Opening Bell: 11.16.17

Nelson Peltz wins recount (maybe); Wilbur Ross sued by former partners; Stephen Feinberg is gunning for Deutsche Bank; hot cop-on-cop action in Detroit; and more.
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It looks like Nelson Peltz might have won the biggest proxy battle in history after a recount (BI)
A little over a month ago, it seemed billionaire investor Nelson Peltz had been foiled in the biggest proxy battle in history. Now, after a recount, it looks like Peltz may have won his bid to claim a seat on the board of the $236 billion giant Procter & Gamble after all.

Wilbur Ross Sued Over Fees By Firm’s Former Executives (WSJ)
Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross and the firm he founded were sued by three of his former colleagues who say WL Ross & Co. pocketed management fees from the general partnerships that handled its private-equity investments. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in New York State court, claims WL Ross covertly took management fees from general partner entities that the investment firm was only allowed to charge to passive, outside investors.

Wall St. bankers secretly used chat rooms to rig Treasury bond trades: suit (NYP)
The new accusations, leveled by several pension funds and wealthy individual investors, are contained in an expanded class-action suit originally filed in July 2015 — and include an unusual twist: Some of the evidence came from confidential informants and one of the banks sued in the earlier action. That bank is now cooperating with the plaintiffs in the massive civil action, and is providing an in-depth look into how Wall Street allegedly conspired to rig Treasury bond trades.

The Reclusive Financier Moving From Weapons to German Banking (BBG)
Stephen Feinberg, the reclusive American financier, is probably best known for his connection to President Donald Trump, his firm’s brief ownership of Chrysler, its investments in distressed debt, and its involvement in weapons, from pistols to military aircraft. Add this surprise to Feinberg’s portfolio: Feinberg’s Cerberus Capital Management announced Wednesday it had taken a 3 percent stake in Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s biggest bank. Five months ago, it bought 5 percent of Commerzbank AG, the country’s second-biggest lender.

Leonardo da Vinci painting sells for $450m at auction, smashing records (Guardian)
The sale places Salvator Mundi as the highest-priced work sold privately or at auction, including Pablo Picasso’s 1955 Women of Algiers (Version O), sold for $179.4m, and Amedeo Modigliani’s 1917-18 Reclining Nude, sold for $170.4m. Record private sales are believed to include $250m for a painting by Paul Cézanne and $300m for a Paul Gauguin.

Did US Banks Try to Manipulate the Dodd-Frank Debate by Delaying Mortgage Foreclosures? (Pro Market)
We found that mortgage-servicing banks did indeed delay the start of foreclosures on delinquent loans if those loans were located in the electoral districts of House Financial Services Committee members. Importantly, there was no difference in delinquency rates in committee districts so this differential delay cannot be attributed to servicers’ capacity constraints under a large volume of delinquent loans.

NFL Accuses Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones of Damaging the League (WSJ)
The NFL accused Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones of trying to sabotage its contract negotiations with commissioner Roger Goodell, calling his conduct “detrimental to the league’s best interests.” That language, included in a letter sent to Jones’s attorney on Wednesday and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, escalates a growing conflict between the league and one of its most powerful owners. The letter says Jones’s “antics, whatever their motivation, are damaging the League.”

The Low Volatility Puzzle: Is This Time Different? (Liberty Street Blog)
What’s perhaps most striking about the preceding chart is the different behavior of long-dated risk premia in recent years versus the pre-crisis period in the mid-2000s. As the plot indicates, volatility risk premia were compressed across the curve in the period leading up to the financial crisis, consistent with the complacency story. In contrast, there is currently a larger wedge between short-dated and long-dated risk premia, suggesting that investors may understand that volatility may increase again in the future.

Detroit police officers fight each other in undercover op gone wrong (Fox 2 Detroit)
Sources say it started when two special ops officers from the 12th Precinct were operating a "push off." That's when two undercover officers pretend to be dope dealers, waiting for eager customers to approach, and then arrest potential buyers and seize their vehicles. But this time, instead of customers, special ops officers from the 11th Precinct showed up. Not realizing they were fellow officers, they ordered the other undercover officers to the ground. But instead of fighting crime, officers from both precincts began fighting with each other.

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Opening Bell: 7.17.17

Nelson Peltz wants a seat at P&G; France isn't being very laissez-faire about Brexit; Ayn Rand might not be the best management guru; and more.

(Getty Images)

Opening Bell: 1.26.17

Dutch regulator accidentally reveals Soros' shorts; Wilbur Ross is an emotionless business machine; a sex line for Afghan youths; and more.

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Opening Bell: 11.6.17

Goldman goes east; Saudi prince's arrest impacts Citi, Twitter investments; Wilbur Ross has a Putin problem; William Dudley to retire; and more.

