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Daily Scan: China markets slump, oil prices swing
Capital Markets
<p>Updated throughout the day</p> <p>September 15</p> <p>Good evening everyone. China has now posted it biggest two-day fall in three weeks. The Shanghai Composite Index closed for the day down 3.5%, meaning it has now lost 7% of its value this year. The Guardian reported today that economists are now concerned that the Chinese economy is weakening faster than the official data suggests, showing growth of around 7% this year. Research from energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie suggests the Chinese economy grew at an annual rate of 5.3% in the second quarter of 2015, and just 4.5% in Q3. Here is how the markets ended elsewhere in Asia: </p> <p> Hang Seng: -0.49%<br /> Jakarta Comp: -1.01%<br /> KLSE Comp: +0.46%<br /> Nikkei 225: +0.34%<br /> Straits Times: -0.92%<br /> Seoul Comp: +0.32</p> <p>The Wall Street Journal reports that oil prices were also choppy in Asian trade today. The Brent crude swung between gains and losses on the back of volatile Chinese markets amid signs the US oil producers are suffering more from low prices.Here is what else you need to know:</p> <p>Alibaba takes a hit after Barron's article rebuttal. US investors sent shares of Alibaba Group stock tumbling Monday following a critical article from Barron’s - despite a detailed rebuttal,  The stock fell as much as 4.9% Monday, touching $61.48. Wall Street Journal.</p> <p>Credit Suisse nears deal to settle claims over dark pool Credit Suisse is expected to pay at least $80m to settle allegations that it misled clients about its dark pool, trading venues meant to allow asset managers  to trade large blocks of shares without moving the price against them. Financial Times.<br /> Malaysia wants state companies to repatriate foreign earnings. Malaysia wants its state-owned funds to repatriate some earnings from the more than 500 billion ringgit ($115 billion) worth of investments made abroad. This is seen as a way to help stem the decline of the nation's currency, which has weakened by 26.3% against the dollar over the past year. Nikkei<br /> North Korea Nuclear site "in operation". North Korea says its main nuclear facility, the Yongbyon complex, has resumed normal operations. The country was improving its nuclear weapons "in quality and quantity", a state-run news agency said. Yongbyon's reactor was shut down in 2007. BBC<br /> Beijing builds third airstrip on contested South China Seas islands. China appears to be building a third airstrip in contested territory in the South China Sea, a US expert said on Monday, citing satellite photographs taken last week. Experts say the strip is long enough  for most Chinese military aircraft, giving Beijing greater reach into Southeast Asia. </p>
Financiers prove again they can do anything you can do better
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>Serena Williams failed America by losing the U.S. Open to an unranked Italian. But American Wall Streeters refused to be shamed by Europeans. Last weekend they hosted their own tennis tournament.</p> <p>The first annual Finance Cup pitted Team Wall Street against Team Europe in a different version of a Grand Slam event, reports Business Insider. London-based portfolio manager David Anving and New York-based investment banker Jeffrey Appel organized the event, which took place on Randall's Island.</p> <p>Financiers slammed balls, grunting like a Williams sister, running like Roger Federer, and sweating like the players at the U.S. Open nearby. Wall Street beat Europe after three rounds, winning 8-1. Pershing Square Capital's Bill Ackman secured an American victory in his epic battle against Cevian Capital's Christer Gardell.</p> <p>Competition was fierce. Credit Suisse's Mario Ancic was once ranked number 7 for men's singles globally, once beating Federer. Ludovic Walter, an associate at Cohen partners in London, was once the top player at Duke. Walter's doubles partner Alexander Hartman, formerly of Goldman Sachs, used to be number one at Ole Miss. Thomas Blake, of Jaffe Tilchin Investment Partners, was the top player at Harvard during his day.</p> <p>The finance world brought out a number of other American and global champs to compete for the honor and glory. Rumor has it a second tournament will be hosted in London next year. Start practicing now.<br /> Photo: PughPugh</p>
UK Pimco execs, CEO got 30% pay cut in 2014
Asset Management
<p>Pimco's U.K. directors had their pay slashed by 30% in 2014 in the wake of Bill Gross' departure last fall, reports the Financial Times.</p> <p>Pimco has been bleeding assets since before Gross left for Janus Capital last September. Its London unit had a 11% decrease in assets under management last year, falling to £120.8 billion, after the flagship Total Return bond fund failed to produce strong returns and the firm lost both its CEO and founder within a year.</p> <p>In 2014, Pimco's nine U.K. directors were paid £36.5 million, compared to £48.6 million total in 2013. The highest paid director saw his pay cut 57% from £22 million to £15.7 million. Pimco's U.K. directors include William Benz, managing director in London, and Douglas Hodge, CEO since Mohamed El-Erian's sudden resignation in early 2014.<br /> Photo: Images Money<br /> &nbsp;</p>
Earnings surprises…are you kidding me?
