Federal Reserve official warns US recovery may be ‘levelling off’ [FT]
Raphael Bostic, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, whose district covers some of the regions hardest hit by the current outbreaks, including Florida, said high-frequency data had shown a “levelling off” of economic activity both in terms of business openings and mobility.
“There are a couple of things that we are seeing and some of them are troubling and might suggest that the trajectory of this recovery is going to be a bit bumpier than it might otherwise,” Mr Bostic said. “And so we’re watching this very closely, trying to understand exactly what’s happening.”

Palantir, One of Silicon Valley’s Oldest Startups, Files to Go Public [WSJ]
Palantir has repeatedly missed promises to investors to turn a profit, and employees have agitated for a chance to sell their private shares in the open market. Palantir has yet to turn an annual profit…. Palantir is heavily weighing a so-called direct listing, a cheaper option that allows the company to save on investment banking fees, people familiar with the matter say.

Elliott has an appetite for casual dining turnaround [The Times]
Elliott Advisors is believed to be among the last few bidders for Casual Dining Group, the owner of the Café Rouge, Bella Italia and Las Iguanas chains…. Elliott, which pressured Whitbread to sell Costa Coffee last year for £3.9 billion, is understood to be one of two remaining bidders for all three brands. Aurelius Group, which almost bought Jamie’s Italian last year, is bidding for the Café Rouge and Bella brands….

Elliott Pushes Crown Castle to Bolster Fiber Business [WSJ]
Crown’s fiber strategy “has not been effective and has significantly detracted from shareholder returns,” Elliott said in the letter. The investment firm said it controls an economic interest of $1 billion in the company and has been speaking with Crown executives privately for more than a month….
“Relative to its close industry peers, Crown Castle has underperformed on a consistent basis for more than a decade,” the hedge fund said in the letter.

Deutsche Bank and Google agree multi-year, strategic partnership [Reuters]
Deutsche Bank said on Tuesday it has agreed a strategic, multi-year partnership with Google to give the German lender access to cloud services and drive innovation in technology-based financial products for clients…. A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that Deutsche Bank expects the partnership to generate more than 1 billion euros ($1.13 billion) in accumulated earnings before income and tax (EBIT) over the next ten years.

UK’s big accountancy firms told to split off audit arms by 2024 [Guardian]
Accounting firms have found themselves the subject of intense criticism for perceived inaction in the years leading up to the financial collapses of the retailer BHS and the builder and government contract Carillion…. MPs have previously questioned whether accounting firms have an incentive not to ask difficult questions about the finances of companies that are also paying them for other services.

Former Barclays CEO John Varley grilled on negotiations with Qatar in High Court [FN]
“We had a weak bargaining position, I accept that,” Varley told the court. Varley explained that he feared the consequences for the strategic direction of the bank had it become part-owned by the government and that it would have been “damaging” to shareholders…. When asked why he had told Financial Services Authority — now the Financial Conduct Authority — in 2012 that he didn’t recall the £600m demand, Varley said that he had “forgotten” about it at the time. 

