Blackstone Earnings Tick Higher as Tech Lifts Portfolio [WSJ]
The value of the New York firm’s private-equity portfolio climbed by 12.2%, compared with an 8.5% increase in the S&P 500 during the period. That marked Blackstone’s second straight quarter of greater-than-12% appreciation for the portfolio, a dramatic reversal from the first quarter, when coronavirus-related market turmoil pushed valuations down by 21.6%.... “The big drivers for us were the technology-oriented investments that we own,” including dating app Bumble, data provider Refinitiv and warehouses used for e-commerce, [President Jonathan] Gray said in an interview. “It’s these on-theme investments that drove the performance in the quarter.”

Dow falls more than 200 points as coronavirus cases continue to rise, tech shares lift Nasdaq [CNBC]
Traders increased positions in names that benefit from people staying at home and trimmed holdings in stocks dependent on the economy reopening…. “Growth/momentum stocks are having a solid session as investors grow a bit more somber on the near-term macro outlook,” Adam Crisafulli, founder of Vital Knowledge, wrote in a note….
Daily U.S. coronavirus cases have risen by an average of 69,967 over the past week, a record. The average number of Covid-19 hospitalizations has also risen by at least 5% in 36 states over the past seven days….

Visa’s Planned Purchase of Plaid Faces Antitrust Scrutiny at the Justice Department [WSJ]
After spending the better part of the year scrutinizing the deal, the department is concerned it could limit nascent competition in the payments sector…. The department late Tuesday publicly signaled its concerns in a rare legal action that asks a Massachusetts federal judge to order that Bain & Co., which has done consulting work for Visa, comply with a civil subpoena and hand over work material related to the Plaid deal. The department alleged Bain “has tried to stymie” the investigation and has claimed legal privilege over important documents, at Visa’s direction.

GE shares jump after company posts surprise adjusted third-quarter profit, revenue tops expectations [CNBC]
“We are managing through a still-difficult environment with better operational execution across our businesses, and we are on track with our cost and cash actions,” CEO Lawrence Culp said in a statement. “While our work continues, GE’s transformation is accelerating, and we expect Industrial free cash flow to be at least $2.5 billion in the fourth quarter and positive in 2021.”

Beam Suntory to Pay $19 Million to Settle Bribery Probe [WSJ]
“Beam and its Indian subsidiary not only paid bribes to Indian government officials, they intentionally failed to implement internal controls to prevent bribery and falsified their books and records to conceal the corrupt activity,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said Tuesday…. In one case, Beam engaged in a scheme to pay a bribe of one million Indian rupees, or approximately $18,000 at the exchange rate at the time, according to the Justice Department, to a senior Indian official in exchange for approval to bottle the company’s “ready-to-drink” products.

How Trump Maneuvered His Way Out of Trouble in Chicago [NYT]
The president’s federal income tax records, obtained by The New York Times, show for the first time that, since 2010, his lenders have forgiven about $287 million in debt that he failed to repay. The vast majority was related to the Chicago project…. Big banks and hedge funds gave him years of extra time to repay his debts. Even after Mr. Trump sued his largest lender, accusing it of preying on him, the bank agreed to lend him another $99 million — more than twice as much as was previously known — so that he could pay back what he still owed the bank on the defaulted Chicago loan, records show….
Those forgiven debts are now part of a broader investigation of Mr. Trump’s business by the New York attorney general. They normally would have generated a big tax bill, since the Internal Revenue Service treats canceled debts as income. Yet as has often happened in his long career, Mr. Trump appears to have paid almost no federal income tax on that money, in part because of large losses in his other businesses….

MLB owners will vote on Mets sale to Steve Cohen on Friday [N.Y. Post]
The Ownership Committee, which conducted a deep dive into Cohen, signed off easily on this matter last week, and the Executive Committee will green-light it as a formality on Friday, thereby advancing it to the full vote. The full vote will be conducted virtually, as the scheduled November meetings in Dallas probably won’t be held due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who contested Cohen’s unsuccessful pursuit of the Dodgers last decade, stands a definite “No” and still is attempting to rally others to his side, sources said; he probably won’t be the only owner who votes against it. However, the sense throughout MLB is that the Cohen opposition will not accrue the eight votes required to torpedo this record-setting deal.

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Opening Bell: 10.2.20

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Opening Bell: 8.12.20

Capitalists love Kamala; Tesla rallies for no reason (again); British beggared; start measuring for fleece in Flushing; and more!

By joho345 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 3.10.21

Jamie Dimon punks Leon Black; GE sells something to get rid of something else; more corrupt Congressional stock trading; and more!

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Opening Bell: 6.11.20

Stocks falls with unemployment claims; New York could literally pave its streets with gold; “Elon making noise;” and more!

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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!

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Opening Bell: 7.20.20

Less optimism; everyone struggling; missions impossible; it’s all your fault; happy Monday and more!

