Merrill

Merrill
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Bank Of America Psycho Killer Was Busy Helping Hedge Funds Avoid Taxes During His Business Hours





The most bizarre story of the weekend was that of Bank of America's 29-year-old banker Rurik Jutting, who shortly after allegedly killing two prostitutes (and stuffing one in a suitcase), and called the cops on himself.  The answer, as the WSJ has revealed, is just as unsavory: "he had been part of a Bank of America team that specialized in tax-minimization trades that are under scrutiny from prosecutors, regulators, tax collectors and the bank’s own compliance department, according to people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal."

 
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Frontrunning: November 4





  • Republicans expect gains, but many races close on election day (Reuters)
  • Ahead of tough election, White House blames dismay with Washington (Reuters)
  • On Election Day, a Tale of the Young and the Old (WSJ)
  • Because the recovery: Sprint to Cut 2,000 Jobs as Mobile Customers Keep Leaving (BBG)
  • Ukraine's rebel leader is sworn in, crisis deepens (Reuters)
  • Brilliant: Burkina Faso Army Promises Religious Leaders It Will Step Down (BBG)
  • More Unknowns Leave Central Banks Facing Greater Internal Strife (BBG)
  • Scapegoat found: IBM to Change Leadership at Global Services Unit (WSJ)
  • Explains why Europe just slashed its GDP forecast: Don’t Be Fooled by Warm Spell as Cold Air About to Return (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: November 3





  • To salvage his presidency, Obama faces pressure to reboot - but will he? (Reuters)
  • Pro-Russian separatist Zakharchenko wins Ukraine rebel vote (Reuters)
  • Russia's Recognition of Ukrainian Separatist Election Is 'Incomprehensible,' Germany Says (Moscow Times)
  • Man Running World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Tackles China Riddle (BBG)
  • Russian Supply Underpins Global Oil Glut (WSJ)
  • Argentina accuses Procter & Gamble of tax fraud, says suspends operations (Reuters)
  • ECB Skips Fireworks for Day One of New Role as Supervisor (BBG)
  • HSBC Hit by $1.7 Billion of Provisions (WSJ)
 
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The Zombie System: How Capitalism Has Gone Off The Rails





"Solutions to the world's problems are not produced in a meeting between Bill Gates and George Soros... Renewal has to come from below... Limiting the influence [of the richest] is of the utmost importance... so that today's upper-class, high-finance capitalism can once again revert to being a capitalism of the real economy and the societal center."

 
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FBI To Probe Accounting Fraud At Multi-Billion REIT





While the Fed and the BOJ were by far the biggest news of the past week, explicitly admitting that the world simply can not exist without one central bank passing the monetization torch to someone else, a surprising, and scare for its shareholders, development took place when REIT American Realty Capital Properties, with a then-market cap of over $10 billion, announced, under the cover of the Fed ending QE3, that it had overstated its adjusted funds from operation, a cash flow key metric used by REITs, from the first- and second-quarters of 2014.As the WSJ reminds us, while the amount of money involved, some $23 million, was "relatively small", the irregularities resulted in the resignation of the company’s chief financial officer, Brian Block, and chief accounting officer, Lisa McAlister.The result: a crash in the stock that wiped out nearly 30% or nearly $4 billion in market cap.

 
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BofA Banker Arrested In Hong Kong For Double Murder Of Two Prostitutes, One Victim Was Stuffed In A Suitcase





The excesses of 1980s New York investment banking as captured best (and with just a dose of hyperbole) by Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho may be long gone in the US, but they certainly are alive and well in other banking meccas, such as the one place where every financier wants to work these days (thanks to the Chinese government making it rain credit): Hong Kong. It is here that yesterday a 29-year-old British banker, Rurik Jutting, a Cambridge University grad and current Bank of America Merrill Lynch, former Barclays employee, was arrested in connection with the grisly murder of two prostitutes. One of the two victims had been hidden in a suitcase on a balcony, while the other, a foreign woman of between 25 and 30, was found lying inside the apartment with wounds to her neck and buttocks, the police said in a statement.

 
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Frontrunning: October 31





  • Futures rally after BOJ ramps up stimulus (Reuters), Japan's central bank shocks markets with more easing as inflation slows (Reuters)
  • Kuroda Jolts Markets With Assault on Deflation Mindset (BBG)
  • Japan Mega-Pension Shifts to Stocks (WSJ)
  • Russia Raises Interest Rates (WSJ)
  • Oil-Price Drop Has Saudi Officials Divided (WSJ)
  • Not anymore, the BOJ is here: Fed Exit Could Spark Slump in All Markets, ATP CEO Says (BBG)
  • Wal-Mart Weighs Matching Online Prices from Amazon (WSJ)
  • Euro-Area Inflation Picks Up From Five-Year Low on Stimulus (BBG)
  • Big Banks Brace for Penalties in Probes  (WSJ)
  • Ex-UBS Trader Defense Could Be Threat to U.S. Forex Cases (BBG)
 
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Jim Grant On Complexity: The Hidden Cost Of Central Bank Actions





Central banks are printing rules almost as fast as they’re printing money. The consequences of these fast-multiplying directives — complicated, long-winded, and sometimes self-contradictory — is one topic at hand. Manipulated interest rates is a second. Distortion and mispricing of stocks, bonds, and currencies is a third. Skipping to the conclusion of this essay, Jim Grant is worried: "The more they tried, the less they succeeded. The less they succeeded, the more they tried. There is no 'exit.'"

