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Opening Bell: 9.10.18

Moonves forced out; Ma stepping down; Crypto crashing hard; Urine therapy is in; and more!

Leslie Moonves out as CBS CEO after sexual harassment allegations [CNBC]
CBS announced Moonves will depart as chairman, president and chief executive officer "effective immediately."
The company said COO Joseph Ianniello will now act as president and acting CEO "while the Board conducts a search for a permanent successor."
The allegations against Moonves were brought to light in a New Yorker article by Ronan Farrow in August in which six women accused Moonves of sexual misconduct and damaging their careers. A second New Yorker article by Farrow published on Sunday contained allegations by six more women. Moonves denied the allegations and characterized his relationships with some of the women as consensual.

LesMoonves

Alibaba’s Daniel Zhang to Succeed Jack Ma as Chairman Next Year [WSJ]
Mr. Ma made the announcement on his 54th birthday, saying he has “lots of dreams to pursue” including working in education again. Before founding Alibaba in 1999, Mr. Ma was a teacher—he is known at the company as “Teacher Ma.”
In a letter addressed to customers, shareholders and employees—referred to as “Aliren,” or “People of Alibaba”—Mr. Ma said he would stay on the company’s board until the 2020 annual shareholders meeting.

China vows to respond if U.S. takes new steps on trade [Reuters]
On Friday, Trump said he was ready to levy additional taxes on practically all Chinese imports, threatening duties on $267 billion of goods over and above planned tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese products.
“If the U.S. side obstinately clings to its course and takes any new tariff measures against China, then the Chinese side will inevitably take countermeasures to resolutely protect our legitimate rights,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular briefing, when asked about Trump’s warning.

Crypto Wipeout Deepens to $640 Billion as Ether Leads Declines [Bloomberg]
Ether, the second-largest virtual currency, slumped 10 percent from its level at 5 p.m. New York time on Friday, according to Bloomberg composite pricing. Bitcoin lost 2.6 percent, while the market capitalization of digital assets tracked by CoinMarketCap.com shrank to about $197 billion -- down almost $640 billion from its January peak.
Cryptocurrencies have declined for five of the past six weeks amid concern that a broader adoption of digital assets will take longer than some had anticipated. That worry was underscored over the weekend after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission temporarily suspended trading in two exchange-traded notes linked to cryptocurrencies and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin told Bloomberg that the days of explosive growth in the blockchain industry have likely come and gone.

Volkswagen Trial Offers Hedge Funds a Chance to Settle Old Scores [NYT]
Elliott Management, the hedge fund founded by Paul E. Singer, was among the firms burned in 2008 trying to bet against Volkswagen shares. The stock price rose instead, and while the funds claimed market manipulation, they never found a court that would agree.
Now a new case offers Elliott a chance at redemption. A subsidiary of the fund is bankrolling a group of institutional investors who are suing Volkswagen because of the losses they suffered as a result of the company’s emissions cheating. A German court will begin hearing evidence in the case on Monday.

Snap's Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan to leave [Reuters]
Khan, 41, whose last day has not been determined, became the chief strategy officer in 2015. He was one of the highest paid Snap executives and was instrumental in taking the company public in March last year.
At the time of joining, Khan received stock worth about $145 million, according to media reports.
Khan said the departure is not related to any disagreements with Snap, the company said.
The company’s finance head Andrew Vollero left in May and its vice president of monetization engineering, Stuart Bowers, quit to join Tesla Inc.

'Urine therapy' is the latest health craze [NYPost]
Proponents of drinking your own pee and rubbing it on your skin claim the practice leads to the fountain of youth. “After I started fasting, the pee stopped smelling and started tasting like coconut water,” said Julia Sillaman, a 26-year-old painter from Maryland.

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Opening Bell: 1.11.18

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Opening Bell: 6.10.15

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Opening Bell: 10.7.16

Pound flash crash; Twitter's no good very bad day; Qatari hearts Deutsche Bank; Vanilla Ice vows to ride out Hurricane Matthew; and more.

