Opening Bell: 7.28.17

Barclays hits the skids; Scaramucci gets a few things off his chest; robbing bank, stripping nude and throwing cash actually comedy routine, says guy; and more.
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Barclays Reports ‘Pretty Good Progress,’ and a $1.8 Billion Loss (NYT)
The bank has moved aggressively to get rid of businesses that it does not consider to be core future operations and to resolve misconduct issues that have dragged on its results, and costs from these efforts pushed it into a loss in the second quarter. Barclays said on Friday that it had taken charges associated with selling much of its African business and with a controversial insurance product that has weighed on the results of British banks. Despite the loss, James E. Staley, the Barclays chief executive, said on a conference call with journalists that the bank was “showing pretty good progress.”

Anthony Scaramucci Called Me to Unload About White House Leakers, Reince Priebus, and Steve Bannon (New Yorker)
Scaramucci also told me that, unlike other senior officials, he had no interest in media attention. “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock,” he said, speaking of Trump’s chief strategist. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the President. I’m here to serve the country.” ...I got the sense that Scaramucci’s campaign against leakers flows from his intense loyalty to Trump. Unlike other Trump advisers, I’ve never heard him say a bad word about the President. “What I want to do is I want to fucking kill all the leakers and I want to get the President’s agenda on track so we can succeed for the American people,” he told me.

Factbox: Scaramucci's financial potpourri - baseball, movies, diet shakes (Reuters)
A love of entertainment, particularly the Hollywood kind, is also apparent. Investments include a $50,001 to $100,000 stake in the film company behind "American Psycho" and "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps." According to media reports, Scaramucci paid $100,000 to have himself and SkyBridge make appearances in the 2010 sequel to the 1987 Oliver Stone-produced hit, "Wall Street."Scaramucci, the document shows, is a financial backer of "Crazy for the Boys," a movie in production about a group of high school girls who take a stand against bullying.

A JPMorgan quant may have dropped the whole market with report comparing today's risks to 1987 (CNBC)
"It is safe to say that volatility has reached all-time lows, and this should give pause to equity managers," quantitative and derivative strategist Marko Kolanovic wrote in a note clients Thursday. "Low volatility would not be a problem if not for strategies that increase leverage when volatility declines. Many of these strategies (option hedging, Volatility targeting, CTAs, Risk Parity, etc.) share similar features with the dynamic 'portfolio insurance' of 1987." Some traders cited the circulation of Kolanovic's note on trading floors as part of the reason why stocks rolled over midday Thursday.

Will whistleblowers pay the price of Barclays case? (FT)
With the UK’s two main financial regulators investigating both the bank and its American chief executive over the incident and gearing up to publish the results this autumn, Mr Staley is not yet in the clear. One colleague estimates he only has a 50-50 chance of surviving.

GE’s Jeffrey Immelt Is on Uber's CEO Shortlist (BBG)
There are fewer than six names on the ride-hailing company’s shortlist, Uber’s head of human resources told employees on Tuesday. Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., is another person who had been under consideration for the CEO job, people familiar with the matter said this week. Whitman publicly withdrew her name from consideration Thursday night, saying via Twitter that she won’t be Uber’s CEO. “We have a lot of work still to do at HPE,” she wrote. Uber and GE declined to comment.

Hedge Funders Lose at Charity Poker to Morgan Stanley Newbie (BBG)
As his prize, Sawyer selected dinner for eight at Rao’s after taking down his last opponent with three jacks around 1 a.m. Thursday at New York’s Gotham Hall. He said he’d last played in his teens and had prepared for this contest by looking up the rules on the internet.

Wells Fargo Broadsided Anew With an Auto Insurance Sales Scandal (BBG)
An internal review of the bank’s auto lending found more than 500,000 clients may have unwittingly paid for protection against vehicle loss or damage while making monthly loan payments, even though many drivers already had their own policies, Wells Fargo said in a statement late Thursday. The firm said it may pay as much as $80 million to affected clients -- with extra money for as many as 20,000 who lost cars, “as an expression of our regret.”

Are successful entrepreneurs #actually middle-aged (on average)? (FT Alphaville)
Return the Corvette, stop eating voguish green grotesqueries, ignore the creeping existential dread.* You’ve got a company to found and your banal midlife crisis will have to wait. An upcoming NBER paper from Pierre Azoulay, Ben Jones, Daniel Kim, and Javier Miranda reveals that the average age of US startup founders between 2007 and 2014 was a mature 41.9 years old.

Bank robber strips naked and runs down Las Olas Boulevard tossing money, FBI says (Sun-Sentinel)
After his arrest, Sperber told a special agent that when he woke up Tuesday morning, he “decided to rob a bank, flee by running naked down the street while throwing the money stolen during the bank robbery to people, in order to begin his career as a comedian,” the FBI said.

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