Opening Bell: 10.22.18

Saudi Arabia crisis still crisis-y; Sears seeks a friend for the end of its world; Italy gives il finger to the EU; Headless chicken monster shows itself; and more!
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Turkey’s President Vows to Detail Khashoggi Death ‘in Full Nakedness’ [NYT]
Turkish officials have been leaking lurid details for weeks about the assassination and reported dismemberment of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul. But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, keen to maintain good relations with Saudi Arabia, has until now mostly held his tongue.
On Sunday, Mr. Erdogan broke his silence, promising that within 48 hours he would remove the lid completely from what his spokesmen are now calling a Saudi cover-up.
“We will reveal it,” he said in a televised speech. “It will be revealed in full nakedness.”

SaudiSauron

Oil holds near $80 as Saudi Arabia plans output increase [Reuters]
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told Russia’s TASS news agency that his country had no intention of unleashing a 1973-style oil embargo on Western consumers, but rather was focused on raising output to compensate for supply losses elsewhere, such as Iran.
Several U.S. lawmakers have suggested imposing sanctions on Saudi Arabia over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, while the kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter, pledged to retaliate against any sanctions with “bigger measures”.

China stocks surge more than 4 percent, extending Friday's rally [CNBC]
The Shanghai composite added 4.09 percent to close at around 2,654.88. Earlier in the day, the index saw gains of more than 4.5 percent.
Elsewhere, the Shenzhen composite gained 4.899 percent to close at about 1,325.73.
The moves followed Friday's rally in Chinese stocks as authorities took steps to support the market after the release of weaker-than-expected GDP data.

Exclusive: Sears chairman Lampert seeks partner for bankruptcy financing - sources [Reuters]
Lampert’s hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc, has held discussions with Cyrus Capital Partners LP, an investment firm that holds some of Sears’ existing debt, about sharing the burden of funding portions of the $300 million loan, which would be separate from another $300 million bankruptcy loan that Sears’ banks have offered to provide, the sources said.
The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. A Sears spokesman did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

How Blackstone Landed $20 Billion From Saudis for New Fund [Bloomberg]
When Saudi Arabia pledged as much as $20 billion to help Blackstone Group LP build the world’s largest infrastructure fund, the kingdom wanted to be rewarded for its unprecedented commitment.
One way Blackstone agreed to do just that: For every dollar that any other investor pays the asset manager to oversee its cash, Saudi Arabia gets to pay 15 cents less. That fee discount -- linked to a portion of revenue from other investors -- is just one of the breaks that the sovereign wealth fund won last year as Blackstone set out to amass a record $40 billion war chest, according to terms reviewed by Bloomberg and described by people with knowledge of the deal. In exchange, the Saudis will match other investors’ deposits in the fund.

Italy Vows to Stick to Budget That Breaches EU Rules [WSJ]
In a reply to a European Commission letter sent last week, Rome said it wouldn’t back down from its plans to run a budget deficit of 2.4% of gross domestic product—triple the level agreed by the previous government.
The move could lead to the EU rejecting the Italian coalition government’s budget and imposing fines on the country.
“The Italian government is conscious that it has chosen a budget policy approach which is not in line” with EU rules, Economy Minister Giovanni Tria wrote. “It was a tough but necessary decision in light of the persistent delay in recuperating the pre-crisis GDP levels.”

Bizarre 'headless chicken sea monster' filmed swimming off Antarctica for first time [Mirror]
A bizarre sea creature known as the "headless chicken sea monster" has been filmed swimming in frigid waters off Antarctica for the first time.
Researchers were thrilled after an underwater camera captured the deep-sea swimming sea cucumber in the Southern Ocean.
The video was recently recorded off East Antarctica - the first time the creature - which has a transparent body - has been filmed off the continent.
Until now, the webbed creature had only been filmed swimming in warmer waters in the Bahamas.

Related

By Lishabai Yi (Middle Kingdom Media Ltd.) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 5.22.17

Steve Schwarzman finds $20 billion in Saudi Arabia; Ford trades in for a new CEO; Trump gropes the orb of power; and more.

