Business Education

Janet Yellen Leaves Fully-Cooked Policy In The Fed Fridge With Microwave Instructions For Jay Powell

Janet Yellen’s final FOMC meeting was a muted end to what turned out to be an innovative and in many ways surprising tenure for the chair. The statement issued at the meeting also sets up the Federal Reserve to more firmly focus on prices and meeting its long-run inflation target as a primary policy concern under incoming Chairman Jay Powell. The re-shuffled Federal Open Market Committee opened 2018 by keeping interest rates at a target range of 1.25% to 1.50%, and generally kept their outlook for continued low unemployment and improving growth the same as at their final meeting last year. There was a bit of a muddled message then, though, as two FOMC officials cast dissenting votes to keep rates lower, and Yellen faced questions about the bank’s forecast for a number (between 3 to 5) of r...

Billion Dollars In Crypto-Related Things Go Poof In Two Days

Polychain Capital seemed to have everything going for it: It’s a cryptocurrency hedge fund helmed by the first employee at Coinbase and backed by Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz. It’s got a name that makes its blockchain bonafides pretty clear, which is perhaps the most important thing. And yet, it’s decided not to go ahead with a C$400 million share sale in Canada. In officially unrelated news, this happened, just like the SEC warned you it would: The Securities and Exchange Commission separately said it obtained a court order, unsealed late Monday, that permits a receiver to seize cryptocurrencies held by AriseBank, which allegedly marketed and received the proceeds from the coin offering. The SEC called the deal a “scam” and alleges the company and its executives misled investor...

Opening Bell: 2.1.18

Yellen era ends with Fed set for March rate rise [WSJ]The Federal Open Market Committee held its target range for the federal funds rate unchanged at 1.25 to 1.5 per cent, as widely expected, while giving an upbeat assessment of the economy’s recent performance and stressing “further” rate rises lie ahead.The committee upgraded its near-term outlook for inflation, saying it expected year-on-year readings to “move up this year” before stabilising around its 2 per cent goal in the medium term. Expectations for inflation in financial markets have risen in recent months, even if they remain low, the central bank said. Facebook Aims to Soothe Wall Street Over News Feed Changes [NYT]On Wednesday, Facebook sought to soothe Wall Street’s worries over those questions. No, people will not spend as m...

Fed Statement: Highlights, Red Line

Ok, here comes the Fed. And you should enjoy this FOMC statement because it represents the outcome of the last meeting Janet Yellen will chair. So you know, maybe print it out and frame it for posterity in case the equity bubble she’s spent years presiding over crashes an burns under a relatively hawkish Powell. The consensus is that this should be some semblance of upbeat as a way of both conveying confidence in the outlook (perhaps on the back of the growth prospects tied to the tax plan) and paving the way for Powell’s Fed to adopt a slightly more aggressive stance going forward. Just to give you something to benchmark this against in terms of reality versus expectations, here’s a reminder about what Goldman said in their preview: At Janet Yellen’s final FOMC meeting next week, we expec...

Brexit: Still A Stupendously Bad Idea, Still Happening Anyway

By Rlevente [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons It’s been nearly two months since the European Union grudgingly agreed to let the British begin to mention the shape of a post-Brexit world in its presence in spite of their reaching an agreement on only two of the three things that the EU said was necessary. And ever since, they’ve been regretting it. Six weeks after EU leaders gave their blessing to moving the Brexit talks on to future arrangements, frustration is mounting that the UK is “not ready” to complete the divorce, which the EU deems essential for a deal before Britain’s departure on 29 March 2019…. The Irish border issue is the most difficult hurdle, but negotiators must also resolve a host of technical matters, including Euratom, police cooperation and the role of the European ...

Even Deutsche Bank Thinks GE Is A Hot Mess

When your new CEO admits almost right off the bat that the place is kind of a shithole, you really can’t expect your company to be going too great. And while GE shareholders have come to accept bad results, messy bitches causing ratchet drama and a deep distrust in the long-term recovery process as commonplace, you’ve got to believe that this still hurts… “We believe the chances that GE could be removed from the Dow are increasing as GE continues to face substantial challenges including earnings and cash pressure, tough global power generation markets, aggressive downsizing, shrinking its portfolio, management shake-up and SEC investigations,” Deutsche Bank analyst John Inch wrote Wednesday. “Apart from GE’s other challenges, as the company’s absolute share price has continued to drop, GE ...

