Opening Bell: 5.4.17

Goldman probed for being good at Treasury auctions; Morgan Stanley ditches Vanguard funds; Elon Musk is a child; and more.
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Goldman Sachs win streak is focus of Treasury-rigging probe (NYP)
“They didn’t lose many bids,” one person who has seen the bid data told The Post. The prices Goldman offered for Treasury bonds “would be very close” but just above offers from other banks, and typically arrived “at the end of the auction.”

‘Government Sachs’ Thrives at Milken as Billionaires Talk Trump (BBG)
Billionaire hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin, who arrived at Mnuchin’s session about 15 minutes late, was denied entry because the room was at capacity. “Did he say anything yet?” Griffin asked the security guard at the door.

As Inventor of Subprime Car Loans Exits, Critics Smell a Lemon (BBG)
When Don Foss was inducted into his industry’s hall of fame in 2015, he was adamant he wasn’t retiring. Addressing a Las Vegas audience of easy-credit used-car dealers, he said, “I’m just getting started.” Last summer, however, the 72-year-old billionaire sold Carite Corp., a chain of used-car dealerships that he founded in 2011. In January he stepped down as chairman of Credit Acceptance Corp., the company he started in 1972 that pioneered extending auto loans to customers with rock-bottom credit scores or none at all. A month after he left, he sold a big chunk of his Credit Acceptance shares for $128 million.

Morgan Stanley Purges Vanguard Mutual Funds (AdvisorHub)
Brokers and consultants said that Morgan Stanley is almost certainly retaliating against Vanguard because of the firm’s longstanding refusal to pay for brokerage firm “shelf space” as part of its crusade to keep expenses for investors low. Morgan Stanley continues to offer customers more than 2,300 fund products. Most of Vanguard’s competitors pay Morgan Stanley $250,000 to $850,000 annually in order to give their salespeople access to brokers at their offices, sales conferences and other company-sponsored venues.

Can you be a Fiduciary Without the Best Low Cost Options? (PragCap)
Wow. A brokerage firm purges the largest low cost fund manager on Earth from their platform. That’s amazing. This is like the food court in your local mall purging pizza. Which is a pretty good analogy for what a brokerage firm is these days.

Bringing professionalism to the Bank of Mum and Dad (FT)
So, if you could begin by filling out this form with all the details of your income, your outgoings, any outstanding debts and where the hell you were last night when we were trying to call you. Oh, and we may insist on regular drug and alcohol tests, just to protect our investment. Have a quick look. I’ll be back in a few minutes, when I’ve put the dishwasher on. Would you like some tea? Excellent, well, you know where the kettle is.

Fyre Festival organizers blew all their money early on models, planes, and yachts (VICE)
Only one model — “Gone Girl” actress Emily Ratajkowski — labeled her promotion as an ad, as required by the Federal Trade Commission. The other models’ omissions are now the subject of a class-action lawsuit.

Costs Of Overconfidence (Stumbling and Mumbling)
Overconfidence is likely to be more pronounced in settings where its strategic value is highest ie where measures of true ability are noisy, job competition is high and persuasion is an important part of success. Accordingly, we would expect overconfidence to be rife amongst high level professionals in business, finance, politics and law.

Elon Musk’s Desire for S-E-X Leads to Confusion With Model 3 (WSJ)
The chief executive of the Silicon Valley auto maker thought it would be funny for the names of his vehicle models to spell out something cool. He had the Model S sedan and Model X sport-utility vehicle. But when it came to naming a new, cheaper car, the Model E, Ford Motor Co. blocked Tesla over trademark issues. So he instead went with Model 3, which is essentially a backwards “E.”

