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Opening Bell: 9.19.17

Maybe we've got this whole QE unwind thing backwards; Bill Gross is merely average; the sharing economy comes to sex dolls; and more.
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Wall Street’s Bond Gurus Have the Fed’s Balance-Sheet Unwind All Wrong (BBG)
“During QE, the important thing was the signaling effect -- the Fed was going to come in and reflate the economy, provide stimulus and higher rates of growth, and dissuade people from owning Treasuries and force them into other markets,” said Brian Nick, the chief investment strategist at TIAA Investments. “Now on the way out, if the idea is that the Fed is not as stimulative as it once was, it might have the effect of depressing” bond yields.

Bond King Bill Gross Falls to the Middle of the Pack (Businessweek)
Weil has called Gross “the best fixed-income investor on planet Earth,” but he’s said issues such as the Pimco lawsuit worked against him. “I did go to Bill and say, ‘It looks like every time you punch them you punch yourself, and maybe we ought to consider how much we like that,’ ” Weil said in a June conversation with Bloomberg News. “Bill said, ‘If you know anything about me, I’m a fighter, and if I don’t think they’re treating me right, I’ll make my case.’ That’s his business. It’s not our business.”

Fixing the ‘Brain Damage’ Caused by the I.P.O. Process (NYT)
Perhaps the most unusual part of his exchange’s approach — which is still working to get approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission — is how much influence and voting power investors would have over companies. Currently, an investor who owns one share for a month, or even a day, has the same voting power as someone who has owned a share for years. Mr. Ries wants what he calls “tourists” — short-term shareholders — to have less voting power than long-term shareholders, whom he calls “citizens of the republic.” Over time, shareholders of companies on the LTSE would gain more votes based on their length of ownership.

The Most Overpriced Asset In The World? (Macro Tourist)
Paying the German government 69 basis points for the privilege of allowing them to hold your money over the next two years might go down as one of the dumbest trades in the history of finance. Negative rates are one of the great perversions of modern monetary theory. They should have been avoided at all cost, but instead they were embraced throughout Europe and Japan. But just because something is asinine doesn’t mean that shorting it is wise.

People thought they caught JPMorgan buying bitcoin after Jamie Dimon called it a 'fraud' — but that's not what happened (BI)
"They are not JPMorgan orders," a spokesman said in an email to Business Insider. "These are clients purchasing third party products directly." In other words, JPMorgan asset managers weren't buying this product for their clients. Rather, the bank's clients were using JPMorgan's pipes to buy it themselves.

What is ‘Utility Settlement Coin’ really? (FT Alphaville)
On paper, the technology promises to un-encumber cash collateral by creating a much more reliable form of distributed settlement, requiring a fraction of the collateral needed to operate a comparable centralised system. Yet for any of this to work, central banks and lawmakers would have to buy into the theory that blockchain really is a magical panacea to the settlement and squaring problem.

Hubbard’s Ties to Ackman May Pose Conflict in ADP Proxy Battle (BBG)
Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School, has had a complicated relationship with Bill Ackman. Hubbard has been an expert witness for Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management, making $1,500 an hour this year to help the hedge fund fend off an ongoing shareholder lawsuit, according to regulatory filings and court records. The dean is also a director at Automatic Data Processing Inc., where Ackman is waging an acrimonious proxy battle to win three board seats, including Hubbard’s.

Money, Power, and Deer Urine (New Yorker)
The plan’s disparate treatment of urine and meat is an example of what economists call regulatory capture: the process by which regulators, who are supposed to pursue solely the public interest, instead become solicitous of the very industries they regulate. Such industries typically use enormous amounts of money and political power to influence every detail of regulation. For Schuler, it’s not practical to forbid hunters to return with prey from the West, but banning the sale of deer urine is easy. It’s also, politically, far less risky. But it doesn’t serve the interests of the people—or the deer—of New York.

Sex doll sharing app launches in Beijing (Global Times)
In the sharing economy of the Wild East it seems anything is rentable. A newly-launched app in China is proving this with its offering of shared sex dolls. Xiamen-based app developer Touch announced Wednesday that it has started a limited trial run in Beijing that allows users to choose a plastic partner for home delivery. The app tries to address any health concerns by explaining its hygiene policy. "The dolls' lower parts are changed for every customer," reads the app. "Please remove the lower parts before returning. After the lower parts are cleaned, the doll can be used repeatedly."

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