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M.B.A.s Are Usually Swimming in Job Offers by Now. Not This Year. [WSJ]
PricewaterhouseCoopers, say there will be no jobs on offer to second-year M.B.A. candidates looking to lock down a position before they graduate in 2021…. Consulting giant Bain & Co. is reducing the number of second-year M.B.A.s it plans to hire but has made offers to this summer’s entire M.B.A. intern class…. EY, one of the largest professional services firms in the world and the umbrella organization for its U.S. affiliate, Ernst & Young LLP, is waiting to see how a potential second wave of Covid-19 infections plays out before it finalizes hiring plans for the year….
Students who weren’t able to land a summer internship—or had their offer rescinded—fear they could have a tough time finding the job they thought the pricey degree would give them upon graduation. RelishCareers said in a recent survey more than a third of 2021 M.B.A. candidates have had job and internship offers rescinded or changed because of the pandemic, compared with about 20% of M.B.A.s who graduated this year.

Coronavirus Has Left Banks With Lots of Cash and Little to Do With It [WSJ]
Customers flooded banks with more deposits than they had ever seen, so much so that the nation’s safety net for bank failures fell below a legal limit…. “The banks have been flooded by cash and it’s hard to know what to do with it,” said Brian Foran, an analyst at Autonomous Research. “That narrative is not an attractive investment story.”

S&P 500 on Track to End Best Month Since April [WSJ]
Futures tied to the S&P 500 edged up 0.2%, suggesting that the gauge will extend its climb after the New York opening bell. Last week, the S&P 500 logged its strongest performance since early July, putting its gains so far in August at about 7.2%.... Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 ticked up 0.2%. Trading volumes remained low, with markets in the U.K. closed.

U.S. says Herbalife to pay $123.1 million to resolve China bribery case [Reuters]
Herbalife approved “extensive and systematic corrupt payments” to Chinese officials, while falsifying records to make its bribes appear as legitimate business expenses, Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss in Manhattan said in a statement…. Carl Icahn, the activist investor, owns 15.5% of Herbalife.
Hedge fund manager William Ackman bet $1 billion against Herbalife starting in 2012, saying it violated Chinese direct-selling laws and was a pyramid scheme. He unwound his position as Herbalife’s stock price kept rising.

Bankrupt Hertz Sets Up Another Round of Executive Bonuses [WSJ]
Hertz’s second bonus round could drive Chief Executive Paul Stone’s extra pay to $2 million in less than a year, as he leads a company that has no clear path to survival. Mr. Stone took the job and a $700,000 “retention bonus” in May…. Hundreds of key employees could be paid under the incentive plans, including senior management. For executives further down the ladder, bonuses are in the range of $10,000 to $15,000, court papers say.

As Japan’s Abe Leaves, ‘Abenomics’ Will Remain, for Good or Ill [NYT]
Mr. Abe’s successor will face Japanese voters and businesspeople who have seen the hard-won economic gains of the last eight years slip away in the face of the pandemic. Many will wonder whether Mr. Abe’s promises, so tightly identified with him that they came to be known as Abenomics, ever changed much at all…. The conservative, governing Liberal Democratic Party is due to choose a replacement for Mr. Abe in September. It is likely to stick with some version of his namesake economic policies, which called for making money cheap and readily available, amping up government spending and transforming the way the country’s bureaucracy and corporations did business.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway buys stakes in Japan’s five leading trading companies [CNBC]
The chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway announced Sunday — his 90th birthday — that his company has acquired a slightly more than 5% stake in each of the five leading Japanese trading companies. The companies are Itochu Corp., Marubeni Corp., Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui & Co., and Sumitomo Corp…. Based on Friday’s closing prices for the trading houses, a 5% stake in each would be valued at roughly $6.25 billion….
Berkshire says it intends to hold the investments for the long term, and that it may increase its holdings in any of the companies up to a maximum of 9.9%, depending on price.

Argentina’s ‘Preposterous’ Century Bond Never Got Chance to Grow Old [WSJ]
The century bond—a rarity in markets and almost unseen among issuers whose bonds are rated junk—was openly derided by many investors at the time of its sale, given the South American nation’s poor record of paying off debt, a struggling economy and fractious politics…. In the restructuring agreement, the 100-year bond’s maturity will shorten substantially, along with its value. Holders will end up with bonds maturing in 15 and 26 years and can expect to recover something broadly in line with the recovery value of the restructuring, on the order of 54.5 cents on the dollar.


