Now Advising China’s State Firms: The Communist Party (WSJ)
Since 2016, at least 32 Chinese state-owned companies or units listed in Hong Kong have proposed changes to their corporate structures to install Communist Party committees that advise their boards of directors. The moves, most coming in recent months, are prompting questions from market participants about who holds power at these companies, and whether they will be run for the benefit of investors.
Retirement Rule Casualty: Brokers’ Mutual-Fund Offerings (WSJ)
Large brokerage firms typically offer thousands of mutual funds to clients. But compliance demands of the fiduciary rule, which began to take effect in June and requires stewards of tax-advantaged retirement savings to act in clients’ best interests rather than their own, are causing some firms to review their offerings. Conducting the due diligence and documentation required on so many investments can be onerous, and under the rule, some firms may face increased litigation risks. As a result, brokerages may remove some funds—including those with higher fees or those that present perceived risks—from their sales platforms.
Wall Street Trader Chris Arnade Seeks Redemption for ‘Intellectual Grift’ (WSJ)
He moved in 2006 to Citigroup Inc.’s proprietary trading desk, where he wagered as much as $100 million on single trades in government bonds and currencies. The move boosted his stress. “I used to wake up some mornings and have to vomit,” he says. Mr. Arnade lost money in the 2008 financial crisis—his only down year in two decades—but that wasn’t what turned him off trading. “The thing that got to him was hearing [traders] who had lost millions and gotten bailed out complaining that Obamacare raised their taxes,” Mr. Lox says.
From Google to Yahoo, Tech Grapples With White Male Discontent (BBG)
In the Yahoo case, Scott Ard, an editor for the company’s auto, shopping and small business portals until January 2015, alleged that Mayer encouraged supervisors to evaluate employees using “subjective biases and personal opinions, to the detriment of Yahoo’s male employees.” Women eventually accounted for more than 80 percent of the top management positions in the media division, according to the suit.
U.S. Default? Unlikely, But Bond Traders Are Taking No Chances (BBG)
While Republican leaders are confident their party can set aside its differences to resolve the latest debt-limit impasse before the clock runs out sometime between late September and mid-October, investors are shying away from Treasury bills earlier than they have in the past. Last month, they pushed up costs at a sale of three-month bills to the highest since 2008.
Angry Birds Set to Lay Golden Egg With $2 Billion IPO Value (BBG)
The angry birds at Rovio Entertainment Oy are set to lay a golden egg for the company’s founders. The firm is planning an initial public offering as early as next month that could value the maker of the Angry Birds mobile games and movie at about $2 billion, said people familiar with the matter. The company could raise about $400 million from a local market listing, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details aren’t public. No final decisions have been made and the company could also choose to stay private for longer, they said.
AirDropping penis pics is the latest horrifying subway trend (NYP)
New York women have discovered that creepy men are using the iPhone AirDrop app to send them photos of their privates while on the same train. Since more straphangers using the MTA are carrying advanced iPhones and awareness of the AirDrop app has increased, local straphangers have started noticing a troubling trend first reported in London in 2015.
Uber Board Considers 3 Investment Offers to Buy Company’s Shares (NYT)
Two of the three proposals include buying shares at a discount to Uber’s valuation, but also provide a face-saving way for the company to maintain its $68.5 billion value. Dragoneer’s investment coalition wants to buy out shareholders at a discount to Uber’s current valuation, and SoftBank is offering to buy shares at a lower valuation as well. But both groups would also purchase a small amount of new shares at Uber’s current valuation to keep the company’s value propped up on paper.
Private equity firms’ lawyers get creative (FT)
Apollo Global Management has developed the reputation as the most creative and tenacious fighter in battles with credit investors. Creditors are so sensitive to Apollo that the debt of its portfolio companies is priced to reflect the anticipation of a brawl down the road should the company falter. At a recent creditor conference, one banker noted that Apollo’s rivals were now pondering the question, “What would Apollo do?”
Record ETF inflows fuel price bubble fears (FT)
“When the management of assets is on autopilot, as it is with ETFs, then investment trends can go to great excess,” said Howard Marks, co-founder of Oaktree Capital, the $100bn US alternative investment manager. He cautioned that ETFs’ promise of ample liquidity has yet to be tested in a major bear market. “It is not clear where ETFs and index mutual funds will find buyers for their holdings if they have to sell in a crunch,” said Mr Marks.
Some of the world's largest hedge funds are getting crushed (BI)
Some of the world's largest hedge funds have lost money this year – or made barely any – even as markets have hit record highs. The funds are run by firms including Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund firm in the world, and Two Sigma, one of the fastest-growing firms.
NYC Transit Union Claims The MTA Holds Dead Bodies In Worker Break Rooms (Jalopnik)
What’s even more fucked up is that the bodies are reportedly left out in the open with no warnings to workers and no locked doors. At any given moment, a worker could walk into room and find a body, or pieces of a body with no warning...“You have pieces, you have blood spatter,” said Derek Echevarria, the vice president of TWU Local 100. “It could be any contamination or disease.”