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US stocks hit new high after Trump agrees $900bn stimulus [FT]
Wall Street’s S&P 500 index climbed 1 per cent in afternoon trading, surpassing a previous peak it hit earlier in December. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.9 per cent…. Mr Trump had shocked many lawmakers last week when he rejected the $2.3tn legislation, which in addition to the stimulus measures also included funding to keep the US government open up to the end of September and avoid a shutdown that was set to start after midnight on Monday….
“The new path implies meaningfully higher levels of output in all four quarters and lifts 2021 annual growth to 5.8 per cent,” Goldman said.

Boris Johnson’s Post-Brexit Plan for Britain Remains a Puzzle [WSJ]
He has so far promised Britons more regulation, not less, with ambitious plans to raise the minimum wage and curb greenhouse-gas emissions. He has promised more state spending, not less, in order to “level up” an economy he says is too dependent on London and southern England….
If Mr. Johnson doesn’t want another Thatcher-style economic revolution, what does he want to do with Britain’s freedom from Brussels?

JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon and His Brush With Death: ‘You Don’t Have Time for an Ambulance’ [WSJ]
Mr. Dimon was clinging to life, surgeons perched above his chest repairing a gash in the artery that delivers blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
“I knew I might not make it,” Mr. Dimon told The Wall Street Journal in his first interview about the aortic tear…. “I felt it,” Mr. Dimon said. “I thought I heard it….”
In surgery, the doctor said, they would have a brief window to implant a tube and rebuild his aorta. At any moment, the whole thing could rupture. If that happened, there would be no way to save him….
As doctors patched up Mr. Dimon during seven hours of surgery, the board of directors held a vote to implement what they called the “Jamie got hit by a bus” plan—the bank’s emergency succession protocol….
Mr. Dimon’s doctors aren’t sure why his aorta burst. Old lab results didn’t reveal missed signs or evidence of an aneurysm that could have caused the rupture. One doctor wondered if they had missed spikes in his blood pressure that had weakened his aorta. His surgeon chalked it up to a freak accident, and regular checkups have shown no lasting damage…. One thing he says he is sure of: He is too busy to think about retiring.

Alibaba Shares Tumble Again After Beijing Tightens Screws on Ant Group [WSJ]
China’s central bank released a harshly worded statement Sunday criticizing Ant’s business practices and instructing the financial-technology giant to shift its focus back to its mainstay—and less lucrative—digital-payments business.
The declines extended a stock selloff on Christmas Eve, taking Alibaba’s market capitalization down to $586 billion. Just two months earlier, it had hit a record of nearly $859 billion on expectations that Alibaba would profit handsomely from Ant’s public listing.

U.S. SEC's Peirce congratulates Roisman as next agency acting head [Reuters]
[Elad] Roisman, who has been a commissioner since 2018, would run the agency which oversees public companies, brokers, Wall Street banks, and investment funds, until President-elect Joe Biden announces a new chair after his administration takes over on January 20…. A formal White House decision to appoint Roisman as acting chair would break with protocol. Typically, the longer-serving party commissioner, in this case [Hester] Peirce, steps up.

SEC accuses 23-year-old crypto hedge fund founder of fraud [Reuters]
Stefan Qin, founder of Virgil Capital, allegedly fabricated records, failed to redeem $3.5 million in investments and sought to withdraw $1.7 million in investor funds to pay off Chinese loan sharks, the SEC said in the lawsuit filed on Tuesday.

Crypto investor Novogratz hopes for ‘open-minded’ regulators in Biden administration [CNBC]
“It’s kind of endemic of the Trump administration trying to jam in legislation, and quite frankly there are a lot of unintended consequences,” he said. “This is anti-dollar ... and it’s anti-innovation. It’s going to push a lot of the cool stuff that’s happening in crypto offshore….”
“Lots of these crypto companies both onshore and offshore are willing to push regulation and build great innovation,” he said. “I would love an administration, I would love a regulatory framework that embraces that, not fights that.”

Mayor de Blasio donor Jona Rechnitz slams judge for alleged conflict of interest [N.Y. Daily News]
“The Court could – and certainly an objective, disinterested observer would question whether it did – entertain a bias against Mr. Rechnitz for having involved the Court’s ‘son’ in a bribery scheme,” Rechnitz attorney Michael Tremonte wrote….
“The question is whether this Court, based on its close, quasi-familial relationship with Kaplan, could fairly evaluate the arguments Mr. Rechnitz made regarding his culpability... There is substantial reason to doubt that it could,” Tremonte wrote.

