Skip to main content

Opening Bell: 8.29.18

Canada getting polite again; Amazon worth all the money; Chris Christie has a 1MDB problem; Horny French dolphin; and more!
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Canada, U.S. set for second day of NAFTA talks amid growing optimism [Reuters]
After more than a year of talks, Mexico and the United States announced a bilateral deal on Monday, setting the stage for Canada to rejoin negotiations to modernize 24-year-old NAFTA which accounts for over $1 trillion in annual trade between the three nations.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters on Tuesday that Mexico’s concessions on auto rules of origin and labor rights was a crucial breakthrough, clearing the way for Ottawa to resume talks with United States this week.

Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 10.07.39 AM

Morgan Stanley raises its Amazon price target to the highest on Wall Street, predicts $1.2 trillion valuation [CNBC]
The firm reiterated its overweight rating and increased its price target for Amazon shares to $2,500 from $1,850, representing 29 percent upside to Tuesday's close. It is the highest target out of the 41 analysts who cover Amazon, according to FactSet.
At a $2,500 stock price, Amazon would have a market valuation of about $1.2 trillion.

Musk's Rants Rekindle Concern About CEO's Troublesome Tweeting [Bloomberg]
In a series of posts Tuesday, the unpredictable chief executive officer denied that he cried during a New York Times interview earlier this month. Musk then couldn’t resist trading barbs with a follower who criticized him for calling a cave explorer in Thailand a pedophile back in July.
Musk steered clear of making any assertions about Tesla, a key distinction from his posts that are said to be under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. But the missives served as fresh reminders of Musk’s erratic Twitter tendencies and reinforced concerns about whether he can adhere to the SEC’s rules, now that he’s decided Tesla will stay public and continue to fall under the agency’s oversight.

U.S. Probing Whether Malaysian Fugitive Laundered Funds to Pay Chris Christie and Trump Lawyer [WSJ]
The team of lawyers and consultants working for Mr. Low includes Mr. Christie, who briefly headed Mr. Trump’s presidential transition team; Mr. Trump’s longtime lawyer Marc Kasowitz ; Bobby Burchfield, a lawyer who has served as the Trump Organization’s outside ethics adviser; and Ed Rogers, a Washington lobbyist with close ties to the Republican Party.
Mr. Christie is representing Mr. Low in the asset-forfeiture cases in California, a spokesman for the former governor said. “There has been no communication by Governor Christie with any other area of government on Mr. Low’s behalf,” the spokesman said, adding there has been “no inquiry made to him by the Department of Justice with regard to any other investigation regarding funding or otherwise."

Barnes & Noble Says Former C.E.O. Demos Parneros Was Fired for Sexual Harassment [NYT]
On Tuesday, the explanation came spilling out in a public exchange of accusations between Mr. Parneros and the company — including that Mr. Parneros had been fired in part because of claims of sexual harassment by an employee.
The fight began when Mr. Parneros filed a lawsuit claiming defamation and breach of contract. He said that he had been fired without warning after a deal to sell the company fell through. Casting himself as a “well-respected retail executive,” he claimed that the bookseller had enabled rumors that he was let go because of “serious sexual misconduct.”
He described Barnes & Noble as a “financially troubled business” that is in turmoil and disarray, with a “volatile” chairman who “refuses to relinquish control.” He said he was owed severance of $4 million in cash, plus equity and damages.

Frisky dolphin forces authorities to ban swimming off west coast of France [Sky]
For months he was considered friendly and non-aggressive, approaching children in sailing boats and allowing tourists to gently hold his dorsal fin and swim with him.
But authorities grew concerned a few weeks ago when Zafar began to rub himself against swimmers and boats, in apparent attempts to become more intimate.
A swimmer had to be rescued by coast guards last month after the dolphin refused to allow her to return to dry land.
In a separate encounter the lonely dolphin dangerously leapt over a kayaker's head.

Related

ElizabethHolmes.Broke

Opening Bell: 2.17.17

Theranos has been bled dry; Pharma Bro's world tour is off to a bad start; Chris Christie will be having meatloaf; and more.

(Getty Images)

Opening Bell: 1.30.17

JPMorgan borrows a page from Amazon; John Taylor returns; French hamsters are taking up cannibalism; and more.

F China

Opening Bell: 9.18.18

China ready to fire back on trade; Gary Cohn loves justice; People willing to bank with Amazon; Billionaire paying Elon Mush to shoot him to the moon; and more!

By EdJF [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 10.24.18

Oil slumping; Trump feuding; Mike Mayo horny; Man seeking puppy in China buys rat by mistake; and more!

Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 8.59.00 AM

Opening Bell: 9.26.18

Dot day!; Trump tantruming over his wall; JPM gets Lyft IPO; iPhone tombstones; and more!

