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Tax Increase for Corporations Looks More Likely as Election Nears [WSJ]
Democrats, with a chance to control the House, Senate and White House for the first time in a decade, want to raise the rate to 28%.... The Biden proposal, when combined with state taxes, would push the U.S. back toward the high end of industrialized countries’ corporate rates, after a few years in the middle of the pack….
“It was always a matter of when and not so much if,” said Albert Liguori, managing director at consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal Taxand. “Every time we make plans, we make contingency plans.”

Ant Group wins approval from Chinese regulators for the Hong Kong leg of its blockbuster IPO [CNBC]
A hearing with the Hong Kong stock exchange, a key part of the approval process, will take place on Monday, the person said…. Ant Group’s IPO could be one of the biggest of all time. Reuters has previously reported that the company is looking to raise $35 billion. One analyst previously told CNBC that Ant’s valuation could be north of $200 billion.

A New Big Bank Is Born: First Citizens Buys CIT Group To Create A $100 Billion Institution [Forbes]
Two mid-sized banks announced they're merging in a deal–valued at about $2.2 billion–that will create the nation's 19th-largest bank by assets upon close…. “We were seeing so many [commercial banking] opportunities around us, but simply didn’t have the product and expertise to compete as effectively as we would like,” First Citizens's longtime CEO and Chairman, Frank B. Holding Jr., who will retain his role after the deal is complete, said in an analyst call early Friday. “We believe CIT accelerates our efforts dramatically, arguably getting us where we want to be in one fell swoop…."

Wall Street donors line up behind Biden in massive third-quarter fundraising haul [CNBC]
This surge of donations from people in the finance and investment industry comes even as Biden calls for raising taxes on those making over $400,000, as well as an increase in the corporate tax rate. It also comes as Biden faces pressure from progressive activists not to allow Wall Street leaders to join his Cabinet if he were to defeat Trump….
Stephen Mandel, founder of Connecticut-based hedge fund Lone Pine Capital, contributed more than $310,000…. Biden Action also saw large contributions from leaders at Blackstone, JPMorgan Chase, The Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, among other firms…. People in the financial industry have largely favored Biden, spending more than $50 million to back his candidacy, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, compared with more than $10 million for Trump.

U.S. hedge fund D.E. Shaw to open Singapore office in Asia expansion [Reuters]
“Opening an office in Singapore will further enable us to tap into the region’s talent, capital, and investment opportunities,” said Kevin Patric, general manager of Asia Pacific at D.E. Shaw…. It established its Hong Kong office in 2007 and its Shanghai office in 2010.

Euronext trading glitch halts trading for two hours in Paris and elsewhere [MarketWatch]
Euronext sent a tweet around 10:22 a.m. CET (4:22 a.m. ET) that trading in all of its products had been halted. At 12:30 p.m. CET (6:30 a.m. ET), the operator tweeted that the problem had largely been corrected…. The outage notably would have affected investors of two big companies that reported on Monday — food giant Danone and Dutch health technology group Royal Philips.

Apollo’s Leon Black Paid Jeffrey Epstein Millions. Investors Are Privately Judging Him. [II]
The $414 billion firm is expected escape the scandal with assets and client base intact, industry insiders predict. This is thanks to skillful handling, lucky timing, and institutions’ reluctance to cut ties with or blacklist a powerful partner — however distasteful they find its CEO’s former choice of advisor….
“I would really want to look Leon in the eyes,” said one alternatives investor who has worked at elite institutions, “and ask him, ‘Knowing that this person had been charged with arguably one of the worst crimes you can be charged with, why on earth would you give this guy $50 million bucks?”… But for all the personal queasiness that Black’s choice of financial advisor and reportedly frequent dinner companion raises, no one foresees allocators doing much about it.