Getty Images

Opening Bell: 6.29.16

Moody's downgrades 12 UK banks; Soros bets against Deutsche Bank; Saudi Arabia beating off bankers with a stick; Cops say woman wielded hatchet after her demands for sex were rebuffed; and more.

FidelitySign

Opening Bell: 10.23.17

Fidelity managers aren't very nice; Saudi Arabia regrets Uber investment; Jordan Belfort thinks ICOs are a scam; the universe shouldn't exist; and more.

Opening Bell: 01.14.13

Goldman May Delay UK Bonuses Until Top Tax Rate Falls (Reuters) Goldman Sachs is considering delaying bonus payments in the U.K. until after April 6, when the top rate of income tax in the country will drop to 45 percent, from 50 percent, a person familiar with the bank's operations said on Sunday. The strategy relates to bonuses that were deferred from 2009, 2010 and 2011, the person said. The Financial Times reported the news earlier today. JPMorgan Said to Weigh Disclosing Whale Report Faulting Dimon (Bloomberg) JPMorgan's board will consider releasing an internal report this week that faults Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon’s oversight of a division that lost more than $6.2 billion on botched trades, said two people with direct knowledge of the matter. The final report, which builds on a preliminary analysis released in July, is critical of senior managers including Dimon, 56, former Chief Financial Officer Doug Braunstein, 51, and ex-Chief Investment Officer Ina Drew, 56, for inadequately supervising traders in a U.K. unit that amassed an illiquid position in credit derivatives last year, the people said. The report, which isn’t complete, will be presented to the board when it meets tomorrow. The directors will then vote on whether to disclose it when the bank announces fourth-quarter results the following day, said the people, who asked not to be named because the report isn’t yet public. Morgan Stanley to trim Dubai staff amid global cuts (Reuters) "The Dubai cuts are part of the bank's global plan. Obviously, the bank is trying to focus on growth opportunities in the region and there has been little growth on the equities side barring Saudi," one of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter has not been made public. Morgan Stanley's equities business will now focus on Saudi Arabia, the source said, adding that planned cuts at other divisions in the Middle East were minimal. Hedge-Fund Leverage Rises to Most Since 2004 in New Year (Bloomberg) The rising use of borrowed money shows that everyone from the biggest firms to individuals is willing to take more risks after missing the rewards of the bull market that began in 2009. While leverage means bigger losses should stocks decline, investors are betting that record earnings and valuations 9.8 percent below the six-decade average will help push the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index toward the record it set in October 2007. “The first step of increasing risk is just going long, the second part of that is levering up in order to go longer,” James Dunigan, who helps oversee $112 billion as chief investment officer in Philadelphia for PNC Wealth Management, said in a Jan. 8 telephone interview. “Leverage increasing in the hedge-fund area suggests they’re now getting on board.” Goldman: Insurer Knew Paulson Was 'Shorting' (WSJ) Goldman Sachs on Friday fired back at a bond insurer suing it over a soured mortgage-linked deal, arguing in a court filing that ACA Financial Guaranty Corp. "cherry-picked" evidence to bolster its case. ACA in 2011 filed suit against Goldman in New York State Court, alleging Goldman misled it about a 2007 mortgage deal. ACA alleges that Goldman told it that one of Goldman's hedge-fund clients, Paulson & Co., was betting on the deal, when in fact Paulson was betting against it, according to an amended complaint the insurer is seeking to file. Had ACA known Paulson's true position, it never would have insured the deal, according to the amended complaint. Goldman countered in the Friday filing that ACA insured the deal knowing Paulson was betting against residential mortgage-backed securities at the time. ACA analyzed and chose the investments in the deal and should have been alerted by various "red flags" that Paulson wasn't betting on the investment, according to the filing. Primate found to be addicted to porn (NYDN) Gina, a resident of the Seville Zoo in Spain, chose to solely watch adult entertainment channels when a television and remote control was placed in her enclosure. Primatologist Pablo Herreros, writing in Spanish newspaper El Mundo, claimed he made the discovery some years ago on a tour of the nation's chimpanzee enclosures. During his research trip he conducted