Senate passes extension of Paycheck Protection Program until August 8, hours ahead of deadline [CNN]
Tuesday's extension came as a surprise, even to Democrats who forced the action on the floor. While there had been discussions about moving the deadline, there were no substantive moves towards agreement on one until shortly before it actually reached the floor…. The bill, proposed by Senate Democrats, was passed by unanimous consent.
The Democratic-led House would still need to act on the extension.

Mnuchin, Powell Pledge Additional Relief to Prevent Lasting Damage to Economy [WSJ]
“We have a lot of important features that all come to an end in July,” Mr. Mnuchin told lawmakers at the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday. He said the administration wanted any additional relief to be “targeted to certain industries that have been especially hard-hit by the pandemic….”
“Hypothetically, a second outbreak would force governments and people to withdraw again from economic activity,” Mr. Powell said. While stating that he wasn’t forecasting another outbreak, he said, “The worst part of it would be to undermine public confidence, which is what we need to get back to lots of kinds of economic activity that involves crowds.”

USMCA Takes Effect but North American Trade Tensions Remain [WSJ]
“Trade agreements are by definition intended to provide order and certainty to the marketplace, but the USMCA is already stirring up controversy,” said Jessica Wasserman, a partner at Greenspoon Marder LLP in the international trade practice. “The Trump administration trade negotiation approach has been to keep everyone guessing and never reach closure, so maybe it is not surprising that there is so much left unresolved.”

Hedge Fund Liquidations Surged as Pandemic Rocked Markets [II]
The number of hedge fund liquidations soared in the first three months of this year to 304, the highest since the fourth quarter of 2015, according to a Hedge Fund Research report Tuesday. As coronavirus fears shook markets, the number of newly created hedge funds sank to a near-record low in the first quarter, with total industry assets dipping below $3 trillion.

Banks Face Increasing Compliance Risks, OCC Says [WSJ]
The pandemic could create challenges for financial institutions to abide by a host of policies, procedures and requirements ranging from data privacy and fair lending to efforts to combat money laundering, the OCC said…. The OCC, like other regulatory agencies, said it recognizes that there may be delays in banks’ compliance with anti-money-laundering and sanctions requirements due to the pandemic, and that it is taking these circumstances into consideration in compliance examinations.

Virgin Atlantic Favors U.S. Hedge Fund for Rescue Cash [Bloomberg]
[Davidson Kempner Capital Management] has emerged as the favored funding provider, ahead of an alliance of Elliott Management and U.K. investment firm Greybull Capital, according to the people, who asked not to be named as talks are private.
Davidson Kempner would provide more than half the money, with Richard Branson, the airline’s 69-year-old founder and majority shareholder, committing to inject around 200 million pounds, one person said. A final decision hasn’t been taken and Centerbridge Partners, which had dropped out earlier, has been back in touch and could seek to swing a deal with a late proposal, that person said.

Wave of Corporate Failures Stays at Bay—for Now [WSJ]
The companies that have succumbed were already heavily indebted and in industries that were declining before the pandemic. The loss of revenue during the economic shutdown tipped them over the edge.
The picture for healthier companies, on the other hand, has brightened considerably over the past couple of months, thanks in large part to the Federal Reserve’s corporate-bond-buying program, which includes the debt of investment-grade companies as well as those that had investment-grade credit ratings before March 22.

Federal government runs out of free face masks; TSA also faces shortage [Yahoo! News]
In recent days, political leaders from both parties have urged Americans to wear protective coverings, which can drastically reduce the rate of viral transmission, perhaps by as much as 85 percent…. Project: America Strong was initiated by the federal government to distribute “reusable cotton face coverings to critical infrastructure sectors, companies, healthcare facilities, and faith-based and community organizations across the country to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” according to the project’s website.
The project appears to have run out of face masks in recent days. 

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

Opening Bell: 9.21.16

Senators vs Wells Fargo; Hedge funds vs SABMiller deal; DOJ vs former Fed staffer; Son of Chinese billionaire buys eight iPhone 7s for his dog; and more.

Opening Bell: 11.12.15

AB InBev seals SABMiller deal; Argentina finally pays off for hedge funds; $50,000 headphones; "Shia LaBeouf Live-Streams Himself Watching All of His Movies"; and more.

Jay Powell

Opening Bell: 6.3.20

Fed progam that hasn’t launched already a smashing success; PPP still less so; CQS even less so still; killer hand sanitzer; and more!

Source: AP

Opening Bell: 6.30.17

Warren Buffett just made a few bucks on Bank of America; hedge funds did naughty things with hot IPO shares; Goop vs Infowars; flying weiners; and more.