Fans lament the end of Tab, Coke's first diet soda: 'This is sad. End of an era' [Yahoo!]
The drink was first introduced as a response to the success of Diet Rite Cola, as Coke felt they needed its own sugarless drink on the market. The name was based around the idea of people wanting to “keep tabs” on their weight, though it was originally named “Tabb” after an IBM 1401 computer generated a list of more than 185,000 four-letter words with one vowel. The second “b” was dropped during development.
Throughout the 70s, Tab was a popular drink for the Coke brand but in 1982 the introduction of Diet Coke caused its sales to drop significantly and it never really recovered.



Opening Bell: 10.26.20

Giant Ant; sagging SAP; business backs Biden (except for p.e.); fried-chicken scent from an open fire; and more!


Opening Bell: 8.21.20

Ant; accreditation; antitrust; avoidance; and more!

By DonkeyHotey (Mitch McConnell - Caricature) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 11.5.20

Wall Street decides it’s OK with what it said would be a nightmare; TikTok still ticking; of Ant and Alibaba; and more!


Opening Bell: 8.25.20

Average inflation; Asana and Ant; burning earns Baupost a billion; forcing the failson; and more!

By World Economic Forum (Flickr: The Global Financial Context: James Dimon) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 10.13.21

JPMorgan jumps; Biden bears down on bitcoin; fintech’s colorblind—bankers, not so much; Jack Ma’s not-so-triumphant return to Hong Kong; and more!


Opening Bell: 4.18.17

Larry Fink does not "identify as powerful"; ETFs are taking over Canada; apparently Navy SEALs can't do porn; and more.