Asset Management
In the game called the quarterly earnings season, positive surprises have become so commonplace among US large-cap stocks that they’ve nearly lost all meaning. We wonder why investors keep playing along. The media are an integral part of the entertainment, cheering or booing companies from the sidelines as if earnings season were a sporting event. This incessant focus further feeds
Biden flirts with Wall Street
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>Vice President Joe Biden still hasn't committed to running for president in 2016, but he's certainly flirting with the option.</p> <p>Last week, Biden told Stephen Colbert that he's still dealing with the death of his son, and he didn't know if he could handle a run for the presidency. But, Biden seems to have sent out some feelers while in New York to film for Colbert's show, reports Business Insider.</p> <p>Biden met with Robert Wolf, a former UBS executive, after seeing Colbert. Wolf was a strong fundraiser for President Obama during his two elections, and is known for his political involvement. Wolf is currently a public supporter of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Wolf told reporters that he merely met with Biden to discuss the typical, boring policy questions.</p> <p>Biden may be hedging his bets until he knows how strong of a candidate he really is, but the veep is running into crunch time for a decision.<br /> Photo: Official U.S. Navy Page </p>
Video: High Frequency Trading hurts the little guys
Hedge Funds
<p>"Creating an advantage for to an institutional user or a particular type of trader that disadvantages the retail investor is bad for the country, bad for the markets, and bad for the business," says Dick Grasso, former NYSE chairman and CEO. "The structure of the market today for major securities has been terribly hurt," Grasso says on Wall Street Week. The complex markets have become less transparent, hurting the average retail investor.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Video: The most important factor that can tell you whether a startup will succeed or fail
Venture Capital
<p>Bill Gross has launched tons of startups. Some have done brilliantly. But not all. In this video, Gross analyzes what is most important in determining success. The answer that the founder of Idealab comes up with may surprise you. The answer really surprised Gross.</p> <p>From TED.</p>
Venture capitalists are keeping a list of unicorns most likely to die. What would be on your list?
Venture Capital
<p>There's been a lot of chatter about the burgeoning number of unicorns out there. In fact, unicorns are giving way to what Re/Code calls "decacorns" --startups valued at more than $10 billion.</p> <p>Well, now venture capitalists are creating lists out there predicting the death of many of these unicorns, Fortune is reporting. Who is on the list? Mum's the word. CB Insights has a list of dying startups -- but it will cost you $6,895 to access it. A bargain basement price for a list that could save you millions.</p> <p>Is a bubble about to burst? VC par excellence Marc Andreessen declared last year that many startups will "vaporize."</p> <p>Some might argue there was never a bubble -- just a pretty good illusion of one. Those billion-dollar valuations? They may have been real for only a handful of investors who were promised that they would be first in line when a company went public or got sold: If the benighted unicorn sold for less than $1 billion, the VC would still get paid as if it had sold for $1 billion.</p> <p>Now that's what I call magic.</p> <p>According to a survey of 37 deals by Silicon Valley law firm Fenwick and West, if the company does even better than expected? You guessed it. The benighted investors get a larger share of the profit.</p> <p>Fortune keeps a list of unicorns. You can find it here. Any on it that you think deserve to be on the deathwatch?<br /> Photo: yosuke muroya<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Forget moon shots, says Elon Musk, I’m nuking MARS!
