Coronavirus Stimulus Vote Could Come After Election Day, Negotiators Say [WSJ]
“I’m optimistic that there will be a bill. It’s a question of, is it in time to pay the November rent, which is my goal, or is it going to be shortly thereafter and retroactive?” Mrs. Pelosi, a California Democrat, said Wednesday on MSNBC.
Larry Kudlow, a top White House economic adviser, said on CNBC Wednesday that negotiators were “running out of time, at least between now and the election” and that wrapping up work on a relief package in a lame-duck session, after the election but before the next administration begins, “could be a possibility.”

Wall Street Profits Soar During First Half of 2020 [WSJ]
Pretax profits reached $27.6 billion in the first six months of 2020, the highest first-half haul since 2009, the report said. The industry’s profits for all of 2019 totaled $28.1 billion…. The average Wall Street employee in New York City earned $406,700 in salary and bonuses last year, compared with the private-sector average of $82,900.

TikTok Deal Makers Await Court Ruling on U.S. Ban [WSJ]
The judge will next consider TikTok’s request for an injunction that would prevent the U.S. government from barring U.S. companies from providing web-hosting or content delivery services to TikTok starting Nov. 12…. “Right now the posture is to wait,” said one of the people familiar with the matter, discussing the government’s position.

Former Google CEO Calls Social Networks ‘Amplifiers for Idiots’ [Bloomberg]
“I would be careful about these dominance arguments. I just don’t agree with them,” Schmidt said. “Google’s market share is not 100%.”

U.K. Regulator Pushes Auditors to Sniff Out Fraud [WSJ]
The Financial Reporting Council, which oversees the profession in the U.K. and Ireland, proposed the changes to auditing rules on Tuesday. “Concerns have been raised that auditors are not doing enough,” it said. The changes would make it clearer that auditors have direct responsibility to look for wrongdoing….
The FRC said it wants to create new requirements to identify and assess risks related to fraud. A proposed addition to the auditing rules would clarify that the auditor must be alert for conditions that indicate a record or document might have been falsified. It also wants the team of auditors to discuss how management could perpetrate and conceal fraudulent financial reporting and how assets could be misappropriated.

WhatsApp Outlines Future Payday From Users Messaging With Businesses [WSJ]
On Thursday, the messaging service said it will soon give merchants the ability to store, analyze and manage their WhatsApp communications with customers Facebook’s on company servers…. The hosting services will eventually be accompanied by new options for businesses to market their products via WhatsApp catalogs and through Facebook’s shops and checkout carts. WhatsApp, which charges businesses for certain types of customer interactions, would profit from the embrace of those tools by merchants.

Jony Ive is bringing his design talents to... Airbnb [The Verge]
Airbnb is calling the deal a “special collaboration” as well as a “multi-year relationship to design the next generation of Airbnb products and services,” and that Ive will help develop Airbnb’s internal design team as well — which has apparently undergone some turmoil…. Ive and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky have apparently been friends for years, with Ive going so far as to pen a 2015 mini-profile of the Airbnb chief for Time Magazine, praising the company’s website design.

Mets' sale to Steve Cohen still has one hurdle to clear: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio [USA Today]
In the 2006 stadium lease agreement between the Mets and New York City, there’s a provision in which the mayor can prohibit the sale of the team to a “prohibited person,’’ since Citi Field is on New York City owned park land. The lease defines a prohibited person as “any person that has been convicted in a criminal proceeding for a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude….’’ If Cohen’s purchase gets held up with de Blasio, it could cause further consternation among MLB owners, with several already planning to vote against his approval.

In The Hamptons, Sales of Homes Priced at $5 Million-Plus Jumped 291% Last Quarter [WSJ]
The median sales price for a house in the Hamptons, the string of beachfront communities on Long Island’s eastern tip, skyrocketed by 40% to $1.2 million in the third quarter of 2020 compared with the same period a year earlier…. Overall, the volume of sales in the Hamptons was up by 51% from last year….

Related

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!

By Heisenberg Media (Flickr: Elon Musk - The Summit 2013) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 11.13.20

Don’t cross Xi Jinping; TikTok lives; Warren Buffett really bummed Bill Ackman out; the Mooch hits a grand slam; and more!

skymiles tag

Opening Bell: 9.14.20

TikTok, Oracle agree to, uh, something; Deutsche Bank’s compliance sucks, but at least it has some; Luis Rojas better get ready for an earful; and more!

(Getty Images)

Opening Bell: 9.10.20

Don’t deposit your illegally-obtained stimulus money in your bank account with your employer; TikTok, Trump look for face-savings; Paul Singer thinks maybe oil company shouldn’t sell itself; fleeces very nearly coming to Flushing; and more!

(Getty Images)

Opening Bell: 6.1.17

Morgan Stanley traders suffering the doldrums alongside BofA, JPMorgan; De Blasio gives Wells Fargo the boot; Mr. Met gives fan the finger; and more.

By Yolo0906 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 8.27.20

Time’s up at TikTok; Bridgewater downsizing; be careful what you wish for Alex Karp; and more!

charles scharf

Opening Bell: 10.8.20

Charlie’s lament; Ackman SPAC-ing; TikTok twist; we couldn’t be more proud; and more!