Bezos.Inferno

Opening Bell: 10.2.18

Amazon ups minimum wage; Trump focusing on China; The Mooch getting actively active; Kinky goats can't stop licking; and more!

Opening Bell: 8.21.15

Paulson likes Puerto Rico; JP Morgan hires General; Female Viagra; Twitter; "Hamas captures alleged Israeli spy dolphin"; and more.

Opening Bell: 06.29.12

JPMorgan Cushions Drew's Retirement With $21.5 Million (Bloomberg) JPMorgan's decision to let Chief Investment Officer Ina Drew retire four days after the bank disclosed a $2 billion loss in her division allowed her to walk away with about $21.5 million in stock and options. Drew, who resigned May 14, can keep $17.1 million in unvested restricted shares and about $4.4 million in options that she otherwise would have been required to forfeit if the New York-based bank had terminated her employment “with cause,” according to regulatory filings and estimates from consulting firm Meridian Compensation Partners LLC. A 30-year JPMorgan veteran, Drew also had accumulated 661,000 unrestricted shares of common stock worth about $23.7 million based on the May 14 closing price, $9.7 million in deferred compensation and $2.6 million in pension pay as of Dec. 31, according to company filings. Altogether, Drew’s stock, pension and deferred pay come to about $57.5 million. JPMorgan Models In Spotlight (WSJ) The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the bank's primary regulator, has requested reviews of models that measure the possible effects of everything from trading losses to interest-rate moves, the people said. A change in one of these models contributed to losses in the bank's Chief Investment Office, a once-obscure unit that manages $370 billion in excess cash. The change effectively increased the amount of risk traders were allowed to take. Jim Rogers: Be Afraid (CNBC) Even as markets cheered the agreement by European leaders to allow the direct use of the bloc’s bailout funds to recapitalize struggling banks, investor Jim Rogers told CNBC the move does nothing to help solve the region’s biggest problem...Rogers argues that the deal does not improve the solvency of indebted nations such as Spain. Spain's central government budget deficit has soared to 3.41 percent of GDP in the first five months of 2012, above the EU limit of 3 percent. He adds that the governments need to stop coming to the rescue of failing banks, even if it results in “financial Armageddon.” SEC May Order Nasdaq Upgrade (WSJ) As part of the deepening inquiry, regulators are weighing demanding that Nasdaq agree to revamp its processes for developing, changing, testing and implementing the computer code used in initial public offerings and other exchange functions, according to people familiar with the investigation. FBI arrests Bernie Madoff's brother Peter ahead of expected guilty plea (AP) Given Peter Madoff's "level of financial experience and sophistication," the trustee alleged that he either knew or should have known that he reaped gains "derived from purported transactionsgrounded in fraud and deception." The trustee also took aim at his daughter Shana, who once worked as an in-house lawyer at the firm and has denied involvement in the scheme. "Had Peter, as the Chief Compliance Officer, or Shana, as Compliance Counsel, done their jobs properly, the fraud might have been revealed years earlier," the complaint said. "Either they failed completely to carry out their required supervisory/compliance roles, or they knew about the fraud but covered it up." Euro Zone Sees Single Bank Supervisor (WSJ) European leaders at a two-day summit in Brussels said they would speed up plans to create a single supervisor to oversee the euro zone's banks, and agreed on measures aimed at reducing soaring borrowing costs for Spain and Italy. Credit Suisse Says Second Quarter Will Be Profitable Overall (Reuters) "Further to its statement of last Friday and in response to media reports about its second quarter financial performance, Credit Suisse informs that it expects based on quarter-to-date information to be profitable at the group level and in all its divisions," the Swiss bank said in a brief statement on Friday, the last day of the second quarter. Bankers Fleeing Europe Crisis Head To Singapore (CNBC) “Singapore seems like a very green field compared to Paris. It looks like what Europe was 20 years ago, in the sense it’s got a lot of opportunities in terms of new prospects for the markets.” Louisiana's Rogue Dolphin Entertains ... and Bites (Newser) Residents of an upscale New Orleans suburb have been warned to stay away from their friendly neighborhood dolphin. The young bottlenose dolphin, who arrived in a canal off the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain after Hurricane Katrina, is a big hit with boaters and swimmers, but has bitten at least three people who got too close to him. Wildlife officials have met with residents to tell them how to co-exist with the dolphin—and to remind them that feeding or harassing wild dolphins is banned by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Signs have been put up urging people to stay at least 50 feet away from the dolphin. "He’s like a friendly neighborhood dog, but the dog will bite," the manager of the local homeowner's association explains to King5. "He's a wild animal and you have to treat him like he's a wild animal and not jump on him, not go swimming with him. He's not Disney World." Officials say that relocating the dolphin could kill him—and if he survived, he would probably return to the canal he calls home. One resident has another solution. "Maybe they should find him a girlfriend," he says.