Congress moves to prevent a government shutdown with deadline hours away [CNBC]
“This is a good outcome, one I’m happy we are getting done,” Schumer said before the Senate vote…. Lawmakers still need to raise or suspend the debt ceiling before Oct. 18 to prevent a possible default on U.S. debt that would result in job losses, economic damage and a drop in the stock market.

U.S. Jobless Claims Have Remained Near Pandemic Lows in September [WSJ]
Initial unemployment claims, a proxy for layoffs, have edged higher the past three weeks largely due to temporary factors. An accounting issue in California has effectively double counted those shifting from recently ended federal pandemic benefits to other programs. Parts shortages in Michigan are causing short-term auto industry layoffs…. Meanwhile, the number of continuing claims for jobless benefits fell sharply in early September, as special federal pandemic programs wound down nationwide. Overall continuing claims fell to 5 million the week ended Sept. 11 from 11.3 million the prior week.

Former Robinhood Employees Launch Parafin, a Finance Startup for Small Business [WSJ]
San Francisco-based Parafin Inc., which is also backed by some of Robinhood’s early venture investors, is reaching small businesses via partners to offer online cash advances…. “It was so obvious that small businesses are struggling,” [vice president Ralph] Furman said. Parafin also plans to expand to offer other financial products like bank accounts and insurance to small-business clients.

At Ozy Media, a Star Journalist Quits, and a Key Investor Backs Away [NYT]
Ozy lost one of its biggest stars, Katty Kay, a former BBC anchor and correspondent, who announced in a Twitter post on Wednesday that she had left the company. Ms. Kay wrote that she had handed in her resignation on Tuesday morning, adding that “the allegations in The New York Times, which caught me be surprise, are serious and deeply troubling and I had no choice but to end my relationship with the company….”
SV Angel, led by the high-profile venture capitalist Ron Conway, informed Ozy on Tuesday that it was giving up the shares it had acquired in the company in 2012….

A $1.8 Billion Hedge Fund Soared 120% During the Covid-19 Pandemic [Bloomberg via Yahoo!]
[Castle Hook Partners] lost 10% in the first three months of 2020, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
The turnaround is in sharp contrast to the fund’s modest returns since starting five years ago with about $900 million. The money included a substantial anchor investment from [Stanley] Druckenmiller who trained [David] Rogers at his former hedge fund Duquesne Capital Management and once described him as an “extremely talented” money manager.
Gains in 2020 were evenly split between wagers on equities, rates and foreign exchange, according to one of the people. The firm turned bullish on inflation and commodities late last year, themes that continued to drive performance in 2021, the person said.

Is It Ever OK to Get Stoned With a Client? And Other Questions as Pot Comes to Work [WSJ]
Nabis, a cannabis wholesale platform based in San Francisco, doesn’t drug test its workers, but has a no-tolerance policy for being under the influence on the job, in part because some employees handle heavy equipment, says Chief Executive Vince Ning.
At companies such as Vangst, partaking of recreational marijuana during work hours is a nonstarter, though medical marijuana would be permissible….

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Opening Bell: 5.14.20

Jobs lost; Falcone saved; CQS focuses on what it’s not so good at; Whitney Tilson makes some bets; SoCal stinks; at more!

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Holiday Bell: 7.2.21

Jobs jobs jobs!; Hertz back on the market and in court; a tale of two cities; an ETF in the ether; and more!

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Opening Bell: 5.7.21

Jobs? Less; unappealing; good news and bad for CoStar; Holmeslife; and more!

