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White House Says It’s Bracing for an Autumn Wave [NYT]
“We are filling the stockpile in anticipation of a possible problem in the fall,” [Peter] Navarro told Jake Tapper on the CNN program “State of the Union.” “We’re doing everything we can.”
Mr. Navarro also said that a comment by President Trump over the weekend about wanting to slow down virus testing had been “tongue in cheek.”

New York City Enters Its Broadest Reopening Yet: Offices [NYT]
[Mayor Bill] de Blasio estimated that as many as 300,000 workers would return to their jobs this week — a far cry from the numbers that usually jostle elbows on crowded subways and cram into high-rise elevators….
JPMorgan Chase, one of the city’s largest commercial tenants, said it would not send employees back to their offices this week and has not set a return date. Other financial services firms, like Goldman Sachs, anticipate a small number of employees returning to their offices but have said that most workers will not come back until well into next year.

Fed adds coronavirus scenarios to this year’s bank stress tests [CNBC]
“The larger issue is the unprecedented uncertainty about the course of the COVID event and the economy,” [Federal Reserve Vice Chair for Supervision Randal] Quarles said in prepared remarks. “The range of plausible forecasts is high and continues to shift. We don’t know about the pace of reopening, how consumers will behave, or the prospects for a new round of containment. There’s probably never been more uncertainty about the economic outlook.”
Consequently, the Fed has added three conditions that examine how banks would fare going forward:
· A V-shaped recovery that mirrors how quickly the economy fell, with much of output and employment regained by the end of the year.
·A U recovery that is slower with a smaller level of output and employment regained.
·A W-shaped situation with “a short-lived recovery followed by a severe drop in activity later this year due to a second wave of containment measures.”

Treasury Dept. Agrees to Release Data on Small-Business Relief [NYT]
The decision is a reversal for the administration, which had closely guarded the information and argued that private businesses should not have their names or the amount of money that they took from the federal government disclosed…. [Treasury Secretary Steven] Mnuchin signaled on Monday that he was prepared to change course and he engaged in discussions with Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida and the chairman of the Senate’s small-business committee, to find a compromise solution.

Stocks of Black-Owned Companies Surge on Juneteenth Holiday [WSJ]
Shares of Broadway Financial Corp., Urban One Inc. and Carver Bancorp Inc. traded so heavily they were all briefly halted for volatility on Friday by Nasdaq. Another stock, American Shared Hospital Services, was halted Thursday…. On social media, people have been encouraging each other to support black-owned businesses and buy the stocks of black-owned companies.

Jack Ma’s Fintech Giant Ant to Drop ‘Financial’ From Its Name [WSJ]
A spokesman said the company wants to be referred to in English as “Ant Group Co.,” better reflecting its role as “an innovative global technology provider” to businesses, including financial institutions. “More than 60% of Ant employees are in technology-related jobs, he added…. Ant has been trying to shed its financial-services image. Executives earlier said they prefer that Ant be called a “TechFin” company rather than a “fintech” one. In March, Alipay said it plans to build a “one-stop digital lifestyle platform” that connects 40 million service providers—from grocery-delivery companies to hotels and transportation providers—with its users.

Companies Are Paying a Lot More to Insure Their Directors and Officers [WSJ]
Driving the increases is the rise in shareholder litigation, both in the number of cases and size of jury awards and settlements, brokers said. Another connected factor is the growth of litigation-finance firms, which invest in corporate legal disputes….
In the U.S., premium rates for directors-and-officers insurance jumped 44% to 104% in the first quarter compared with the year-earlier period…. “It’s a real Catch-22…some of our clients say that, ‘If we didn’t take out a higher limit, we wouldn’t be a target for litigation funders,’” said Scott Curley, a director at GSA Insurance Brokers in Sydney.

Biden’s $80.8 Million Outpaced Trump’s Fund-Raising in May [NYT]
Priorities USA took in $2 million from James H. Simons, a New York hedge-fund billionaire, as well as $500,000 each from John Pritzker, who runs an investment firm in California, and David E. Shaw, a scientist who served as an adviser on science and technology to President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama.