 
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Frontrunning: October 30





  • "Soaring consumer confidence" - How the Economy Is Stoking Voter Anger at Incumbent Governors (WSJ)
  • Euro zone deflation worries shield German Bunds from upbeat Fed (Reuters)
  • Greece’s Euro Dilemma Is Back as Minister Sees Volatility (BBG)
  • Ukraine gas supplies in doubt as Russia seeks EU payment deal (Reuters)
  • Sterling Lads Chats Show FX Traders Matching Fix Orders (BBG)
  • NATO Tracks Large-Scale Russia Air Activity in Europe (WSJ)
  • U.K. SFO Charges Ex-Tullett Prebon Broker in Libor-Rigging Probe (BBG)
  • Jerusalem on edge after shooting of rabbi (FT)
  • Israeli police kill Palestinian suspected of shooting far-right activist (Reuters)
  • Samsung seeks smartphone revamp to arrest profit slide (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: October 29





  • Fed set to end one crisis chapter even as global risks rise (Reuters)... you mean, for the third time?
  • Insider-Trading Probe Focuses on Medicare Agency (WSJ)
  • He's sorry: Rajoy Apologizes as New Wave of Graft Allegations Hits Spain (BBG)
  • China could 'punish' Hong Kong over protests, says ex-HK central bank chief (Reuters)
  • Dubai Insists the Boom is Not a Bubble This Time Around (BBG)
  • Bank-Data Sharing Accord Expands Push to Find Tax Cheats (BBG)
  • Deutsche Bank Sinks to Third-Quarter Loss on Legal Costs (BBG)
  • Kim Jong Un Executes 10 Officials for Watching Soap Operas (BBG)
  • French drugmaker Sanofi sacks CEO Viehbacher (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: October 28





  • CDC says returning Ebola medical workers should not be quarantined (Reuters)
  • Sweden’s central bank cuts rates to zero (FT)
  • Hacking Trail Leads to Russia, Experts Say (WSJ)
  • Discount-Hunting Shoppers Threaten Stores’ Holiday Cheer (BBG)
  • Apple CEO fires back as retailers block Pay (Reuters)
  • Repeat after us: all China data is fake - China Fake Invoice Evidence Mounts as HK Figures Diverge (BBG)
  • FX Traders’ Facebook Chats Said to Be Sought in EU Probe (BBG)
  • Euro Outflows at Record Pace as ECB Promotes Exodus (BBG)
  • Apple boosts R&D spending in new product hunt (FT)
 
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Frontrunning: October 27





  • White House questions new Ebola rules, nurse plans to sue (Reuters)
  • States stand firm on Ebola quarantines despite White House pressure (Reuters)
  • Rousseff Naming Brazil Finance Minister Key to Regain Trust (BBG)
  • Ukraine leader wins pro-West mandate but wary of Russia (Reuters)
  • Single Firm Holds More Than 50% of Copper in LME Warehouses (WSJ)
  • Treasury Liquidity Squeeze Seen as Dealer Shut Off Machine (BBG)
  • CVS follows Rite-Aid, shuts off Apple Pay (USAToday)
  • Oil Speculators Bet Wrong as Rebound Proves Fleeting (BBG)
  • Draghi Sets Stimulus Pace as ECB Reveals Covered-Bond Purchases (BBG)
  • German Ifo Business Confidence Drops for Sixth Month (BBG)
 
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5 Things To Ponder: To QE Or Not To QE





Over the last few weeks, the markets have seen wild vacillations as stocks plunged and then surged on a massive short-squeeze in the most beaten up sectors of energy and small-mid capitalization companies. While "Ebola" fears filled mainstream headlines the other driver behind the sell-off, and then marked recovery, was a variety of rhetoric surrounding the last vestiges of the current quantitative easing program by the Fed. “You will know that the financial markets have reached peak instability and volatility when Britney Spears rings the opening bell.”

 
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Frontrunning: October 23





  • Canada PM vows crackdown after capital shocked by fatal attacks (Reuters)
  • Canada Gunman Was Convert to Islam With Criminal Record (BBG)
  • Some U.S. hospitals weigh withholding care to Ebola patients (Reuters)
  • But... Great rotation... Bond funds stock up on Treasuries in prep for market shock (Reuters)
  • Saudis at War With Islamic State Confront Echo of Kingdom’s Past (BBG)
  • EU’s Top Banker Warns of Rule Fixation ‘Going Beyond Reason (BBG)
  • U.S.-led air strikes killed 521 fighters, 32 civilians in Syria (Reuters)
  • Growing Kurdish Unity Helps West, Worries Turkey (WSJ)
  • Don’t Be Distracted by the Pass Rate in ECB’s Bank Exams (BBG)
  • Hedge Funds Add to Venture-Capital Bounty (WSJ)
  • Speed-of-Light Trading Grows in Europe With McKay Network (BBG)
 
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