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The US economy contracted. Don't panic [CNN]
Gross domestic product unexpectedly declined at an annual rate of 1.4% during the first three months of the year — the worst quarter for the American economy since the pandemic turned the world upside down in the spring of 2020…. The US economy will return to growth during the second quarter, according to RSM chief economist Joe Brusuelas. "Without a doubt," he said.
"This is noise; not signal," Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist Ian Shepherdson wrote in a report. "The economy is not falling into recession."

Barclays Profit Falls on Hit From Debt-Sale Mistake, Deal-Making Slump [WSJ]
The London-based lender said Thursday it earned £1.4 billion, equivalent to $1.8 billion, in the three months to the end of March, down from £1.7 billion in the same period last year. Analysts expected the bank to report a £1.55 billion profit for the quarter, according to FactSet…. [The structured note error] “was entirely avoidable and I’m deeply disappointed that it occurred,” said Mr. Venkatakrishnan on Thursday. “To date, we have not found any evidence of intentional misconduct. The fact that this overissuance occurred reflects a weakness in our control environment.”

Robinhood Reports 43% Revenue Decline [WSJ]
Robinhood’s monthly active user count fell 10% to 15.9 million in March, from 17.7 million in the same month of 2021…. Chief Financial Officer Jason Warnick said Robinhood is trying to both exit a period of hypergrowth while still building out services for customers with the added challenge of doing that during a down market.

SEC Sues Vale Over Dam Disclosures Before 2019 Disaster [WSJ]
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuit shows how the regulator is using investor-protection powers to go after public companies that suffered costly environmental or engineering crises. The January 2019 dam collapse near the town of Brumadinho in southeastern Brazil cost Vale at least $7 billion in legal payments and significant additional future costs to take down other structures that have the same upstream construction design as the Brumadinho dam.

Judges’ Financial-Disclosure Bill Passes, Heads to President’s Desk [WSJ]
Under the legislation, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts is required to create a searchable online database of judicial financial disclosure forms and post those forms within 90 days of being filed. A jurist’s periodic transaction reports, listing such things as stock trades over $1,000, must be reported within 45 days. The bill covers Supreme Court justices and federal judges appointed for life, as well as federal magistrate and bankruptcy judges, who serve terms…. The Journal in September 2021 revealed that 131 federal judges improperly heard 685 court cases between 2010 and 2018 in which they or their family members owned shares of companies that were plaintiffs or defendants in the litigation.

Shareholder Proposals to Broaden Access to Covid-19 Vaccines Rejected [WSJ]
Shareholders at Pfizer and Moderna voted against similar resolutions, which asked each company to study the feasibility of transferring technical know-how and patents to allow other manufacturers to produce Covid-19 vaccine doses for low- and middle-income countries.
The resolutions were submitted by antipoverty group Oxfam America and other socially conscious investors who argued the vaccine makers have steered much of their dose supplies to wealthier countries.

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Diamond Censured Over Evidence in Barclays Libor Probe (Bloomberg) Barclays ex-Chief Executive Officer Robert Diamond was criticized for giving “unforthcoming and highly selective” evidence by a U.K. parliamentary report that faulted the bank for letting traders rig interest rates. The “candor and frankness” of Diamond’s testimony to lawmakers on July 4 “fell well short of the standard that Parliament expects,” the House of Commons Treasury Committee said in a 122-page report today following its inquiry into the bank’s attempts to manipulate the London interbank offered rate. “The Barclays board has presided over a deeply flawed culture,” the panel of British lawmakers said. “Senior management should have known earlier and acted earlier.” Bob Diamond Hits Bank In Rate-Rigging Row (Telegraph) In a statement Mr Diamond hit back at the report. "I am disappointed by, and strongly disagree with, several statements by the Treasury Select Committee,” Diamond said. Deutsche Bank’s Business With Sanctioned Nations Under Scrutiny (NYT) Federal and state prosecutors are investigating Deutsche Bank and several other global banks over accusations that they funneled billions of dollars through their American branches for Iran, Sudan and other sanctioned nations, according to law enforcement officials with knowledge of the cases. JPMorgan Picks Leader For 'Whale' Probe (WSJ) JPMorgan directors have named Lee Raymond chairman of a board committee investigating the bank's multibillion-dollar trading blunder, said people close to the probe. Some Groupon Investors Give Up (WSJ) Some of the early backers of Groupon, including Silicon Valley veteran Marc Andreessen, are heading for the exits, joining investors who have lost faith in companies that had been expected to drive a new Internet boom. At least four Groupon investors who held stock in the daily-deals company before it went public have sold or significantly pared back their holdings in recent months. Since its initial public offering in November, Groupon has shed more than three-quarters of its stock-market value, or about $10 billion...Mr. Andreessen, who rode the 1990s dot-com frenzy to riches at Netscape Communications Corp., was among the investors who helped fuel Groupon's rapid ascent. His firm, Andreessen Horowitz, was responsible for $40 million of the $950 million investors put into Groupon just months before the company's IPO. Andreessen Horowitz sold its 5.1 million Groupon shares shortly after restrictions on selling the stock expired June 1, according to people with knowledge of the transaction. Facebook Investors Brace For More Shares Coming To Market (Bloomberg) While Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg operates the world’s largest social-networking service, he’s facing investor concerns about how it can generate more revenue from its growing user base. That, plus the end of the first lock-up, drove the shares to half the offering price of $38, wiping out almost $46 billion in market value. Queen's corgis 'attack' Princess Beatrice's terrier Max (Telegraph) They may be among the Queen's favourite subjects but her corgis are in the doghouse after getting into a fight with one of Princess Beatrice's pets. Max, an 11–year–old Norfolk terrier, is said to have been badly injured after a "nasty" encounter at Balmoral castle last week. The Princess's pet nearly lost an ear and suffered several bloody bite injuries that had to be treated by a vet, in the latest in a series of scraps between royal dogs..."The Queen's dog boy was taking the corgis for a walk and they were joined by the Norfolk terriers, which came with Prince Andrew," one insider told a Sunday newspaper. "They were being taken along the long corridor leading to the Tower Door before being let into the grounds for a walk, and they all became overexcited. 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Along with Ackman, Dan Loeb of Third Point, the hedgie who recently rattled Yahoo!, famed short-seller Jim Chanos of Kynikos Associates and gold hound James Melcher of Balestra Capital, made the short list as well. Spitzer Defends Wall Street Legacy (FT) Last week it emerged that Goldman Sachs had brought the curtains down on its Hudson Street platform, one of the most high-profile independent research projects started by an investment bank involved in the settlement. Other settlement banks, such as UBS and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, are said to have closed or scaled down their own independent analysis projects. Mr. Spitzer was quick to defend the legacy of the global settlement in an interview with the Financial Times. “I think we accomplished something,” Mr. Spitzer said. “There are a lot of independent research firms out there, some doing well and others not. 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robinhood

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