Colombian Airline Unveils Flight Without Seats

Who cares if you don’t have an inflight entertainment system for a one-hour flight? ...or that you don’t get free peanuts? There are people out there right now researching whether you can fly standing up – we’re very interested in that..."

CNN Accidentally Airs 30 Minutes Of Hard Core, Transsexual Porn

As viewers were tuning in for a brand new episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, "the show's title took on a brand new meaning when the scheduled programming was replaced with explicit material starring adult transsexual film star Riley Quinn."

Frontrunning: August 15

  • China shares hit seven-month high; world yields keep falling (Reuters)
  • Dollar pinned down by easing Fed rate hike expectations (Reuters)
  • Russia says oil market talks with Saudi developing (Reuters)
  • Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief (NYT)
  • The No-Pivot Election: Clinton and Trump Make No Policy Concessions (BBG)

US Tries To Wrest Control Of Hostess Liquidation As Management Seeks To Pay $1.75 Million In "Incentive" Bonuses

The Hostess bankruptcy liquidation, the result of a bungled negotiation between the company, its equity sponsors, its striking workers, and the labor union, over what has been defined as unsustainable benefits and pension benefits, is rapidly becoming a Ding Ding farce. The latest news in what promises to be an epic Chapter 22 fight is that the judge, pressured by various impaired stakeholders, among which none other than the US trustee, is that the bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain has ordered the company and its unions to seek private mediation to attempt averting what the company has already said is an inevitable unwind of operations. More to the point, and as we predicted on Friday, if there is an outright purchase of the company, it will be a standalone entity, without its unions: Hostess will draw strategic buyers and private-equity investors for its brands, Rayburn said, without naming potential bidders. The company is “more attractive” to buyers without the unions, he said. In other words, if the Union had hoped that their workers would be retained by the purchasing entity, their dreams just got shattered. But while the Union may be sad, it is about to add another emotion to its arsenal: blind fury. Because it is here that things get truly surreal. As the US Trustee, a Justice Department official responsible for protecting creditors, disclosed, as part of the winddown of Hostess, wants to pay as much as $1.75 million in incentive bonuses to 19 senior managers during the liquidation.

Frontrunning: August 13

  • Oil hits 3-month high above $114 on supply concern (Reuters)
  • G20 plans response to rising food prices (FT)
  • First centrally planned FX, now real estate - SNB Seen Targeting Bank Capital to Curb Property Boom (Bloomberg)
  • EU hedge funds face pay threat (FT)
  • Euro-Area Crisis Has ‘No Obvious End in Sight,’ BOE’s King Says (Bloomberg)
  • King urged to widen recovery measures (FT)
  • All threats "dwarfed" by Iran nuclear work: Israel PM (Reuters)
  • Obama campaign attacks Romney’s pick (FT)
  • Romney, Ryan hit the road in an energized campaign (Reuters)
  • Yellen Must Show How 12 Fed Opinions Become One Policy (Bloomberg)

Commencing A Distributed Effort To Outsource The SEC's Information Gathering And Processing Operations

Reader Wally the Tiger has done an impressive job of connecting the dots in a highly complex situation involving a convicted securities fraud criminal, his wife, and her incredible stock-picking track record, and in providing a list of questions, which if answered without complete satisfaction, would likely provide the SEC with at least an open case of potentially criminal behavior. We would like to use this great piece of research to open up Zero Hedge to reader submissions for comparable such distributed investigative efforts, which, unfortunately, seek to do the job of the woefully inefficient Securities and Exchange Commission. At least, there is always that promise of an SEC bounty for every tip that leads to civil charges. Of course, the receipt of one would imply that in addition to surfing for porn all day, the SEC spends countless hours reading this very blog (which they do) instead of actually doing their job.

Blast From The Past: Bear Stearns' 2006 Annual Global Credit Conference - Groupthink Defined

Ah, the halcyon days of 2006, when the bubble was cranking, rates were stable and rising, Bernanke was brand new and few realized he would was yet to become the destroyer of capitalism, when subprime was only known to a select few future billionaires, when Bear Stearns was alive and well and was organizing credit conference at the Waldorf Astoria (instead of arranging credit for itself in advance of going bankrupt in 2008) during which nobody said anything relevant (that includes Bear's then chief economist David Malpass) and where participants merely reinforced each other's fallacious groupthink, capped by Peyton Manning as keynote speaker of all people. Companies presenting were all the current and future LBO hits (which would soon undergo Chapter 22 and in some cases 33). We are only amazed that Bear hasn't risen from the dead to recreate the credit conference below, coupled with full bubble frothiness and all other bells and whistles.

RCN May Be A Bit Late With Its Exclusive Exchange/Data Center Fiber Network

And the undisputed winner of the market bad timing awards is RCN. Just as the world is finally getting concerned and quite vocal over a two-tiered market in which certain exclusive market participants reap the gains of extensive infrastructure investments which may or may not allow them a distinct "informational asymmetry" advantage, and hot on the heels of a vote by the SEC seeking a Flash trading ban, RCN has announced that it set to launch a "low-latency co-location and exchange-only network connecting the major bourses and data centers in the New York and New Jersey financial hubs."