Opening Bell: 5.12.17

Millennial investors are ditching Snap; J. Peterman from Seinfeld is hawking a questionable IPO; the lengths we go for beer; and more.
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Snap founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy

Snap founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy

Snapchat’s Most Fervent Users Are Souring on Snap’s Stock (WSJ)
Rebecca Shoenthal, who is due to graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this weekend, told the Journal in March that she bought Snap shares after their public debut because she was excited about the company. In a follow-up e-mail Wednesday, she said that, “Facebook is certainly making things hard for Snap, especially since they have essentially the same product with a much larger user base already established.” She said that she’s, “trying to be patient” with the stock, but will “probably sell” if the shares go up a bit.

Bundesbank’s Frankfurt Expansion Puts Squeeze on Office Market (BBG)
Germany’s Bundesbank has just made life harder for the banks that are considering Frankfurt as their new European Union base after Brexit. The central bank confirmed this week that it has agreed to lease an additional 7,000 square meters (75,000 square feet) of space in the city’s Trianon tower. In the process, it snapped up one of the few large premises left in Frankfurt’s financial district, whose high-rise skyline has earned it the nickname Mainhattan.

The stock market… It’s alive! (Sort of) (FT)
Deutsche Bank analyst Jim Reid said the “earth shattering” stock market decline was “believe it or not”, the biggest fall in the index since April 21. He’s still itching for more excitement in his life, however: “The favourite for tomorrow’s Eurovision is an Italian man who dances alongside an ape. How on earth are we supposed to compete with that? Things have been so quiet this week that an ape walking down our trading floor would have been a welcome distraction.”

China's former statistics chief pleads guilty to accepting bribes (Reuters)
In a statement announcing Wang's expulsion from the Communist Party, the CCDI said Wang had been found to have been "morally bankrupt" and lacking "political faith". As well as accepting gifts, property and bribes, he frequently stayed at expensive hotels, engaged in "superstitious activities" and "exchanged power for sex", the agency said in the statement.

There Are Now More Indexes Than Stocks (BBG)
Why so many new ETFs? Money managers are under pressure to cut costs as investors shift their money into funds with low fees. Smart-beta ETFs are generally more expensive than S&P 500 funds but cheaper than actively managed funds. It remains to be seen how well the new funds will perform.

Priming the Pump: The Economic Metaphor Trump ‘Came Up With’ (NYT)
The origin of the metaphor refers to pumps used to extract water from wells, which were more widespread before most people had indoor plumbing. The basic idea was to pour a bit of water into a mechanism to make it possible to pump water out.

Ivory Tower Wonks Help Traders Make a Quick Buck (Bloomberg View)
Much or even most of the disappearance of anomalies is due not to p-hacking and data mining, but to trading itself. Markets are sort of efficient, but not quite -- if there’s free money to be had, traders will eventually discover it, but it takes them a long time and sometimes requires a helping hand from academia. McLean and Pontiff’s result paints a picture of a market where inefficiencies are constantly sprouting up and constantly being discovered and traded away -- not a smoothly running machine, but a constantly evolving ecosystem of predators and prey.

What would stocks do if Trump resigned (Reformed Broker)
The Trump Trade, if there ever were such a thing, ended 5 months ago, and the new reason for bullishness has become plain and simple earnings growth – the best growth quarter in years for the SPX companies. Has nothing to do with Trump, it was already in the works as we lapped the oil price crash.

Yes, that's J. Peterman from 'Seinfeld' pitching an IPO on TV — no, that's not the most surprising thing about it (BI)
At the center of it all is Ramy El-Batrawi, whose life before starting YayYo involved working with an arms dealer, promoting "Men Are from Mars, Women Are From Venus," and led ultimately to accusations of a stock-manipulation scheme and one of the biggest securities bailouts in history.