Middle America Already Winning Big From Tax Plan As Lowly Workers Get Free Hos And All-You-Can-Eat Dongs

There were a lot of bumps in the road on the way to finally getting the GOP tax plan across the finish line. One persistently pesky problem was explaining how a corporate tax cut and a plan that screams “trickle down” could possibly warrant the “middle class miracle” branding that was slapped on the bill for the purposes of selling it to Trump’s base, which is comprised of working Americans. There were innumerable issues with that branding effort including, but certainly not limited to, numbers and history, two things that are extraordinarily annoying because they’re hard to argue with. The numbers problem manifested itself in independent analysis which showed that by 2027, taxpayers in the top 1% of the income distribution would receive an average tax cut of 0.9% of after-tax income, acco...

Puny Financial Giants Finally Standing Up To 88-Year-Old Bully

For decades, Jack Bogle has let Wall Street know what he thinks of it: That the army of besuited money managers crowding the island of Manhattan and city of Boston are beneath his contempt as they literally steal their clients’ money to do a lousy job, all the while literally eating their lunch while doing so—Bogle’s Vanguard Group has gobbled up $3.5 trillion in assets during Bogle’s 80s. Well, the downtrodden aren’t going to take it anymore. Poor little Fidelity Investments, which manages just $2.3 trillion of the $6.2 billion entrusted to it overall, isn’t going to pay for the pleasure of looking stupid at Bogle’s hands anymore. Fidelity, the largest 401(k) plan administrator in the country, will now charge some new corporate customers that hire the firm to run their 401(k) plans a fee ...

After Missing Deadline On His Russian Oligarch List Homework, Steve Mnuchin Panics And Copies Off Forbes

(Getty Images) You know how Steve Mnuchin often comes off like the rather thick-witted kid from your sophomore dorm who never seems to grasp what is happening around him? The mouth-breathing sidekick of the cooler kid that he glommed onto during orientation? The guy who just nods and smiles at the wrong jokes and is almost definitely paying that blonde freshman to pretend to be his new girlfriend? The guy who throws a snowball as if his high school Phys Ed teacher was Helen Keller? The dude who must have gotten into school via some family legacy hookup? Well, that’s probably because he still is that guy. After congress demanded that the Treasury Department compile a list of Russian oligarchs as part of legislation retaliating against Russia for meddling in our elections, Mnuchin and his te...

AI, Blockchain and the hottest startups to take centerstage at 2018 MedCity INVEST

Last year MedCity’s annual INVEST conference in the Windy City attracted around 350 attendees attracted by strong programming where we discussed everything from how tech companies have plans for clinical disruption to the evolving payer-provider collaboration. This year, too, MedCity is discussing exciting technologies such as blockchain and AI along with newer trends in healthcare where upstart payers are working with established health systems to create a new framework for population health. And tomorrow – Jan. 30 is the last day to save $500, so please register. What will you see when you get to Chicago, May 1-2. For one, the hottest startups. Pear Therapeutics’ Everett Crossland, who heads up market access and reimbursement will discuss how investors are seeking well-thought out reimbu...

Greg Coffey Very Excited About Future Career In Subleasing

We do not know how long former GLG Partners star trader (and former Moore Capital Management most-impressive-but-somewhat-less-than-star-trader) Greg Coffey’s lease in Belgravia runs for. All we know is that he’s got 3,000 square feet on Sloane Street ready to welcome his return to the hedge fund industry after five years’ exile on his native former prison colony. If, however, the lease extends much beyond a few years, we suspect that the easily-bored Coffey may yet have a future in commercial real-estate rentals. Coffey is expected to launch his latest venture alongside James Saltissi, a former colleague from his days at GLG Partners who now works at investment firm Abbeville Partners, according to people familiar with the plans. Prime brokers have been appointed. He left GLG in 2008 to s...

Nike Shareholders Confront True Terror: A Desperate, Silent Bill Ackman

Have we mentioned that the last few years have been difficult for Bill Ackman? ADP, Valeant, Chipotle and – oh the grandaddy of them all – Herbalife. Bill’s been wrong about all of them, in different ways sure, but wrong all the same. And Bill has been so wrong that he has come to greet pain as the primary emotion of his life, decided to move office to the Far West Side, gone monkish, cut fees again, and been forced to announce large layoffs by Pershing Square standards. Now we know that the cuts to The Ack-Man’s ego run even deeper: Pershing Square said in a presentation Monday that total assets under management fell to $8.77 billion at the end of 2017, down from about $11 billion at the same point in 2016 and $18.3 billion in 2015. The fund’s net loss trailed the broader hedge fund indus...