Opening Bell 11.20.18

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Welcome to the new Opening Bell from The Water Coolest. We think you're gonna like it here ...

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(For those of you wondering WTF The Water Coolest is, and what it's intentions are with the Opening Bell ... don't worry we've made you a new friend.)

Ghosn in sixty seconds [The Water Coolest]

How to fall from grace: 1) Turnaround a near-bankrupt Japanese automotive giant and become a national hero 2) Have a best-selling comic book written about your knack for capitalism 3) Get arrested on charges of financial wrongdoing and watch the whole charade come crumbling down around you from a prison cell.

Carlos Ghosn, the Chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi who moonlights as the CEO of Renault, was arrested yesterday on charges of fraud related to his failure to report roughly half of the $89M in compensation he earned over the past 5 years to the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn Arrested, to Be Ousted as Chairman Amid Financial Misconduct Probe [WSJ]

Let's get this French bread [The Water Coolest]

French bank, Societe Generale settled a long-running case related to violations of US sanctions by agreeing to pay $1.3B to various US government agencies. The DOJ, New York Department of Financial Services, Manhattan District Attorney, US Federal Reserve, and US Treasury are all getting a piece of the reparations.

SocGen admitted to processing $8.3B worth of payments for and doing business with countries subject to US sanctions, mainly Cuba, Iran, and Sudan between 2003 and 2013. Uncle Sam could have turned a blind eye to the bank simply having a thing for bad boys, but the "dirty money," as it was, wound up flowing through US institutions.

One would expect France's 3rd biggest bank to be on the up and up with its operations in light of its sanction-related faux pas. Au contraire mon frère. SocGen's CEO left the company abruptly this year amid a Libor rate-rigging scandal for which the company was forced to cough up $1.3B in fines.

SocGen to Pay $1.3 Billion to Settle U.S. Sanctions Case [Bloomberg]

RIP in peace [The Water Coolest]

Words you don't want to see in an email from the commodities trading firm with which you've entrusted your unborn children's college fund: "In short, it was a rogue wave and it overwhelmed us. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a catastrophic loss." The straight shooters over at OptionSellers.com were caught in a short squeeze when natural gas prices rose quickly last week, leaving investors sh*t out of luck.

Options trading firm blows up amid natural gas volatility [FT]

What else is happening today?

  • Even bitcoin’s most fervent HODL-ers are all aboard the GTFO train to Realized Loss-ville. Things went from worse to f*cking terrible for bitcoin as the virtual currency dropped below $5k for the first time since October of 2017.
  • BuzzFeed is launching a paid membership platform for users to make either monthly or annual donations in exchange for exclusive content and, in some cases, a free tote bag. Apparently, fans were clamoring to give away their money on an ongoing basis, thus the $5/month, or $100/year subscription service.

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