Opening Bell: 03.22.12

Goldman conducts company-wide email review (Reuters) Goldman Sachs Group Inc has begun scanning internal emails for the term "muppet" and other evidence that employees referred to clients in derogatory ways, Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein told partners in a conference call this week, according to people familiar with the call...It was not clear when the search would be completed or what actions, if any, Goldman would take if the search turns up derogatory comments. Jobless Claims in U.S. Fall to Lowest Level in Four Years (Bloomberg) Jobless claims decreased by 5,000 to 348,000 in the week ended March 17, the fewest since February 2008, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 46 economists in a Bloomberg News survey projected 350,000. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls and those getting extended payments also fell. ‘Worst Still to Come’ for Europe Says Citi Economist (CNBC) Despite high-profile measures such as the Greek debt deal and mass pumping of liquidity into the banking system, Europe’s problems have merely been delayed for another day, Willem Buiter, chief economist at Citi, told CNBC. “We have really just paused for breath,” he said. “It (the long-term refinancing operation) really hasn’t solved the problem, and for Europe the worst is still to come.” On Wall St., Keeping a Tight Rein on Twitter (Dealbook) So a cottage industry has emerged. Adept start-ups act as guides on Wall Street’s social media adventure, providing the software that helps firms comply with regulations that date to a sleepier era of communication. “Here they were, these organizations that had never used the social networks because they had completely locked down access,” said Chad Bockius, the chief executive of Socialware, a start-up based in Austin, Tex., that advises financial firms on social media. “This is the same thing we saw when people started to use the Internet for business purposes.” Mr. Bockius, 35, says his company was the first to offer social media compliance products for the financial industry. Socialware sells software that can archive messages, house a library of prewritten content and allow compliance officers to oversee postings. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, which Mr. Bockius holds up as one of his most enterprising clients, gave about 600 of its 17,800 financial advisers access to Twitter and LinkedIn last summer, and now plans to expand those ranks. “We’re trailblazing, so to speak,” said Lauren W. Boyman, who runs social media at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. “Even with the restrictions that we have, we’ve seen a lot of success.” John Edwards is First Name Uncovered in 'Millionaire Madam' Investigation (DNAI via Daily Intel) Edwards allegedly hooked up with one of Gristina’s high-end hookers in 2007 when the dashing pol from North Carolina brought his then high-flying presidential campaign to the Big Apple. The one-night fling allegedly took place at an Upper East Side hotel suite and was arranged by an aide with help from a New Yorker familiar with Gristina’s prostitution ring, sources said...“Most of the women don’t have any idea about the identities of the men they sleep with,” a source explained. “How would they know a money man from Wall Street or the face of a lawyer or banker who shows up? “But the face of the national politician?” the source rhetorically asked. “She knew.” Volcker Says U.S. Needs Reforms in Finance, Government (Bloomberg) “It is not only our economic prosperity that’s in jeopardy, but our national security and our ability to play a constructive role in a changing world,” said Volcker, 84. Volcker said that progress has been made toward improving financial regulatory oversight, capital and liquidity standards and rules for derivatives. He said more needed to be done to regulate money market mutual funds, which he called “a new systemic risk,” and to rebuild a private market for home mortgages to replace the government-sponsored entities that dominate the business. “The reform report card still reads, ‘Promising but definitely incomplete,’” Volcker said. More Wings, Please — Signs Small Biz Is Improving (AP) Some diners at Hurricane Grill & Wings had been limiting themselves to a small order of the chain's saucy chicken wings and a glass of tap water. These days, many of those people are upgrading to a bigger order of as many as 15 wings and a soda. For Hurricane Grill, which sells its wings in more than 30 varieties of sauces, the larger plates and the sodas are a sign that customers are OK about spending a little more when they go out to eat. The evidence may not be a big economic report like gross domestic product or factory orders in a region, but small businesses have their own indicators that the economy is improving. Rich Would Skirt 'Buffett Rule' Report Shows (WSJ) The administration's proposal to end the Bush-era tax cuts for couples making more than $250,000 would raise about $850 billion over the next decade. Mr. Obama also wants to limit the value of many deductions for families making more than $250,000. That would raise a further $584 billion over the decade. But millionaires likely would find legal ways to avoid paying higher taxes under another of Mr. Obama's new tax proposals, his so-called "Buffett Rule," a separate congressional estimate found. The proposal—spelled out in Mr. Obama's State of the Union address but not included in his budget—would impose a 30% minimum tax rate on those who make more than $1 million a year. It's named for the billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who advocates higher taxes on the very wealthy. Taxpayers' likely efforts to sidestep the rule's impact mean it would raise about $47 billion in extra revenue over the next decade, according to a new estimate by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, a congressional advisory body that functions as the official congressional scorekeeper for legislation affecting government tax revenues. The Tax Policy Center had estimated the Buffett rule would raise about $114 billion over the next decade. Monster titanoboa snake invades New York (AP) New York commuters arriving at Grand Central Station will soon be greeted by a monstrous sight: a 48-foot-long, 2,500-pound titanoboa snake. The good news: It's not alive. Anymore. But the full-scale replica of the reptile -- which will make its first appearance at the commuter hub on March 22 -- is intended, as Smithsonian spokesperson Randall Kremer happily admitted, to "scare the daylights out of people" -- actually has a higher calling: to "communicate science to a lot of people." The scientifically scary-accurate model will go a long way toward that: If this snake slithered by you, it would be waist-high and measure the length of a school bus. Think of it as the T-rex of snakes.

Getty Images

Opening Bell: 8.3.20

HSBC readying the pink slips; Kashkari pushes complete shutdown; Apple takes bite out of Dow; Mercers return to their hole; and more!

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Opening Bell: 9.24.21

Shutdown scare shrugged off; OppenheimerFunds InsiderTrading; mergers mocked; wine > watches > bags; and more!

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Opening Bell: 1.16.18

Cryptos in a nosedive; US government shutdown imminent; Ackman in court; car ends up in 2nd floor dentists office; and more!

Opening Bell: 2.6.15

RadioShack brought to its knees by "a series of missed financial targets and strategic confusion that handed power to bare-knuckled lenders"; Rich Brazilians are getting the fuck out; Swiss National Banc still curbing that franc; Jobs report did pretty okay for itself; "You need to focus again on the attractive benefits of our funds and stop this nonsense that there are no products available – because if there are no products, go home, get a new job!"; Marijuana Lovahs; AND MORE.