Opening Bell: 9.26.18

Dot day!; Trump tantruming over his wall; JPM gets Lyft IPO; iPhone tombstones; and more!
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Fed Dots to Harden Views for December Move: Decision-Day Guide [Bloomberg]
The Federal Open Market Committee is almost certain to raise rates a quarter point at the end of its two-day meeting Wednesday to a target range of 2 percent to 2.25 percent -- the highest level in more than a decade.
The Fed will release its decision, policy statement and projections at 2 p.m. Chairman Jerome Powell holds a press conference 30 minutes later to discuss the outlook and can expect questions about political pressure after criticism from President Donald Trump.

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Trump may choose to shut down the government this weekend over his border wall demands [CNBC]
President Donald Trump could decide to shut down parts of the government in the coming days as he pushes for money to build his proposed border wall.
The House is expected to pass a bill as early as Wednesday that would fund the Pentagon and a few other agencies for a year, combined with a stopgap measure to sustain the rest of the government for a short time. It would not, however, fund Trump's proposed barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border. The lack of cash for the project has frustrated Trump, who last week called the bill "ridiculous" and urged Republicans to "GET TOUGH!"

Exclusive: JPMorgan in talks to lead Lyft's IPO - sources [Reuters]
The move illustrates the calculations that often inform the pursuit of such mandates by the world’s biggest investment banks. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have helped ride-sharing company Uber raise money in the past, and are in pole position to secure top roles in its IPO, the sources said.
Reuters first reported last year that Lyft was seeking to hire an IPO adviser that would help it select underwriters and coordinate the process.
Since then, Lyft has hired IPO advisory firm Class V Group LLC, and is eyeing a stock market flotation sometime in 2019, according to the sources. Uber has also said it is aiming for an IPO in 2019, though it is further behind in its preparations and is not yet seeking to hire underwriters.

Nafta’s Fate Hinges on a Four-Letter Word: Milk [NYT]
Canada’s longstanding policy of managing its dairy supply with production quotas and high levies on imports has become an intractable sticking point in negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement, one that risks scuttling a 25-year-old pact that has stitched together the economies of Mexico, Canada and the United States.
President Trump has seized on the practice as unfair and insisted that he is willing to jettison Canada by the end of the week if it does not drop its dairy tariffs of 270 percent. On Tuesday, the chief trade negotiator for the United States, Robert E. Lighthizer, said Canada was “not making concessions in areas we think are essential” including “issues of dairy.”

Top Uber Deal Maker Disciplined After Probe Into Office Conduct [WSJ]
An outside law firm had substantiated some complaints against Cameron Poetzscher, head of corporate development, during a monthslong investigation, according to people familiar with the investigation. The firm found he had a pattern of making sexually suggestive comments about other co-workers, including describing which ones he would like to sleep with, and that he had engaged in a consensual affair with a colleague in violation of company policy because he contributed to her annual review, according to the people.
When the findings of the probe were presented to an internal panel, some panel members argued he should be terminated, according to the people.
Mr. Poetzscher oversaw some of Uber’s biggest deals, including a negotiation to sell a stake in the ride-hailing company to SoftBank Group Corp. for billions of dollars.

Woman, 25, has huge 5ft iPhone headstone over burial plot with picture of her as 'screensaver' [Mirror]
The unusual 5ft tombstone was put up over Rita Shameeva's burial plot in a Russian cemetery earlier this year.
The gravestone features a picture of Rita leaning against railings and surrounded by trees in a park. It even has the Apple logo on the back.
It was erected by her grieving father Rais Shameev long after his daughter's death in January 2016 from an unknown cause, say reports.

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Opening Bell: 8.23.16

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Opening Bell: 5.24.17

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Opening Bell: 4.26.17

Trump tax plan is (kind of) here; David Einhorn might need to revisit his dot-com bubble analogy; "White Collar Crime Zones"; and more.

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Opening Bell: 9.28.17

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Opening Bell: 12.14.16

Trump "smitten" with Gary Cohn; Ubers gonna Uber; Silicon Valley techies use their iPhones to schedule sex; and more.

