Opening Bell: 7.12.17

Gary Cohn could actually be Fed chief; Paul Singer wants to see Warren Buffett talk dirty; your sous-vide circulator doubles as a pawn in a global bot war; and more.
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Sources: Cohn is Trump’s top candidate to replace Yellen at Fed (Politico)
“It’s Gary’s if he wants it, and I think he wants it,” one Republican close to the selection process said. A senior congressional GOP aide said that while a few Senate Republicans might express reservations about Cohn, he would probably receive widespread support. “He would be easily confirmed," this person said. "Most of our conservative members like him."

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Pimco's CIO Says Trump Jr. Controversy Alters Market Outlook (BBG)
“We’re becoming a bit more cautious about the possibility of meaningful legislation,” Ivascyn said Tuesday in a telephone interview from his office in Newport Beach, California. “These types of distractions are just going to make it even more difficult to gain consensus.”

One Game Warren Buffett Doesn’t Play: Chicken (WSJ)
Berkshire watchers said the company is unlikely to raise its initial bid. “His trump card is his willingness to walk away,” said David Rolfe, chief investment officer at Wedgewood Partners, which manages about $6 billion and holds Berkshire shares, referring to Mr. Buffett. “He does not have a history of bidding-type competitions, and he typically has played a pretty strong hand.”

BUT ALSO Paul Singer Could Finally Get Warren Buffett to Punch Back (BBG)
“You don’t make $40 billion by being Mr. Rogers or by being one of the Muppets.”

Man charged in mailing of severed finger, fake bomb to IRS (AP)
68-year-old Normand Lariviere was charged with mailing a threat to injure after IRS workers in Ogden, Utah discovered a package containing a fake bomb July 6. Charging papers say he also sent his finger, a bullet and a marijuana joint to tax collectors in 2016.

Vinicultural Analysis (Polemic's Pains)
Today I sold US stock indices. Why? Well, here I have a choice. I can list some complex arguments including charts, spreadsheets, numbers, political insight, positioning information and all sorts of things but is there any point? Explaining why you have put on trades is much like explaining why you like a wine. You only do so if you want others to try it or buy it.

Wells Fargo trims auto loans as market cools, risk overhaul kicks in (Retuers)
Wells, which was the No. 2 U.S. provider of auto loans less than a year ago, has already cut quarterly originations by nearly 30 percent over the nine months leading into March 31, according to a May 11 company presentation. It has also begun consolidating the collections operation in a move that people familiar with the business say could eliminate hundreds of jobs, after a new head of auto finance took the reins in April.

Theranos is considering renting out its headquarters (BI)
If Theranos were able to sublease the entire Palo Alto location, the employees located there would likely move to the Newark facility, a Theranos spokeswoman told Business Insider. In January, Theranos laid off 41% of its staff, with 220 remaining.

Visa Takes War on Cash to Restaurants (WSJ)

The company is announcing the initiative this week as part of a broader effort to steer Americans away from using old-fashioned paper money. Visa says it is planning to give $10,000 apiece to up to 50 restaurants and food vendors to pay for their technology and marketing costs, as long as the businesses pledge to start what Visa executive Jack Forestell calls a “journey to cashless.” “We’re really viewing this as the opening salvo,” said Mr. Forestell, Visa’s global head of merchant solutions, of the potential total $500,000 commitment.

I’m So Excited to Precision-Cook My Meat While Also Attacking Websites Around the World (Select All)
I didn’t just buy a sous-vide circulator, I also bought what could very likely turn into a new zombie member of a botnet nobody knows about yet. A botnet, to refresh your memory, is a group of many disparate internet-enabled computers whose security has been remotely compromised, enabling hackers to network them together and use their combined power for nefarious purposes.

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cohnilton

Opening Bell: 5.31.17

Gary Cohn wants to run the Fed; Morgan Stanley wants to turn its advisers into cyborgs; getting attacked by a bear looks pretty cool, actually; and more.

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Opening Bell: 8.21.17

Paul Singer upstages Warren Buffett; Goldman looking for commodities traders who can actually make money; Carl Icahn's DC misadventures; seriously, don't look at your phone while driving; 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.

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Opening Bell: 5.8.17

Warren Buffett said some things; Goldman kicks the Volcker can a bit farther; Ukraine deems Steven Seagal a national security threat; and more.