Opening Bell: 4.10.17

Bank of England futzed with Libor; Jes Staley goes vigilante; Disney's humanoid robots to feature "fluid-filled voids"; and more.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Libor: Bank of England implicated in secret recording (BBC)
"The fact of the matter is we've got the Bank of England, all sorts of people involved in the whole thing... I am as reluctant as you are... these guys have just turned around and said just do it."

TOM HAYES: 'Traders like me should not be in prison' for the Bank of England's 'involvement' in LIBOR-rigging (BI)
"Traders like me should not be in prison - we were only requesting LIBOR submissions that reflected market conditions. I have now been in a high security prison for over 18 months but I swear that I did not know that requesting LIBOR rates that benefited my bank but which also reflected the market was wrong."

Barclays CEO Is Probed Over Bid to Unmask Whistleblower (WSJ)
In June 2016, Barclays’s board and a senior executive received anonymous letters raising concerns over Mr. Main’s hire that month in New York. Mr. Staley initially asked Barclays’s internal security team to try to identify the authors of the letter, believing the accusations were unfair. He was told that he wasn’t permitted to do so. However in July he followed up the request and the security team received help from a government authority.

Bros Don’t Let Bros Lend Money (BBG)
The paper 1 found that “hard” information such as credit scores and debt-to-income levels was interpreted the same way by male and female loan officers. Interpretations diverged, though, when softer information came into the picture, and when the borrower and lender were both male. In that case, the outcome of loans was measurably worse.

Stock Analysts’ Biases Are Showing, a Study Finds (WSJ)
Turns out birds of a feather flock together on Wall Street, too: Male stock analysts tend to write more favorably about public companies headed by men than about companies led by women. White analysts favor firms run by white chief executives. And Republicans and Americans in general prefer companies helmed by people like them.

Hollow theatre of the earnings call exposed by its directors (FT)
It is often assumed the earnings are guided downwards by companies. While analysts sometimes have things pointed out, several investor relations officers said in interviews that institutional investors, the so-called buyside, do the job of walking down estimates for them. “What isn’t visible to the public is that buysiders call up sellside analysts all the time and chew them out,” one said. “Stockholders will call up the analysts and beat them up and totally leave the company out of it,” said another.

Wall Street Made Charles Murphy Successful and Rich, but Happiness Eluded Him (WSJ)
Mr. Paulson, who eulogized Mr. Murphy last Monday, sought to explain his apparent suicide to friends and family during a funeral service in New York. “The mind can play tricks with oneself, distorting reality,” Mr. Paulson said. “No matter how much those close to him tried to help, and no one tried more than Annabella, Charles could not see a path forward…his mind created a trap from which he couldn’t escape.”

Disney files patent for “huggable and interactive” humanoid robots (Ars Technica)
The patent has a suitably warm and fuzzy name: "Soft body robot for physical interaction with humans." It describes mostly rigid robots, with the exception of "fluid-filled voids," "flexible membranes," and "pressure sensors," and these would all work in tandem to guide the robots' joint motion. Ideally, this would result in "a soft, modular robot that is huggable and interactive."

Related

(Getty Images for Yahoo Finance)

Opening Bell: 5.2.17

Jes Staley is in the hot seat again; Goldman is finally becoming a real bank; the only good outfit at the Met Gala; and more.

Opening Bell: 10.13.15

Barclays to appoint Jes Staley CEO; Fortress will shutter macro hedge fund; Ex-chief of Anglo Irish Bank arrested; "Porn Shoot Accidentally Allowed At LA High School"; and more.

(Getty Images for Yahoo Finance)

Opening Bell: 4.11.17

The Justice Department wants a word with Jes Staley; is Harvard Business School…bad?; sometimes the deer runs over you; and more.

Opening Bell: 5.28.15

Greece is optimistic for some reason; Libor trader on trial didn't act alone; Tepper backs protege; "The Robotic Rump"; and more.

deutsche-bank-logo-eyes

Opening Bell: 12.22.16

Deutsche Bank's Trump conflicts; Goldman's 1MDB imbroglio; humanity's impending sex-robot doom; and more.

(Getty Images)

Opening Bell: 6.16.17

Neel Kashkari isn't here to make friends; Jes Staley is in trouble again, again; coming soon to a major metropolitan area near you: Teen PD; and more.

(Getty Images for Yahoo Finance)

Opening Bell: 11.20.17

Jes Staley is swimming upstream; blockchain gets high marks on Wall Street; Venezuela's debt talks will be a nightmare; a literal interpretation of "the jig is up"; and more.