‘Bond King’ Bill Gross slapped with restraining order [N.Y. Post]
A California judge ordered the billionaire “Bond King” Wednesday to stop tormenting his techie neighbor by blasting the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song on a mind-numbing loop./Orange County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Knill said there was “clear and convincing evidence” that Gross and his partner, Amy Schwartz, blared that and other tunes to harass neighbor Mark Towfiq in retaliation for a complaint he filed about a sculpture outside Gross’ oceanfront mansion….
In one July 31 message, Gross wrote, “Peace on all fronts or we’ll just have nightly concerts big boy.” A couple months later, on Oct. 10, he asked Towfiq, “Have you dropped the art complaint to the city?”
“Taken together … [Gross’ texts] are strong evidence nightly concerts were planned by Gross in some sort of retaliation because of his dissatisfaction with Towfiq, for whatever reason,” Knill said.


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

Holiday Bell: 12.27.16

Did Carl Icahn screw over Jamie Dimon? Can non-white-men make it in hedge funds? Does Mark Cuban know how Twitter works?


Opening Bell: 10.9.20

Economists expect recovery in time to boost Biden reelection; suspended animation stimulus talks; Shaq SPAC; and more!

tv dinner

Holiday Bell: 11.25.20

Trump starts taking credit for Biden rally; Steve Cohen gets some Black, uh, start; bonjour a Paris, Monsiers et Madames Goldman; 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!

By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Mike Pompeo) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Holiday Bell: 10.8.18

Pompeo treated like a bull in a China; Tesla looking to hire Elon a daddy; Somebody is long GE; Banksy trolls the art world; and more!