Opening Bell: 04.04.12

Chinese Premier Blasts Banks (WSJ) In an evening broadcast on state-run China National Radio, Mr. Wen told an audience of business leaders that China's tightly controlled banking system needs to change. "Let me be frank. Our banks earn profit too easily. Why? Because a small number of large banks have a monopoly," said Mr. Wen, according to the transcript of the program on the broadcaster's website. "To break the monopoly, we must allow private capital to flow into the finance sector." Regulators Expected to Penalize JPMorgan Over Lehman Collapse (NYT) The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is expected this week to file a civil case against JPMorgan. The bank is expected to settle the Lehman matter and pay a fine of approximately $20 million...The Lehman action stems from the questionable treatment of customer money — an issue that has been at the forefront of the recent outcry over MF Global. JPMorgan was also intimately involved in the final days of that brokerage firm. The trading commission is expected to accuse JPMorgan of overextending credit to Lehman for two years leading up to its bankruptcy in 2008, the people briefed on the matter said. Fitch Ditched in Bond Dispute (WSJ) Fitch Group's new chief executive said Credit Suisse Group AG CSGN.VX -1.61% dropped the firm's rating from a mortgage-backed security because Fitch took a harsher view than two rivals that assigned triple-A ratings to the deal. "It was an 11th-hour thing when they decided which agency it would be to publicly rate it," said Paul Taylor, who took over this week as chief executive of Fitch Group, in an interview. "We had a materially different take." Mr. Taylor said Fitch Group, which includes credit-rating firm Fitch Ratings, had been compensated for its rating on the mortgage-backed deal. Fitch shared its differing view with investors after the deal closed Friday, publishing a report critical of Standard & Poor's Ratings Services and DBRS Ltd. for issuing triple-A ratings on the residential-mortgage-backed security issued by Credit Suisse. Fed Signals No Need for More Easing Unless Growth Falters (Bloomberg) “A couple of members indicated that the initiation of additional stimulus could become necessary if the economy lost momentum or if inflation seemed likely to remain below” 2 percent, according to minutes of their March 13 meeting released today in Washington. That contrasts with the assessment at the FOMC’s January meeting in which some Fed officials saw current conditions warranting additional action “before long.” Spanish Bond Sale Fizzles (WSJ) Spain sold a total of €2.589 billion ($3.43 billion) of the 4.4% January 2015, 4.25% October 2016 and 4.85% October 2020 bonds, against its €2.5 billion to €3.5 billion target. Wednesday's sale, brought forward by one day due to a national holiday on Thursday, brought Spain's 2012 bond issuance completion to almost 46% of the €86 billion gross bond issuance target. ‘Apple Fever’ Prompts Predictions of $1 Trillion Value (Bloomberg) “Apple fever is spreading like a wildfire around the world,” Brian White, the Topeka analyst, said in a report that initiated coverage of the company with a buy recommendation. White’s new 12-month target of $1,001 is the highest among the 45 analysts tracked by Bloomberg and represents a 59 percent increase over today’s closing price. He said Apple’s market value will eventually top $1 trillion. £200,000 bar bill trader, arrested in FSA probe (CityAM) Alex Hope, the 23 year-old trader who hit the headlines after spending £125,000 on a single bottle of champagne, has been arrested on suspicion of being involved in an unauthorised foreign exchange trading scheme. Hope, who claims to be a self made foreign exchange trader, became infamous when he ran up a £125,000 bar bill in one evening at a Liverpool nightclub. Most of this was spent on a single 99lb bottle of champagne...Hope's publicist last night confirmed that he had been arrested but said that he denies all allegations. His personal website describes him as “a name to watch out for in the city” and “an expert in the UK economy” who regularly "trades millions." It calls him a “talented, charismatic and thoroughly likeable man." SEC Puts Exchanges on Notice Over Computer-Driven Trades (Bloomberg) “The consequences of a big failure are so severe that the SEC should be paying close attention to these issues,” James Angel, a finance professor at Georgetown University’s business school in Washington, said in an e-mail. “No human system is perfect and eventually something will happen, so they also want policies and procedures in place for catching problems quickly and cleaning up the mess afterwards.” Ready for a rumble: Falcone vs. Icahn (NYP) Falcone, who has funneled a whopping $2.9 billion into LightSquared, is desperate to salvage his shaky investment amid a battle with federal regulators over building out the wireless network. Falcone has said both publicly and privately that bankruptcy is not an option. However, some LightSquared creditors, including Icahn, would rather put the company into bankruptcy as part of a plan that would give them equity stakes in the company and greater control over its future, sources said. The deadline for creditors to decide is fast approaching. Icahn and other owners of LightSquared’s $1.6 billion loan due 2014 have given the company until the end of April before they decide whether to put LightSquared into default for breaching some loan covenants tied to its customer contracts. ADP: 209,000 Jobs Added (WSJ) Private businesses hired at a modest rate in March close to what economists expected, according to a report released Wednesday. Private-sector jobs in the U.S. increased 209,000 last month, according to a national employment report published by payroll processor Automatic Data Processing Inc. and consultancy Macroeconomic Advisers. The gain was just above economists' median expectation of 200,000 contained in a survey done by Dow Jones Newswires. Occupy London Hinders Burrito Sales More Than Banker Bonuses (Bloomberg) The protesters were evicted from St. Paul’s on Feb. 28 and at least one restaurant found its bookings jump back to pre- occupied levels. Sales were down 40 percent to 50 percent while the camp was at St. Paul’s, resulting in two or three staff members losing their jobs, said Pollie Hall, events manager at the Paternoster Chop House. “This isn’t the corporate fat cats they were affecting, it was average working Joes,” said Hall, who said her customers were verbally abused by protesters and she was called a “devil- worshipping mason.” A wedding scheduled at the restaurant on the first day of the protest had to be moved. Mega ‘winner’: $105M tix stashed in this McDonald's (NYP) The Baltimore woman who claims to have one of three winning Mega Millions tickets now says it’s hidden somewhere in the McDonald’s restaurant where she works. Marlinde Wilson, 37, coyly wouldn’t reveal whether she had stashed the slip of paper behind the McFlurry machine or under the all-beef patties. “I’m waiting for things to calm down so I can go back to McDonald’s and get it. The people [at McDonald’s] are too excited. I want their heads to cool down before I go back,” she said.