Co starring Daniel Loeb.
Activist investor Bill Ackman, the founder of $12 billion Pershing Square Capital Management, is on CNBC now after rival Carl Icahn blasted him yesterday on Bloomberg TV.
We’re already into the segment, and Icahn is already calling in after the commercial break to respond to Ackman.
Yesterday, Icahn, who has publicly said before that he doesn’t like Ackman and has “no respect” for him, ripped into his “holier than thou” short on Herbalife in an interview with Trish Regan.
Icahn also called Ackman “disingenuous” and said he’s not shorting Herbalife “for the good of humanity.”
Ackman then fired back yesterday evening in a press release saying Icahn is a good investor, but he doesn’t keep his word.
Ackman tells CNBC he finds it interesting that Icahn thinks it’s a bad thing that he gave a short at a Ira Sohn event when Icahn also gave a short thesis in 2002 and 2003 at a Sohn Conference.
Ackman says that Herbalife has done harm to millions of people and it deserves scrutiny.Comments »
Washington, D.C., Jan. 22, 2013 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Egan-Jones Ratings Company (EJR) and its president Sean Egan have agreed to settle charges that they made willful and material misstatements and omissions when registering with the SEC to become a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (NRSRO) for asset-backed securities and government securities.
EJR and Egan consented to an SEC order that found EJR falsely stated in its registration application that the firm had been rating issuers of asset-backed and government securities since 1995 — when in truth the firm had not issued such ratings prior to filing its application. The SEC’s order also found that EJR violated conflict-of-interest provisions, and that Egan caused EJR’s violations.
EJR and Egan made a settlement offer that the Commission determined to accept. Under the settlement, EJR and Egan agreed to be barred for at least 18 months from rating asset-backed and government securities issuers as an NRSRO. EJR and Egan also agreed to correct the deficiencies found by SEC examiners in 2012, and submit a report – signed by Egan under penalty of perjury — detailing steps the firm has taken.
“Accuracy and transparency in the registration process are essential to the Commission’s oversight of credit rating agencies,” said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “EJR and Egan’s misrepresentation of the firm’s actual experience rating issuers of asset-backed and government securities is a serious violation that undercuts the integrity of the SEC’s NRSRO registration process.”
Antonia Chion, Associate Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, added, “Provisions requiring NRSROs to retain certain records and address conflicts of interest are central to the SEC’s oversight of credit rating agencies. EJR’s violations of these provisions were significant and recurring.”
Egan and his firm were charged last year for falsely stating on EJR’s July 2008 application to the SEC that it had 150 outstanding asset-backed securities (ABS) issuer ratings and 50 outstanding government issuer ratings, and had been issuing credit ratings in these categories on a continuous basis since 1995. Egan signed and certified the application as accurate. According to the SEC’s order, EJR had not issued any ABS or government issuer ratings that were made available through the Internet or any other readily accessible means. Therefore, EJR did not meet the requirements for registration as a NRSRO in these classes. The Commission found that EJR continued to make material misrepresentations about its experience in subsequent annual certifications. EJR also made other misstatements in submissions to the SEC, and violated recordkeeping and conflict-of-interest provisions governing NRSROs — which are intended to safeguard the integrity of credit ratings.
EJR and Egan agreed to certain undertakings in the SEC’s order, including that they must conduct a comprehensive self-review and implement policies, procedures, practices, and internal controls that correct issues identified in the SEC’s order and in the 2012 examination of EJR conducted by the SEC’s Office of Credit Ratings. EJR and Egan consented to the entry of the order without admitting or denying the findings. The order requires them to cease and desist from committing or causing future violations.
The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Stacy Bogert, Pamela Nolan, Alec Koch, and Yuri Zelinsky. The SEC’s litigation was led by James Kidney with assistance from Alfred Day and Ms. Nolan. The related examinations of EJR were conducted by staff from the SEC’s Office of Credit Ratings, Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, and Division of Trading and Markets. Examiners included Michele Wilham, Jon Hertzke, Mark Donohue, Kristin Costello, Scott Davey, Alan Dunetz, Nicole Billick, David Nicolardi, Natasha Kaden, and Abe Losice.