Opening Bell: 06.01.12

Employment In U.S. Increased 69,000 In May (Bloomberg) American employers in May added the smallest number of workers in a year and the unemployment rate unexpectedly increased as job-seekers re-entered the workforce, further evidence that the labor-market recovery is stalling. Payrolls climbed by 69,000 last month, less than the most- pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg News survey, after a revised 77,000 gain in April that was smaller than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate called for a 150,000 May advance. The jobless rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent, while hours worked declined. JPMorgan Probe Widens (WSJ) Federal regulators are using powers they gained in the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law to ramp up an inquiry into the recent trading blunders at J.P. Morgan Chase, people close to the investigation said...The probe focuses on what J.P. Morgan traders told their supervisors and internal risk-management staff as their wrong-way bets started to sour, the people said. If investigators find that employees made deceptive statements to superiors, that could constitute fraud under their authority to police the so-called swaps market...The probe could mark the agency's first use of tools it was granted in the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. The measure extended the CFTC's oversight and lowered the bar for bringing certain cases. JPMorgan’s Iksil Said To Take Big Risks Long Before Loss (Bloomberg) Iksil’s value-at-risk was typically $30 million to $40 million even before this year’s buildup, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to discuss the trades. Sometimes the figure could surpass $60 million, the person said. That’s about as high as the level for the firm’s entire investment bank, which employs 26,000 people. Josh Fink On A Losing Streak (NYP) Josh Fink, the son of BlackRock chairman Larry Fink, is losing money hand over fist in his hedge fund, Enso Global Fund. Enso fell 60.5 percent last year, and is down more than 7 percent through April. As a result of the losses, the 34-year-old Fink now manages just $44 million, down from as much as $700 million in 2008. ‘Fear of the Future’ Keeps Lid on Economic Growth Says Greenspan (CNBC) The former central bank leader — nicknamed "The Maestro" by his supporters — said he worries the current economy could be heading on a path similar to 1979, when the 10-year Treasury note was yielding around 9 percent before surging dramatically, gaining 4 percentage points in just a few months. "I listen to a lot of what people say that we don't have to worry. We can do it in our own time," Greenspan said in regard to trying to bring down Washington's $1.2 trillion budget gap. "Good luck. The markets have not been told this." This Summer an 'Eerie Echo' of Pre-Lehman: Zoellick (CNBC) The summer of 2012 is looking like an “eerie” echo of 2008 but euro zone sovereign debt has replaced mortgages as the risky asset class that markets are anxious about, said Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank. “The European Central Bank, like the U.S. Federal Reserve in 2008, has sought to reassure markets by providing generous liquidity, but collateral quality is declining as the better pickings on bank balance sheets are used up,” he added. To prevent investors from fleeing in panic, Europe must be ready with more than liquidity injections to contain the consequences of a possible Greek exit. “If Greece leaves the eurozone, the contagion is impossible to predict, just as Lehman (Brothers’ collapse) had unexpected consequences,” Zoellick said. Manhattan student who 'bedded' teacher scores $400 in wager with buddies (NYP) The high-school senior caught on camera locking lips with his hot-to-trot teacher won a bet with four of his buddies to see who would hook up with her first, The Post has learned. Eric Arty, 18, beat his pals — who each ponied up $100 — to win the jackpot as well as the affections of glamorous global-studies teacher Julie Warning, 26. “It was a bet with a group of his friends,” said Andrew Cabrera, a junior at Manhattan Theater Lab HS, where Warning worked until Tuesday, when she was reassigned to an administrative job. Cabrera said yesterday that Arty began the race as a long shot. “He would go after class and basically try to seduce her,’’ he said. “I don’t know if she knew [about the bet]. They were all trying to get with her. One of his [Arty’s] friends flirted with her more than anyone — I thought he would be the one, but Eric came out of nowhere and got her.” Spain Says It Has Months To Raise Bailout Funds (WSJ) Spain's government says it has until at least October to raise the funds it needs for the €19 billion ($23.5 billion) rescue of lender Bankia SA, a move government officials hope will let Madrid pick the right moment to raise funds from financial markets and explore other funding options as it aims to avoid an international bailout. "We don't have to raise the money right away, and when we do, it doesn't have to be all at once," a government spokeswoman said. Euro-Zone Data Deepen Gloom (WSJ) European Union statistics agency Eurostat said there were 17.4 million people without jobs in the 17 nations that use the euro in April, an increase of 110,000 since March and 1.8 million higher than a year earlier. That's the highest total since comparable records began in January 1995, a spokesman said. Dimon Heading To The Hill (DJ) JPMorgan’s trader, Bruno Iksil, known as the “London Whale,” who is at the center of the bank’s $2 billion debacle, will not appear at a Senate Banking Committee hearing to discuss his role in causing the red ink. Instead, CEO Jamie Dimon appears set to square off against lawmakers alone on June 13. The once-unsullied bank executive will have to explain how he was blind to his Chief Investment Office’s outsized, wrong-way bet. Dimon is slated to meet with members of the House on June 19, sources said. Facebook Fiasco Coupled With European Crunch Freezes IPOs (Bloomberg) Facebook led U.S. initial public offerings to their worst monthly performance since Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed, as Europe’s debt crisis scuttled IPO plans from New York to Hong Kong. The Bloomberg IPO Index (BIPO), which tracks U.S. equities in the first year after their IPOs, sank 15 percent last month, with Facebook posting the worst one-week performance among the 30 largest U.S. IPOs since 2011. The IPO index’s decline is in line with the drop in October 2008, the month after Lehman’s bankruptcy triggered the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Green Lantern latest superhero to be outed as gay in 'Earth 2' issue two, following Marvel's Northstar storyline (NYDN) DC Comics said Friday that Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern — a superhero first introduced in 1940 — will be reintroduced as gay in “Earth 2” issue two, hitting stores next Wednesday. The storyline was born out of the publisher’s reboot of their whole fictional universe last year, which reintroduces the heroes as younger versions of themselves again. The reboot effectively wrote out of existence Scott’s openly gay adult son, the superhero Obsidian. “I was sort of putting the team together and I realized one of the only downsides to relaunching the Justice Society as young, vibrant heroes again was that Alan Scott’s son was no longer going to exist in the reboot,” says “Earth 2” series writer James Robinson, who wrote a 1998 storyline about Obsidian that featured the first gay superhero kiss in comics. “I thought that was a shame and then it occurred to me, why not just make Alan Scott gay.”


Opening Bell: 3.2.21

Greensill groans; Instacart’s glee; “short term liquidity solution” for unhappy Ants; Gensler gets job interview; and more!