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>There are ambitious entrepreneurs and then there's Elon Musk.  Not content with revolutionizing the electric car, and commercial spaceflight, the founder of Tesla and Space-X now wants to nuke Mars -apparently.</p> <p>It may sound like a plan befitting a super villain or a Sith Lord but there is method in the madness. The idea came up in an interview on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” as Musk spoke about his plans to make Mars a more hospitable place for humans.</p> <p>“There’s the fast way and the slow way,” said the PayPal co-founder, calling Mars “a fixer upper of a planet.” The fast way would be to drop nuclear bombs on each of the planet’s poles to trigger a chain reaction that would terra-form the planet, making it fit for habitation.</p> <p>Pretty neat, right? Well, don’t get too excited. Musk has since qualified his earlier statements saying:</p> <p>Btw, not saying we *should* nuke Mars -- just layin' out a few options …<br /> — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 12, 2015</p> <p>So it seems the planet is safe. For now.</p>
Daily Scan: Stocks fall before Fed meeting
Capital Markets
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Good evening,</p> <p>The highly-anticipated Fed interest rate decision is just a couple days away now. The Dow, S&amp;P 500, and Nasdaq all fell, without too much movement during the day. The Dow lost 0.4%, the S&amp;P 500 dropped 0.5%, and the Nasdaq fell 0.34%. The Stoxx Europe 600 lost 0.6% Monday after starting the morning with a slight boost. Oil dropped again, falling to just over $44/barrel.</p> <p>Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>NYC opens first new subway station in more than 25 years. The 34th Street-Hudson Yards station took eight years to build, with a price tag of $2.42 billion. There's a lot of firsts for the new station. It's climate controlled, column-less, holds an inclined elevator, and has the longest escalator in the Subway system. Gothamist</p> <p>Shooter loose in Mississippi. Ethan Schmidt, a professor at Delta State University, was shot and killed in Cleveland, Miss. Schmidt's death may be linked to another area shooting. A "person of interest" is being shot in relation to the deaths. CNN</p> <p>Russia pointing tanks at Syrian airfield. U.S. officials say it's not clear what Moscow's intentions are, but the country has been pressured globally to explain its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Reuters</p> <p>Deutsche Bank to cut one quarter of its total staff. The bank will ax about 23,000 jobs, mainly with layoffs in technology activities and a spin off of its PostBank unit. Deutsche CEO John Cryan took control of the firm in July, and promised to slash costs. Reuters</p> <p>Aussie PM ousted. Australian PM Tony Abbot will be succeeded by Malcolm Turnbull as the country's conservative party shakes up its approach to many hot issues, including the economy, climate change, and same-sex marriage. Wall Street Journal</p> <p>Died: NBA star Moses Malone. Malone passed away unexpectedly Sunday at age 60. Malone was an NBA Hall of Famer, and the first modern star to go pro straight after high school. In 1996 he was named one of the best 50 players of all time. CNN</p> <p>Chinese shares continue to fall. Despite edging higher at the open, Chinese shares ended the session deep in the red today largely thanks to mixed data from the weekend as well as the upcoming Fed decision. The Shanghai Index fell 2.67% while Shenzhen tanked a whopping 6.65%. Japan’s Nikkei Average meanwhile dipped 1.63%. Surprisingly, Hong Kong shares proved to be more resilient, with the Hang Seng Index climbing 0.27% and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index eking out a 0.11% gain. NexChange</p> <p>Japan industrial production falls short of estimates. The land of the rising sun’s industrial output fell -0.8% last month, worse than the preceding month’s -0.6% reading and missing estimates of a -0.6% fall. Investing</p> <p>China factory output and fixed-asset investment data misses estimates. China’s been punching in some disappointing data lately and </p>