Opening Bell: 5.16.17

Amazon IPO turns 20; Wall Street DC-watchers find Glass-Steagall talk pretty funny; please don't encourage the male romper; and more.
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By Yolo0906 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Yolo0906 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Amazon’s IPO at 20: That Amazing Return You Didn’t Earn (WSJ)
Amazon has suffered at least 20% pullbacks in 16 of its 20 years on the public markets. The drawdowns were more than 40% apiece in nearly half of those instances, including a 64% plunge in 2008 during the depths of the financial crisis. Worst of all, shares lost 95% of their value when the tech bubble burst from December 1999 through October 2001. Most investors just couldn’t ride that out.

Hedge fund manager who lost Buffett bet feels like a winner (FT)
Mr Tarrant said he feels like a winner because of the access he has gained to Mr Buffett, perhaps the world’s most successful investor and coveted lunch companion. “I’ve had lunches and dinners with Buffett over 10 years, so I feel like I’ve won,” Mr Tarrant said. Plus, he added, the amount they have raised for charity is nearly twice the $1m originally wagered.

Ex-BofA Vice President, Husband Charged in Embezzlement Scam (BBG)
Prosecutors claim Pam Ace from 2010 to 2015 approved 75 donations to basketball and educational programs and other organizations providing support to children with HIV/AIDS before insisting that about half of the money "be returned in order to ensure that Bank of America would continue to fund the organization," according to the statement. Ace’s husband then allegedly threatened the recipients with "public humiliation" to extract the return of as much of the money as possible.

Jim Simons, Ray Dalio Top Alpha's Rich List (Institutional Investor)
1. Jim Simons (Renaissance) - $1.6 billion
2. Ray Dalio (Bridgewater) - $1.4 billion
3. John Overdeck (Two Sigma) - $750 million
4. David Siegel (Two Sigma) - $750 million
5. David Tepper (Appaloosa) - $700 million

To Woo Millennials, Financial Advisers Dress the Part (WSJ)
Advisers who work with millennials say dress isn’t the only way they may differ from older generations. Millennials want their adviser to act more like a life coach and aren’t usually interested in hearing advisers’ predictions on how much they need to save now so they can retire later. They also want advisers to be tech-savvy and to host exclusive events, such as parties with famous artists, so they can be treated like VIPs.

Wall Street Thinks Trump’s All Talk When It Comes to Breaking Up Banks (BBG)
“Break up the banks? That ain’t going to happen,” said Rick Hohlt, who has advised and lobbied for lenders including Citigroup Inc. for three decades. “You need legislation to do that. And the chance of that is about zero.”

Walmart and Banking: It's Time to Reconsider (Money And Banking)
One question to ask might be, “Why should Walmart be allowed to enter banking?” But a more relevant question would be, “Why shouldn’t Walmart be allowed to enter banking?”

A few notes about the Spotify stock-market listing (Felix Salmon)
It’s true that most IPOs have a “pop” from the IPO price to the first trade, a/k/a the amount by which the IPO was underpriced. But it’s not clear why that pop should be “particularly crucial for high-profile listings of consumer tech brands”. No one’s going to buy a Spotify subscription because a bunch of institutional investors got rich on their IPO allocation. And while there is a tendency to conflate companies with their share price (see: Twitter), the important thing there is the performance of the shares over time, not the amount of the IPO pop.

New Kickstarter Aims to Introduce Men to the Agony and Ecstasy of Wearing a Romper (NYMag)
We welcome men to this brave new world of rompers, which we trust they will find comfortable, cute, and much more tolerable than we do when it comes to urination purposes, thanks to the built-in zip fly.

