Bank of America Misses a Big Options Payday, Goldman Cashes In (WSJ)
Bank of America Corp.’s top executives are sitting on the right to buy 400,000 shares of the bank’s stock at $54, a perk handed out by its board a decade ago. The problem is, the stock trades around $24. Those stock options are set to expire worthless on Wednesday, a sign of the lingering effects of the financial crisis and the huge gap between banks that have recovered fully from that era and those still far from the targets set during Wall Street’s better times.
Welcome to Greenwich, China (Bloomberg)
Like Greenwich, Conn., the leafy town an hour’s drive north of Wall Street, Yuhuang Shannan, about an hour from Shanghai by high-speed train, has become a big hit with the hedge fund crowd. So big, in fact, that local authorities turned the entire village—until recently a hub for the design industry—into an exclusive enclave for China’s aspiring masters of the universe.
"There's no hiring spree," Jason Kennedy, chief executive of recruitment firm Kennedy Group in London, told Reuters. "Management don't know if the boom is real or not, if we're in a bubble or not. The last thing they are doing is gear up, only to find there's nothing behind it."
Hedge-fund manager David Tepper ramped up some bets on pharmaceutical companies in the fourth quarter while dialing back his exposure to technology darling Apple Inc. Mr. Tepper’s Appaloosa Management bought new stakes in Pfizer Inc. and Mylan NV while more-than-doubling his holdings in merger-favorite Allergan PLC.
Here is a man who points the finger at private equity for fostering income inequality, while ignoring venture capital’s own role in perpetuating it. Sequoia Capital, for example, is a big investor in Airbnb, an alternative to hotels and their employees, who are often in union jobs. Sequoia is also an investor in self-driving technology that is sure to wreak havoc with taxi jobs and the one million truck drivers across the country.
This isn’t the first time in recent years that hedge-fund managers, among others, have warned of trouble ahead, only to be later forced to play catch-up to surging stocks. Many money managers have an incentive to put out gloomy prognostications because they are pitched as portfolio protection in a down market.
Kant's analysis — which he said incorporates inputs such as social and traditional media discussions, polling, economics and demographics — predicts that Le Pen will "walk over" her opponents in the first electoral test and then prove most forecasters wrong and steal the lead in the second ballot, Kant said.
Kashkari: In the end, the bank funded the loan. I felt bad for the underwriters, who seemed unable to exercise judgment or use common sense. The impression I got was that people at the bank were simply paralyzed by fear—that they might make a mistake, that regulators would be breathing down their necks. I have spoken to many borrowers at other banks, and they tell me similar stories. It has become needlessly difficult for qualified borrowers to get loans. But again, the problem isn’t the capital requirements—it’s everything else.
“It’s all about supply and demand and punters have been backing it and we’ve forced to cut the odds accordingly,” Ladbrokes spokesperson Jessica Bridge said. “As every day goes by, there’s a new Donald Trump controversy and punters are putting two and two together and backing him to leave,” she said.
"You use the tiniest amount of ink for a tattoo," says Stenvik Mostrom, a tattoo artist at Atlanta, Georgia's Liberty Tattoo. He's administered three ash-and-ink tattoos so far, and most of the former element settles to the bottom of the ink well. "It doesn't float on the top, and it doesn't really mix homogeneously with the ink, anyway." You might be getting small bits of ash—"on a molecular level"—into your tattoo, but "it's more the ritual of it, like the belief that they're in you now."