Opening Bell: 7.26.17

Gary Cohn might finally get that Fed chair he always wanted; bankers are quitting in search of digital coin riches; here's one way to tip your Uber driver; and more.
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Trump Eyes Tax-Code Overhaul, With Emphasis on Middle-Class Break (WSJ)
Asked if Mr. Cohn was a candidate to become the next Federal Reserve chairman, Mr. Trump said, “He doesn’t know this, but yes, he is.” He said he would wait until the end of the year to make a decision, even if it would require a confirmation hearing. He predicted that such a process would “go quickly.” “I’ve known Gary for a long time, but I’ve gained great respect for Gary working with him,” Mr. Trump said. “So Gary certainly would be in the mix.” Mr. Cohn responded by laughing, and placing his hands over his ears. “This is an interview with the president,” he said, declining additional comment.

Cohn.Trump.Puppet

Uber’s New CEO Short List Is Said to Include HPE’s Meg Whitman (BBG)
The San Francisco company has a short list of fewer than six CEO candidates, according to two employees, who attended a staff meeting where the plans were discussed. Liane Hornsey, Uber’s head of human resources, told employees she believes the company could hire a new CEO within six weeks, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private.

Bankers Ditch Fat Salaries to Chase Digital Currency Riches (BBG)
Former HSBC forex-trading architect Hugh Madden, currently Chief Technology Officer of Hong Kong-based ANX International, this month helped raise about $18.7 million for cryptocurrency exchange OAX. He likens ICO-token ownership to a football club membership. You don’t get special access but as the team gets better, more people become fans and the price goes up. When a football club “builds more relationships with other clubs, gets more matches, and generally enjoys wider adoption, then more people want to be a part of it,” the 40-year-old said. “There is no limit to participants, but there is a limit to memberships that allow members to exert influence on the future direction of the club.”

Finally, There's A Dating App Just For Verified Twitter Users (BuzzFeed)
Loveflutter is a swiping dating app that links up to your Twitter and shows your tweets in your profile (egads). Now, the company is launching a new feature called "Blue" that allows verified Twitter users to browse and match with only other users with blue check marks. That's right, now you can date the people who reply to Trump tweets in long threads.

Rick Perry Got Punked in a Fake Interview With Russian Pranksters (BBG)
Energy Secretary Rick Perry thought he was talking about cyberhacking and a biofuel breakthrough in a call with Ukraine Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroisman. Alas, the 22-minute phone call was actually conducted with Russian pranksters.

A $13 billion hedge fund is sounding the alarm on one of the biggest trends in investing (BI)
Portfolio insurance contributed "to the complacency as the market ascended to nosebleed territory and most definitely contributed to the downward spiral of that fateful Friday, Monday, and Tuesday in October 1987...The strategies employed by many of today's quant and other systematic investors are essentially the same thing," Jacobson wrote. "They weight securities or asset classes based upon their 'risk' as measured by volatility. Much like portfolio insurance, this strategy gives the purveyor the comfort to take more risk than he or she would otherwise take, and 'works' well in benign markets."

Maybe We’ve Been Thinking About the Productivity Slump All Wrong (NYT)
In this way of thinking about productivity, inventors and business innovators are always cooking up better ways to do things, but it takes a labor shortage and high wages to coax firms to deploy the investment it takes to actually put those innovations into widespread use.

Ex-Wives and Kids’ Schools: Digging for Dirt on Chinese Stocks Gets Personal (WSJ)
Some companies in China are getting wise to on-the-ground visits. Sean Chen, director of strategy at Blackpeak Group, a research and risk-advisory firm, said that while investigating one company listed on the mainland, his team found one of its factories in Guangdong empty. “When we asked the security guards of the neighboring factory, they told us that a few days prior to our own visit, the company had offered to pay 100 yuan ($14.80) to local villagers to come to the factory, wear hard hats and pretend to be workers to impress some [other] foreigner investors who were visiting,” Mr. Chen said.

The Uber ride from hell: Horrified passenger films 'intoxicated prostitute in the front seat performing oral sex on driver - and all company did was offer $10 credit'
The horrified customer posted footage of the 'most dangerous and inappropriate ride ever' on social media after the incident in Chicago around 3am on July 17. In the clip, a woman is seen kissing the driver and then lowering her head into his lap, while mood music plays over the stereo.

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