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Falcone Agrees To Step Aside (WSJ) Hedge-fund manager Philip Falcone agreed to step aside eventually as the public face of his LightSquared Inc. venture, a concession that may keep the wireless-telecommunications company from defaulting on its debt, people familiar with the negotiations said. Mr. Falcone's compromise is expected to prompt LightSquared's lenders to approve a one-week extension on a debt-term violations waiver that expires Monday morning, the people said. If a deal is finalized, Mr. Falcone and LightSquared's lenders plan to continue negotiations for a longer extension of somewhere between 18 months and two years, the people said...Mr. Falcone has said he viewed bankruptcy as the "best way" for him to keep control of the company and keep it from creditors he believes want to "take control and flip" the firm. Occupy Wall Street Plans Global Disruption of Status Quo May 1 (Bloomberg) In New York, Occupy Wall Street will join scores of labor organizations observing May 1, traditionally recognized as International Workers’ Day. They plan marches from Union Square to Lower Manhattan and a “pop-up occupation” of Bryant Park on Sixth Avenue, across the street from Bank of America’s Corp.’s 55-story tower. “We call upon people to refrain from shopping, walk out of class, take the day off of work and other creative forms of resistance disrupting the status quo,” organizers said in an April 26 e-mail...Tomorrow, beginning at 8 a.m. in Bryant Park, scheduled events include teach-ins, art performances and a staging area for “direct action and civil disobedience,” such as bank blockades. RBS M&A Bankers Plan Boutique Spin-Off (Reuters) The bank, 82-percent owned by the British government, is exiting mergers and acquisitions as part of a restructuring announced in January aimed at reducing costs and exposure to areas of investment banking deemed risky by the authorities. Sources told Reuters last week that the M&A business would be spun off, with around 45 bankers from RBS joining the new firm led by John McIntyre, currently head of corporate finance for EMEA at the bank. Romney Holds Fund Raiser At John Paulson's House (TDB) FYI: A neighbor who witnessed the event from across the street described it to as a large crowd of “older white people, mostly men,” who started showing up around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Around 8 p.m., sirens started blaring as more and more people started to show. Hedge Funds Hurt By Volatility (WSJ) All told, U.S.-based funds that bet on and against stocks had a median return of -0.92% from April 1 through April 13, according to data from Morgan Stanley's MS -1.51% prime brokerage, after having returned 1.16% in March. Returns improved as the markets stabilized. Through April 26, the median return was down 0.03% for the month. City Mulls Happy Hour Ban (NYP) “It’s absolutely been discussed,” confirmed a department source. “It goes to show you the spirit with which they operate. Everyone is a child.” High-level conversations have gone beyond merely “throwing pencils on the ceiling and seeing what sticks,” another Health source revealed. Sources said the happy-hour ban is being pushed by the agency’s marathon-running boss, Commissioner Thomas Farley, and is serious enough for one source to say the alcohol lobby had better find itself a good lawyer. Agency spokesman Sam Miller denied existing “plans to pursue any policy around discount-alcohol sale.” Goldman: US Likely Added Only 125,000 Jobs in April (CNBC) The forecast is far lower than the Reuters estimate of 170,000, and the average 177,250 jobs created every month from December to March. Hedge Funds Bet Against Eurozone (FT) “The deeper balance of payments problems in the eurozone remain unresolved, and cannot be resolved by liquidity assistance alone,” noted Brevan Howard, Europe’s biggest global macro hedge fund in its last letter to investors. Shiller: We Are in Age of ‘Late Great Depression’ (CNBC) “Our whole economy has been affected by variations in confidence. Central banks are sort of trusted, but the actions they have often affect people’s confidence by appearance rather than substance. We’re not in the most trusting mood now,” Shiller said. Goldman’s O’Neill Reported Among Candidates for BOE Chief (Bloomberg) When asked in September 2007 if he would be interested in the role at a time when the government was considering whether to reappoint King, O’Neill told John Dawson onBloomberg Television that he couldn’t imagine that “anyone would be daft enough to offer it to me.” He added that he very much enjoyed his then job as head of global economic research at Goldman Sachs. Titanic II Planned by Billionaire Palmer in Chinese Yard (Bloomberg) Australian mining billionaire Clive Palmer plans to build a 21st-century replica of the Titanic and sail it from England to New York accompanied by the Chinese navy by the end of 2016. He has signed a first-stage agreement with Nanjing-based CSC Jinling Shipyard to build the ship as part of a planned fleet of luxury liners, the Gold Coast, Queensland-based businessman said in an e-mailed statement today.

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Opening Bell: 4.19.17

Morgan Stanley does victory lap around Goldman; Treasury Department wants your opinion on century bonds; which emoji makes the best sex toy?; and more.