Holiday Bell: 12.31.12

Cliff's Edge Draws Close (WSJ) What happens Monday could go some way to determining the short-term fate of the U.S. economy and the reputation of the government, both of which have been dinged by the spectacle of endless seemingly circular negotiations. Carrying the baton late into Sunday evening were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky) and Vice President Joe Biden. A spokesman for Mr. McConnell said Monday morning that the two men "will continue to work toward a solution." In the past two weeks, at least three different sets of negotiation teams have sought a way out...Still, some remained hopeful elements of a deal were on the table and could be brought into alignment at the last minute. "We're very close," said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.). "It is like a kaleidoscope," meaning there are many moving parts that can look beautiful or ugly depending how they're arrayed. Experts Forecast The Cost Of Failure To Compromise (NYT) In the event no compromise is found, however,the Congressional Budget Office and many private economists warn that the sudden pullback in spending and the rise in taxes would push the economy into recession in the first half of the year. Under this outcome, Mr. Gault said, the economy could shrink by 0.5 percent over all of 2013. With the clock ticking, some observers bolstered their criticism of Washington. "If we have a recession, it's unforgivable," said Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at the Economic Outlook Group. "For the first time in modern history, we will have a self-inflicted recession in the U.S." New Year's Countdown To Higher US Taxes Starts (Bloomberg) The IRS has said it will issue guidance by today on paycheck withholding for 2013, which depends on the income-tax rates Congress is debating. Higher rates would mean less take- home pay for workers starting as early as the first paycheck in January. Both Democrats and Republicans support extending current rates for families making less than $250,000. They disagree on whether to raise levies for top earners. Rates are scheduled to increase for all income levels Jan. 1 if Congress doesn’t act. Parties Pivot To Blame (WSJ) If Congress and the White House fail to strike a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, Republicans are under few illusions as to who will get much of the blame—even if past polls suggest there will be plenty to go around. "The poor Republicans will get the brunt of it, which may be unfair, but such is life," said Republican Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a former White House budget chief under George W. Bush. "The Republicans are seen as the obstinate ones, where at the very least, the president and his side are equally so." Polls since the November election have found Americans more ready to blame the GOP than President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats if the two sides fail to reach a deal to avoid the wave of tax increases and spending cuts coming Jan. 1. A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll earlier this month showed 24% would blame Republicans while 19% would blame Democrats. Merkel Says Euro Zone Crisis Far From Over (Reuters) FYI. Mario Batali wins biz feud over UK chef Gordon Ramsay (NYP, related, related) Batali says the prickly Brit star has agreed to give up on using the name The Spotted Pig for a London eatery — amid outcry that he had swiped it from Batali and his partners. “It didn’t make him look great,” Batali said of Ramsay’s recent trademarking of the name in the UK. “I don’t think it was an intentional shot across the bow by Gordon,” Batali told the Eater Vegas blog. “His team is just [trying] to build businesses. There’s got to be a thousand other animals they could have chosen besides The Spotted Pig. A striped minx, for example.” Experts Back Deutsche Whistleblowers (FT) Accounting experts say Deutsche Bank appears to have improperly accounted for billions of dollars of credit derivatives trades by failing to value adequately the risk that its trading counterparties could walk away. Jersey woman charged at boyfriend with hammer after he refuses to pay for laundry, reports say (NJ) Jazmin Duran, 24, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, criminal mischief, domestic violence, possession of weapon, unlawful possession of a weapon, resisting arrest police reports said. Police were called to Garfield Avenue near Armstrong Avenue at 2:52 p.m. on a report that a man was locked in the bathroom and his girlfriend was hitting the door with a hammer, reports said. When police arrived, the 49-year-old boyfriend, was still locked in the bathroom, reports said. After a brief struggle, police were able to detain Duran, reports said. When he came out he told police that Duran was mad at him and attacked him with a hammer, reports said. The victim said that he was undressing to get in the shower while talking to his girlfriend about getting her eyebrows done, when she asked for him to pay for doing her laundry, reports said. He responded that he didn't have money to pay for her laundry, reports said. He said she became irate and began to scream, reports said. BofA Settlement Hits Snags (WSJ) A big legal settlement usually marks the end of the bulk of the work for the Justice Department. But a year after a $335 million deal with Bank of America Corp. to compensate minority borrowers for alleged discrimination, much remains to be done. The department's settlement administrator just began notifying affected borrowers in November, about five months later than originally planned. Then, weeks after letters went out to more than 233,000 presumed victims, about 10% of those letters have been returned as undeliverable, according to Justice Department officials. U.S. officials had warned that it might take two years for eligible borrowers to receive money from the settlement, but they also expressed hope that checks could be mailed out sooner. Those hopes have dimmed. Facebook Analysts Stick To Script (WSJ) Facebook Inc. FB +1.03% has gotten a thumbs-down from investors since its initial public offering. But securities analysts who work at the investment banks that did the deal have never wavered in their enthusiasm. Since the social-networking company went public in May, analysts at Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs—Facebook's three biggest underwriters—have issued 40 reports on the stock. Every report has urged investors to buy. Skin In The Game (NYP) West Village cosmetic doctor Yelena Yeretsky usually works to make the power women of Wall Street look flawless. But now men are asking for her services. Yeretsky says, “The men usually want chemical peels so they look glowy. I remove lesions and skin tags and non-cancerous growths from years of playing golf in the sun.” French Court Says 75% Tax Rate on Rich Is Unconstitutional (Bloomberg) President Francois Hollande’s 75 percent millionaire-tax is unconstitutional because it fails to guarantee taxpayer equality, France’s top court ruled today. The tax, one of Hollande’s campaign promises, had become a focal point of discontent among entrepreneurs and other wealth creators, some of whom have quit French shores as a result. The ruling comes as the president seeks to cut France’s public deficit to 3 percent of gross domestic product next year from a projected 4.5 percent this year. For Euro, All Eyes On ECB's Playbook (WSJ) "Global central banks are engaged in a race to the bottom. It's difficult to call which major currency will be the ugliest," said Munich-based Thomas Kressin, who heads currency strategy for Pacific Investment Management Co., one of the world's biggest bond-fund managers. Expert: Champagne cork can put an eye out (UPI) The pressure inside a champagne bottle can launch a cork at 50 miles per hour as it leaves the bottle, fast enough to shatter glass, U.S. eye experts say. Dr. Monica L. Monica, an ophthalmologist and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, said the speed at which a cork can be unleashed is fast enough to permanently damage vision, including rupture of the eye wall, acute glaucoma, retinal detachment, ocular bleeding, dislocation of the lens and damage to the eye's bone structure. These injuries sometimes require urgent eye surgeries, Monica said. "When a champagne cork flies, you really have no time to react and protect your delicate eyes," Monica said in a statement. Programming Note: We're on an abbreviated, vacation-esque schedule. Opening wraps and brief updates should anything happen that people need to know about (fiscal cliff deal is struck, Raj Rajaratnam leads his fellow inmates in a NYE flashmob set to 'Thriller,' etc). Happy New Year and we'll see you in 2013!

rockefeller center tree

Holiday Bell: 12.23.22

M&A to rally into new year; inflation, too; judge hurts Hertz creditors; Dan Loeb’s feelings are hurt; and more!

vaccine shot

Holiday Bell: 12.28.21

Biden’s regulatory bench Blooms; Omicron makes things easier (unless you work at Goldman Sachs); Credit Suisse is litigiously pissed; Kap SPAC kicks the bucket; and more!