Why Silicon Valley has embraced the ‘office dog’ (FT)
At Zynga, the gamemaker named after the founder’s American bulldog Zinga, dogs can enjoy peanut-butter doggie biscuits straight from the kitchen. Amenities include a dog run on the roof and an indoor “barking lot”. Amazon has some 4,000 dogs registered at its Seattle headquarters, roughly one for every eight employees. There is even a high-tech doggie roof garden in one of its new skyscrapers, featuring fire hydrants to encourage dogs to pee, and a hose and drainage system to help clean up.

Investor who dodged insider trading charges can’t find a date (NYP)
“Who doesn’t take out their phone and Google something when they meet somebody for the first time?” he asked. Even though a New York federal appeals court overturned his conviction, and the Supreme Court dealt Bharara a blow by letting that decision stand, divorced dad Newman said the ladies aren’t so interested in the details. “On the dating apps that I’m on, the same thing happens,” he told a laughing audience of lawyers.

HALF-NAKED DRIVER CRASHES CAR INTO STORE TO GET BEER (AP)
Rocky River police say the 45-year-old driver was wearing nothing from the waist down when he crashed through a store wall early Sunday and told the worker he needed beer.

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Snap founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy

Opening Bell: 4.4.17

Tech CEOs are ruining shareholding; how Mexican civil servants pulled off a $5 billion oil deal; get a taste of Warren Buffett; and more.

By mattbuck [CC BY-SA 2.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 or CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 8.24.17

Credit default swaps are coming back in style; Social Capital wants to end the IPO as we know it; Buddhist bitcoin; and more.

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Opening Bell: 8.29.17

Gary Cohn pulls a Leona Helmsley; hedge funds are gorging on bespoke data; Yale owns a forest; millennials are taking their toll on doorbells; and more.

SnapchatIPO

Opening Bell: 2.16.17

Snap sets IPO price; solar permabear gets no love from the industry; models make a killing delivering weed; and more.

Cryan.CalmDown

Opening Bell: 11.9.17

The sad, strange story of Deutsche Bank; banks are ditching the Fed; Cohn on taxes; millennials are (you guessed it!_ killing the very foundation of financial capitalism; sheep like Obama; and more.

(Getty Images)

Opening Bell: 2.13.17

Trump loves Cohn; investors don't love Snap Inc; passengers staged a mutiny on a United flight; and more.

WilburRossChina

Opening Bell: 8.3.18

Jobs!; Trade war!; Tesla!; Vagina beer!; and more!

