A Star Goldman Trader Goes Cold (BBG)
He wasn’t always so respected. After he departed Morgan Stanley for Goldman Sachs in late 2015, the buzz among his new colleagues -- and rivals -- was all about the fate of the distressed book he left behind, according to people who have worked or traded with him. The bank’s distressed bets helped contribute to a 42 percent decline in third-quarter bond-trading revenue that year, the people said, a tumultuous period that Chief Executive Officer James Gorman called the worst for fixed income at the firm since he took the top job in 2010. Savarese left just months before Gorman fired 25 percent of fixed-income traders and salespeople.
Bankers Use Trump Rally to Cash Out (WSJ)
Insiders at publicly traded commercial banks with a market value greater than $1 billion, but excluding the largest national banks, sold about $1.4 billion in their company stock between the election and the end of March, up 65% from the 10-plus months in 2016 before the election.
Barclays Shares Fall After Surprise Drop in Trading Revenue (BBG)
“We didn’t have the uptick that a number of the U.S. banks did” and “we always want to do better in the markets business,” CEO Jes Staley said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “We could have done a little better on the U.S. rates side, but we’re not going to make any judgments on one quarter.”
No Buyback, No Problem: Companies Trim Share Purchases in First Quarter (WSJ)
The early indicators of less demand from corporate buyers contrasts with a 5.5% rise in the S&P 500 during the first three months of the year. It suggests buybacks aren’t the only force underpinning the stock market rally as investors bet on corporate growth rather than financial engineering. S&P 500 companies are expected to report earnings growth of about 10% in the first quarter, according to FactSet.
An employee slammed hedge fund giant Ray Dalio in an email. Dalio loved it so much, he talked about it in a TED talk. (LinkedIn)
"This sort of radical transparency is coming at you and it is going to affect your life, and in my opinion, it is going to be wonderful," Dalio said. But he left a caveat. "You don't have to tell people that their bald spot is growing or their baby is ugly," he said. "I'm just talking about the important things."
How a CEO Made Millions From a Sinking Ship (WSJ)
DryShips shares would ordinarily be worth pennies following the big decline. The company has avoided that through repeated reverse stock splits that reduce the number of shares outstanding without affecting the company’s value. Despite issuing over $500 million in stock since November, DryShips’ market value is less than $70 million.
Third Point's Dan Loeb says 'animal spirits matter' in super bullish letter about the Trump trade (CNBC)
"While we recognize that we are in the late stages of an economic cycle, experience has taught us not to miss the end of an expansive period," the Third Point manager wrote in the letter obtained by CNBC on Thursday. "This is especially true following Trump's election. Animal spirits matter in markets and despite the obstacles that the new administration will face in passing legislation, the overall pro-business environment is in sharp contrast to the last 'you didn't build it' administration's attitude towards business, enterprise, and free markets."
Larry Summers: Trump is undermining his own treasury secretary (WaPo)
As I read about the proposals and thought back over the tax discussions of the last year, I found myself feeling sympathetic to Mnuchin. Some of the most difficult moments for any Cabinet officer comes when the president fails to respect his department’s desire to do serious policy work, when political circumstance forces the repudiation of his major past statements, and when he has to out of loyalty support absurd propositions. All three of these things happened to Secretary Mnuchin this week.
Exclusive: Trump says he thought being president would be easier than his old life (Reuters)
"I loved my previous life. I had so many things going," Trump told Reuters in an interview. "This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier."
The race to build the world’s first sex robot (Guardian)
Harmony had had enough of McMullen being interrogated and interrupted us again.
“Do you like to read, Matt?” she said.
“I love to,” said McMullen.
“I knew it. I could tell by our conversations so far. I love to read. My favourite books are Total Recall by Gordon Bell and The Age of Spiritual Machines by Ray Kurzweil. What is your favourite book?”
McMullen beamed at his creation like a man at his daughter’s wedding.
“Can you tell me a joke?” he asked her.
“What do you call it when a chicken sees a salad? Chicken Caesar Salad.”