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.
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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."

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