Opening Bell: 07.23.12

Prosecutors, regulators close to making Libor arrests (Reuters) U.S. prosecutors and European regulators are close to arresting individual traders and charging them with colluding to manipulate global benchmark interest rates, according to people familiar with a sweeping investigation into the rigging scandal...Defense lawyers, some of whom represent suspects, said prosecutors have indicated they plan to begin making arrests and filing criminal charges in the next few weeks. Diamond Exit Fells Last Pillar In London’s Gekko Generation (Bloomberg) When Mervyn King and Adair Turner, the U.K.’s top two financial overseers, agreed to summon Barclays’s chairman to the Bank of England on July 2 and said they had lost confidence in Diamond, London’s best-known banker, they were making clear that the rules of the road had changed. “The signal to the City has got to be that if you behave badly you will be removed from your employment,” said Paul Myners, the government’s financial-services minister from 2008 to 2010 and former chairman of Gartmore Investment Management Ltd. “It will send shivers down the spine of anybody who is up to no good.” Spain Bans Short-Selling For Three Months (Reuters) Spain's stock market regulator banned short-selling on all Spanish securities on Monday for three months and said it may extend the ban beyond Oct. 23. The ban, which will not apply to market makers, will apply to any operation on stocks or indexes, including cash operations, derivatives traded on platforms as well as OTC derivatives, the regulator said in a statement. Greece Should Pay Wages in Drachmas Says German Lawmaker (Reuters) "Greece should start to pay half of its civil service wages, pensions and other expenditures in drachmas now," Dobrint said. "A soft return to the old currency is better for Greece than a drastic move. Having the drachma as a parallel currency would allow the chance for economic growth to develop." All Eyes On Facebook Revenue (WSJ) Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect Facebook to report second-quarter revenue of $1.1 billion on earnings of 12 cents a share. Facebook needs to hit those marks to prove that it can grow into the $100 billion valuation that it gave itself in its IPO. The valuation implies Facebook will grow at a significant pace, said Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney. Facebook's "business has been showing significant revenue-growth deceleration," he said. "The market valuation implies at least a stabilization of revenue growth this year and next year." Using Small Business Loans To Generate Big Profits (WSJ) At a recent group-lending meeting in the Kawangware slum, about 10 miles from downtown, Jackson Munyovi sought $350 to build a new shanty for his wife and two children. The 31-year-old welder asked fellow church congregants and friends to co-sign a loan to finance building materials. A church deacon vouched for the borrower's assets, including a few metal-shop machines and his marital bed, and Mr. Munyovi promised to repay the loan in six months, plus 8% interest. And with that, Equity Bank Group—one of Africa's most ambitious banks—snagged another customer. The Kenyan bank has enjoyed a booming business lending to people with little collateral beyond the potential disgrace of letting friends down. Equity executives aren't shy about a business model that leverages societal mores and shame—often the strongest collateral to be found on a continent where formal credit records are scarce beyond the biggest cities. Avenue Capital Places Faith In Eurozone (NYT) Now, even as Europe’s economic problems worsen and the markets punish giants like Spain and Italy, Mr. Lasry is betting on a long-term comeback for the Continent. This month, his hedge fund, Avenue Capital, finished raising nearly $3 billion for a fund that will invest in the debt of troubled European companies. He has committed roughly $75 million of his own money to the new fund. That’s still a small part of his estimated $1.3 billion fortune, but Mr. Lasry is among a coterie of hedge fund and private equity managers who are gambling that the euro zone will stay intact and revive over the long run. Wealth chief could be Morgan Stanley’s No.2 (NYP) Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman may have found his No.2: Greg Fleming. That’s after Fleming, the president of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and Morgan’s wealth management unit, proved to be the only bright spot in the firm’s otherwise disappointing second-quarter results...Gorman, 53, hasn’t anointed a second-in-command since he took over as CEO from John Mack back in 2009. But Morgan Stanley’s co-presidents of institutional securities, Colm Kelleher and Paul Taubman, and possibly CFO Ruth Porat (if she chooses to accept), are among those who could be named. Though still relatively new, having joined the company in 2009, Fleming has shown he’s a worthy contender for the crown. Tony Robbins ‘Firewalk Experience’ goes wrong (AP) Fire officials in California say at least 21 people were treated for burns after attendees of an event for motivational speaker Tony Robbins tried to walk on hot coals...at least three people went to a hospital and most suffered second or third-degree burns. Robbins was hosting a 4-day gathering called “Unleash the Power Within” at the San Jose Convention Center. Witnesses say on Thursday, a crowd went to a park where 12 lanes of hot coals were on the grass. Robbins’ website promotes “The Firewalk Experience” in which people walk on super-heated coals. Witness Jonathan Correll says he heard “screams of agony.”