Opening Bell: 1.5.17

SEC pick Clayton is no Mary Jo White; Elon Musk may be a 2017 "black swan"; Tupac verses sung in Catholic church; and more.
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SEC Pick Jay Clayton Is a 180 From Chairman Mary Jo White (WSJ)

In one of his few public statements on policy, Mr. Clayton oversaw a 2011 New York State Bar Association report attacking the Obama-era SEC and Justice Department for “zealous” enforcement of laws aimed at American corporate bribery of foreign officials. The paper concluded their actions were “causing lasting harm to the competitiveness of U.S. regulated companies and the U.S. capital markets.”

Goldman Confronts Protesters Inside New York Headquarters (Bloomberg)

Protesters yelled chants and waved signs in the lobby of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s New York headquarters Wednesday in opposition to the firm’s growing influence in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration. About 40 protesters entered Goldman’s lobby and were ejected, in some cases physically. “We respect every individual’s rights to assembly and free speech in accordance with laws,” said Tiffany Galvin, a company spokeswoman. “In this case, the police escorted these individuals out of the building for trespassing.”

Swiss Banker Charged Over Multibillion Dollar 1MDB Scandal (FT)

Jens Sturzenegger, former head of Falcon Private Bank’s Singapore branch, will plead guilty to some of a 16-count charge sheet related mainly to the alleged falsification or withholding of information. The 42-year-old Swiss banker is accused of lying to authorities by denying that several Falcon bank accounts were linked to Taek Jho Low, a high-profile Malaysian businessman and socialite. Mr Low is close to Mr Najib and is accused by US authorities of being a main architect of the laundering of 1MDB funds.

Barclays Considers Elon Musk A Potential Commodity ‘Black Swan’ Of 2017 (WSJ)

To be fair, the list is 13 risks long and it’s mostly populism driven. But there is some Elon, as advertised. “Indices are already pricing in record levels of volatility as 2017 begins, and investors are specifically concerned about geopolitical developments.”

Crispin Odey’s Hedge Fund Suffers Worst Ever Annual Loss in 2016 (BBG)

Crispin Odey’s main hedge fund slumped 49.5 percent in 2016, its worst annual decline since it began trading in 1992, according to an investor letter. Odey European Inc., which saw its bearish bets against stocks fail to pay off as equities rose, lost 3.4 percent in December, the letter shows.

2016 Was Not a Particularly Volatile Year (AQR)

Maybe it’s just me but a lot of end-of-year commentary about financial markets in 2016, implicitly and sometimes explicitly, makes it sound as if it was a crazy year. It wasn’t. In fact, it was amazingly normal. This is true of at least the S&P 500 (I’m not going to be more ambitious here) which is what I think many of these commentators are talking about.

Betting On Biotech During JPMorgan's Big Health-Care Conference Pays Off, History Shows (CNBC)

Buying the biotech ETF during JPMorgan's annual health-care conference, the industry's biggest gathering, has proven to be a profitable trade, according to research by the investment bank. "Biotech has historically outperformed the broader market during The J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference," biotech analysts at the firm wrote in a note to clients ahead of the event, which will take place Jan. 9-12 in San Francisco.

The Real Reason Ford Abandoned Its Plant In Mexico Has Little To Do With Trump (WaPo)

Ford’s move became political after Fields expressed confidence in the business climate under President-elect Donald Trump, and Trump on Twitter took credit for the company’s decision. Both men invoked the importance of protecting American jobs. Analysts, though, say Ford’s decision stemmed more from its long-term goals than the new administration or devotion to U.S. workers. The company aims to invest $4.5 billion in electric vehicles by 2020.

The Farmer Behind Deutsche Bank’s Digital Drive (Financial News)

This isn’t a fintech beard,” says Ed Budd, sitting down with FN in Deutsche Bank’s Bishops Square offices, a stone's throw from London's Shoreditch. “It’s a farming beard.” It’s a worthwhile clarification. During the working week, Budd is chief digital officer in Deutsche Bank’s global transaction banking division. At the weekend, he runs the farm he bought in 2008 near Hay-on-Wye in Herefordshire, raising cattle that he sells through local butchers.

Church Mistakes Tupac Shakur’s ‘Hail Mary’ For Catholic Prayer (HuffPo)

Both the “Hail Mary” prayer and Tupac Shakur’s rap song ask Mother Mary to intercede on behalf of sinners, but they differ greatly on the specifics. Shakur’s version is more explicit, with lines like,

I ain’t a killer, but don’t push me
Revenge is like the sweetest joy next to getting pussy
Picture paragraphs unloaded, wise words being quoted
Peeped the weakness in the rap game and sewed it.

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Opening Bell: 4.21.17

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Guggenheim continues to be shitshow; Trump's FDA is in rubber-stamp mode; Elon Musk is "full of crap"; some very, uh, suggestive wedding photos; and more.