Source: SECComments »
MIDDLETOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police are investigating after a woman was attacked and stabbed multiple times inside a New Jersey store Thursday afternoon.
The victim, identified by her family as 29-year-old Kerri Dalton of Keansburg, also had a baby with her inside the Middletown Bed Bath & Beyond store, when the attack occurred.
The alleged assailant, 19-year-old Tyrik Haynes, is accused of repeatedly plunging a knife into Dalton around 4 p.m., puncturing both her lungs in an apparent random attack.
A published report indicated that Haynes is being held on $1 million bail on an attempted murder charge.
Dalton was stabbed more than a dozen times and Medevaced to Jersey Shore Medical Center, where she remained in stable condition late Thursday night.
The baby was unhurt and was with family, Young reported.
The manager of the Staples store next door to the scene said she saw the assailant moments before the attack lurking about on the sidewalk.Comments »
Former U.S. vice president Al Gore recently netted a huge payday by selling his cable station. Now, it appears he’s making another big profit buying Apple’s (AAPL) stock on the cheap.
Al GoreAccording to a filing with the Securities and Exchanges Commission, Gore — a director on Apple’s board — exercised an option to purchase nearly 60,000 shares of the tech giant at the bargain basement price of $7.48, costing him a total of about $445,000.
But with Apple’s current market price at about $500 a share, Gore’s holdings are worth $29.75 million, giving him a huge windfall-on paper at least.
Gore, however, could easily afford to buy Apple’s stock at the prevailing market price.
In early January, the environmental crusader sold his Current TV venture to Qatar-based news organization Al Jazeera for $500 million. Published reports say the sale of Gore’s 20 percent stake in the network – worth an estimated $100 million – would bring his net worth to about $300 million.
The vice president’s purchase comes at a time when the tech giant’s shares have been under massive selling pressure, as investors doubt its ability to ward off competitive pressures and maintain its reputation for innovative products.
This week, the stock hit its lowest level since Feburary 2012, just ahead of what analysts say will be a pivotal earnings report next week.
Source: YahooComments »
Chicago is a disgusting city.
The Chicago Police Department has issued an alert in the 2nd District of Wentworth for several armed robberies that have occurred during the month of January.
The offenders, described as six to seven African American females with a light completion between the ages of 16 and 20, enter cabs in the Loop.
Upon arrival to their destinations on the South Side, one of the girl chokes the driver with a rope or cord, while another threatens the cab driver with a knife, demanding cash. Authorities say the group then jumps out of the cab.
“Yeah, if that happen, it’s scary, you know, it’s very dangerous,” one cab driver says.
Incidents have been recorded in the vicinity of the 4700 block of S. King Drive and the 4800 block of S. Forrestville.
One cab driver told FOX 32’s Amara Walker that the robberies don’t surprise him and safety is always a concern. Cab driver Ahmad Shakir says he’s been robbed before.
“As far as safety is concerned, we should divert going in the dark areas where there are not people, silent areas, or alleys,” Shakir says.
It is unclear how much cash the suspects took in these incidents.
No one was seriously injured in these robberies, but the Chicago Police Department is encouraging people to always be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity immediately.Comments »
“In Cleveland, you can walk out in the street buck naked.”
The Honorable John A. Boehner
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Speaker:
I am writing to provide additional information regarding the extraordinary measures Treasury has undertaken in order to avoid default on the nation’s obligations.
Treasury currently expects to exhaust these extraordinary measures between mid-February and early March of this year. We will provide a more narrow range with a more targeted estimate at a later date. Any estimate, however, will be subject to a significant amount of uncertainty because we are entering the tax filing season, when the amounts and timing of tax payments and refunds are unpredictable. For this reason, Congress should act as early as possible to extend normal borrowing authority in order to avoid the risk of default and any interruption in payments.
If the extraordinary measures were allowed to expire without an increase in borrowing authority, Treasury would be left to fund the government solely with the cash we have on hand on any given day. As you know, cash would not be adequate to meet existing obligations for any meaningful length of time because the government is currently operating at a deficit.