Private Equity Donors Favor Biden Over Trump on Bet to End Chaos [Bloomberg]
Supporters linked to those industries have poured more than $21 million into his campaign and outside groups backing him, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a rate much higher than the support they gave Hillary Clinton in 2016. By contrast, they’ve given President Donald Trump and his allied super-PACs just $3.6 million…. Big Republican donors who in the past have given millions to super-PACs, like Paul Singer of Elliott Management Corp. and Robert Mercer, the former co-chief executive officer of Renaissance Technologies, have mostly stayed on the sidelines so far this cycle…. Since the president took office, Trump Victory hasn’t received a single donation from employees of Bain Capital, Warburg Pincus LLC, the Carlyle Group Inc. or KKR & Co.

NYC Tries to Curb Rise in Illegal Fireworks, Track Down Source [NBC4 New York]
There have already been more than 1,700 fireworks-related complaints to the city’s noise complaint hotline through the first half of June. Usually, there are just a few dozen such complaints during that time period, with only 21 registered during this time in 2019…. “They are a block from my house,” she said. “I see them from my window and it freaks out my dog.”


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Opening Bell: 9.18.20

WeChat, too; new stress tests to stress about; an extra-special SPAC; Xi Jinping confirms all of Peter Navarro’s suspicions; and more!


Opening Bell: 2.6.17

Goldman souring on Trump; Deutsche Bank still apologizing to Germany; Super Bowl commercials residing in the uncanny valley; and more.

Opening Bell: 3.11.15

Gundlach can't believe these "blockheads" at the Fed; New Credit Suisse CEO knows about risk unlike some people; Stress tests; Bales of weed for everyone; AND MORE.

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Opening Bell: 1.4.22

Bridgewater’s new BMOCs; private equity booms, hedge funds not so much; the wages of crypto; and more!

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Opening Bell: 9.2.16

Carl Icahn's son wants a promotion; Banks vs stress tests; Pamela Anderson, rabbi pen op-ed saying porn is "for losers"; and more.

Opening Bell: 3.5.15

Wolves; Stress tests; Pot offices; Billionaire Bahamas Brawl; Sharks; AND MORE.

Opening Bell: 3.6.15

Stress tests; The next Silicon Valley; Why you should lease a Rolls-Royce ; Emu on the loose; AND MORE.

