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Opening Bell: 11.29.16

David Einhorn's nemesis makes Trump comeback; Venezuelans mine bitcoin with free electricity; duck costume saves baby goat; and more.
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Bill Walton, Old Einhorn Enemy, Makes a Comeback With Trump Role (BBG)


Bill Walton was at the top of Washington’s finance establishment when he ran Allied Capital Corp. and sat on the Riggs Bank board alongside the city’s titans. Then the trouble began. Hedge fund manager David Einhorn accused Allied in 2002 of inflating the value of its holdings, sparking a fight that lasted years. Things changed this month when he was named to Donald Trump’s transition team as co-head of economic issues for federal agencies.

Jes Staley’s Contrarian Bet On Investment Banking At Barclays (FT)

Mr Staley himself admits that he has taken a contrarian bet by “doubling down” on the future of Barclays’ investment bank at the expense of selling its large African operations and cutting the dividend in half — both unpopular decisions with some investors. Yet, for now, this gamble seems to be paying off for the Massachusetts-born former JPMorgan Chase executive.

Big Names [Ahem, Rupert Murdoch] Take Hit on Theranos (WSJ)

Several large investments from families and individuals helped infuse Theranos with $632 million in its latest funding round, which stretched from 2014 to 2015, according to the people familiar with the matter and documents filed by Theranos in Arizona and Delaware. Those investors include Rupert Murdoch and family-controlled Cox Enterprises Inc., which put about $100 million each into Theranos, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Murdoch is executive chairman of News Corp and 21st Century Fox Inc. News Corp is the parent of The Wall Street Journal.

Federal Reserve Economic Projections: What Are They Good For? (Bernanke/Brookings)

An economist making a forecast will put down what he thinks is likely to happen, taking as given his best guesses about policy and other factors. That’s not what an FOMC participant is doing when she submits a projection.

The Secret, Dangerous World of Venezuelan Bitcoin Mining (Reason)

Bitcoin mining has become a popular vocation in Venezuela in part because the country's economy is in such dire shape. Even computer scientists and skilled technical professionals can't reliably find work. Next year, the unemployment rate is expected to climb above 20 percent. But the main factor driving Venezuelans to take up bitcoin mining is a price control put in place by the socialist government: Electricity is virtually free.

Incredibly Difficult Interview Questions Asked By Top Hedge Funds (eFinancialCareers)

Design an algorithm to find the largest palindrome in a given string. (Asked by AQR)
How do you replicate a dice with flipping coins? (Asked by AQR)
Estimate the mass of the earth. (Asked by Brevan Howard)
If you could change something about yourself, what would it be? (Asked by Bridgewater)
Are designer babies ethical? (Asked by Bridgewater)

Warren Slams Wells Fargo Over Arbitration Position (Reuters)

In a Facebook post on Monday, Elizabeth Warren, a frequent critic of the banking industry, said Wells Fargo's promise to treat customers better in light of the scandal is “meaningless” as long as it is pursuing arbitration. “After dozens of Wells Fargo customers sued the bank to recover fees they were charged from these fake accounts, Wells Fargo tried to boot the claims from court and into the closed-door, industry-friendly arbitration process,” Warren said.

Rescue Goat With Anxiety Only Calms Down In Her Duck Costume (Dodo)

When Polly the baby goat can't find her owner Lauricella, she frantically runs around the house, crying her heart out. Polly also has some weird habits, which Lauricella thinks are linked to her anxiety issues. “She'll find a corner of a wall in the house, and she'll just start sucking on the wall,” Lauricella told The Dodo. “So all the corners in our house have these little suck marks from her mouth.” When Lauricella put the duck costume on Polly for a photo, something amazing happened. “As soon as I put it on her, she just instantly got calm,” Lauricella said.



Opening Bell: 12.6.16

Citi and Goldman facing diversity challenge; Theranos expected massive profit growth; jellyfish mistaken for breast implant; and more.


Opening Bell: 11/17/16

Theranos bleeds whistleblower dry, JPMorgan pays up over hiring princelings, Bill Gates takes a "giant whiff" of shit, and much more.

By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Betsy DeVos) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

At Least One Good Thing Came Out Of Theranos

Relieving the DeVos family and Rupert Murdoch of a combined $225 million may not do much to balance the scales, but it’s something.


Opening Bell: 11.1.17

Ken Griffin gives $125 million to the University of Chicago; (at least two) gold bugs are flocking to bitcoin; will there be enough minerals to make all the electric cars we want?; and more.

By Trailmixers (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 3.24.17

Guy Gentile is the hero America needs right now; finance is back, baby; for sale: baby teeth, in taco; and more.


Opening Bell: 12.5.17

Mueller is poking around at Deutsche Bank; bankers might be a little too accommodating to hedge fund clients; actual mining company mines bitcoin; Irish villagers face erection epidemic; and more.

(Getty Images)

Opening Bell: 5.24.17

Moody's downgrades China; Ford's ex-CEO got booted over Trump tantrum; Uber, bitcoin called ponzi schemes; there is a blind baseball announcer; and more.

(Trump image courtesy Flickr user Gage Skidmore)

Opening Bell: 12.21.17

Taxes taxes taxes; JPMorgan dinged over 1MDB; PE firms regret plunging into subprime auto; someone just put a million bucks on bitcoin $50,000; yes, there is a crypto dominatrix; and more.