Opening Bell: 9.2.16

Carl Icahn's son wants a promotion; Banks vs stress tests; Pamela Anderson, rabbi pen op-ed saying porn is "for losers"; and more.
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Carl Icahn’s kid ready to make a move at dad’s firm (NYP)
The billionaire investor’s son, Brett Icahn, is angling for management responsibilities in order to stay on at his father’s publicly traded firm, The Post has learned. In addition to overseeing a new pool of money, Brett, 37, wants some say at Icahn Enterprises before his 80-year-old father is ready to retire. “Carl will be around another 20 years,” said Russell Glass, who was president of Icahn Associates before leaving to form RDG Capital Management. Brett and investment partner David Schechter, who manage the firm’s Sargon portfolio, are advising the firm while they work to finalize the terms of a new deal, sources said. Their latest agreement expired on July 31.

Payrolls in U.S. Rise by 151,000 in August; Jobless Rate Steady (Bloomberg)
Payrolls climbed by 151,000 last month following a 275,000 gain in July that was larger than previously estimated, a Labor Department report showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for 180,000. The jobless rate and labor participation rate held steady, while wage gains moderated and hours worked were the lowest since 2014.

Putin Says Russia’s Self-Sufficiency Lets It Sit Out the Dash to Sell Bonds (Bloomberg)
“There have been enough people willing to buy our financial instruments,” Putin said in an interview with Bloomberg News in Vladivostok on Russia’s Pacific coast. “We simply don’t have the need today with the government’s reserve funds of about $100 billion. This is pointless, bearing in mind the cost of borrowing.”

Elon Musk and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good $779 Million Day (Bloomberg)
He suffered one Thursday, when his fortune, on paper, shrank by $779 million, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That was due to two factors: drops in the companies’ stock prices; and Wednesday’s regulatory filing showing he has put up an additional $489 million of his Tesla and SolarCity stock as collateral to secure personal borrowings. The pledged shares are stripped out of his total net worth calculation because they’re not immediately available to him. The borrowing is for personal liquidity; he doesn’t even accept the $37,584 minimum-wage salary Tesla is required to pay him.

Will Wall Street file suit over the Fed’s stress tests? (NYP)
Big banks and their trade groups are weighing a possible legal challenge against the Federal Reserve’s annual “stress tests,” which is supposed to assess how well the financial firms would weather another financial crisis, according to a report. The Fed stress tests, which were put in place after the 2008 financial crisis, are a closely watched benchmark that affects the banks’ ability to deploy their capital. The annual exams are also expensive, data-intensive and time-consuming — not to mention stressful — for firms that have to deal with the burden.

Ireland to Appeal EU’s Apple Tax Ruling (WSJ)
Ireland’s government Friday agreed to launch an appeal in European courts against the European Commission’s ruling that it should recoup €13 billion ($14.57 billion) in allegedly unpaid taxes from Apple, according to state broadcaster RTE. The decision followed three days of talks between ministers from the right-of-center Fine Gael party, which leads the government, and ministers from the Independent Alliance, a much smaller grouping.

Good Technology Investors Sue J.P. Morgan, Claiming Conflicts (NYT)
Silicon Valley start-ups often have to grapple with the competing interests of their founders, investors and employees. Now add one more to the list: their bankers. The extent to which start-ups can be influenced by investment banks was highlighted on Thursday by the case of Good Technology, a mobile security software maker that was acquired last year by BlackBerry for a fire-sale price of $425 million. In an amended suit in Delaware Chancery Court, Good’s shareholders said that J. P. Morgan, the start-up’s banker, had faced so many conflicts of interest in its dealings with the company that it led to Good selling itself for less than it was worth.