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Opening Bell: 9.20.16

Mike Mayo thinks Wells chief sucks but should stay on; Jack Ma’s finance biz may be worth more than Goldman Sachs; Bald eagles trained to snatch hostile drones; and more.

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Opening Bell: 8.8.18

China fires back; Elon spouts off; Crypto goes down; Arsenal FC still crap; Broken vagina woman shares all;' and more!

Opening Bell: 10.19.12

Schapiro SEC Reign Nears End With Rescue Mission Not Done (Bloomberg) Admirers and critics agree Schapiro rescued the agency from the threat of extinction when she was appointed by President Barack Obama four years ago. Still, she hasn’t fulfilled her mission -- to overcome the SEC’s image as a failed watchdog by punishing those who steered the financial system toward disaster and by proving regulators can head off future breakdowns. “It was harder than I thought it was going to be,” Schapiro, 57, said during an interview in her office that looks out on the Capitol dome. “You have this nice little box of things you want to do all tied up with a bow, and you walk in the door and it’s very hard to keep at least one eye on that agenda while you’re dealing with the flash crashes and the new legislation and the whole range of things that happened,” she said. Morgan Stanley CEO Hints Of Commodity Arm Sale (Reuters) Morgan Stanley has an obligation to explore "different structures" for its commodities trading business because new regulations are limiting the unit's activities, Chief Executive James Gorman said on Thursday. The CEO's comments were the first time Morgan Stanley has publicly hinted at a possible sale of its multibillion-dollar oil and metals trading arm, which has been reported in the media for months. Morgan Stanley has been in discussions with OPEC member Qatar for more than a year over the sale of at least a majority stake in its energy-focused trading business, according to bankers. Speaking on a conference call with analysts after the firm reported better-than-expected quarterly results on Thursday, Gorman said changes under the U.S.' Dodd-Frank financial reform law restrict the kind of trading the firm can do in commodities. Europe Agrees On Banking Supervisor (WSJ) European leaders early Friday agreed to have a new supervisor for euro-zone banks up and running next year, a step that will pave the way for the bloc's bailout fund to pump capital directly into banks throughout the single-currency area. John Paulson Doubles Down On Housing (WSJ) Hedge-fund manager John Paulson famously made nearly $4 billion in 2007 correctly betting that the housing bubble, fueled by the subprime mortgage market, would pop. Then the billionaire investor somewhat reversed course, arguing that the housing cycle had hit a low point. "If you don't own a home, buy one," he said in a 2010 speech at the University Club in New York. "If you own one home, buy another one, and if you own two homes, buy a third and lend your relatives the money to buy a home." So far, that bet has been a loser: The Wall Street tycoon lost about $3 billion personally in 2011, according to people close to the hedge-fund manager, speculating that the economy would recover faster than it did. But through the downturn Mr. Paulson—whose net worth is estimated to be around $11 billion, according to people familiar with his situation—continued his real estate spending spree. Over the last eight years, he has spent more than $145 million on six properties, including two estates in Southampton, N.Y., two properties near Aspen, Colo., and two residences in Manhattan, where he is based, according to public records. (He later sold one of the Southampton properties, for $10 million in 2009, a year after buying a larger estate nearby). In June, Mr. Paulson snapped up a 90-acre Aspen ranch and an adjoining property from Prince Bandar bin Sultan for a total of $49 million, according to public records, one of the highest prices ever paid for property in the area. Ben Stein: Taxes Are Too Low (Mediaite) Author and economist Ben Stein joined Fox & Friends on Thursday where he stunned the hosts after he called for raising the tax rates on people making more than $2 million per year. He said that he did not think that the United States simply had a spending problem, and cited the early post-war period as an example of a time when you could have high tax rates and high growth. “I hate to say this on Fox – I hope I’ll be allowed to leave here