Uh, where is everybody? where did they go? this is a long caption. really long. does it wrap? By Kevin Hutchinson (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 5.26.20

Stocks jump; unemployment, too; New York commercial real estate not so much; Hertz dies; rats! and more!


Opening Bell: 6.19.20

Juneteenth; Hertz goes cap-in-hand; that $2 billion doesn’t exist; D.J. D-Sol’s not-so-star turn; and more!

Opening Bell: 5.18.15

Greece is screwed; Puerto Rico is screwed; Hedge funds are screwed; "Parrot Won't Stop Cursing In Spanish"; and more.

Opening Bell: 3.26.15

3G, the company orchestrating the Kraft/Heinz merger with Warren Buffett, makes employees "get permission to make color photocopies"; Greece is still screwed; Dov Charney is being investigated by the SEC; "I Drank So Much Soda as a Child That My Veins Collapsed"; and more.

hertz ewr

Opening Bell: 9.24.20

So much for the recovery (unless you’re a bank); the future of WeWork is not in China; Steve Cohen hires an old friend; and more!

Opening Bell: 11.12.12

Leucadia Agrees to Buy Jefferies for About $2.76 Billion (Bloomberg) Leucadia National Corp agreed to buy the the portion of Jefferies Group it doesn’t already own for about $2.76 billion. Investors will receive 0.81 Leucadia share for each Jefferies share they own, the companies said today in a statement. The deal values the entire company at about $3.59 billion, based on data from the company’s most recent 10-Q regulatory filing. Jefferies management will run the firm, according to the report. Leucadia already holds about 28.6 percent of New York-based Jefferies. Jefferies Chief Executive Officer Richard Handler will become CEO of New York-based Leucadia after the transaction is completed, which the companies said they expected in the first quarter. Handler will remain CEO of Jefferies as well. “This transaction represents the realization of a personal dream for me,” Handler, 51, said in the statement. Greece Passes 2013 Austerity Budget (WSJ) Greece passed on Monday a 2013 austerity budget needed to unlock further funding for the cash-strapped country, although international creditors have indicated the disbursement may be weeks away as they squabble over how to resolve the nation's debt problems. Euro-zone finance ministers will meet Monday in Brussels, where they had been expected to approve Greece's next aid payment of €31.5 billion ($40 billion), but no decision is now expected until they are assured the country's overhauls are on track. The budget, approved by a 167-128 vote, foresees Greece taking €9.4 billion of budget cuts next year, dealing a fresh blow to an economy seen contracting 4.5% next year, its sixth year of recession. Spain Needs A Bailout Urgently: Former ECB Member (CNBC) Bini Smaghi told CNBC that Spain must not waste any more time and that it needed to apply for help from Europe's bailout fund. "They need to revitalize the economy and they need lower interest rates [and] the only way to do that [is] to request a program," he said, adding that Spain should have done so "yesterday." White House Plans Public Appeal On Deficit (WSJ) Mr. Obama has planned the meetings as policy makers start work to craft a package of deficit-reduction measures that could come in place of the so-called fiscal cliff, the mandatory spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to begin in January. His meetings with labor and business leaders come before he meets with congressional leaders Friday, evidence the White House believes Mr. Obama can use momentum from his re-election to marshal outside support and heighten pressure on Republicans to agree to tax increases on upper-income earners. The strategy comes as many Republicans appear to have softened their antitax rhetoric in the wake of the election, with many openly acknowledging that higher taxes will likely be part of any plan to reduce the deficit. Boehner Tells House GOP to Fall in Line (NYT) On a conference call with House Republicans a day after the party’s electoral battering last week, Speaker John A. Boehner dished out some bitter medicine, and for the first time in the 112th Congress, most members took their dose. Their party lost, badly, Mr. Boehner said, and while Republicans would still control the House and would continue to staunchly oppose tax rate increases as Congress grapples with the impending fiscal battle, they had to avoid the nasty showdowns that marked so much of the last two years. Members on the call, subdued and dark, murmured words of support — even a few who had been a thorn in the speaker’s side for much of this Congress. It was a striking contrast to a similar call last year, when Mr. Boehner tried to persuade members to compromise with Democrats on