Opening Bell: 01.31.13

Deutsche Bank Swings To A $2.9 Billion Loss (WSJ) In the fourth quarter alone, the bank took €2.9 billion in charges, €1 billion of which was for "litigation-related charges." Mr. Jain said the charges "relate to developments in regulatory investigations and adverse court rulings which you are all familiar with," but didn't elaborate further. Deutsche Bank is currently embroiled in a number of legal disputes on both sides of the Atlantic, including the decade-long legal battle in the 2002 bankruptcy of Germany's Kirch Media Group. It is also among the banks that are under official investigation for allegedly rigging interbank benchmark rates, including the London Interbank Offered Rate. The rest of the quarter's charges were mainly related to losses from businesses bought before 2003, such as Bankers Trust and Scudder in the U.S., and impairments related to its investment in the Cosmopolitan Resort in Las Vegas and Maher Terminals in North America, which it put into an internal bad bank. The quarter's net loss of €2.17 billion compares with a profit of €147 million a year earlier. For the full year, net profit was €611 million, down from €4.13 billion. Deutsche Bank Beats Capital Goal as Jain Shrugs Off Loss (Bloomberg) “We’ve galvanized Deutsche Bank around the achievement of our capital targets,” Jain, 50, said on a conference call with analysts. The loss “reflects a number of decisions we took to position Deutsche Bank,” he said. Barclays, RBS May Pay Billions Over Improper Derivatives Sales (Bloomberg) The lenders, including Lloyds Banking Group Plc and HSBC Holdings Plc, have set aside around 740 million pounds to cover the claims. Analysts say the total charges for the industry may be much higher than that after the Financial Services Authority said it found “serious failings” in reviews of product sales. SAC And Elan Blasted By Investor Who Lost Nest Egg (NYP) Ronald Weiland realized he’d made a bad bet in 2008, when he lost his $1 million nest egg trading shares of drug company Elan. What he didn’t know then was that the cards were stacked against him. Weiland now believes that he and other investors were played by Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors when the hedge fund giant — acting on information from a former trader accused of insider trading — abruptly dumped its huge long position in Elan and Wyeth and started shorting both stocks. “They had information that I didn’t have access to,” said Weiland, a 53-year-old former consultant for Arthur Andersen. “It’s totally a matter of seeing very wealthy people being able to game the system.” The big trading swing that netted $276 million for SAC and led to the arrest of former trader Mathew Martoma has also landed the firm in hot water. Elan investors have filed at least two lawsuits against SAC, accusing the firm of costing them millions, and several class-action law firms are looking to tee up more. US Targeting Tax Evasion (WSJ) On Monday, a federal judge in New York approved an Internal Revenue Service summons demanding still more records from UBS. According to court filings, the government now is focusing on U.S. taxpayers with accounts at smaller Swiss banks that didn't have U.S. branches but served customers through a UBS account in Stamford, Conn. Interactive Map: What NYC Neighborhoods Have The Most Public Drinking Complaints? (Gothamist) Greenpoint, Williamsburg, the Lower East Side, Hamilton Heights, East Harlem and Washington Heights are the worst offenders—on the other hand, almost no one is getting in trouble in Midtown, the Financial District, Red Hook, Dumbo, and the Upper East and West Sides. Since we already know there can be a a historical correlation between public drinking and public urinating (and sometimes only the urinating part is public), we decided to look at public urination complaints too...Some conclusions from this comparison: Midtown East and Chelsea have way more urination complaints than drinking ones. Union Square, Greenpoint and Randalls Island are also urinary offenders. It seems like nobody on Staten Island cares about people urinating on their lawns, and same goes for anywhere west of East Flushing. Blackstone Swings To Fourth Quarter Profit (WSJ) As of the quarter's end, total assets under management reached a record $210.22 billion, up 26% from the year earlier, as all of Blackstone's investment businesses continued to see net inflows and carrying-value appreciation...Blackstone posted a profit of $106.4 million, or 19 cents a unit, compared with a year-earlier loss of $22.7 million, or five cents a unit. On the basis of so-called economic net income, the firm reported a profit of 59 cents a unit, versus a profit of 42 cents a unit a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters recently expected a per-share profit of 47 cents. Ackman Ahead In Herbalife Bet (NYP) Ackman has scored a gross profit of about $260 million on his $1 billion short bet against the nutritional supplements company, based on an estimated 20 million shares shorted at an average price of $50. Loeb, who bought 8.9 million shares at an average price of $32, is up $44.5 million. Ackman has widened his lead considerably. Just two weeks ago, his gross gain stood closer to $120 million while Loeb had made an estimated $108 million. Threats Cloud Euro's Flight (WSJ) The euro, once on death's door, is on a monthslong tear, rising Wednesday to its highest level since November 2011. But even some investors who helped propel the currency above $1.3560 Wednesday say it can't fly much further. Europe's economy is still in the doldrums, they say, and a stronger euro could make the situation worse. And with central banks elsewhere racing to push down their own currencies, boosting the relative value of the euro, the European Central Bank eventually could be compelled to join them. Jobless Claims in U.S. Rose 38,000 Last Week to 368,000 (Bloomberg) Economists forecast 350,000 filings, according to the Bloomberg survey median. The increase followed a combined 45,000 drop in the prior two weeks. Guy Inadvertently Posts Public YouTube Video Inviting His Fiancée’s Best Friend Over for a Threeway (Gawker) We've all been there. You're super excited after getting the go ahead from your fiancée Cynthia to invite her best friend Zoey over for a threeway, so you hastily record a video introducing yourself to Zoey and letting her know that you're totally open to having a threeway this week, next week, the week after that, whenever, anytime, today, or maybe tomorrow, whenever possible, and you're just really excited to show her things that she's never seen and do things that were never done before in a threeway. Then you hastily upload the video to your public YouTube account that 300 people are subscribed to, and await your threeway.

hamster

Opening Bell: 2.9.18

Shutdown over fast; Global stocks still getting hammered; Brexit still a mess; Florid woman mercy flushes emotional support hamster; and more!