alive – but I don’t think there is any way we can cut spending enough to make a meaningful difference,” said Stein. “We’re going to have to raise taxes on very, very rich people. People with incomes of, say, $2, $3, $4 million a year and up. And then slowly, slowly, slowly move it down. $250,000 a year, that’s not a rich person.” Stein said that the government has a spending problem, but they also have a “too low taxes problem.” “With all due respect to Fox, who I love like brothers and sisters, taxes are too low,” said Stein. “That sounds like Bowles-Simpson,” said Gretchen Carlson. “It is Bowles-Simpson,” Stein replied. Should've Left That At Home, Teacher Is Told On Jury Duty (NYT) Damian Esteban was qualified to teach students at a specialized New York City high school, and had just been deemed reasonable enough to judge a man’s fate in a murder trial. But passing through the metal detectors at a Manhattan courthouse may have been too tough a test. Mr. Esteban, 33, was arrested on Wednesday as he returned from a break in a trial in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, David Bookstaver, a spokesman for the state Office of Court Administration, said. As Mr. Esteban, a teacher at the Williamsburg School of Architecture and Design in Brooklyn, passed through a metal detector at the courthouse, it beeped. A court officer, Laura Cannon, found the culprit to be a cigarette box in Mr. Esteban’s pocket. Upon opening the cigarette box, Ms. Cannon reported that she found a much bigger problem: 18 small bags of heroin. A Daunting To-Do List For Citigroup's New CEO (BusinessWeek) Citigroup’s largest problem may be internal. The company, analyst Richard Bove says, “is a political swamp. It’s a snake pit.” Cleansing the culture must be a priority, says Mike Mayo, an analyst at Crédit Agricole Securities. “So whether it’s the inappropriate pay for subpar performance; the lack of adequate disclosure, such as returns by business line; the failure to properly oversee the many different businesses; or the poor tone set at the top of the firm for corporate governance, they all add up to the need to improve the culture,” Mayo says. Cooling The Pits: ICE Yelling Ends (WSJ) Augustine Lauria knew his 37-year career as a floor trader was over when he got a memo from IntercontinentalExchange in late July announcing the closing of the exchange operator's last trading pits. Friday will be the last chance the 61-year-old trader will get to put on his navy-blue and yellow trading jacket and badge. It will be the final day of rough-and-tumble "open-outcry" commodities trading on the ICE-owned pits in lower Manhattan where options on cotton, coffee, cocoa, sugar and orange juice are bought and sold. "What can I do? I can count fast and yell loud," says Mr. Lauria, who boards the Staten Island Ferry before sunrise to get to work in time for the 8:10 a.m. bell. Amanda Larrivee Speaks Out about Incident at Samuel’s (ABC) Amanda Larrivee and her brother Robert Larrivee were arrested at Samuels Sports Bar Sunday for allegedly stealing TV’s from the bathroom. Now, the woman involved is speaking out about what happened that night and the “immature” remark made by her brother. The legal case against Amanda has been dropped, but a comment made by her brother is getting all the attention. He told police that the two were in the bathroom having sex. Amanda says that was not the case. “The comment was taken out of context and it’s not what it looks like,” said Larrivee...“I just want to come out and really let people know that it’s not what it looked like. It’s humiliating and the comment having sexual relations with my brother was an impulse, immature comment made by him that is not the truth,” said Larrivee. Amanda says Robert wasn’t trying to steal the TV’s, but was upset over seeing his ex-girlfriend. “He had an outburst at the time you know it turned into you know touching the TV on the wall, turned into an ugly scene,” said Larrivee. “He took the televisions down. He had no intention of stealing. He’s not walking out with two televisions,” said Attorney Jack St. Clair.

Opening Bell: 3.21.16

Goldman probed in alleged Treasury rig; Valeant CEO will step down; Florida woman fights to keep potty-trained pet alligator; and more.

By D J Shin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 9.27.17

Man Group is taking the man out of Man Group; why you should go buy a bunch of crypto derivatives; guess which stocks finance professor Lily Fang likes; and more.