Opening Bell: 9.7.18

Elon gets high on a podcast; Opioid heir patents addiction cure; Paul Singer kicking at Hyundai; and more!
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Jobs market may be booming but the August employment report could still disappoint [CNBC]
Economists expect 191,000 nonfarm payrolls were added in August, following 157,000 in July, according to Thomson Reuters. The unemployment rate should dip to 3.8 percent from 3.9 percent, and wages are expected to rise 0.2 percent.
But some economists expect a lower number of new jobs when the numbers are reported on Friday, due to past performances in August. ADP's private payroll report also missed the mark Thursday, with just 163,000 payrolls compared to 190,000 that were expected.

LudaMusk

Musk Uses Flame Thrower and Smokes Weed on Comedy Show [Bloomberg]
Elon Musk sipped whiskey and smoked marijuana during a 2 1/2-hour podcast with California comedian Joe Rogan that touched upon everything from flame throwers and artificial intelligence to the end of the universe.
“I’m not a regular smoker of weed,” the Tesla Inc. chief executive officer said late Thursday on the podcast, which was shown live on the internet. Musk, 47, took one drag from what Rogan described as a joint containing tobacco mixed with marijuana, which is legal in California.

Opioid billionaire granted patent for addiction treatment [FT]
Richard Sackler, whose family owns Purdue Pharma, the company behind the notorious painkiller OxyContin, was granted a patent earlier this year for a reformulation of a drug used to wean addicts off opioids.
The invention is a novel form of buprenorphine, a mild opiate that controls drug cravings, which is often given as a substitute to people hooked on heroin or opioid painkillers such as OxyContin.
The new formulation as described in Dr Sackler’s patent could end up proving very lucrative thanks to a steady increase in the number of addicts being treated with buprenorphine, which is seen as a better alternative to other opioid substitutes such as methadone.

Hedge fund Elliott calls for fresh revamp at Hyundai Motor Group [Reuters]
Elliott, which owns $1.5 billion worth of shares in three Hyundai group companies, called for a committee to review its proposals with other investors and experts, and said its attempts to discuss a new plan had been met with silence.
Hyundai rejected the committee idea and added that it hoped “to share our thoughts on how to improve shareholder value with all of our shareholders in due course”.
A person close to Hyundai Motor Group told Reuters “it’s difficult for Hyundai to accept Elliott’s proposal, as it primarily benefits Hyundai Motor”.

Les Moonves Said to Be Negotiating Possible Exit From CBS [NYT]
Mr. Moonves has been talking to the board about his possible departure as chief executive, including terms of a payout that would be far less than $180 million, the amount specified in his employment agreement should he leave the CBS Corporation, according to three people familiar with the discussions who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a private bargaining agreement.
The multiple allegations of sexual harassment against Mr. Moonves have partly motivated the talks, which could still break down. Should Mr. Moonves depart, his chief lieutenant, Joseph Ianniello, is likely to be named interim chief executive, two of the people said.

How Banks Lost the Battle for Power on Wall Street [WSJ]
It is a remarkable power shift between Wall Street’s two camps: “sell-side” banks and their “buy-side” clients. Banks, which act as trading partner, lender and custodian, once firmly held the upper hand. They built complex securities—at times foisting them on unsophisticated investors, courts would later find—and charged high fees that they amplified with debt.
In the decade since the crisis, the pendulum has swung the other direction. Washington forced banks to get smaller and safer. The government flooded the economy with money, which acted as a financial lubricant, pushing markets higher and smoothing out the swings that Wall Street traders had once exploited for profit.

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By Heisenberg Media (Flickr: Elon Musk - The Summit 2013) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 8.16.16

Investors dip toes back in Iraq; Elon Musk can't top setting lofty goals, failing to achieve them; Cops say woman repeatedly kicked boyfriend in face after he refused to have sex with her; and more.

By Nordenfan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 7.7.17

Some employees don't want Deutsche Bank to be so Deutsche; Paul Singer hasn't forgotten about Akzo; millennials are ruining sex; and more.

