Opening Bell: 12.5.16

Buffett bounce on Trump trade; Mnuchin's brush with Blankfein; nude selfies used as loan collateral leaked; and more.
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Source: AP

Source: AP

Warren Buffett, a Vocal Critic of Donald Trump, Is a Big Winner in Election Rally (WSJ)

Mr. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. posted its best month in six years in November and shares are trading at all-time highs near $240,000. The conglomerate’s market capitalization, which stood at roughly $20 million when Mr. Buffett acquired the former textile maker in 1965, is hovering just below $400 billion.

Steve Mnuchin: Goldman Sachs Royalty And 'Culture Carrier' (Yahoo)

But as politically savvy as Mnuchin was, former co-workers say he ended up on the wrong side of the Game of Thrones inside Goldman. Mortara lost out to a rising star named Lloyd Blankfein and as Blankfein gained power, he began to eliminate everyone who was close to Mortara. Many of those who weren’t eliminated left, because, as one puts it, “Lloyd would never trust us.”

Boring Wall Street Analyst Notes Are Out. Bold and Funny Are In. (BBG)

“This isn’t about making a splash, it’s not about the analyst becoming famous, it’s about the power of ideas for our clients. […] There’s nothing more fun as an analyst than creating an investment insight and seeing it work on the tape.”

Equity Analysts Join the Gig Economy (Gadfly)

The gig economy has arrived in banking. French lender Societe Generale SA announced Thursday that it had struck a deal to provide Asian equity research to its clients from online financial research syndication platform Smartkarma. [...] The bad news for employees is that if banks are using syndicated research, they will need fewer in-house analysts.

Don’t Hold Your Breath on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (WSJ)

These are also lawmakers that the Trump administration will need to work with closely on other priorities. Angering them with unilateral actions on Fannie and Freddie may not be wise. Mr. Mnuchin says dealing with Fannie and Freddie is one of the administration’s top 10 priorities. It is hard to believe they will get through priorities one to nine very quickly.

Why Active Fund Managers Should Cheer The Rise Of ETFs (FT)

It appears that many of the professional investors decrying the rise of the ETF have failed to identify the irony in their complaints: that those who live and die on their ability to exploit market distortions and mispriced assets are so troubled by products they argue are creating exactly the type of distortions they aim to profit from.

Greenspan’s Irrational Exuberance Looks Entrenched, 20 Years On (BBG)

Even after the pullback, bonds look more like the real bubble today -- the 10-year term premium only climbed back above zero three weeks ago after hitting an unprecedented minus 0.75 percentage point in July. Greenspan himself now says he’s more worried about debt than equity, speaking in an interview with the Wall Street Journal published Dec. 3. He also recognized his warning had had little impact; and repeated his view that bubbles are almost impossible to stop once they get going.

A Look Inside Wall Street's Innovation Labs (BBG)

JPMorgan's innovation space looks like an upgraded startup in many ways. It's replete with foosball tables, a game room and fridges stocked with sodas and snacks (although they aren't free of charge) and it comes with an industrial yet modern vibe.

Hundreds Of Nude Photos Sent By Desperate Women To Online Loan Sharks As Guarantees Are Leaked (Daily Mail)

The nude photos of hundreds of young Chinese women have been leaked online. These women, most of whom are university students, had been forced by online loan sharks to send over pictures of them undressed while holding their IDs as guarantees. An 8G zip file, thought to contain pictures of more than 1,000 women, were shared among Chinese internet users this week.

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