surveys on the behavior of the animals. Herreros wrote, “What I could never imagine were the surprises prepared for me by a female of this species called Gina who inhabited Seville Zoo.” To enliven Gina's nights, officials apparently decided to install a television, protected behind glass, and gave her a remote control so she could change the channels herself. And enliven herself she did. “The surprise was when they found that within a few days, Gina was not only using the remote control perfectly well, but that she also used to choose the porn channel for entertainment, as many of us would have done, ” Herreros wrote. “Although a small study estimated that porn films are only watched for about 12 minutes on average, the truth is that human and non-human primates possess an intense sexual life.” AIG Sues New York Fed... To Secure Right To Sue Bank Of America (Reuters) American International Group Inc has filed a lawsuit against a vehicle created by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to help bail out the insurer, in a bid to preserve its right to sue Bank of America Corp and other issuers of mortgage debt that went sour. The complaint filed in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan seeks a declaration that AIG has not transferred billions of dollars of "litigation claims" to Maiden Lane II, including many related to the insurer's $10 billion lawsuit against Bank of America. UK court approves ex-Credit Suisse trader's extradition to U.S. (Reuters) A British court on Monday approved the extradition of a former Credit Suisse trader to the United States, where he is wanted over a $540-million fraud dating back to the subprime mortgage crisis. The case of Kareem Serageldin will now be sent to Home Secretary Theresa May, the interior minister, who under British law has the final say over extraditions to the United States. She is expected to give the green light for the transfer to take place. Serageldin, 39, the Swiss bank's former global head of structured credit, is accused of artificially inflating the prices of mortgage-backed bonds between August 2007 and February 2008, when their real value was plummeting. Equities Bear Brunt of Wall Street Job Cuts on Volume (Bloomberg) Employees on stocks desks fell by 8.5 percent globally in the first nine months of last year, according to a survey by Coalition Ltd., an industry analytics firm. That compares with a 6.6 percent drop in fixed-income workers and a 5.8 percent decrease for origination and advisory functions, the data show. Banks Find Promise Unfulfilled in China Forays (WSJ) Global firms sold about US$44 billion worth of shares in Asian financial institutions in 2012 to institutional investors or other strategic buyers, up from US$32.7 billion in 2011, according to data provider Dealogic. The retreat is gathering pace as a host of new regulations, including the so-called Basel III capital rules, make holding minority stakes in financial institutions more expensive. Thousands Participate In Annual No Pants Subway Ride (CBS) Organizers arranged that starting at 3 p.m., people got on trains at six different stops across the city, took off their pants and put them into their backpack. Participants then acted as if everything was completely normal as they rode on to Union Square. Participants are asked to don typical winter wear such as coats, hats and gloves and act as if they don’t know other pantsless riders, according to organizers. The group said it was just all in good fun. “People are willing to give basically their Sunday afternoon to take off their pants; to do something silly and fun, and you know, a good time,” one participant said. “It makes you feel invincible; superior, because nobody else has any idea what’s going on,” another said. There were no-pants subway rides in dozens of cities in 17 countries Sunday. In New York City, participants were happy it was rather warm. In prior years, the cold has bummed them out.

By EdJF [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 10.24.18

Oil slumping; Trump feuding; Mike Mayo horny; Man seeking puppy in China buys rat by mistake; and more!

Goldman_Sachs-china

Opening Bell: 11.6.17

Goldman goes east; Saudi prince's arrest impacts Citi, Twitter investments; Wilbur Ross has a Putin problem; William Dudley to retire; and more.

Opening Bell: 4.21.16

Soros says China's economy looks like U.S. before '08 crisis; Canada does global economy a solid; Investors pull $15 billion from hedge funds; Cops Seek Dominatrix In Bar Beating; and more.

(Getty Images)

Opening Bell: 10.10.18

Another hurricane coming; Sears considering giving up; Bloomberg's running; Greece institutes "No fatties on donkeys" rule; and more!