Photo: Getty Images

Opening Bell: 6.21.16

Ackman releases first video in a series (!!) of videos about Herbalife; Wilbur Ross tells Brits to wake the bloody heck up; Memphis police searching for woman who stole stripper pole; and more.

By Agnico-Eagle (Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 9.19.16

Funds dump gold; Fed insider warns of risk of low rates; Twitter sued by investor over (lack of) growth; ‘Cannibal Cop’ says he’s a hot dish on the dating scene; and more.

Opening Bell: 9.11.15

David Tepper's got "problems with earnings growth, problems with multiples"; GE selling asset management arm; Standford hires econ gurus; "Cops: Woman concealed loaded gun in vagina"; and more.

Opening Bell: 03.21.12

Hartford Bows to Paulson Wish to Exit Annuity Business (WSJ, earlier) Bowing to pressure from hedge-fund titan John Paulson, Hartford Financial Services Group said Wednesday it would exit its annuity business and weigh a sale of a large portion of its life-insurance operation. The move will allow Hartford to focus on its property-casualty unit, where the company got its start more than 200 years ago, as well as its group benefits business and its "high return" mutual fund operation, Chief Executive Liam McGee said in a statement. The announcement marks a substantial change of strategy for Hartford, which has long resisted calls to separate its life insurer from its property-casualty arm. Mr. Paulson, whose hedge fund is Hartford's largest shareholder, became the latest to push for such a move when he took to the company's fourth-quarter-earnings call in February to criticize management and urge them to "do something drastic" to boost the share price. Bernanke As Professor Tries To Buff Fed's Image (NYT) Mr. Bernanke, one of the most powerful men in Washington, has agreed to moonlight as a college professor, delivering four lectures on central banking over the next two weeks. He also will read some student papers...“It always surprises you to realize that this guy actually exists and he’s not just on TV,” said Max Sanders, a 19-year-old from New York. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear lectures from him,” said Noah Wiviott, 21, of New Jersey. “He clearly knows what he’s talking about.” Not everyone, however, found him convincing. Yuqi Wu, a 20-year-old student from China, said she did not agree with Mr. Bernanke’s criticism of her government’s monetary policy. “I definitely support the Chinese government’s position,” she said. Buffett Seizes Lead in Bet on Stocks Beating Hedge Funds (Bloomberg) Warren Buffett made a friendly bet four years ago that funds that invest in hedge funds for their clients couldn’t beat the stock market over a decade. So far he’s winning. The wager that began on Jan. 1, 2008, pits the Omaha, Nebraska, billionaire against Protégé Partners LLC, a New York fund of hedge funds co-founded by Ted Seides and Jeffrey Tarrant. Protégé built an index of five funds that invest in hedge funds to compete against a Vanguard mutual fund that tracks the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The winner’s charity of choice gets $1 million when the bet ends on Dec. 31, 2017. Banks Seek Delay On Volcker Rule (WSJ) The Volcker rule, which restricts banks' ability to trade with their own money, is set to take effect July 21, whether or not regulators have a final rule in place, according to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said last month that regulators likely wouldn't have a rule in time. A group representing banks and others involved in bundling and selling loans is warning that deals worth hundreds of billions of dollars may need to be shut down because of wording in the law requiring compliance with a rule that doesn't yet exist. Cops arrest Occupy Wall Street protesters in Union Square (NYP) Cops shut down Union Square and kicked out a large crowd of Occupy Wall Street protesters last night, arresting nine demonstrators last night and this morning, just days after larger clashes at the group's former encampment downtown. I love lava lamp (Politico) Another amusing exchange as Mitt Romney walked past a Chicago Google employee with a big blue lava lamp (turned off) on his desk: "That's a big lava lamp, congratulations," Romney said. Wilbur Ross: Long-Term Bond Bubble Getting Ready To Burst (CNBC) "I think the greatest bubble that is about to burst is the 10-year and longer Treasury, because the idea that inflation is gone forever and for all time, and therefore these artificially low rates can last, is silly," the president of W.H. Ross & Co. said in an interview. Bernanke: Fed Is Ready To Act If Europe Falters (Reuters) "In the past few months, financial stresses in Europe have lessened, which has contributed to an improved tone of financial markets around the world, including in the United States," Bernanke said in testimony prepared for a House hearing Wednesday. Bernanke stresses, however, that a full resolution of the crisis "will require a further strengthening of the European banking system; a significant expansion of financial backstops, or “firewalls,” to guard against contagion in sovereign debt markets." Greece Names New Finance Minister (WSJ) Greek Deputy Finance Minister Philippos Sachinidis will be the country's new finance minister, replacing Evangelos Venizelos, the prime minister's office said Wednesday.

Coming soon to a Bridgewater office near you.

Opening Bell: 11.7.17

Ray Dalio's number-two is reportedly kinda handsy; Forbes says Wilbur Ross lied to them about being a billionaire for years; Dick Fuld is back, baby; Bjork wants to give you cryptocurrency; and more.