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Opening Bell: 07.10.12

Diamond To Forgo Deferred Bonuses (WSJ) Former Barclays Chief Executive Robert Diamond has given up bonuses of up to £20 million ($31 million) in an apparent effort to shield the lender as the bank looks to defuse anger following the rate-fixing scandal...According to Mr. Diamond's contract, he will receive up to 12 months' salary, pension allowance and other benefits. Barclays Chairman Marcus Agius said that this amounts to around £2 million. Paulson Funds Fell In June As Rally Undercut Euro Wager (Bloomberg) The $22 billion firm had losses in all its funds last month as stock markets rose. The losses were led by a 7.9 percent drop in his Advantage Plus Fund, according to an update to investors obtained by Bloomberg News. That leaves the fund, which seeks to profit from corporate events such as takeovers and bankruptcies and uses leverage to amplify returns, down 16 percent this year. Einhorn says Fed stimulus counterproductive (Reuters) "I think it's actually counterproductive," Einhorn said of the stimulus program, adding that it lowers the standard of living and drives up food and oil prices. He said he would suggest a rise in interest rates on U.S. Treasury bonds to "a reasonable level" of 2 to 3 percent. Einhorn said Apple, which he praised at this year's Ira Sohn investing conference, was "the best big-growth company we have." "We're two, three years into the Apple investment, and the way it seems headed it's likely we'll be there for a good while longer," he said. "I think the stock is very very substantially undervalued." He said Amazon.com Inc was "tough on its competitors" because it does not "feel the need to make a profit." "It's very hard to compete against somebody who doesn't feel the need to make a profit," he said, adding that he is not "short" Amazon. Investment Bankers Face Termination As Europe Fees Fall (Bloomberg) Credit Suisse and UBS face the most pressure to boost efficiency as that country runs ahead of others in introducing tougher capital and liquidity rules to curtail risk-taking, making some businesses unviable...While the situation may be most acute at the Swiss banks, similar dynamics are at work at other firms as the debt crisis drags on, capital requirements ratchet higher and economic growth grinds to a halt. “Bankers are really gloomy and a lot of people are worried about their jobs,” said Edward Cumming-Bruce, a partner at London-based advisory firm Gleacher Shacklock LLP who has more than 20 years’ experience. “Banks are under remorseless pressure to cut costs and balance sheets as we witness a significant change in the way the financial industry works.” Sitting for More Than Three Hours a Day Cuts Life Expectancy (WSJ) Sitting down for more than three hours a day can shave a person's life expectancy by two years, even if he or she is physically active and refrains from dangerous habits like smoking, according to a study to be published on Tuesday in the online journal BMJ Open. Watching TV for more than two hours a day can exacerbate that problem, decreasing life expectancy by another 1.4 years, said the report, which analyzed five underlying studies of nearly 167,000 people over a range of four to 14 years. Futures Broker Freezes Accounts (WSJ) Peregrine, based in Cedar Falls, Iowa, couldn't be reached for comment on the NFA action, but in an earlier statement to clients said "some accounting irregularities are being investigated regarding company accounts." "What this means is no customers are able to trade except to liquidate positions. Until further notice, PFGBEST is not authorized to release any funds," said PFGBest in its statement. Also in the statement, the firm said Russell R. Wasendorf Sr., its founder, chairman and chief executive, had experienced a "recent emergency" and described it as a "suicide attempt." A spokeswoman for PFGBest said Mr. Wasendorf was in critical condition in a hospital. Four Companies Break Through IPO Drought (WSJ) What do two fast-growing technology companies, an iconic guitar maker and a skin-infection specialist have in common? All four aim to break the latest dry spell in the IPO market. Fender Musical Instruments Corp., which has supplied guitars to rock artists from Buddy Holly to Kurt Cobain and John Mayer, network-security firm Palo Alto Networks Inc., travel website Kayak Software Corp. and pharmaceutical firm Durata Therapeutics Inc. said Monday that they plan to push ahead with initial public offerings in coming weeks. JPMorgan Silence On Risk Model Spurs Calls For Disclosure (Bloomberg) The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is probing JPMorgan’s belated May 10 disclosure that a change to its mathematical model for gauging trading risk helped fuel the loss in its chief investment office. While the SEC would have to prove that the biggest U.S. bank improperly kept important information from investors, regulators probably will press Wall Street firms to tell more about the risks they’re taking, three former SEC lawyers said. Would You Stress Over A Millionaire Wife? (CNBC) The study, conducted by SEI and Phoenix Marketing, found that a third of the women who are the financial leads in millionaire households say their partner feels “stressed” by their financial roles. By contrast, only 14 percent of males in male-led millionaire households said they feel tension from their partner. Actor who kicked in doors to Ed Sullivan theater escapes jail time (NYDN) The struggling actor who kicked in the glass doors to the Ed Sullivan Theatre and urinated on the lobby floor last year got lucky with a no-jail sentence Monday. But he had to pay $7,377.28 in restitution. James Whittemore, 23, who now deejays in Massachusetts under the name DJ Nutron, never formally apologized to David Letterman face to face, but he said he'd like to..."Someone stole my iPhone, I quit my job, my girlfriend broke up with me, I was having a rough day," he said.

(Getty Images)

Opening Bell: 3.14.17

Robert Shiller is doing that thing he always does; Carl Icahn strikes fear into the heart of AIG; Texas bill would ban male masturbation; and more.

I'm sorry but I just don't recognize him. Source: Getty Images

Opening Bell: 6.8.17

Bill Gross remains less than optimistic; Amazon wants to eat your lunch; Paul Singer is a “pain in the ass”; weed pizza; and more.

Source: AP

Opening Bell: 6.30.17

Warren Buffett just made a few bucks on Bank of America; hedge funds did naughty things with hot IPO shares; Goop vs Infowars; flying weiners; and more.

(Getty Images)

Opening Bell: 9.28.17

Hugh Hefner headed to that playboy mansion in the sky; guy accused of stealing secrets from Google for Uber started an AI-based religion; Lyft nears IPO; killer clown mystery solved; and more.

Twinkie Trump

Opening Bell 5.25.18

Regulation Rollbacks; Amazon Eavesdrops; Crematorium Cannons and More!

Opening Bell: 10.21.15

Weight Watchers creams short-sellers; European officials want Symphony probed; Perella Weinberg sues ex partners; "Have a ball (or a a few) at Syracuse’s Testical Festival"; and more.

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Opening Bell: 9.18.18

China ready to fire back on trade; Gary Cohn loves justice; People willing to bank with Amazon; Billionaire paying Elon Mush to shoot him to the moon; and more!