The U.S. government makes approximately 80 million separate payments per month. These include payments for Social Security; Supplemental Security Income; Medicare; Medicaid; national security needs, including military salaries, military retirement, veterans’ benefits, and defense contractors; income tax refunds; federal employee salaries and retirement; law enforcement and operation of the justice system; unemployment insurance; disaster relief; goods and services sold to the government under contracts with small and large businesses; and many others. If Congress does not act to extend borrowing authority, all of these payments would be at risk. This would impose severe economic hardship on millions of individuals and businesses across the country.
It is important to point out that extending borrowing authority does not increase government spending; it simply allows the Treasury to pay for expenditures Congress has previously approved. Failure to meet those obligations would cause irreparable harm to the American economy and to the livelihoods of all Americans. Even a temporary default with a brief interruption in payments that Congress subsequently restores would be terribly damaging, calling into question the willingness of Congress to uphold America’s longstanding commitment to meet the obligations of the nation in full and on time. It should also be noted that default would increase our borrowing costs and damage economic growth and therefore add to future budget deficits, not decrease them. This is why no President or Secretary of the Treasury of either party has ever countenanced even the suggestion of default on any legal obligation of the United States.
Protecting the full faith and credit of the United States is the responsibility of Congress because only Congress can extend the nation’s borrowing authority. No Congress has ever failed to meet that responsibility. It must be understood that the nation’s creditworthiness is not a bargaining chip or a hostage that can be taken to advance any political agenda; it is an essential underpinning of our strength as a nation. Threatening to undermine our creditworthiness is no less irresponsible than threatening to undermine the rule of law, and no more legitimate than any other common demand for ransom.
In an address to the nation in 1987, President Reagan said, “Unfortunately, Congress consistently brings us to the edge of default before facing its responsibility. This brinkmanship threatens the holders of government bonds and those who rely on Social Security and veterans benefits. Interest rates would skyrocket. Instability would occur in financial markets and the federal deficit would soar. The United States has a special responsibility to itself and the world to meet its obligations. It means we have a well-earned reputation for reliability and credibility – two things that set us apart in much of the world.”
President Obama has put forth detailed proposals to restore fiscal responsibility to the federal budget, and he strongly believes Democrats and Republicans should join together to reduce our deficits. In the meantime we must protect America’s creditworthiness by ensuring that our government can pay the bills it has already incurred. Therefore, I respectfully urge Congress to meet its responsibility to the country by extending normal borrowing authority well before the risk of default becomes imminent.
Timothy F. Geithner
Identical letter sent to:
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader
The Honorable Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader
The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican Leader
cc: The Honorable Dave Camp, Chairman, House Committee on Ways and Means
The Honorable Sander M. Levin, Ranking Member, House Committee on Ways and Means
The Honorable Max Baucus, Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance
The Honorable Orrin G. Hatch, Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Finance
Judge Davis’s action on January 4th was firm, in our opinion, establishing a tight framework for AAPL to provide additional financial/shipment data – we viewed his action favorably as it implies he may be in a position to record an Entry of Judgment (final ruling) within a period of weeks, not months (likely triggering the appeals process). The specifics re the submission of materials (dates) eliminates the risk of lengthy legal tactics used to “buy time”, and more importantly Judge Davis continues to remain deliberate and steadfast – his consistent actions imply his language/opinions (embedded within the final ruling) may be stern but measured. We anticipate a final ruling to be recorded shortly after all data/motions (VirnetX) are filed, providing a greater degree of clarity for investors. In our view, all parties involved understand that it would be very beneficial for both Apple and VirnetX to resolve the situation, as a formal relationship/partnership is in the best economic interests of both parties for the long-term.
Construction – Judge Davis has a Degree of Latitude
The recording will address all post-trial motions/issues – however, Judge Davis is afforded a degree of latitude allowing him to be “creative” so that he may “inject”” his own opinions/guidelines. Considering his knowledge of the situation, length of time involved, and prior actions/opinions, we believe his tone will remain consistent once again – his final ruling will likely be very firm but calculated.
Jack Lew was the Secretary of Cupcakes at HostessComments »