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Holiday Bell: 4.14.17

Tidjane Thiam gives away his bonus before Credit Suisse can take it; Uber now dealing with drunk driving scandal; Wells Fargo's pain will last forever; Gypsy Snake Masseuse; and more.
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Credit Suisse to Cut Executive Bonuses by 40% [WSJ]
Credit Suisse Group Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam and other top executives at the bank have proposed slashing their bonuses by 40% and freezing compensation for the board of directors, addressing shareholder concerns over the hefty bonuses announced for executives last month.
Credit Suisse last month announced it had increased its bonus pool by 6% in 2016 to over 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.1 billion), despite posting a sizable loss, and Mr. Thiam saw his pay jump too, as the bank cited “strong progress” in meeting its strategic objectives.


Uber may face $1 million fine over California drunken-driving complaints [Reuters]
Uber's popular ride-sharing network has repeatedly failed to promptly suspend and investigate its California drivers when passengers report them driving drunk, state regulators charged in an enforcement action, recommending $1.13 million in fines.
The consumer protection arm of the California Public Utility Commission found Uber Technologies Inc has violated "zero-tolerance" rules governing drunken-driving complaints on 151 occasions over the course of a year, out of 154 complaints reviewed.
In only 21 of those cases did the company conduct any follow-up driver investigation, the commission inquiry found.

Wells Fargo Says Scandal Costs Will Be Higher Than Projected [Bloomberg]
Wells Fargo & Co.’s costs tied to a fake-account scandal are mounting faster than the bank expected as the company incurs expenses for consultants and lawyers.
The lender expects their fees to be $70 million to $80 million per quarter, Chief Financial Officer John Shrewsberry told analysts on a conference call Thursday. That compares with the range of $50 million to $60 million that he gave in February. The CFO said the costs will persist for “several quarters,” even after the bank’s board released a report this week into how the sales abuses started and were allowed to continue for more than a decade.
“The bigger pieces of those costs will probably abate toward the end of this year and going into next year,” Shrewsberry said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Legal issues could stretch into 2018 or later, he said.

Bank Lending Stalls on Doubts About Trump’s Pro-Growth Agenda [DealBook]
Some of the nation’s top bankers said on Thursday that businesses were feeling less certain that Mr. Trump can pull off his ambitious agenda to deregulate and cut taxes.
Many industries, the bank executives said, are increasingly cautious about taking on too much new debt, particularly after efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act failed last month, raising doubts about whether the president can get pro-business measures like tax cuts through Congress. And such political uncertainty comes at a time when the Federal Reserve has embarked on raising interest rates, which will make borrowing costlier.
“They all want to believe that there is more growth ahead, but they need to see something out there before they act,” John Shrewsberry, the chief financial officer of Wells Fargo, said in an interview.

Apple May Be Coming to Toshiba’s Rescue [Bloomberg]
The iPhone maker is actively looking at options for helping the troubled Japanese company by investing in its semiconductor unit, which has been put up for sale, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple is considering a range of options from partnering with Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. to joining with Japanese investors on a bid, said the people, asking not to be named because the matter is private. SoftBank Group Corp. is considering getting involved in the Toshiba chip unit bidding and may cooperate with Hon Hai or Apple, the people said.
Apple’s entry into the auction may improve Toshiba’s prospects for emerging from a fiasco in its Westinghouse nuclear business that has led to billions of dollars in losses. Toshiba needs to raise money from the semiconductor sale to plug the hole in its balance sheet, but the bidding process so far has been rocky. The Tokyo-based company is wary of Hon Hai’s bid to take full control of the chips unit on its own because it anticipates Japanese and U.S. governments would object.

Gypsy masseuse uses deadly snakes to give full-body rubdowns [NYPost]
Sarah Zaad, aka the "Snake Queen," is a holistic therapist in Brazil who employs pythons and boa constrictors to massage her clients. Zaad claims the snakes can help treat depression.


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