Related

Opening Bell: 12.05.12

Global Banking Under Siege as Nations Tighten Local Rules (Bloomberg) Regulators want to curtail risks exposed after global banks such as New York-based Citigroup, Edinburgh-based Royal Bank of Scotland and Zurich-based UBS took bailouts in the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Forcing lenders to dedicate capital and liquidity to multiple local subsidiaries, rather than a single parent, may undermine the business logic of a multinational structure. “Being big and spread out all over the world isn’t what it used to be,” said Mayra Rodriguez Valladares, managing principal at New York-based MRV Associates, which trains bank examiners and executives at financial firms. “You’ll see global banks jettison divisions abroad and at home.” Paulson Said to Blame Bet Against Europe for Most of Loss (Bloomberg) John Paulson, manager of $20 billion in hedge funds, told investors that the bulk of his losses this year came on bets that the European sovereign-debt crisis would worsen, according to a person familiar with the matter. Paulson, speaking to clients at his firm’s annual meeting yesterday in New York, said he has reduced those positions following European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s comments in July that the ECB was committed to preserving the euro, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the meeting was private. Paulson said in a February letter to investors that the euro was “structurally flawed” and would eventually fall apart. In April, the founder of New York-based Paulson & Co. told clients he was wagering against European sovereign bonds and buying credit-default swaps on European debt, or protection against the chance of default. No Payback For Singer This Year (NYP) Paul Singer’s last-ditch attempt to get cash from Argentina this year has failed. A motion by Singer’s hedge fund, Elliott Management, requesting that the South American country put up a security deposit of $250 million by Dec. 10 was denied by a federal appeals court yesterday. “Since we will not have a big payment for ages (if ever), this looks like a huge blow to [Elliott’s] strategy,” said sovereign-debt expert Anna Gelpern. In Tax Fight, G.O.P. Seeks a Position to Fall Back On (NYT) Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, who is retiring, joined a handful of other Republicans on Tuesday suggesting that Congress should pass the middle-class tax cut extensions now, then leave the fight over taxes and spending until later. Americans, she said, "should not even be questioning that we will ultimately raise taxes on low- to middle-income people." Congress could take that off the table "while you're grappling with tax cuts for the wealthy," she said. But any move toward compromise with Democrats on fiscal issues quickly comes under attack from conservatives as a surrender and unsettles the rank-and-file. It is a dynamic that has haunted Speaker John A. Boehner throughout the 112th Congress, as he has repeatedly been caught between the imperative to govern and the need to satisfy the restive right. Mr. Boehner, of Ohio, has drawn fire this week for removing a handful of House Republicans who have defied the leadership from their preferred committee seats, a step he took to enforce party discipline. Fed to launch fresh bond buying to help economy (Reuters) The Federal Reserve is set to announce a fresh round of Treasury bond purchases when it meets next week, avoiding monetary policy tightening to maintain support for the weak U.S. economy amid uncertainty over the looming year-end "fiscal cliff." Many economists think the U.S. central bank will announce monthly bond purchases of $45 billion after its policy gathering on December 11-12, signaling it will continue to pump money into the U.S. economy during 2013 in a bid to bring down unemployment. Merkel Wins Party Reelection, Eyes Third Term (Reuters) Merkel, at the height of her popularity, was returned unopposed as CDU chairwoman with 97.9 percent of votes from delegates who stood and applauded her for nearly eight minutes after she lauded Germany's economic resilience in the euro crisis and promised to fight for jobs and prosperity. McAfee Emerges From Hiding in Guatemala (FT) John McAfee, the antivirus software entrepreneur, has revealed that he has fled to Guatemala from Belize where he is wanted for questioning in relation to a murder. Posting on his website on Tuesday, the US citizen and multimillionaire said: "I apologize for all of the misdirections over the past few days . . . I am in Guatemala." His emergence closes one chapter in a bizarre chain of events that started last month when police in Belize, where Mr McAfee has lived for the past four years, discovered the dead body of Gregory Faull, the owner of a house close to Mr McAfee's main property on the island of Ambergris Caye. Mr McAfee - who Belize considers "a person of interest" in the murder investigation - fled, going into hiding and insisting on his innocence. He said he ran from the police because he believed that the Belize authorities were out to kill him. In response, Dean Barrow, the prime minister, said: "I don't want to be unkind to the gentleman, but I believe he is extremely paranoid". Mr McAfee revealed his location on Tuesday after a hacker called Simple Nomad disclosed his whereabouts by analyzing a mobile-phone photograph taken of McAfee on Monday that was posted on the internet. In a second blog post late Tuesday titled "the new fight", Mr McAfee said he had asked Telsforo Guerra, a former attorney-general of Guatemala, to help uncover what he claims is deep-rooted corruption in Belize. Separately, he told Reuters that Mr Guerra was trying to help him obtain political asylum in Guatemala, even though Belizean authorities have not charged him. EU Banks To Repay Cheap Loans (WSJ) Nearly a year ago, hundreds of European banks borrowed a total of more than €1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) from the European Central Bank as it scrambled to defuse an escalating crisis. Today, in a sign of the industry's partial healing, some of Europe's biggest banks are preparing to repay those loans. The push to repay the loans, however, has generated concerns that banks are moving prematurely and could be vulnerable if the euro-zone crisis intensifies again. The ECB activated the emergency loan program—known as the long-term refinancing operation, or LTRO—late last year, doling out two batches of inexpensive loans that are good for three years. Banks are permitted to repay them starting next month. Euro Crisis Feeds Corruption as Greece Slides in Rankings (Bloomberg) The European debt crisis has given way to a new wave of corruption as some of the most hard-hit countries in the turmoil have tumbled in an annual graft ranking, watchdog group Transparency International said. Greece, in its fifth year of recession and crippled by rounds of austerity, fell to 94th place from 80th -- ranking it below Colombia and Liberia, according to the group’s Corruption Perceptions Index. Ireland, Austria, Malta and Italy were also among member states in the single currency to slide. Moynihan: No Stress (Bloomberg) Bank of America CEO Brian T. Moynihan said the firm has plenty of capital and he’s confident it will pass the next US stress tests. “The question will be what to ask for and when, because we’re not going to fail this,” Moynihan said yesterday at a New York investor conference sponsored by Goldman Sachs. Moynihan, 53, is renewing efforts to win approval to raise the company’s dividend or repurchase shares after the Federal Reserve blocked an earlier request. Fed Filcher Gets Timeout (NYP) Bo Zhang, a Chinese-citizen computer programmer who worked for a contractor at the New York Fed, was sentenced to six months of home confinement for stealing Treasury Department software. Snake on a plane forces emergency landing (CNN) ...the incident forced the pilot to make an emergency landing in the Egyptian resort town of Al Ghardaqa on the Red Sea, according to The Jordan Times. An Egypt Air official told the paper an investigation revealed that a 48-year-old passenger, who owns a reptile shop in Kuwait, had hidden the Egyptian cobra in a carry-on bag. The passenger was trying to control the snake after it bit his hand and started slithering under the seats. The Egyptian daily al-Masry al-Youm reported that the man refused medical treatment, claiming his wound was only superficial. The plane resumed its flight to Kuwait after local authorities confiscated the snake. Doctors told the passenger he should spend 24 hours in a hospital for observation, but the man refused, the Egyptian Air official said, according to The Jordan Times.

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.

Opening Bell: 5.29.15

Dick Fuld tells conference attendee to "bite" him, says mother still loves him; Moody's upgrades banks; "Wall Street’s Young Guns Brace for First Big Test"; Paul Singer says bet against bonds; "Woman Stabbed In BBQ Argument Over Last Rib"; 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.

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.