Escaped slaughterhouse cow runs wild in Australian city (UPI)
A cow escaped an Australian slaughterhouse and ran wild through the streets of a Queensland city before being stopped by police. Caboolture resident John Good captured video Wednesday of the cow running along a busy intersection after it escaped from the abattoir. "Police actually had to cordon off streets, because it was charging people and destroying fences," Good said. The chase came to an end when police euthanized the cow. "Eventually the cow was put down, because 2 [tranquilizer] darts didn't calm it enough," Good said.

Pamela Anderson calls porn a ‘public hazard’ (NYP)
Pamela Anderson is speaking out against pornography. “This is a public hazard of unprecedented seriousness given how freely available, anonymously accessible and easily disseminated pornography is nowadays,” she wrote in a joint op-ed with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal...Summing up their views, the duo wrote, “Simply put, we must educate ourselves and our children to understand that porn is for losers — a boring, wasteful and dead-end outlet for people too lazy to reap the ample rewards of healthy sexuality.”

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Citi Bests Stress Tests, Discloses Buyback Plan (CNBC) Where stress tests are concerned, call Citigroup "most improved." The bank posted an 8.3 percent tier 1 common capital ratio - the highest of its peers - under the Federal Reserve's annual stress tests. Unemployment Falls To 7.7% (WSJ) U.S. job growth jumped ahead in February, a sign of a steadily improving labor market and stronger economic gains. Employers added 236,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday. The unemployment rate, obtained by a separate survey of U.S. households, fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 7.7%, the lowest level since the end of 2008. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast that nonfarm payrolls would rise by 160,000 and the unemployment rate would fall to 7.8%. 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Goldman Symbol Gets More Elusive (WSJ) Upending a closely watched ritual in place since 1996, the New York securities firm told employees Thursday it now plans to promote a new crop of managing directors every two years, instead of each year. The change will start with the group selected later this year. The coveted title, which comes with a base salary of $500,000, elevates the chosen few at Goldman one step closer to the even higher rank of partner. In the memo, Goldman Chairman and Chief Executive Lloyd C. Blankfein and President and Chief Operating Officer Gary D. Cohn said the move would help the firm devote more time to the selection process. "A biennial process will allow us to invest more in the managing director selection process so that it will continue to be a disciplined and rigorous exercise," they wrote. "This will help to ensure that the managing director title remains as aspirational as it should be for our top performers." Hooters Is Chasing Women — as Customers (CNBC) The chain's waitresses are as buxom as ever but its sales have "flattened out," said Darren Tristano, executive vice president at research firm Technomic. Revenue peaked in 2007 at nearly $1 billion but had fallen to around $850 million last year, he estimated. (The privately-held company doesn't release sales figures.) The brand recently announced an overhaul aimed at making Hooters more mainstream than man-cave, adding more salads to its menu, remodeling stores and rolling out a series of ads last week to tout the changes. Icahn Bid Rattles Dell Plan (WSJ) Activist investor Carl Icahn said he would push to replace Dell's board and pursue "years of litigation" if the computer maker refused to accept his demand for a refinancing that would pay a hefty dividend to shareholders. 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Companies Expand Offshore Cash Hoard By $183 Billion (Bloomberg) Microsoft, Apple, And Google each added to their non-U.S. holdings by more than 34 percent as they reaped the benefits of past maneuvers to earn and park profits in low- tax countries. Combined, those three companies alone plan to keep $134.5 billion outside the U.S. government’s reach, more than double the $59.3 billion they held two years earlier. Broker who managed money for NFL players bootled from securities industry after big loss (NYP) A Florida broker who managed money for dozens of prominent National Football League players — includingSantana Moss and Plaxico Burress — has been banned from the securities industry after putting the group into a high-risk investment that lost them a total of $40 million. Jeff Rubin, 38, directed some 31 NFL players into an illegal gambling operation in Alabama — which went bust two years later, a Wall Street regulator said yesterday. One of the players, Samari Toure Rolle, a former cornerback with the Baltimore Ravens, lost $3.2 million, the bulk of his liquid assets, to Rubin, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which imposed the ban.

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By Captain-tucker (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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