a deal to extend a temporary cut in payroll taxes, only to have them loudly revolt. No Increase Of Banker Bonuses This Year (NYP) That’s the dour view of executive-compensation firm Johnson Associates, which says investment-banking business is so slow that after the sector’s workers bore the brunt of most of the 7,000 job losses on the Street this year, they will find the bonus pie smaller as well. “It’s a tremendous drop from five years ago. If you were getting an average bonus of $400,000 back in 2007, then this year it will probably be around $200,000 or $250,000,” says Alan Johnson, managing director of Johnson Associates...However, fixed-income executives, who sell bonds, should see bonuses rise this year by something between 10 percent and 20 percent. Deputies: Man impersonated federal officer to get into Epcot for free (Orlando Sentinel) A 74-year-old Miami man who was trying to avoid paying nearly $100 to get into Epcot, was arrested after he impersonated a Federal officer. Emerito Pujol flashed a fake badge at an Epcot employee as he passed through the turnstiles at the park around noon on Saturday. The employee challenged him and asked to see the badge again. He claimed he was an undercover officer who was looking for someone, according to an arrest report. When a security guard approached him, Pujol again claimed he was "in service" and was "guarding someone important," the report states...Pujol was arrested and charged with unlawful use of a police badge, falsely impersonating an officer and petty theft. No Individual Charges In Probe Of JPMorgan (WSJ) The top U.S. securities regulator doesn't intend to charge any individuals in its planned enforcement action against J.P. Morgan for the allegedly fraudulent sale of mortgage bonds, according to people close to the investigation. The largest U.S. bank by assets will pay a significant financial penalty under the proposed deal, which has been approved by Securities and Exchange Commission staff but not by the agency's five commissioners, said the people close to the probe. Nomura Launches Private Equity Index (FT) The Japanese bank will look to match the returns of private equity funds – which take over companies, restructure them, and then seek to sell them at a profit – by investing in publicly traded companies in sectors that are attracting attention from buy-out groups. Morgan Stanley Sues Ex-FrontPoint Manager Over Insider Trading (Reuters) In a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court on October 31, Morgan Stanley sued ex-FrontPoint Partners hedge fund manager Joseph "Chip" Skowron over the funds the bank paid to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The lawsuit also called for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. Doctor-turned-stock picker Skowron pleaded guilty in August to trading stock of Human Genome Sciences Inc in 2008 based on non-public information he admitted to having received from a consultant for the biotech company, who also pleaded guilty to insider trading charges. Skowron was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to forfeit $5 million. "Beyond the harm attendant to having one of its managing directors plead guilty to serious criminal conduct, the firm expended its own reputational capital by defending Skowron during the years it believed, based entirely on his misrepresentation, that he had not violated the law," the complaint said. So, maybe that Romney face tattoo wasn’t such a good idea... (Politico) With the election over, supporters of Mitt Romney have to pack up their campaign signs and paraphernalia and get on with their lives. But what if you can’t get rid of that stuff? Literally. Eric Hartsburg caught some attention in the weeks leading up to the election for having the Romney campaign’s logo tattooed on his face. Suffice to say, he’s not happy with Tuesday’s results. “Totally disappointed, man,” Hartsburg told POLITICO. “I’m the guy who has egg all over his face, but instead of egg, it’s a big Romney/Ryan tattoo. It’s there for life.” Hartsburg’s tattoo covers a 5-by-2 inch space on the side of his face, and he did it after raising $5,000 on eBay for the effort. He didn’t even tell his wife he planned to get the tattoo until about an hour before. “Right away, she was taken aback,” Hartsburg said, adding that his wife is also a Romney/Ryan supporter. “My 15-year-old son, however, he was all about it.”


Opening Bell: 8.14.20

So far not so good for SOFR; Hertz definitely didn’t need a CEO with creative ideas about accounting; short-seller sacks Chinese company again; and more!


Opening Bell: 5.13.21

Heroic Hertz; IP-Volvo; everyone loves infrastructure investments as long as someone else is paying for it; and more!