- which has legal authority over half of all U.S. public companies -- has grown too powerful. With the ex-lovers at bitter odds, a judge, citing two earlier Delaware cases, ordered that the company be sold at auction. Shawe decried the ruling as draconian. Within months, some TransPerfect executives created a committee that is now blanketing the state with ads and lobbying lawmakers to curtail the court’s power.

Goldman Sachs Said to Have Lost $1.8 Billion U.S. Property Deal (Bloomberg)
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was the original winner of Alecta’s U.S. real estate sale before the transaction fell apart amid a disagreement over terms, leading Blackstone Group LP to prevail with a $1.8 billion deal, said people with knowledge of the matter. Goldman Sachs was initially awarded the U.S. and U.K. properties being sold by the Swedish pension manager and given a short amount of time to do additional research on the assets. During that period of about a week, a dispute arose that prompted Alecta to agree to sell the U.S. buildings to Blackstone instead, said the people, who asked not to be named because the transaction is private.

Paris Rolls Out Tricolor Carpet for U.K. Companies After Brexit (Bloomberg)
The head of the Paris region had a charm offensive ready for U.K. companies the day after the Brexit referendum, regardless of the result. With the surprise decision to leave the European Union raising doubts about whether British companies will be able to retain access to European markets, Valerie Pecresse, 49, is going into overdrive. “If I need to go and grab jobs with my teeth, then I’ll do it,” she said in an interview on the sidelines of a conference in Aix-en-Provence, southern France, last month.

Police Hunt For Armed, Naked Candy Bandit (TSG)
Cops are hunting for a nude man who held up a South Carolina convenience store at gunpoint and escaped with only Reese’s peanut butter cops, according to an incident report. The naked candy bandit walked into a Scotchman store in Myrtle Beach just before midnight last Monday, a Horry County Police Department report notes. An officer responding to a 911 call spoke to a 51-year-old worker who “states a unknown black male came into the store naked with a gun in his hand and stole candy.” The victim said that the suspect pointed the gun at him “while he was running toward the candy.” The robber stole “Reeses peanut butter cups and left,” reported cops, who estimated that the suspect was between 18 and 30 years old. The suspect, the employee said, was naked except for a bandana over his face and a pair of black shoes. The gunman, the witness added, did not say anything or approach him.

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Opening Bell: 5.16.16

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Opening Bell: 8.31.15

El-Erian says look to jobs report; Senators looking at hedge fund bets on lawsuits; Banker says he spends as many as three days a week on the golf course with boss's blessing; "Mexican Man Says 19-Inch Penis Is Destroying His Life"; and more.

Opening Bell: 07.16.12

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Libor Probe May Yield Criminal Charges By September (Bloomberg) Barclays traders involved in allegedly manipulating Libor rates between 2005 and 2007 may be charged by U.S. prosecutors before the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 3, said a person familiar with the Justice Department investigation in Washington. Zuckerberg’s Loan Gives New Meaning To The 1% (Bloomberg) The Facebook founder refinanced a $5.95 million mortgage on his Palo Alto, California, home with a 30-year adjustable-rate loan starting at 1.05 percent, according to public records for the property. Missteps Doomed Barclays Leaders (WSJ) Mr. Diamond's downfall may have been hastened because the U.S.-born investment banker, who became chief executive at the start of 2011, had never won acceptance by Britain's political and financial establishment. When the rate-fixing scandal erupted, Mr. Diamond had few allies. It wasn't for lack of trying. Mr. Diamond enthusiastically embraced British culture and tried to overcome his reputation as a brash American. Mr. Diamond, a native of Concord, Mass., supported the Chelsea Football Club, handing out trophies himself when the team won England's premier soccer league in 2010. A month before the Libor settlement, Mr. Diamond hosted British aristocrats and Barclays' clients at the annual Chelsea Flower Show, providing Champagne and canapés as his guests inspected elaborate gardens and floral arrangements...But Mr. Diamond, age 60, was criticized for his lofty pay packages, as well as perceived risks in the investment-banking business he built. He sometimes appeared tone deaf in a country still angry about the role of banks in the financial crisis. "There was a period of remorse and apology," he told Parliament last year. "That period needs to be over." 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Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., said over time the standing of the dollar and U.S. financial markets would erode and credit costs rise “for virtually all American borrowers.” They were wrong. Almost a year later, mortgage rates have dropped to record lows, the government’s borrowing costs have eased, the dollar and the benchmark S&P stock index are up, and global investors’ enthusiasm for Treasury debt has strengthened. Woman tells police man sucked her toe at Grovetown Walmart (AC) The 18-year-old said she was shopping when a man, who looked to be in his late 30s or early 40s, walked up and asked if her toenails were painted, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report. After replying yes and questioning why he wanted to know, the woman was asked if she’d watched America’s Funniest Home Videos. 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Photo: Getty Images

Opening Bell: 6.23.16

Brexit, Brexit, Brexit; Chanos thinks SolarCity deal stinks; Mac ’n Cheetos; NASA engineer builds world’s largest nerf gun; and more.

Opening Bell: 4.7.16

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Opening Bell: 09.10.12

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Opening Bell: 6.9.17

UK election results threaten Brexit, sanity; Scaramucci finally gets that job in Paris he always wanted; Travis Kalanick's inspiring struggle with one night of celibacy; and more.