Opening Bell: 10.23.17

Fidelity managers aren't very nice; Saudi Arabia regrets Uber investment; Jordan Belfort thinks ICOs are a scam; the universe shouldn't exist; and more.
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At Fidelity, New Fallout From Claims of Sexual Harassment, Bullying (WSJ)
Multiple employees have complained to superiors and the company’s human-resources department about sexual harassment and other abusive behavior by portfolio managers at the equity division, according to people familiar with the matter. Those complaints have alleged disparaging remarks about appearance and sexual innuendo toward women, as well as bullying of both genders. Complaints have led to firings of at least three portfolio managers over the past six years, people familiar with the terminations said.

FidelitySign

Ill-Timed Uber Investment Roils a Giant Saudi Fund (WSJ)
Just after the PIF gave Uber $3.5 billion last year, the car-hailing company’s chief resigned under misconduct allegations. And the PIF’s investment gave Uber more help in trying to undercut a local company that was a successful PIF investment. More recently, the PIF’s chairman has been pushing back against parts of a deal with the biggest PIF partner, SoftBank Group Corp., that would cut Uber’s value, which would force the PIF to take a loss.

ADP squares up for fight with activist investor Bill Ackman (FT)
“He said: I know you don’t like the media, but I do and I’m really good at it,” Mr Rodriguez said. “And if this gets into a public battle, it’s going to be bad for you personally, it’s going to be bad for the company, but I’m fine with it because — and he said this — I’m told that I’m only second to Donald Trump in terms of number of clicks on the internet, and hence you will lose if there’s a public relations battle.”

The Finger-Pointing at the Finance Firm TIAA (NYT)
TIAA advisers receive more money if they put clients into what the company calls complexity products — in-house offerings like annuities and life insurance as well as costlier private asset management accounts and fee-based Portfolio Advisor accounts. This creates an incentive, former employees said, for sales representatives to push retiring professors or administrators to move money from their institutional plan, with annual costs of around 0.3 percent, to managed accounts charging fees of 0.7 percent to 1 percent.

‘Wolf of Wall Street’ warns of impending cryptocurrencies ‘scam’ (FT)
“Everyone and their grandmother wants to jump in right now,” he said. “I’m not saying there’s something wrong with the idea of cryptocurrencies, or even tulip bulbs. It’s the people who will then get involved and bastardise the idea.” SEE ALSO: Only One in 10 Tokens Is In Use Following Initial Coin Offerings

Former Energy Trader Goes All-In on Bitcoin (WSJ)
J. Robert Collins Jr. spent most of the past 25 years trading commodities. He nearly went broke a decade ago in one of the biggest energy hedge-fund meltdowns, before raiding his retirement savings to make some of it back. Now Mr. Collins, known as “Bo,” is making a big bet on something that makes commodity trading look almost tame: the roaring market for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Next month, Mr. Collins plans to open up to outside investors his new cryptocurrency fund, which he called Morpheus Asset Strategies after a character in the dystopian film “The Matrix.”

Tax Cuts, Fed Chair, The Dollar And Bonds. En Garde. (Mark Dow)
Often when there is an “event”, like naming a new Fed chair, it forces markets to reappraise their views and positioning. In efficient markets, this should be discounted in advance. And sometimes it partially is. But, over my career, far too often somewhat random and sometimes disconnected events have this catalytic effect. Naming new leadership against the above backdrop is the kind of thing that could trigger it.

Universe shouldn’t exist, CERN physicists conclude (Cosmos)
“All of our observations find a complete symmetry between matter and antimatter, which is why the universe should not actually exist,” says Christian Smorra, a physicist at CERN’s Baryon–Antibaryon Symmetry Experiment (BASE) collaboration. “An asymmetry must exist here somewhere but we simply do not understand where the difference is.”

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