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SEC launches a hiring spree to fight cryptocurrency fraud [CNN]
The additional 20 positions will result in almost a doubling in size of the agency's Cyber Unit, which is also being renamed the Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit to reflect the group's growing mission, the SEC said in a release…. In addition to policing cryptocurrency exchanges and coin offerings, the SEC will also be monitoring NFTs, decentralized finance platforms and stablecoins, the release said.

NFT Sales Are Flatlining [WSJ]
The sale of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, fell to a daily average of about 19,000 this week, a 92% decline from a peak of about 225,000 in September, according to the data website NonFungible.
The number of active wallets in the NFT market fell 88% to about 14,000 last week from a high of 119,000 in November…. There are about five NFTs for every buyer, according to data from analytics firm Chainalysis. As of the end of April, there have been 9.2 million NFTs sold, which were bought by 1.8 million people, the firm said.

Activist firm Elliott pushes Western Digital to split its businesses [Reuters via Yahoo!]
New York-based Elliott, one of the world's most prominent activist investors, argued in a letter to the board that Western Digital's acquisition of SanDisk is not working well and the company would be better off separating the flash and hard drives business. It owns roughly 6% of the company…. If it reverts to concentrate on its hard drives businesses, its stock price could surge to at least $100 a share by the end of next year, Elliott forecast. A "full separation of the Flash business can allow both HDD and Flash to be more successful and unlock significant value," the letter said.

HSBC's biggest shareholder reignites debate about breaking up the bank [CNN]
Ping An, China's largest insurer, is pushing for HSBC to overhaul its structure, which could mean ultimately decoupling the bank's hugely profitable Asian business from its Western activities, according to a person familiar with the matter…. The Chinese insurer has been calling for HSBC to explore a reorganization, with an eye on boosting its valuation, as well as simplifying its regulatory requirements around the globe, the person told CNN Business.

GameStop Stock: Short Sellers Are Not In A "Comfortable Position" [TheStreet]
Bronte Capital believes that GameStop’s valuation is ridiculous, even when one factors in the modest success the company has had in reinventing itself. Fund managers commented that GME’s recent financial results have been terrible and that the company’s market cap doubling in March was “absurd.”
However, the firm also admits that it is aware that GameStop's "absurd" valuation could still double again in the near future.
"[GameStop's] valuations are absurd but if you double the price they are not twice as absurd. They are just similarly disconnected from reality."

Robinson Cano decision proves Steve Cohen is Mets’ most valuable weapon [N.Y. Post]
Faced with a roster cutdown deadline Monday, and with a chance to shovel another pile of dirt on top of the Wilpon Era, Cohen did the right thing by eating the nearly $40 million owed Robinson Cano rather than protecting his bottom line at the expense of, say, Dominic Smith, who is more useful and 13 years younger than the diminished and disgraced eight-time All-Star.
“Make the right baseball decision,” Cohen told general manager Billy Eppler after hearing the options…. “He’s been a rock for us…” [Mets manager Buck Showalter said.] “Everything with Steve has been about baseball, and about what’s best for the team and the fans and the organization. … He’s eliminated a lot of excuses.” 

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By Mike Cauldwell (https://www.casascius.com/photos.aspx) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Opening Bell: 9.8.21

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Opening Bell: 5.26.21

MGM-azon; stonks stomp shorts; blue-chip birthday; a modest proposal re: cryptocurrencies; and more!

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Opening Bell: 4.15.21

Russian risks; pharma deals; GameStop gripes; and more!

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Opening Bell: 1.7.22

GameStop can’t stop; Citi readies the pinkslips; ARK-trocious; Izzy in Paris; and more!

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Opening Bell: 8.17.21

Michael Burry’s latest big short; Didi casualties; tell us if you’ve heard this about GameStop before; and more!

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Opening Bell: 12.9.21

Nubank’s new shares; the sun will come out… next year; GameStop’s new plan; and more!

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Opening Bell: 4.22.21

The last SPAC; Blackstone booms; shorts aren’t dead; and more!