Tesla’s Board Backs Musk After SEC Sues, Seeks His Ouster [Bloomberg]
The SEC is seeking unspecified monetary penalties and, more importantly, will ask a judge to bar Musk from serving as an officer or director of a public company, the agency said in a lawsuit filed in New York. Musk misled investors by claiming falsely that he had lined up funding for the transaction, the suit alleged.
Tesla and its board “are fully confident in Elon, his integrity, and his leadership of the company,” they said in a joint statement Thursday. “Our focus remains on the continued ramp of Model 3 production and delivering for our customers, shareholders and employees.”
American Bar Association Urges F.B.I. Inquiry Into Kavanaugh [NYT]
The request was made in a letter from the A.B.A.’s president, Robert M. Carlson, to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s chairman, Charles E. Grassley, an Iowa Republican, and Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the senior Democrat on the panel.
It followed a day of emotional and at times painful testimony Thursday, which included Dr. Blasey’s allegations of sexual assault by Judge Kavanaugh at a house party 36 years ago and his angry denial of the encounter.
The bar association urged that senators vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination “only after an appropriate background check into the allegations made by Professor Blasey and others is completed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” the letter said.
Global funds raise U.S. stock holdings to three-and-a-half-year high [Reuters]
Reuters' monthly asset allocation poll of 54 wealth managers and chief investment officers in Europe, the United States, Britain and Japan was carried out Sept. 17-28 as the S&P 500 .SPX and Dow Jones .DJI climbed to record peaks.
Asset managers boosted their exposure to U.S. stocks by 2 percentage points to 42.7 percent. They trimmed overall equity exposure to 48 percent of their global balanced portfolios.
Cedric Baron, head of multi asset at Generali Investments, was among those remaining overweight in U.S. equities because of attractive fundamentals. He cited economic growth — 4 percent in the second quarter — corporate earnings growth, sentiment indicators reaching high levels, and accommodative financing.
Fed's Treasury and securities holdings fall below $4 trillion for the first time in 4 years [CNBC]
The value of Treasurys and MBS dropped to $3.997 trillion as of Wednesday, as the Fed nears rounding out the first year of a process of slowly cutting back its holdings. At its peak, the portfolio totaled more than $4.25 trillion, and including other assets was valued at more than $4.5 trillion.
The drawdown of assets on the Fed's balance sheet was set on "autopilot" a year ago so that holdings would diminish steadily without further action by policymakers.
Chinese Startup Woos SoftBank at $75 Billion Valuation [WSJ]
Global investors including SoftBank Group Corp. and private-equity firm KKR & Co. plan to invest in the latest fundraising by Bytedance Ltd., the owner of China’s most popular news-aggregation app, according to people familiar with the matter.
Bytedance operates Jinri Toutiao, a mobile app that provides news headlines and third-party content based on users’ interests and search history. It is in talks to raise around $3 billion at a valuation of about $75 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported last month. Of the funds raised, $1.5 billion would be in convertible bonds, one of the people said. At $75 billion, Bytedance would be one of the world’s most valuable private technology companies.
Fraudsters bilked 75K investors with get-rich-quick videos: SEC [NYPost]
Ten individuals across the US were charged on Thursday with conspiracy to commit fraud by emailing out spam campaigns and slick videos that pushed investors to buy highly risky stock options, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Seven of those charged have settled.
The videos were riddled with false promises of “risk-free” cash if they opened a brokerage account and “press a button,” according to videos produced by the SEC and settlement claims.
“Smart Beta” ETFs Were All the Rage. Now Some Are Disappearing [Barron's]
The list of recent closures points to a waning of the factor craze. Of the 22 ETFs shuttered in August, nine were iShares’ multifactor sector funds, and four were minimum-volatility offerings. Dozens of low-asset, low-volume factor ETFs, from a long laundry list of money managers, are on the Deathwatch list, as well. That’s not an indictment of the strategy, but rather a reflection of investors’ preference for simpler products when investing in certain asset classes. But investors who don’t consider factor funds might be missing out on some winners.
Consider iShares Edge U.S. Fixed Income Balanced Risk(FIBR), which aims to weight bonds according to specific macro factors. “What FIBR does is take interest-rate risk and credit risk and rearrange them, so that it looks different than the Agg[regate] Bond index,” says Steve Laipply, head of U.S. iShares fixed income at BlackRock. “The Agg has about 90% interest-rate risk, and 10% credit risk. We take that and get it closer to a 50/50 balance and, in doing so, get a better risk-adjusted return.” Over the past three years through Wednesday, that strategy has worked well, returning 2.5% compared with 1.6% for the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Fixed Income Balanced Risk index. Yet the ETF has a little more than $100 million in assets.
Gay penguin couple 'kidnap' baby from its parents at zoo [Mirror]
A fight broke out at a zoo after a gay penguin couple took a chick whose mum and dad had left it unattended.
The baby's parents had both gone for a swim so, seeing their opportunity to become dads and wanting to look after it, the penguins turned to 'kidnap'.