Opening Bell: 02.22.13

AIG Swings to Loss on Sandy Costs, Sale of Unit (WSJ) AIG posted a loss of $3.96 billion, or $2.68 a share, compared with profit of $21.5 billion, or $11.31, a year earlier. Its life-insurance and retirement-services business earned $1.09 billion, up 20% from a year earlier. The company also said it would take a loss of about $4.4 billion on the planned sale of a 90% stake in the plane unit, International Lease Finance Corp. AIG's full-year net income of $3.4 billion marked a sharp decline from the $20.6 billion profit the company posted for 2011, when it adjusted its balance sheet to reflect its expected use of more than $18 billion in tax benefits. CFTC Sues CME Group, Alleging Trade-Data Leaks (WSJ) U.S. regulators took aim at the world's largest futures-exchange operator, accusing CME Group Inc. and two former employees of allegedly sharing details on clients' trades with a commodities broker. The civil charges, leveled Thursday by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, mark the first time the agency has sued CME in federal court. The case also highlights how regulators have responded to flagging confidence in the financial markets by scrutinizing more closely some of Wall Street's central pillars: the exchanges. The CFTC charged a unit of Chicago-based CME and two former employees with disclosing private information about trading in its big energy markets to an outside party between 2008 and 2010 in return for meals and entertainment. CME said Thursday it would contest the charges. "Markets are too important for this [type of allegation] to be taken lightly," Bart Chilton, a CFTC commissioner, said in an interview. Citigroup bows to shareholder pressure, overhauls pay (Reuters) Citigroup said on Thursday it has overhauled an executive pay plan that shareholders rejected last year as overly generous, revising it to tie bonus payments more closely to stock performance and profitability. The company also said it will pay new Chief Executive Mike Corbat $11.5 million for his work in 2012, in line with remuneration for his peers at other major banks. The new plan was crafted after board Chairman Michael O'Neill and other directors met with "nearly 20" shareholders representing more than 30 percent of Citigroup stock, Citi said in a filing. Watchdog Says LinkedIn paid no federal income tax over past three years (NYP) The Mountain View, Calif., social network for professionals escaped the tax man because of a rule that allows companies to deduct expenses from employee stock awards, the watchdog, the Center for Tax Justice, told The Post. It’s a longstanding accounting trick that has spared many tech firms — including Amazon and Yahoo from 2009 to 2011 — from sharing any of their profits with the IRS, the CTJ said. “On $160 million profits over the last three years, LinkedIn paid zero federal income taxes,” said the CTJ’s Rebecca Wilkins. “The stock option deduction was big enough to wipe out all their taxes.” Unemployment applications up 20,000 last week to 362,000 (AP) The Labor Department said Thursday that thefour-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 8,000 to 360,750, the highest in six weeks. Trump Twitter Mystery! Who Hacked the Donald? (CNBC) In what appears to be the latest in a minor wave of attacks on Twitter accounts belonging to out-sized corporate entities, an out-of-character tweet from Donald Trump's verified account set the Internet abuzz, and then disappeared, shortly before noon ET on Thursday. "These hoes think they classy, well that's the class I'm skippen," read the suspect remark issued from @realDonaldTrump. It was a glaring non sequitur following tweets such as "Republicans must be careful with immigration—don't give our country away," and "Wow, Macy's numbers just in-Trump is doing better than ever — thanks for your great support!" "Yes, obviously the account has been hacked and we are looking for the perpetrator," Rhona Graff, senior vice president, assistant to the president of the Trump Organization, told NBC News via email. This confirmation was quickly echoed by Trump himself, in a tweet that read, "My Twitter has been seriously hacked — and we are looking for the perpetrators." UBS to Trade Equity Swaps in China in Structured-Product Push (Bloomberg) Chinese regulators last month decided to allow UBS to trade total return swaps, Thomas Fang, the bank’s managing director for equities derivatives sales for Asia, said in a phone interview. The bank will use the derivatives to create structured products tied to local stocks, with plans to boost the size of its staff in the country for the business, Fang said. The China Securities Regulatory Commission’s press office didn’t immediately respond to a faxed request for confirmation. A Tax That May Change The Trading Game (NYT) The tax would be tiny for investors who buy and hold, but could prove to be significant for traders who place millions of orders a day. Under the proposal, a trade of shares worth 10,000 euros would face a tax of one-tenth of 1 percent, or 10 euros. A trade of a derivative would face a tax of one-hundredth of 1 percent. But that tax would be applied to the notional value, which can be very large relative to the cost of the derivative. So a credit-default swap on 1 million euros of debt would have a tax of 100 euros, or about 0.4 percent of the annual premium on such a swap. On Currencies, What's Fair Is Hard to Say (WSJ) What's the fair value of a euro? That depends on whether the answer comes from Berlin or Paris. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday weighed in on what the currency should be worth, saying the euro's exchange rate is "normal in the historical context." French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici had a different take earlier this month, calling the euro "perhaps too strong." Economists say Ms. Merkel is right—technically. The euro's buying power is roughly where it should be, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, which judges currencies based on countries' current-account balance. But others caution Germany's relatively robust economy props up the euro's value; if weaker countries like Spain or Italy still had their own currencies, they'd be worth much less. Singapore GDP Growth Beats Initial Estimate as Asia Recovers (Bloomberg) Gross domestic product rose an annualized 3.3 percent in the three months through December from the previous quarter, when it shrank a revised 4.6 percent, the Trade Ministry said in a statement today. That compares with a January estimate of 1.8 percent and the median in a Bloomberg News survey for a 2 percent expansion. KFC employee fired for making out with boob-shaped mashed potatoes (DD) A KFC employee in Tennessee is out of a job after photos of the culprit making out with a plate of mashed potatoes ended up on Facebook. The mashed potatoes, which were apparently not served to some unknowing customer, had been arranged into the shape of a woman's boob. In the photos, the former employee can be found licking what we'd have to consider the underboob of the mashed potato mammary before throwing it into an oven. The photo became public information when it showed up on the Facebook page for Johnson City, Tenn., news channel WJHL, where it was shared 2,000 times and received more than 700 comments. Once the news organization was able to determine its locational origin—the KFC on North Roan Street—the suspected employee was terminated. KFC spokesman Rick Maynard confirmed the firing but would not name the culprit because that "wouldn't be appropriate." He stressed that the employee who took the photos is no longer with the company. "Nothing is more important to KFC than food safety," he wrote to WJHL. "As soon as our franchisee became aware of the issue, immediate action was taken.