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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>
Buying a castle and a piece of history
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>We all know that our home is our castle, don’t we? Whether it is a two-bedroom apartment in an scruffy part of town, a suburban villa or a rural retreat we protect it with locks and maybe a dog - or in the US, perhaps with an armory.</p> <p>But there are now good opportunities in Britain to buy if not a whole castle, then a piece of one, according to The Daily Telegraph.</p> <p>Oversley Castle, which was once owned by Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s chancellor and protagonist of Wolf Hall, has been split up into five apartments with the addition of a four-storey circular turret and nine barn conversions in 65 acres of Warwickshire countryside.</p> <p>Prices range from £300,000 up to £2 million, so it helps if you receive a banker-size bonus.</p> <p>There are plenty of other fortified strongholds up for sale too. Most were built during Britain’s bloody medieval period when barons fought for power and wealth like modern-day gangsters.</p> <p>It’s now much more genteel, of course.</p> <p>“We envisage the castle as providing lock-up-and-leave properties,” says Paul Harvey, who has developed Oversley Castle. “The kind of place where you chuck your keys to your neighbors while you go off to Spain for three months.”<br /> Photo: Karen Roe</p>
A cornered tiger, Alibaba lashes out
Capital Markets
<p>Chinese internet giant Alibaba is on the offensive after a recent article warned that the firm could lose up to 50% of its value.</p> <p>The furor started with an article posted in Barron’s over the weekend. Journalist Jonathan Laing had wrote that the NASDAQ-listed firm was massively over-valued, and faces losing half of its value amid an "array of problems". </p> <p>This only adds to Alibaba's stress. As of Friday, Alibaba’s stock was trading at $64.68, having slipped below its $68 IPO price from it when it went public a year ago.</p> <p>Laing raised red flags regarding business practices, counterfeit goods, conflicts of interest, and corporate governance. Needless to say Alibaba was not happy and promptly published a point-by-point rebuttal on its website in the early hours of this morning, accusing the journalist of factual inaccuracies and using selective use of information.</p> <p>Alibaba’s stock has not been in great shape for a while. It peaked at around $119 a share in November last year and have been steadily declining ever since. No doubt the Barron’s article will have an impact on the company’s stock, how much may depend on how well Alibaba has argued its case. We will see when the US markets open today.<br /> Photo: Patrick Bouquet</p>