Opening Bell: 04.27.12

LightSquared Lenders Pressure Falcone (WSJ) If Mr. Falcone doesn't agree to eventually leave LightSquared's board and make way for new executives and directors at the wireless communications firm, lenders are likely to balk and the company could end up filing for bankruptcy protection, they said. Shareholders Rebuke Barclays, Credit Suisse on Pay (Reuters) More than a quarter of Barclays shareholders look set to vote against the British bank's controversial pay plan for bosses and Credit Suisse is also facing a backlash as investors seek a greater share of profits. Stormy annual shareholder meetings at both banks got underway on Friday with many attendees complaining executives are getting too big a slice of bank income at their expense...Barclays Chairman Marcus Agius apologized for badly communicating the bank's pay strategy and promised to "materially" increase the dividend shareholders receive, helping to lift the bank's shares more than 4 percent. But he was heckled during his speech to a packed hall of about 2,000 shareholders and his comments about pay were greeted with laughter in some quarters. Renowned short-seller bets against Fortescue (SMH) Hedge fund short-seller Jim Chanos has singled out Fortescue Metals as a "value trap" stock, telling a New York conference that shares in billionaire Andrew Forrest's company will fall "materially." In a presentation this month to Grant's Spring Conference, a private investment forum, Mr Chanos, the boss of Kynikos Associates, told investors he feared iron ore miner Fortescue has "a somewhat promotional management team." Goldman Banker Probed For Alleged Leaks To Galleon (WSJ) U.S. prosecutors and securities regulators are investigating whether a senior Goldman investment banker gave Galleon hedge-fund traders advance word of pending health-care deals, according to people familiar with the matter. The banker, whom the people identified as Matthew Korenberg, is a San Francisco-based managing director for Goldman, a senior post. Among the merger deals being scrutinized by Los Angeles federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission is the 2009 acquisition by Abbott Laboratories of Advanced Medical Optics, a Santa Ana, Calif., medical-device maker—a deal in which Mr. Korenberg advised Advanced Medical Optics, the people say. Another is the acquisition of APP Pharmaceuticals Inc. by Fresenius, announced in July 2008, in which Goldman advised APP, they say. Unlikely Allies (NYP) Billionaire hedge-fund mogul and Republican stalwart Paul Singer is in an odd position of late — asking the Obama administration for help to keep troubled mortgage lender ResCap out of bankruptcy. Singer, whose Elliott Associates owns debt in the mortgage lender, a unit of Ally Financial, asked Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in recent weeks to use the government’s 74-percent stake in Ally to press for an alternative financial cure. An out-of-bankruptcy solution would help Elliott, to be sure, but would also assist the White House by keeping a unit of one of its high-profit bailouts from outright failure. But Singer, so far, hasn’t gotten any satisfaction. Geithner, insiders said, doesn’t want to use Treasury’s muscle to stop the likely Chapter 11 filing because it could be interpreted as the government overstepping its bounds. Spain Urges Focus On Reforms After Downgrade (WSJ) The government has embarked on a plan of far-reaching reforms to overhaul the economy, including new labor laws and a cleanup of the banking sector. Mr. Jiménez Latorre said these reforms will pay dividends in the medium- to long-term. The S&P ratings action "just focuses on the immediate effects," which won't be positive, Mr. Jiménez Latorre said. Dream Stenographer / Lucid Dreaming Partner (Craigslist) "I possess the wonderful gift of regularly occuring and incredibly vivid lucid dreams. In these dreams I have written Pulitzer Prize winning novels, bioengineered the cure for HIV, and brokered a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. I have also composed Grammy winning albums. The only problem is humanity hasn't and can't benefit from my accomplishments because I forget how I achieved them shortly after waking. As a modern Renaissance man and philosopher scientist, my conscience cannot be at peace knowing I'm not doing everything possible to save my fellow human beings. Therefore I would like to a hire a dream stenographer to write down my ideas so that I may share them with the world. You, the dream stenographer, will sleep within arm's reach of me on selected nights when I feel my mind is operating at its peak performance level. Sleeping is mandatory as I'm not able to reach my optimum dream state when someone is watching me sleep. Remaining within arm's reach at all times is also mandatory so that I may wake you as quickly as possible to begin recording my stream of consciousness.Qualified applicants will be excellent note takers with unrivaled penmanship." KKR Earnings Beat Expectations (WSJ) Economic net income, a measure of private-equity firms' profitability that analysts follow because it includes both realized and unrealized investment gains, was $727.2 million, or 99 cents a share, compared to $742.5 million, or 96 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. The earnings came in at the top end of analysts' estimates, with a consensus economic net income of $486.6 million, or 74 cents a share, according to Thompson Reuters. NYSE CEO 'very disappointed' to lose out on Facebook listing (DJ) Just so you know. Wells Fargo to Buy Merlin Securities Prime Brokerage (Bloomberg) The purchase is Wells Fargo’s first foray into prime brokerage services and the bank will use the business as a foundation to expand, said Christopher Bartlett, head of equity sales and trading at the San Francisco-based lender. Prime- brokerage includes services such as lending, clearing trades and record-keeping that help hedge fund managers run their firms. Bartlett wouldn’t say how much Wells Fargo paid and a statement set to be released later today didn’t disclose the terms. Bo Xilai's Son Ticketed in Porsche (WSJ) Disputing a notion common in China that he lives a lavish lifestyle, Mr. Bo wrote to the Harvard Crimson on Tuesday saying he wished to address "rumors and allegations about myself." Among other things, "I have never driven a Ferrari," he wrote. The Wall Street Journal reported in November, based on people familiar with the episode, that Mr. Bo, the grandson of an illustrious Communist leader of the Mao era, arrived at the U.S. ambassador's residence in Beijing in a red Ferrari last year to pick up the daughter of the then-ambassador...Massachusetts Department of Transportation records show Mr. Bo was stopped by police for allegedly running stop signs in December 2010 and May 2011, one of them at 2:20 a.m., and for speeding in February 2011. The license plate of the car, which the Journal learned from someone familiar with the matter, showed it was a black 2011 Porsche Panamera registered to someone at his address.

I'm sorry but I just don't recognize him. Source: Getty Images

Opening Bell: 6.8.17

Bill Gross remains less than optimistic; Amazon wants to eat your lunch; Paul Singer is a “pain in the ass”; weed pizza; and more.

paul singer

Opening Bell: 5.9.17

Paul Singer is going HAM; ex-Nomura bond trader was not always entirely truthful; something is rotten in the state of Denmark; and more.

By Sachyn Mital (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 6.15.16

Caspersen's lawyer says fraud was fueled by gambling addiction; Fed expected to hold steady; Billionaire gets approval to build NYC mega-mansion; Sean Penn was going to name his son Steak; and more.

paul singer

Opening Bell: 8.21.17

Paul Singer upstages Warren Buffett; Goldman looking for commodities traders who can actually make money; Carl Icahn's DC misadventures; seriously, don't look at your phone while driving; and more.