The Kansas City Fed has released the schedule of its two day Jackson Hole symposium which, officially kicked off with dinner on Thursday night, hosted by dissident regional Fed president, and dissenter, Esther George (she voted against Yellen’s decision to keep rates unchanged in March, April and July). The highlight is tomorrow’s 10am ET Janet Yellen speech titled “The Federal Reserve’s Monetary Policy Toolkit.”
The speech is important because no matter what Yellen says, the market is virtually assured to surge as Citadel’s momentum ignition algos are greenlighted by the NY Fed trading desk.
Note the symbolic bear in the glass cage on the photo below.
Key highlights: Chair Yellen to give speech Friday morning; panel discussion Saturday with Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, European Central Bank Executive Board Member Benoit Coeure and Bank of Mexico Governor Agustin Carstens
Outline of the program (all times Eastern):
8 p.m. – Opening Reception and Dinner
10 a.m. – Fed Chair Janet Yellen delivers opening remarks on “The Federal Reserve’s Monetary Policy Toolkit”
10:30 a.m. – Adapting to Change in Financial Market Landscape: authors Darrell Duffie and Arvind Krishnamurthy (Stanford), discussant Minouche Shafik, deputy governor at Bank of England
11:55 a.m. – Negative Nominal Interest Rates: author Marvin Goodfriend (Carnegie Mellon), discussant Marianne Nessen, head of monetary policy at Sweden’s Riksbank
12:55 p.m. – Evaluating Alternative Monetary Frameworks: author Ulrich Bindseil, director of general market operations at European Central Bank, discussant Jean- Pierre Danthine (Paris School of Economics) and Simon Potter, executive vice president at Federal Reserve Bank of New York
3 p.m. – Luncheon address by Christopher Sims (Princeton)
Once-rival leaders of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) have agreed on a structure for the group that aims to put to rest squabbles over who has the right to export the country’s oil, according to a statement.
Oil industry leaders in OPEC-member Libya have said they could quickly double production to over 700,000 bpd if conditions stabilized. Before a 2011 revolution, Libya was producing 1.6 million bpd.
The rival oil officials agreed in principle to unify the oil sector in May, but the agreement on the structure and leadership of a joint group took weeks of meetings to iron out. (here)
Mustafa Sanalla, who led the Tripoli-based NOC, will remain chairman of the group, while the head of the eastern-backed NOC, Naji al-Maghrabi, will serve as a board member, according to a statement seen by Reuters.
A UN-backed unity government that arrived in Tripoli in March is seeking to replace two rival governments that were set up in Tripoli and the east, and to unite Libya’s many political and armed factions.
Microsoft, the US software giant, is acquiring LinkedIn for $26.2bn in cash.
The offer of $196 a share represents a 50 per cent premium to LinkedIn’s closing price on Friday and is inclusive of the networking website’s net cash.
In a statement, the two companies said:
LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence. Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. Reid Hoffman, chairman of the board, co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn, and Weiner both fully support this transaction. The transaction is expected to close this calendar year.
We have tracked the problems of recently junked Noble Group – Asia’s largest commodity trader – extensively over the past year (see “Noble Group’s Kurtosis Awakening Moment For The Commodity Markets”, “Junk Isn’t Very Noble: Asia’s Largest Commodity Trader Responds To Moody’s Downgrade”, “Noble Group’s Cliffhanger”, “Noble Group’s “Collateral Margin Call”, “Noble Group’s “Margin Call” Part II: The Enron Moment”).
And then moments ago things finally turned serious for the company, which just a few weeks ago finalized a $3 billion credit facility in what according to some was an “all clear” moment. Apparently the only clarity was for long-time company CEO, and former Goldmanite Yusuf Alireza, that the time has come to exit stage left.
As the company announced moments ago on the Singapore stock exchange, not only is CEO Alireza resigning, to be replaced by William Randall and Jeff Frase as co-CEOs, but the company will also begin the sale process of its Noble Americas Energy Solutions, a deal that will generate “significant cash proceeds”, which is great since Nobel is desperately in need of cash; it also means that the company is losing one more of its star performing assets as it continues to asset strip itself of any potential future growth, and is merely scrambling to preserve solvency and liquidity.