Opening Bell: 05.15.12

In Facebook IPO, Frenzy, Skepticism (WSJ) Michael Belanger, a lawyer from Oklahoma City, invests his personal money in the stock market. But he will be skipping Facebook's IPO because he thinks its valuation is totally "out of whack." Scott Schermerhorn, chief investment officer of investment-management firm Granite Investment Advisors, says the hype around Facebook's IPO is going to keep his firm away. "It's a cult stock," he says. Little of that skepticism is weighing on three investors, tracked by The Wall Street Journal since Facebook announced in February that it would go public. Jim Supple was driving with his daughter Jade last autumn, when she turned to him and said, "Daddy, can I buy some of the Facebook company?" Mr. Supple, 47, had been teaching Jade about investing in the stock market for years. He started putting money for her in stocks like eBay and Disney when she was a baby. But the request still took him aback. "How do you know about buying Facebook?" he asked. "I saw in the news that they were going to be selling parts of the company," she responded. "Can we buy some?" Since then, Mr. Supple has been trying to find a way to take $25,000 he has saved for her college fund and purchase Facebook stock. "She doesn't need this money for another eight years," says Mr. Supple. "If it goes the Google route, I'll be in good shape." JPMorgan Said To Weigh Bonus Clawbacks After Loss (Bloomberg) The lender can cancel stock awards or demand they be repaid if an employee “engages in conduct that causes material financial or reputational harm,” JPMorgan said in its annual proxy statement. The company will claw back pay if it’s appropriate, said one of the executives, who asked not to be identified because no decisions have been made. The incident, which led to Drew’s retirement yesterday, may test JPMorgan’s claw-back policy amid mounting investor criticism over Wall Street pay practices and as regulators investigate the trades. JPMorgan Moves To Protect Dimon (WSJ) The board backs Mr. Dimon and the way he quickly admitted and sought to fix the bank's mistakes, according to this person. "We made errors, and we are going to take care of it," Mr. Dimon told fellow directors during a conference call last week, the person said. "This was bad thinking. This was stupid." Euro Chiefs May Offer Leniency to Greece (Bloomberg) Calling talk of a Greek pullout from the euro “nonsense” and “propaganda,” Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said only a “fully functioning” Greek government would be entitled to tinker with the conditions attached to 240 billion euros ($308 billion) of rescue aid. Man Spends $60,000 In Custody Battle Over Dog Knuckles (CBS) Dershowitz, 34, said he considers Knuckles to be his son, and that although he’s gone through his life savings, he said it’s worth it. In papers filed earlier this year in Manhattan state Supreme Court, Dershowitz said ex-girlfriend Sarah Brega “kidnapped” Knuckles after they broke up. Brega said Dershowitz gave her the puggle pup — half pug, half beagle. Dershowitz started the website Rescue Knux to raise money for the custody fight. For $250, contributors can play fetch with Knuckles. For $10,000, Legends of Graffiti will do a giant, personalized mural. Dershowitz made an emotional video plea and posted the following on his site: I know it might sound funny and I understand that. If it wasn’t so painful, I would be laughing too (I mean, c’mon – dognapp – really?) but this is very serious to me and I miss him a lot. Enough that I have gone into debt to retrieve him and enough that I am on here asking for your help. I need the money to keep fighting the court battle. She comes from a wealthy family that is backing her. I don’t. She keeps filing crazy, frivolous motions just knowing that I can’t afford to respond even after the judge has ruled in my favor. The courts gave me custody already but, sadly, the system is too complex and expensive to make anything that simple and easy. I need help bringing my boy home…where he belongs…for good.” Dick Bove: No Reason to Break Up Big Banks (CNBC) JPMorgan’s much ballyhooed $2 billion loss is no reason to ramp up regulations, noted bank analyst Dick Bove said Monday. “I don’t think there’s any reason to break up the big banks,” he told CNBC. “Particularly if a bank can earn $18 billion a year and $22 billion the next year, why in heaven’s name would you say it can’t be run?” Sanders Sees Conflict With Dimon on New York Fed Board (Bloomberg) Senator Bernard Sanders said he sees a conflict with JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon serving on the board of directors at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, JPMorgan’s regulator. “It is an obvious conflict of interest,” Sanders, an Independent from Vermont, said today in an e-mail response to a question from Bloomberg News. “This is a clear example of the fox guarding the henhouse.” Chesapeake Loan Jars Bond Investors (WSJ) "This loan was priced very attractively" for lenders, said Sabur Moini, manager of a $2.5 billion high-yield-bond portfolio at Payden & Rygel, adding that turmoil in Chesapeake's bonds was largely "self-inflicted." Investor confidence was shaken by the loan, he said, but it has also been dented by other factors, including controversy over CEO Aubrey McClendon's pledging his stakes in company wells as collateral to secure loans with companies that do business with Chesapeake. Rajat Gupta Opposes U.S. Request to Limit Defense at Trial (Bloomberg) Prosecutors had sought to bar Gupta from speculating before the jury about the government’s motives in bringing the case. They also said evidence of Gupta’s past charitable contributions and the purported damage the case has had on his reputation aren’t relevant. “The government attempts to hamstring the defense,” Gupta’s lawyers said in a court filing today. “Mr. Gupta’s charitable activities are a large component of his background and a critical element of who he is as a person.” Cops bust man smuggling cocaine at JFK (NYP) A drug smuggler packed his stash of cocaine inside sticks of deodorant, ink markers and hundreds of buttons — only to be busted by alert customs officers at JFK Airport who noticed a strong odor coming from his suitcase, authorities said today...The items with cocaine hidden inside included 16 markers, 17 sticks of Dove and Odorex deodorant, 24 bottles of nail polish, and about 684 buttons.