Divided Fed Holds Fire, Signals 2016 Rate Increase Still Likely (Bloomberg)
A divided Federal Reserve left its policy interest rate unchanged to await more evidence of progress toward its goals, while projecting that an increase is still likely by year-end. “Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in its statement Wednesday after a two-day meeting in Washington. “The Committee judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened but decided, for the time being, to wait for further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives.”
Bill Gross: I'm hardly able to speak after Fed decision (CNBC)
After the Federal Reserve decided to leave interest rates unchanged, bond guru Bill Gross told CNBC he was barely able to speak. "I'm choked with emotion and hardly able to speak," the portfolio manager at Janus Capital Management said in an interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch." "After hawkish talk at Jackson Hole from [Fed Chair] Yellen and [Vice Chair] Stan Fischer, who even said there'd be two hikes in 2016, they've chosen to defer once more a necessary hike to normalize short-term interest rates and provide savers, in my view, with at least a bit of thin gruel to work with to provide for education, retirement and health-care needs."
Former top BofA female banker settles 'bro's club' bias lawsuit (Reuters)
Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) has settled a lawsuit by a former top female banker who had accused it of being a "bro's club" that favored male employees over women, and punishing her because she complained about questionable activity. Terms of the settlement of Megan Messina's lawsuit were not disclosed in a Wednesday filing in Manhattan federal court. The filing said the case was dismissed and cannot be brought again. Messina, a former co-head of global structured products, had in May accused the second-largest U.S. bank by assets of underpaying her and other women relative to men. She also said the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank wrongfully suspended her in retaliation for accusing the other structured products chief, who she said was paid more than twice as much, of improper conduct.
Tiger Cub Citrone Sees Market in Biggest Correction Since 2008 (Bloomberg)
Robert Citrone, the Tiger cub who now runs one of the best-known macro hedge funds, is warning investors that the market moment they’ve been anticipating is at hand. “We believe we are in the midst of the market correction we have been expecting," Citrone, founder of Discovery Capital Management, told investors in an e-mail obtained by Bloomberg. “It will likely persist over the next 3-4 months and be the largest correction since the 2008 crisis,” he said. The firm managed about $12.4 billion at the start of 2016.
Australian hot dog and hamburger combination 'hamdog' coming to U.S. (UPI)
The "Hamdog" a combination between a hot dog and a hamburger created by an Australian man will soon come to the United States. A post on the Hamdog Facebook page announced the food combination would come to South Australia and the U.S. and was seeking retailers in those regions. "America's a bloody big place, they consume around 50 billion burgers a year," inventor Mark Murray told CNBC. "If we pick up even 1 percent of that market, then that's still around $2.5 billion a year." Murray said he came up with the idea for the meat-filled combination, which includes a special bun to accommodate both the burger and the hot dog, while incredibly hungry during a trip to the U.S. in 2004. "I had the idea on holiday when I was leaving a bar in Nashville. I grabbed a burger and a hot dog as I was really hungry," he said. "I was sitting in the car eating them both at the same time and my wife was looking at me like I was an idiot."
Janet Yellen isn't going after Wells Fargo (CNBC)
"Just because an organization is large, doesn't mean it can't live up to the standards" set by federal regulators, she said, responding to a reporter who asked whether she thought Wells Fargo and other large banks may need to be broken up if they cannot adhere to U.S. regulations. "It may be challenging, and that's what we expect." Yellen told another questioner that abuses that hurt consumers ultimately present "safety and soundness issues" at big banks, but it sounds like the Fed is far away from taking any regulatory action directed at Wells Fargo — at least, for now. "I can't really at this point give specifics on that," she concluded.
The big hedge funds are betting big on Hillary Clinton (CNBC)
Overnight federal campaign finance filings show that with additional seven-figure contributions from the likes of George Soros, S. Donald Sussman, and Henry Laufer, Hillary Clinton remains by far the favored candidate among hedge-fund managers. During the August giving period measured by the latest Federal Election Commission filings, Democrat Clinton raised a total of $59.5 million, besting Republican Donald Trump's $41.8 million. And of the money Clinton and super PACs dedicated to her raised, a respectable chunk came from individuals in the hedge-fund industry: $2 million from Paloma Partners founder Sussman, $2.5 million from Soros, and $1 million from Renaissance Technologies director Laufer.
Caesars bankrupt unit ups offer to junior creditors by $1.2 billion (Reuters)
The bankrupt subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corp (CZR.O) has offered an additional $1.2 billion to its hold-out creditors in hopes of clearing the way for the casino operator to exit Chapter 11, the company's lawyer told a court hearing on Wednesday. The settlement offer includes contributions by the private equity firms that control Caesars Entertainment, Apollo Global Management (APO.N) and TPG Capital Management [TPG.UL], as well as Caesars' directors, the bankrupt subsidiary's lawyer told a Chicago Bankruptcy Court. The bankrupt unit, Caesars Entertainment Operating Co Inc or CEOC, filed for bankruptcy in January 2015. Creditors have alleged that the parent company and its private equity backers had stripped CEOC of its best hotels and casinos, leaving it unable to pay its $18 billion in debt.
Japan’s Newest Technology Innovation: Priest Delivery (Dealbook)
The stubble-haired Buddhist priest lit incense at a small, cupboardlike altar just as members of his order have done for centuries. As the priest chanted sutras, Yutaka Kai closed his eyes and prayed for his wife, who died last year of complications from a knee replacement. Mr. Kai, 68, set aside his family’s devout Buddhism when he left his rural hometown decades ago to work in a tire factory. That meant Mr. Kai did not have a local temple to turn to for the first anniversary of his wife’s death, a milestone for Japanese Buddhists. Cue the internet. In modern Japan, a Buddhist priest can now be found just a few mouse clicks away, on Amazon.com. “It’s affordable, and the price is clear,” said Mr. Kai’s eldest son, Shuichi, 40. “You don’t have to worry about how much you’re supposed to give.” The priest at Mrs. Kai’s memorial, Junku Soko, is part of a controversial business that is disrupting traditional funeral arrangements in Japan. In a country where regulations and powerful interests have stymied much of the so-called gig economy — Uber, for instance, is barely a blip here — a network of freelancing priests is making gains in the unlikely sphere of religion.
Canadian worker smuggles pounds of gold 'pucks' using his rectum, police say (UPI)
An employee at the Royal Canadian Mint is accused of stealing $180,000 worth of gold by secreting it in his rectum to bypass mint security. The case against 35-year-old Leston Lawrence alleges he smuggled out 18 gold "pucks" weighing 210 grams each (just under a half-pound) and sold them to Ottawa Gold Buyers, according to Global News. "This is the Royal Canadian Mint, your Honour, and one would think they should have the highest security measures imaginable," defense lawyer Gary Barnes said, according to the Ottawa Citizen. "And here the gold is left sitting around in open buckets." Lawrence's alleged smuggling was uncovered by a teller at the Royal Bank who was alerted at the size and number of checks he deposited.