Opening Bell: 08.15.12

Standard Chartered Faces Fed Probes After N.Y. Deal (Bloomberg) Regulators including the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve, Justice Department and Manhattan District Attorney declined attempts at a global settlement, said two people familiar with the matter. A coordinated effort was already in progress before New York’s unilateral deal, announced yesterday by financial regulator Benjamin Lawsky, one of the people said. The agreement doesn’t take into account all of the bank’s alleged violations, including those involving nations such as Sudan, said one of the people, who added that September is the earliest a universal deal may be reached. Paulson Steps Up Gold Bet To 44% Of Firm’s Equity Assets (Bloomberg) John Paulson raised his stake in an exchange-traded fund tracking the price of gold while selling other stocks during the second quarter, leaving his $21 billion hedge fund with more than 44 percent of its U.S. traded equities tied to bullion. Paulson & Co. purchased an additional 4.53 million shares of the SPDR Gold Trust, the firm’s largest position, and bought more shares of NovaGold Resources Inc, according to a Form 13F filed yesterday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Goldman Sachs, SkyBridge Among Mitt Romney's Hedge Fund Bundlers (AR) FYI. Brevan Howard Raising Money In U.S. For Currency Hedge Fund (Bloomberg) London-based Brevan Howard filed an Aug. 9 private- placement notice with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to raise an unspecified amount of assets for its Macro FX fund. The $1 billion currency fund is managed by Luke Ding, a former Merrill Lynch & Co. foreign exchange trader who joined Brevan Howard in 2007. Greece Staves Off Default (WSJ) Greece successfully staved off a default on debts owed to the European Central Bank, as more information dribbled out on the parlous state of its economy and banking system. The Greek economy shrank 6.2% year-on-year in the second quarter, European Union statistics agency Eurostat estimated on Tuesday, and senior bankers said more than 20% of loans to the domestic economy are now officially nonperforming. They warned that the problem may overwhelm the sector and derail the country's bailout program. He Whipped, She Snapped (NYP) Frankie Santiago embraced a role as live-in fetish slave to dominating Manhattan investment-banker beau Edward Sonderling, playing out a bondage fantasy similar to college student Anastasia Steele and older Christian Grey in the erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.” But it all took a twisted turn when Santiago, 27, found out Sonderling, 53, had been training his whips on her replacement. The submissive Santiago exploded in a fit of rage, law-enforcement sources said, allegedy shattering Sonderling’s car windshield and bombarding him with dozens of text threats. “If I ever see you with her I will not hold back. I have nothing to lose,” Santiago railed in one text. “I hope she has a disease you catch.” Santiago — who is known in the bondage-domination S&M community as Althea Lyn — was arrested Monday after what sources said was a knock-down, drag-out fight with Sonderling at the East 57th Street apartment where she once did his daily bidding. Santiago and Sonderling — who has the body of a much younger man and is known as King Eddo — were regulars on Manhattan’s BDSM circuit, where Sonderling boasted of being a “whipping aficionado,” said a source who knows the pair. A Horace Mann and Brown graduate, Sonderling runs his own firm, Priority Investors LLC, He declined to comment on Santiago’s arrest and his extracurricular BDSM activities. “I don’t think that I have anything to say about it. Why would I?” he said. Fund Managers Unload Big Banks (WSJ) Some well-known money managers reported significantly reduced stakes in big banks, including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., as well as food companies such as Kraft Foods Inc. in the second quarter. Billionaire investor George Soros's Soros Fund Management LLC eliminated positions in J.P. Morgan Chase and Goldman, as well as Citigroup Inc., according to a regulatory filing late Tuesday. The investment company also reported a new stake in retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and a 341,000-share stake in Facebook Inc. Goldman executives win dismissal of mortgage, TARP lawsuit (Reuters) Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and other bank officials won the dismissal of a shareholder lawsuit accusing them of tolerating poor mortgage practices and quitting a federal bailout program early to boost executive pay. U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan said the shareholders failed to show there were "red flags" to put bank directors on notice of "broken controls" in Goldman's mortgage servicing business, including that workers at its Litton unit may have been "robo-signing" documents. Pauley also cited a similar lack of red flags to suggest directors knew Goldman was packaging troubled loans in residential mortgage-backed securities, including loans the bank sold "short" in a bet they would lose value. The judge also said the plaintiffs did not show that directors acted in bad faith in letting Goldman repay $10 billion taken from the Troubled Asset Relief Program early, in June 2009, freeing the bank from restrictions on executive pay. Giuliani: Biden Lacks ‘Mental Capacity’ for VP Job (CNBC) “I've never seen a vice president that has made as many mistakes, said as many stupid things,” he said on “The Kudlow Report.” “I mean, there’s a real fear if, God forbid, he ever had to be entrusted with the presidency, whether he really has the mental capacity to handle it. I mean, this guy just isn’t bright. He’s never been bright. He isn’t bright. And people think, ‘Well, he just talks a little too much.’ Actually, he’s just not very smart.”

trump-deutsche-loan

Opening Bell: 12.5.17

Mueller is poking around at Deutsche Bank; bankers might be a little too accommodating to hedge fund clients; actual mining company mines bitcoin; Irish villagers face erection epidemic; and more.