Opening Bell: 2.23.17

Mnuchin is optimistic; Einhorn, his wife and their putative pot of gold to split; Swedes want conjugal visits at work; and more.
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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Sees Tax Overhaul by August (WSJ)
Mr. Mnuchin, in his first interview since his confirmation last week as Treasury secretary, said slower economic growth since the financial crisis had primarily been an anomaly and a result of Obama administration policies that can be reversed. He said the Trump administration is aiming for a sustained 3% or higher annual growth rate, a projection not widely shared by other forecasters. “We think it’s critical that we get back to more normalized economic growth. More normalized economic growth is 3% or higher,” Mr. Mnuchin said.

Inside Uber’s Aggressive, Unrestrained Workplace Culture (NYT)
Among the most egregious accusations from employees, who either witnessed or were subject to incidents and who asked to remain anonymous because of confidentiality agreements and fear of retaliation: One Uber manager groped female co-workers’ breasts at a company retreat in Las Vegas. A director shouted a homophobic slur at a subordinate during a heated confrontation in a meeting. Another manager threatened to beat an underperforming employee’s head in with a baseball bat.

‘You Have to Stop,’ Renaissance Executive Tells Boss About Trump Support (WSJ)
“I hear you’re going around saying I’m a white supremacist,” Mr. Mercer said. “That’s ridiculous.” In the prior weeks, Mr. Magerman, a registered Democrat who calls himself a centrist, had complained to colleagues about Mr. Mercer’s role as a prominent booster of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Now word of Mr. Magerman’s criticism had reached Mr. Mercer, co-chief executive of Renaissance Technologies LLC, one of the world’s most successful hedge funds.

Social Media Is Driving Americans Insane (BBG)
Nowadays, 43 percent of Americans say they are checking their emails, texts, or social media accounts constantly. And their stress levels are paying for it: On a 10-point scale, constant checkers reported an average stress level of 5.3. For the rest of Americans, the average level is a 4.4.

Hedge fund billionaire David Einhorn heading for divorce (PageSix)
The Greenlight Capital founder, whose stock picks move markets, has separated from Cheryl, whom he married in 1993 before he made his fortune, now estimated at an impressive $1.55 billion. At stake in the upcoming divorce is their nearly 10,000-square-foot home in Rye, NY, and — possibly — his rumored vault of gold stashed at a secret location in New York City.

Silicon Valley Tried to Upend Banks. Now It Works With Them. (NYT)
“A lot of people set out saying, ‘We are going to displace the banks,’” said Sheel Mohnot, a venture capitalist at 500 Startups who focuses on financial technology. “We realized along the way that you really have no choice but to work with the banks.”

Most US voters trust the media to tell the truth more than President Trump: Poll (CNBC)
"The media, so demonized by the Trump Administration, is actually a good deal more popular than President Trump," Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement. "This is a terrible survey one month in," he added.

Swedes should take sex breaks at work, says politician. Sorry, but would that be before or after fika? (TheLocal.se)
Swedes should take a one-hour paid break from work to go home and have sex with their partners, a councillor suggested in a proposal aimed at improving people's relationships. "There are studies that show sex is healthy," Per-Erik Muskos, a 42-year-old city councillor for the town of Övertorneå, said after presenting the motion. "It's about having better relationships."

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