Merrill Lynch

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How The World's Most Leveraged Hedge Fund Got Away With Insider Trading





"... Shortly after returning from a trip in late 2009, Farmer erased electronic notes, in Microsoft Word format, that were stored on thumb drives, Zip drives and a shared drive at Citadel, agents wrote in a summary of one of the interviews with him. Farmer also threw away his handwritten notes because that was his normal practice and because they were incriminating, agents wrote. Farmer got rid of e-mails as well, according to their summary. “This,” they wrote, “wiped the slate clean."

 
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Actavis Purchase Of Allergan Makes It A "$100 Billion Merger Monday"





This may not quite be the blow-off top in the merger bubble as companies rush to frontrun the ECB and buy whatever still isn't nailed, but it is getting close. Because while earlier today Baker Hughes announced it would accept the Halliburton offer to buy it unchallenged in a $35 billion transaction leading many to wonder just how much lower the price of oil is still set to drop, moments ago the Allergan "White Knight" swooped from up on high, and as had also been leaked in recent weeks, Actavis agreed to buy the botox- maker which Ackman and Valeant had been so eagerly chasing for months in order to let the roll-up pharma pad its non-GAAP books with another 2-3 years of pro forma "synergies" add backs.  This means that between Halliburton and Actavis, today we have had the first $100 billion "Merger Monday" in over a decade.

 
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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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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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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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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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High-Yield Credit Suffers Biggest Quarterly Loss Worldwide Since 2011





Junk bond investors suffered their biggest quarterly loss since 2011, losing 1.7% in Q3 pushing yields up to one-year highs (despite Treasury yield compression). Managers, knowing full well the underlying liquidity to handle any further selling is not there are out en masse explaining that "high-yield should bounce back in the fourth quarter," relying on the fact that 'historical' defaults are still low and the economy is recovering (as if that's not priced in already). The worst hit segment of the junk market is CCCs and below - at 22-month lows - as Bernanke and Yellen forced investors ever further along the risk spectrum for yield. Of course, equity markets (Russell 2000 aside) have ignored much of this decline until recently, but the plunge in leveraged loan issuance suggests all that cheap-buy-back-funding is rapidly disappearing (even for the best credits and biggest names).

 
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Where Is Venezuela's 366 Tonnes Of Gold?





* Where is Venezuela's 366 tonnes of gold?
* Does Venezuela still control and own unencumbered it’s own gold reserves?
* Is any of the country's gold encumbered, loaned or leased to Goldman Sachs or other banks?
 

 
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Subprime Is Back With A Vengeance





This is where our economies are perverted. It’s the final excesses and steps of a broke society. It’s madness to the power of infinity. The only thing that’s certain is that in the end, your money will all be gone. That’s how Mario Draghi ‘saves’ the EU for a few more weeks, and that’s how the big boys of finance squeeze more from what little you have left (which is already much less than you think). A world headed for nowhere.

 
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Ukraine Currency Crashes To Record Low As IMF Blasts "Gross Abuses"





Despite celebrations of de-escalations and truce in US equity markets (by asset-gathering commission-takers), the situation continues to go from bad to worse in the nation almost forgotten now that ISIS is stealing American headlines. The Hryvnia plunged 7.5% this morning - its biggest single-day drop on record - following the release of a scathing IMF letter and devaluation warnings from BofA. The IMF blasted Ukraine's "premature emission of extra money," and demanded it "immediately halt these gross abuses," as BofA warns of risk of "10-20% devaluation" in the next year is high given reserves are at a "critical level."

 
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A Historic First: Bank Of Japan Monetizes Debt At Negative Rates





First, Europe infamously shifted to a NIRP and now Japan has begun NIRP monetization. As WSJ reports, Tuesday marked another milestone in the topsy-turvy world of monetary easing in Japan: The Bank of Japan bought short-term Japanese government debt at a negative yield for the first time. In the understatement of the decade, one Japanese bank strategist noted, "The BOJ probably didn't expect this would happen, and T-bill rates staying negative should be a cause of concern for them." The BoJ's decision to scoop up these negative-yielding bills appears to confirm they will meet the QQE-buying demands no matter what the cost (to the Japanese people). The bottom line, the Bank of Japan is now implicitly issuing debt to the Japanese Treasury.

 
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Frontrunning: September 4





  • Global stocks bounce on sign ECB could launch ABS program (Reuters)
  • Putin unveils Ukraine ceasefire plan, France halts warship (Reuters)
  • Poroshenko Flummoxes Investors With About-Face on Truce (BBG)
  • No Free Lunch for Companies as IRS Weighs Meal Tax Rules (BBG)
  • Turkey Struggles to Halt Islamic State 'Jihadist Highway' (WSJ)
  • Lego Becomes World's Largest Toy Maker on Movie Success (WSJ)
  • U.N. says $600 million needed to tackle Ebola as deaths top 1,900 (Reuters)
  • Goldman Sachs Named 'Stabilization Agent' for Alibaba Stock Offering (WSJ)
 
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