Opening Bell: 9.5.18

Trudeau getting tough; Dorsey and Sandberg getting grilled; Goldman getting sued; Jeff Goldblum everywhere; and more!
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By Alex Guibord [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Alex Guibord [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Justin Trudeau indicates he will not bend on key NAFTA demands at talks [CNBC]
"There are a number of things we absolutely must see in a renegotiated NAFTA," he told reporters in the Pacific province of British Columbia.
Officials for both sides are scheduled to meet in Washington on Wednesday in a bid to settle some major differences.

Trump Flirts With Government Shutdown That Republicans Are Racing to Avoid [Bloomberg]
Trump has long said a "good shutdown" may be needed to get his full $23 billion in funds for a border wall. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other conservative lawmakers have told the president in recent weeks that a shutdown before the election is a bad idea, according to another person familiar with the matter.
With Democrats threatening to end the GOP majority in the House and several Senate seats for both parties in play in November, Republicans see a smoother government funding process as a way to show voters they can govern. Along the way they have ignored Trump’s request for deep cuts to government programs as they seek bipartisan cooperation.

Facebook’s Sandberg and Twitter’s Dorsey to Face Questions on Capitol Hill About Russian Meddling, Bias [WSJ]
On Wednesday morning, Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Jack Dorsey will appear in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee to defend their platforms’ handling of manipulation by foreign actors. Later in the day, the House Commerce Committee will question Mr. Dorsey, whose platform has been a focus of many Republicans’ ire, about alleged anticonservative bias.
“We were too slow to spot this and too slow to act,” Ms. Sandberg said in prepared testimony reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “We’re getting better at finding and combating our adversaries from financially motivated troll farms to sophisticated military intelligence operations.”

Court rules women can sue ‘boys’ club’ Goldman Sachs [NYPost]
The suit was filed by four female former bankers and alleged that Goldman is a “boys’ club,” where women are sexualized, compensated less, and given less-prestigious positions.
The women had won class action status last March and, in the latest courtroom skirmish, Goldman tried to reverse the class action ruling.
A three-judge panel of the appeals court called the Goldman effort “unwarranted.”

Oil drops toward $77 as U.S. storm threat eases [Reuters]
Crude had jumped the previous day as oil companies shut dozens of offshore platforms in anticipation of damage from tropical storm Gordon. But by Wednesday the storm was weakening, reducing its threat to oil producers.
“Tropical storm Gordon made an uneventful landfall after dashing expectations that it would strengthen to a hurricane,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

Top Goldman Banker Awaits His Fate as New CEO Fills No. 2 Post [Bloomberg]
Officially, the retreat two hours north of Manhattan was to talk strategy for the firm’s investment banking division, and enjoy a round or three on the club’s Tom Fazio-designed golf course.
Unofficially, it was something more: a quiet celebration and pregame for an era to come. The unit’s former leader, David Solomon, had just that week been named the firm’s next chief executive officer. Now, anticipation was building that the man leading the annual off-site, John Waldron, would grab the second-highest post -- becoming a president of the bank. It would mean even greater clout for their business.

Pimco to Hire Top Deal Maker From Blackstone [NYT]
Over three decades, John Studzinski has been a consummate deal maker — first at Morgan Stanley, then HSBC and most recently the Blackstone Group — acting as a consigliere to chief executives around the world.
Now, he will do so at a new firm: Pimco, the investment management giant.
The firm is planning to announce on Wednesday that it is hiring Mr. Studzinski, who recently said he would step down as vice chairman of Blackstone. Over the years, the financier — known among friends as Studs — has advised Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, William A. Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management and even the Vatican.

There’s A Charity Store With Photos Of Jeff Goldblum In All Its Picture Frames [HuffPo]
n what can only be described as a blessing from above, a charity store has been discovered that has filled all its picture frames with Jeff Goldblum.
Not since a 25-foot-tall half-naked statue of the “Jurassic Park” actor appeared in London has the world been given such a beautiful gift.

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Barclays Faces New Scrutiny (WSJ) n what could turn out to be a new black eye for the bank, Barclays said the U.K. financial regulator has started an investigation into four current and former senior employees, including Chris Lucas, Barclays's finance director. The issue centers on the "sufficiency of disclosure" in relation to fees paid when Barclays conducted an emergency £7.3 billion ($11.45 billion) capital increase with Middle Eastern investors in 2008. The cash injection likely saved Barclays from being bailed out by the government and part-nationalized. The Financial Services Authority and Barclays declined to elaborate further the issue. Barclays said in a statement that it was confident it had satisfied disclosure obligations. In a separate debacle, Barclays said it put aside £450 million to cover the misselling of derivatives products to small businesses. Merkel, Hollande Vow to Do Everything to Defend Euro (Reuters) FYI: "Germany and France are deeply committed to the integrity of the euro zone. They are determined to do everything to protect the euro zone," they said in a joint statement. Treasury Eyes Funds Hidden Overseas (WSJ) he Treasury Department released new details Thursday of a plan to ferret out Americans' global tax dodging, though some lawmakers and banks remain concerned about the initiative's scope and regulatory costs. Treasury officials said they hope to finalize the system's basic rules by the fall and expressed confidence it would be on track for implementation by 2014 as scheduled. Congressional experts said the new system would recover $8.7 billion in tax revenues over 10 years. Facebook Growth Slows Again (WSJ) The company swung to a second-quarter loss largely weighed down by expenses from compensating employees with stock upon its initial public offering in May. Revenue in the second quarter was $1.18 billion, up 32% from $895 million a year ago. That revenue growth was the lowest percentage since at least the first quarter of 2011, when Facebook was more than doubling the amount of money it brought in from advertising, and to a lesser extent, the cut of fees it takes from payments on its platform. Facebook Falls After Report Fails To Quell Growth Concerns (Bloomberg) “It took a long time for the TV market and advertising to be truly understood, it took a long time for search, and I think we’re still in that learning curve with a lot of our clients,” COO Sheryl Sandberg said. The Guy In The Clown Nose? He's An Olympian (WSJ) Terry Bartlett is a world-class gymnast who leapt, tumbled and swung for the glory of Great Britain in three Olympic Games. Today, he is also a world-class clown. Ten times a week, he dons a red nose and floppy shoes to elicit chuckles at "O," a Las Vegas water-themed circus run by Cirque du Soleil. 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Matt Zames will serve as co-COO, and will remain head of the chief investment office and mortgage capital markets...J.P. Morgan said its investment banks, treasury and securities services and global corporate banks businesses are being combined into the corporate and investment bank unit, to be chaired by Jes Staley, CEO of the investment bank business. Mike Cavanagh, head of treasury and securities, will become co-CEO of the new unit, along with Daniel Pinto, who currently heads EMEA and global fixed income. Romney Riles Londoners With Comments On Olympics Games (Bloomberg) It was supposed to be Mitt Romney’s flawless world stage debut. 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Opening Bell: 7.25.17

John Cryan opens up (kind of); Goldman bids adieu to ETF market making; Wisconsin company literally getting under employees' skin; and more.