Opening Bell: 06.15.12

Forthcoming Facebook Motion Said to Discuss Nasdaq’s Role in I.P.O. (NYT) Facebook is preparing for battle. One month after its botched initial public offering, the social network is set to file a motion to consolidate all the shareholder lawsuits against the company, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The lead underwriters, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase, are expected to join the motion, which could be filed in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York as early as Friday. The motion will represent the first time Facebook has publicly addressed the lawsuits and the performance of its highly anticipated, but ultimately lackluster, IPO on May 18. Facebook Is Not The Worst IPO (Deal Journal) Thursday marked the 4-week anniversary of the pricing of the IPO at $38 and today marks the anniversary of the innocuous opening and subsequent turmoil. Through Thursday’s close the stock was down about 26%, losing some $27 billion in market capitalization. That is ugly, but not as bad as the Halloween 2007 debut of Giant Interactive Group. The Chinese online-gaming company raised just over $1 billion in an IPO that started out well, rising about 18% on day one, but then promptly tumbled 30% through its first month, according to Dealogic. Draghi Hints ECB Is Ready To Act (WSJ) Providing liquidity "is what we have done throughout the crisis, faithful to our mandate of maintaining price stability over the medium term, and this is what we will continue to do," Mr. Draghi said. The Eurosystem, the ECB and the 17 national central banks that use the single currency "will continue to supply liquidity to solvent banks where needed," he added. Greeks Return To Ballot Box As Crisis Nears Decisive Moment (Bloomberg) The June 17 vote will turn on whether Greeks, in a fifth year of recession, accept open-ended austerity to stay in the euro or reject the conditions of a bailout and risk the turmoil of becoming the first to exit the 17-member currency. World leaders have said they’d prefer a pro-euro result, underscoring concern over global repercussions. Moody's Downgrades Dutch Banks (WSJ) In a statement, Moody's said it had cut the ratings by two notches each of ABN Amro Bank NV and ING Bank NV to A2, LeasePlan Corp. NV to Baa2 and Rabobank Nederland to Aa2. It also cut the rating of SNS Bank NV by one notch to Baa2. Giselle Is World's Highest Paid Model (Forbes) Just like last year, the Brazilian bombshell Bündchen leads the pack with a stunning $45 million in earnings (all estimates from May 1st, 2011 to May 1st, 2012). Even in her early thirties, Bündchen remains an unparalleled force within the fashion world. As the world’s most powerful supermodel, she racks up modeling gigs, spokesperson deals, and independent licensing ventures at every turn...Bündchen’s success combining business with modeling is influencing young, ascendant models. “The ones that are coming up, their model for excellence is Gisele. They’re looking at her and saying ‘that’s what I want to shoot for,’” Razek said. Fed Loans Backing AIG, Bear Repaid (WSJ) On Thursday, the regional Federal Reserve bank said it has been repaid, with interest, on $53.1 billion in loans it made to two crisis-era vehicles that held complex subprime mortgage bonds, home loans, commercial-property loans and other unwanted assets from Bear and AIG. The New York Fed earlier recouped a separate $19.5 billion loan that financed the purchase of mortgage-backed securities from AIG. Warren Buffett fired Benjamin Moore CEO after Bermuda cruise (NYP) “[Abrams] kept asking what he’d done wrong,” according to an insider briefed on the ouster. “[Berkshire officials] told him to clear his stuff out while they stood and watched every move he made.” Gupta Hopes Family Guy Image Will Help (NYP) The 63-year-old former Goldman Sachs director — facing 25 years in prison on charges of leaking inside information to his hedge fund pal Raj Rajaratnam — has surrounded himself with family and friends throughout the four-week trial. Gupta’s four Ivy League-educated daughters, his wife, Anita, and sister, Kumkum, in-laws and colleagues — roughly a dozen daily attendees — were in the courtroom each day, taking up the first two rows of the gallery. As the jury today starts its second day of deliberations, the fallen Wall Street star hopes the family vibe helps push the panel toward an acquittal. In the Facebook Era, Reminders of Loss if Families Fracture (NYT) The Times just found out that one of the weird things about Facebook is that you can find out things about people you haven't spoken to in years: Not long ago, estrangements between family members, for all the anguish they can cause, could mean a fairly clean break. People would cut off contact, never to be heard from again unless they reconciled. But in a social network world, estrangement is being redefined, with new complications. Relatives can get vivid glimpses of one another’s lives through Facebook updates, Twitter feeds and Instagram pictures of a grandchild or a wedding rehearsal dinner. And those glimpses are often painful reminders of what they have lost.

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Opening Bell: 11.28.16

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Opening Bell: 08.20.12

Diamond Censured Over Evidence in Barclays Libor Probe (Bloomberg) Barclays ex-Chief Executive Officer Robert Diamond was criticized for giving “unforthcoming and highly selective” evidence by a U.K. parliamentary report that faulted the bank for letting traders rig interest rates. The “candor and frankness” of Diamond’s testimony to lawmakers on July 4 “fell well short of the standard that Parliament expects,” the House of Commons Treasury Committee said in a 122-page report today following its inquiry into the bank’s attempts to manipulate the London interbank offered rate. “The Barclays board has presided over a deeply flawed culture,” the panel of British lawmakers said. “Senior management should have known earlier and acted earlier.” Bob Diamond Hits Bank In Rate-Rigging Row (Telegraph) In a statement Mr Diamond hit back at the report. "I am disappointed by, and strongly disagree with, several statements by the Treasury Select Committee,” Diamond said. 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Since its initial public offering in November, Groupon has shed more than three-quarters of its stock-market value, or about $10 billion...Mr. Andreessen, who rode the 1990s dot-com frenzy to riches at Netscape Communications Corp., was among the investors who helped fuel Groupon's rapid ascent. His firm, Andreessen Horowitz, was responsible for $40 million of the $950 million investors put into Groupon just months before the company's IPO. Andreessen Horowitz sold its 5.1 million Groupon shares shortly after restrictions on selling the stock expired June 1, according to people with knowledge of the transaction. Facebook Investors Brace For More Shares Coming To Market (Bloomberg) While Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg operates the world’s largest social-networking service, he’s facing investor concerns about how it can generate more revenue from its growing user base. 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Goldman has other business models and other priorities.” Shia LaBeouf To Have Sex "For Real" While Filming Scenes For Lars Von Trier's "Nymphomaniac" (Complex) "It is what you think it is. There's a disclaimer at the top of the script that basically says, we're doing [the sex] for real. And anything that is 'illegal' will be shot in blurred images. But other than that, everything is happening," LaBeouf said during an interview.