Opening Bell: 5.19.17

Ray Dalio ponders impeachment; Leon Cooperman lives to trade again; murder trial hinges on Florida man's endowment; and more.
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The world's largest hedge fund told clients that US stocks may drop 11% if Trump is impeached (BI)
"Wednesday's market action was a big one-day move, but not a material repricing of likely outcomes," the note said. "While the change in pricing was not big, it was consistent with higher odds of the administration getting bogged down and higher risks of it being unable to deal with any potential shocks effectively."

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Leon Cooperman’s Hedge Fund Settles Insider Trading Case (NYT)
Unlike other hedge fund managers who have reached settlements with the Securities and Exchange Commission in insider trading cases, Mr. Cooperman is not admitting any wrongdoing. Significantly, he will not be barred from the securities industry.

The Giddy Messages Citi Traders Sent While Lehman Died (BBG)
"Ringing the register, homey,” Thomas Giardi, a trader in the bank’s credit derivatives trading unit, said in a chat message at 6:40 a.m. on Sept. 17, two days after Lehman’s bankruptcy. Subject line: "YOU MAKING $$$."

Anthony Scaramucci, Hedge Fund Showman, Finds Himself in Limbo (NYT)
On Thursday, William A. Ackman, the billionaire investor who has had a two-year losing streak, described how he was “extremely humbled” by his losses. Mr. Scaramucci, who was interviewing him, said he empathized. “Unfortunately, I have been there,” Mr. Scaramucci said.

Humbled by Valeant, Ackman goes back to basics (Reuters)
"The next investment you will hear from us isn’t going to be some successful company trading near its highs," Ackman said. "It’s going to be a huge opportunity for efficiency, better deployment of capital, a change in strategy, some management changes needed, but the business quality is going to be extremely high."

Virtue is its Own Reward: Or, One Man’s Ceiling is Another Man’s Floor (AQR)
Frankly, it sucks that the virtuous have to accept a lower expected return to do good, and perhaps sucks even more that they have to accept the sinful getting a higher one. Well, embrace the suck as without it there is no effect on the world, no good deed done at all. Perhaps this necessary sacrifice is why it’s called “virtue.”

We Recorded VCs’ Conversations and Analyzed How Differently They Talk About Female Entrepreneurs (HBR)
Men were characterized as having entrepreneurial potential, while the entrepreneurial potential for women was diminished. Many of the young men and women were described as being young, though youth for men was viewed as promising, while young women were considered inexperienced. Men were praised for being viewed as aggressive or arrogant, while women’s experience and excitement were tempered by discussions of their emotional shortcomings. Similarly, cautiousness was viewed very differently depending on the gender of the entrepreneur. Unsurprisingly, these stereotypes seem to have played a role in who got funding and who didn’t.

The Volatility Buyer Known as '50 Cent' Just Had a Huge Payday [or not] (BBG)
“Depending on how 50 Cent has structured the hedge, [they] may never actually monetize the position, simply continuing to roll the VIX calls and enjoying the mark-to-market gains during times of turbulence,” Chintawongvanich wrote in a note to clients Thursday. “However, if they do intend to monetize at some point, we think they require a much larger move in VIX futures than we have seen so far (we would think at least until June future trade 20+).”

Never Mind the Ferrari Showroom, Bank Regulators Call This a Poor Neighborhood (WSJ)
To any casual observer, the area just south of Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan is obviously wealthy: The blocks are crowded with skyscrapers, and stores include Versace and Ferrari. Diners can pick at the foie gras and caviar on La Grenouille’s $172 prix-fixe dinner menu. In the eyes of federal-bank regulations, though, that sliver of New York City is a poor neighborhood where median incomes are relatively low.

Tesla factory workers reveal pain, injury and stress: 'Everything feels like the future but us' (Guardian)
“We’re a money-losing company,” Musk added. “This is not some situation where, for example, we are just greedy capitalists who decided to skimp on safety in order to have more profits and dividends and that kind of thing. It’s just a question of how much money we lose. And how do we survive? How do we not die and have everyone lose their jobs?” [NB: TSLA up 2.27% after publication Thursday]

How to Eat Like a Goldman Exec (BBG)
As much as the food, Solomon is devoted to wine. He has a deep cellar and brings a bottle to restaurants when he goes out socially. “Wine list prices are crazy right now,” he says. “I prefer to bring something with me.”

Man hopes showing his penis to jury will save him from a murder conviction (Miami Herald)
“We did argue that the penis should be erect because the state of the penis, whether it was erect or flaccid, is an issue in this particular case ... The defense feels that it is not [relevant], and we’ll have to hear the testimony of Dr. Wright to determine if it is.”

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