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Wall Street got the election wrong. Stocks are still rising [CNN Business]
"What you are getting is a sense that you're not going to have extreme disruption in the wake of the results," Paul Donovan, chief economist at UBS Global Wealth Management, told me….
"The status so far: unclear on the next president but fairly clear that he'll face Congressional resistance on anything transformational, whether on the budgetary or regulatory front," John Normand, JPMorgan's head of cross-asset strategy, said in a note to clients. "That is great news for those who think that government inaction is generally good for asset prices over the medium term."

McConnell Says Congress Should Pass Economic Relief Bill This Year [WSJ]
Mr. McConnell said he would support including more funding for schools, hospitals and a popular small-business loan program, but not a more sweeping proposal that Democrats have sought. He also noted that Congress will have to move to keep the government running before its current funding expires on Dec. 11…. “If Republicans weren’t willing to spend more than $1 trillion even in the heat of a re-election battle, where it could benefit President Trump, I see almost no chance they would support a trillion-dollar plan after the election or next year, when there’s less political heat,” said Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the right-leaning Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

For some Ant investors, outrage that regulatory risks weren't flagged better [Reuters]
“There was no mention of microlending regulation tightening, that (was) not a conversation that was had,” one hedge fund manager in Hong Kong said of the roadshow.
“I don’t think (investors) thought it was an issue until the there was a last minute discussion paper from the regulators,” he added….
Fund managers also expressed annoyance that Ant founder Jack Ma publicly criticised financial regulations as stifling innovation last month - a tactless move that many observers believe pushed regulators to suddenly ambush the Hong Kong and Shanghai dual listing.

TikTok Shutdown Argued Before Federal Judge [WSJ]
Lawyers for TikTok urged the judge Wednesday to find the broader Nov. 12 ban a likely overreach as well because it would have the effect of shutting down personal communications and informational materials on the app in the name of protecting U.S. data…. “The whole purpose [of the U.S. ban] is to destroy the TikTok app, to shut it down,” said TikTok lawyer John Hall. “That is the way in which the government seeks to protect data, to stop misinformation—to just stop people from using the app.”

SocGen delivers big beat and swings back to profit in third quarter [CNBC]
“There is a strong rebound and a confirmation of our capability to rebound in this still difficult environment,” Séverin Cabannes, deputy CEO at Societe Generale, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe.”
“We’ve demonstrated that in this market normalization condition, we are able to generate significant revenue and profitability,” he added.

Alibaba Earnings Fell in Latest Quarter on One-Time Gain a Year Ago [WSJ]
Alibaba, China’s most valuable technology company, posted net income attributable to ordinary shareholders of 28.8 billion yuan, equivalent to $4.2 billion, for the fiscal second quarter, compared with 72.5 billion yuan in the year-ago period. Excluding this one-time gain, net income would have grown 44% from a year earlier to 47.1 billion yuan.... The company said it recorded a significant one-time gain after it took an equity increase in financial affiliate Ant Group Co. last September. Then, Alibaba received a one-off gain of 69.2 billion yuan after taking an equity stake of 33% in Ant. 

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Opening Bell: 10.19.20

Ant marches on; First Citizens-CIT seal deal; Wall Street opens wallets to Biden; “why on earth would you give this guy $50 million bucks?” and more!

How do you say, "low six-month fix" in emojis? Helar Lukats [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 10.22.20

Stimulus stalls; tick tock TikTok; WhatsApp monetizes; Bill de Blasio could screw something else up; and more!

By World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 9.2.20

TikTok tightrope; the Ackmanaissance accelerates; Swiss regulators to have a peek on Credit Suisse spying; Mick Mulvaney still awful; and more!

westhampton

Opening Bell: 10.29.21

Alibaba agony; alt data gets the side eye; messing with Texas; and more!

wildfile

Opening Bell: 8.25.20

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

zuckerberg

Opening Bell: 8.21.20

Ant; accreditation; antitrust; avoidance; and more!

trumpturkey

Opening Bell: 8.23.18

Trump raving; China retaliating; Alibaba jumping; a bull market for giraffe parts; and more!