Chairman of Banks Board Bureau and former Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai today expressed concern that the country’s economy has slipped to six per cent after excellent signs of growth.
“The Indian economy was displaying excellent signs of growth, buoyancy and remarkable resilience but from attempting to reach double digit growth in our GDP, we are sliding back to six per cent,” he said speaking at the 18th convocation of Indian Institute of Management-Kozhikode (IIM-K).
He also said it was not enough to be a country having the fourth largest number of billionaires in the world and yet hardly have any globally accepted patents to showcase industrial or manufacturing muscle.
“Ethical management and leadership is the cornerstone for any successful business enterprise. It should be the mantra as you begin your careers”, Rai told the passing out students.
He stressed on the need for students to be change agents to build a robust economy with a good framework for corporate governance and excellence.
As many as 358 students were awarded the Post Graduate Diploma in Management.
The International Monetary Fund is making what everyone assumed official. Christine Lagarde is heading toward a second five-year term as managing director unopposed.
The official nominating period closed at midnight last night and the fund has just put this statement out:
IMF Statement on the Managing Director’s Selection Process
The Dean of the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mr. Aleksei Mozhin, made the following statement today:
“The period for submitting nominations for the position of the next Managing Director closed on Wednesday, February 10. One candidate, current Managing Director Christine Lagarde, has been nominated.
“The Board will now work in line with the process described in its decision of January 20, including meetings between the candidate, Mme Lagarde, and Executive Directors. The Board’s goal is to complete the selection process as soon as possible.”
We all know that Kuroda fooled the markets on negative rates, denying their consideration right up to a January 21 interview.
Which, in effect, has cost him credibility, but also bullets in his fight for a weaker yen.
Such a shame.
This piece from Reuters takes an inside look at Kuroda even fooled the BOJ Board (bolding is mine):
Most of the nine board members were only told of the scheme in the week leading up to Friday’s rate review, according to interviews with more than a dozen officials familiar with the deliberations.
“If you’re a board member, you’re told about the plan at the last minute,” said a former board member, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It’s hard to argue against it or draft a counter proposal when there’s so little time left.”
Crisis-ridden United Spirits on Tuesday said its networth has eroded by more than 50 per cent of its peak networth due to a host of reasons, including provisions on advances to its erstwhile promoter group firm United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd.
United Spirits (USL) has called an Extraordinary General Meeting of its shareholders on January 22, 2016.
In a notice for EGM, USL said, “The company shall report to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) of the fact that the accumulated losses of the company as on March 31, 2015, have resulted in erosion of more than fifty per cent of its peak networth during the immediately preceding four financial years.”
It further said: “This extraordinary general meeting is being convened to consider and approve the enclosed report of the Board of Directors on such erosion and its causes, and the measures being taken as per the relevant provisions of SICA (Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985), and also to approve the reporting of such erosion to BIFR in terms of Section 23 of SICA.”
The company said its accumulated losses as on March 31, 2015 at Rs5,045.45 crore is greater than 50 per cent of the peak net worth in the immediately preceding four financial years at Rs5,849.62 crore.
United spirits said two main reasons for accumulated losses are “diminution in the value of long-term investments in subsidiaries and loans and advances to subsidiaries due to low capacity utilisation, negative margins, or strategic shift in business (Rs716.16 crore)” and “provision on advances to United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd (Rs995.45 crore)”.
A French court has ordered Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, to face trial over her role in a disputed €400m payout made to businessman Bernard Tapie in 2008.
Ms Lagarde, who was French finance minister at the time, has for years denied wrongdoing in the affair that has entangled several members of the cabinet of former President Nicolas Sarkozy.
She appeared to have won the day in September when prosecutors argued that the case against her should be dropped.
But France’s Cour de justice de la République, a special tribunal set up to try ministers, said on Thursday that she would stand trial over the affair. Ms Lagarde is accused of negligence in public office in relation to misuse of public funds, an offence that carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a fine of up to €15,000.
The decision to put the IMF chief on trial is the latest twist in the 22-year legal saga.
It concerns more than €400m paid out to Mr Tapie by the French government in 2008 in compensation after he claimed he was defrauded by Crédit Lyonnais, at that point a state-owned bank, into selling his stake in sports equipment company Adidas for lower than it was worth in 1993.