Sempra Energy gatecrashes Warren Buffett’s Oncor deal (FT)
Elliott had vowed to oppose the $18bn offer, including debt, made in July by Mr Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, arguing it was too low and not in creditors’ interest, these people added.[...] A person close to Sempra said the California group viewed the public fight between Berkshire and Elliott as an opportunity to emerge as a “white knight” for EFH, which went bankrupt in 2014 but still controls 80 per cent of Oncor.
Goldman Sachs Seeks Stars to Revive Commodities Unit (BBG)
The bank will bring in a few high-profile commodities salesmen as well as some traders, an acknowledgment that the roughly 180-person unit’s performance has suffered in recent years from failures to replace senior talent as it cut costs, people familiar with the strategy said. The firm also is enlisting its top rainmakers to pitch corporate clients in the energy, power, and metals and mining industries, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the firm hasn’t publicly discussed the plan.
Mnuchin Keeps the Economic Agenda Ticking as He Defends Trump (BBG)
Mnuchin is heading into a busy September. He’s told Congress that it is “critical” to raise the debt limit by Sept. 29. Yet turmoil inside the White House -- combined with Trump’s often combative relationship with the Republican-controlled Congress -- has Goldman Sachs economists expecting a “more unpredictable than usual” debt-limit debate.
Jeff Immelt has emerged as the front-runner to become Uber’s CEO (Recode)
“He certainly is not someone anyone can push around easily, which is probably his best characteristic,” said one source. “We all know Immelt’s not the dynamic entrepreneur that Travis is, but he can certainly settle things down.” Another source added that Immelt is also a known quantity to investors and Wall Street, as well as among techies, which would help greatly when Uber prepares to go public in the coming few years. “Even if Uber sold itself, Jeff could handle that too,” the source said.
Carl Icahn’s Failed Raid on Washington (New Yorker)
When Scott Pruitt visited Trump Tower to discuss the top job at the E.P.A., the President-elect concluded the interview by instructing him to walk two blocks uptown to meet with Icahn. Trump, according to a Bloomberg News account, told him, “He has some questions for you.” Pruitt was precisely the sort of candidate that Icahn might favor. A fierce opponent of environmental regulation, Pruitt had spent years, as the attorney general of Oklahoma, suing the agency that he was now in talks to oversee. Even so, Pruitt knew that Icahn would likely want to discuss one particular issue—rin credits—and as Pruitt and an aide headed up Fifth Avenue they searched the Internet for information on the credits system and its impact on Icahn’s refiner. Pruitt was nominated on December 8th.
A hedge fund has raised $100 million to make bets based on other hedge funds (BI)
A new hedge fund has raised over $100 million and plans to use troves of data from other managers to select its investments. Epsilon Asset Management plans to scrape decades of regulatory documents to analyze positions of other active managers and turn these into investment strategies for institutional clients, cofounder Faryan Amir-Ghassemi told Business Insider.
Speculation in a Truth Chamber (Philosophical Economics)
A simple way to force our thinking to be more truthful, then, is to tie it to an act of speculation–not necessarily in the literal sense of placing actual bets on our beliefs, but in the imaginary sense of envisioning ourselves having to place bets on them, and observing how our stances change. For any issue that we might be confronted with, if we want to get ourselves to think about the issue in a more truthful way, free from the emotional biases and distracting incentives that tend to lead us astray, what we need to do is imagine ourselves in a situation where we are forced to speculate on it, with real consequences to be decided by whether we speculate correctly. In that state of mind, truth will become our primary focus.
SEC to Drop Civil Charges Against Two Ex-J.P. Morgan ‘London Whale’ Traders (WSJ)
The government cases relied on a key witness, Bruno Iksil, who worked alongside Messrs. Martin-Artajo and Grout. Mr. Iksil, nicknamed the “London Whale” for his outsize bets, agreed in 2013 to testify against his former co-workers for their then-alleged roles in hiding the losses. The one-paragraph filing Friday from the SEC doesn’t disclose the reason for the dismissal. But people familiar with the case said the move reflected concerns about Mr. Iksil, who in recent public statements and deposition testimony stated the defendants hadn’t engaged in mismarking and had acted with assent from senior management. That potentially contradicted the government’s theory of the case, these people said.
Big Idiot Drives Into Even Bigger Sinkhole Because He Was Staring at His Phone (Gizmodo)
There are a lot of reasons not to stare at your phone while you’re driving. A little kid might jump into the road, a car in front of you might have to stop unexpectedly, or a giant fucking sinkhole might swallow the entire road. A man in China learned that last one the hard way recently.