Opening Bell: 04.18.13

Morgan Stanley Sees Core Earnings Weaken (WSJ) Morgan Stanley saw core earnings weaken, although the investment bank swung to a first-quarter profit as it benefited from a comparison with a year-earlier period bogged down by a heavy charge. For the quarter, the bank reported a profit of $984 million, compared with a year-earlier loss of $94 million. The per-share profit, which reflects the payment of preferred dividends, was 49 cents compared with a loss of six cents a year earlier. The latest period featured a decline in fixed-income trading revenue, but strong stock trading and continued improvements in Morgan Stanley's wealth-management division, which was buoyed by strong markets. ... Revenue jumped 18% to $8.16 billion. Excluding debt valuation, revenue was $8.48 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently expected earnings, excluding debt-valuation adjustments, of 57 cents, on revenue of $8.35 billion. Blackstone First-Quarter Profit Rises on Fund Performance (Bloomberg) Blackstone Group LP (BX), the world’s biggest buyout firm, said first-quarter profit rose 28 percent as market gains lifted the carrying value of its holdings. Economic net income, a measure of earnings excluding some costs tied to the firm’s 2007 initial public offering, increased to $628.3 million, or 55 cents a share, from $491.2 million, or 44 cents, a year earlier, New York-based Blackstone said today in a statement. Analysts had expected earnings of 53 cents a share, according to the average of 15 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. Barclays Head of Investment Banking Rich Ricci to Retire in June (Bloomberg) Barclays Plc’s Rich Ricci, the head of investment banking and one of the last members of former Chief Executive Officer Robert Diamond’s management team, will retire at the end of June. Ricci, 49, will be replaced by Eric Bommensath and Tom King, 52, as co-chief executive officers of corporate and investment banking in May, the London-based bank said in a statement today. “The market will see this as an inevitable and appropriate piece of transitioning,” said Ian Gordon, an analyst at Investec Plc (INVP) in London. “Few tears will be shed and the reshuffle will be broadly welcomed.” Special Report: The battle for the Swiss soul (Reuters) A sign on display in UBS's museum, from a bank founded in 1747 in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, could almost be Switzerland's mantra: "MASSIMA DISCREZIONE" it promises. Swiss bankers have long adhered to an unwritten code similar to that observed by doctors or priests. Bankers do not acknowledge clients in public for fear of exposing them as account holders; they often carry business cards with just a name, rather than bank or contact details; and, at least until the 1990s, they never advertised abroad. ... Even today, few Swiss like to discuss the fact that much of the country's prosperity was built on bankers helping foreigners evade taxes. Visitors should avoid personal questions, advises Communicaid, a consultancy which advises businesses on cross-cultural awareness. It would also be wise to steer clear of discussing "Swiss banks, money or Switzerland's military role in World War One or Two." Reinhart/Rogoff and Growth in a Time Before Debt (RortyBomb via Felix Salmon) Here is a simple question: does a high debt-to-GDP ratio better predict future growth rates, or past ones? If the former is true, it would be consistent with the argument that higher debt levels cause growth to fall. On the other hand, if higher debt "predicts" past growth, that is a signature of reverse causality. ... As is evident, current period debt-to-GDP is a pretty poor predictor of future GDP growth at debt-to-GDP ratios of 30 or greater—the range where one might expect to find a tipping point dynamic. But it does a great job predicting past growth. Ottawa sets up taxpayer-funded food truck in Mexico to promote Canadian cuisine (National Post) When author Anita Stewart first heard about the Canadian government’s new food truck parked in Mexico City, she laughed so hard she cried. The new Canada-branded, taxpayer-funded venture, which kicked off its three-week pilot project last week, is serving up a Mexican-ized version of poutine, using Oaxaca cheese instead of curds. Also on the menu are Alberta beef tourtière, and maple-glazed Albacore tuna. China Vows Wider Yuan Movement (WSJ) China's central bank plans to widen the yuan's trading band in the near future, People's Bank of China Vice Governor Yi Gang said Wednesday, suggesting that China's leaders will press ahead with change despite the surprise slowing of the economy. "The exchange rate is going to be more market-oriented," Mr. Yi said on a panel at the International Monetary Fund spring meetings in Washington. "I think in the near future we are going to increase the floating band even further." IMF warns on risks of excessive easing (FT) Extraordinarily loose monetary policy risks sparking credit bubbles that threaten to tip the world back into financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund warned on Wednesday. In its global financial stability report, the fund cautioned that policy reforms were needed urgently to restore long-term health to the financial system before the long-term dangers of monetary stimulus materialised. German Parliament Approves Bailout for Cyprus (WSJ) German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble called the vote a "strong signal" by Germany in favor of the euro and the euro zone. The parliament also voted in favor of a seven-year extension of the maturity on European Financial Stability Facility loans for Ireland and Portugal with a large majority. SEC to Move Past Financial Crisis Cases Under New Chairman White (Bloomberg) Mary Jo White, the first former prosecutor to serve as chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, has pledged to run a “bold and unrelenting” enforcement program at the agency charged with regulating Wall Street. With financial crisis cases mostly done and some of the biggest insider-trading cases in history closed, White will have to chart a course into new areas to keep that pledge. White, who was sworn in last week, has already provided a few signals about what that might be. During her Senate confirmation hearing, she said she intends to focus on high- frequency and automated trading. She has also raised questions about a drop in the number of accounting fraud cases the agency has brought in recent years. Dispute in Hamptons Set Off by Effort to Hold Back Ocean (NYT) Soon after Hurricane Sandy hit last fall, Joshua Harris, a billionaire hedge fund founder and an owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, began to fear that his $25 million home on the water in Southampton might fall victim to the next major storm. So he installed a costly defense against incoming waves: a shield of large metal plates on the beach, camouflaged by sand. His neighbor, Mark Rachesky, another billionaire hedge fund founder, put up similar fortifications between his home and the surf. Chris Shumway, who closed his $8 billion hedge fund two years ago, trucked in boulders the size of Volkswagens. Across a section of this wealthy town, some residents, accustomed to having their way in the business world, are now trying to hold back the ocean. ‘Elvis’ is busted in ricin terror (NYP) The FBI last night busted a troubled Mississippi Elvis impersonator as the poison-wielding man who mailed ricin-laced letters to President Obama and two other officials. ... Despite his rock ’n’ roll hobby, Curtis shows his angry side on Facebook, where he lashes out in a conspiracy-filled rant. “I’m on the hidden front lines of a secret war,” he wrote. “They burned down my home, killed my dogs, my cat, my rabbit, blew up my 1966 Plymouth Valiant . . . and guess what? I am still a thorn in their corrupt anals! I will remain here until Jesus Christ decides it’s time for me to go.”