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Sep 17, 2015

DealBook P.M. Edition - September 17, 2015: Dealbook Highlights: Expanding in U.S., Altice Plans to Buy Cablevision for $17.7 Billion

Thursday, September 17, 2015
Janet L. Yellen, the Fed's chairwoman, said the decision to keep rates near zero had been a close call.
Fed Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged With the markets in a downturn and economies weak overseas, Fed officials said that they saw little risk in postponing an increase in interest rates.
A trader worked at the New York Stock Exchange while Janet L. Yellen, the Fed's chairwoman, explained the decision to leave rates unchanged.
Stock Markets Are Little Changed After Fed Decision The slightness of the moves suggests that Wall Street will go back to worrying whether the Fed will raise interest rates later this year.
Several economists said the Fed was strongly influenced by global conditions in its decision to leave rates unchanged.
Fed's Hesitance, Not Its Decision, Surprises Economists While many on Wall Street expected the Fed to delay raising rates, few expected its language about future moves to be so dovish.

CMI | Spot Prices as of Close of Trading in New York on September 17, 2015:

Spot Prices as of traditional New York closing times

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Today Change Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
$1,118.50 -$2.20 $1,110.90 $1,119.30 $1,227.05


Today Change Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
$15.02 +$0.10 $14.68 $15.35 $18.54


Today Change Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
$970.30 -$9.40 $983.00 $1,003.30 $1,352.50


Today Change Week Ago Month Ago Year Ago
$601.75 -$12.00 $593.50 $615.05 $833.90

Gold/Silver Ratio


What now? Stocks close mixed after Fed: Wall Street at Close Report by CNBC on September 17, 2015.

What now? Stocks close mixed after Fed

Evelyn Cheng
U.S. stocks closed mixed Thursday as investors digested the Federal Reserve's rate hike decision and Fed Chair Yellen's press conference.
The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 closed lower, while the Nasdaq Composite eked out mild gains. The major indices gave back gains of more than 1 percent from session highs, amid Yellen's press conference.
Stocks initially fluctuated between slight gains and losses in the minutes after the Fed statement showed the central bank kept interest rates unchanged.
"I think the stock market would like the Fed to have a statement with a vote of confidence in the U.S. economy. I think they were a little surprised. I think the stock market is a little confused right now. I don't think this statement removed much uncertainty," said John Bredemus, vice president, Allianz Investment Management. "I think the uncertainty is around whether the U.S. economy can continue to grow given the weakness in the global economy."

Read More Fed holds off, markets now betting on hike in 2016

It's "yet another Fed meeting and another punt. Investors will have to deal with the uncertainty of when a rate hike is going to occur," said Mike Baele, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank.

Federal Reserve Board and Federal Open Market Committee release economic projections from the September 16-17 FOMC meeting: FRB Press Release - September 17, 2015.


Press Release

Release Date: September 17, 2015

For release at 2:00 p.m. EDT

The attached table and charts released on Thursday summarize the economic projections and the target federal funds rate projections made by Federal Reserve Board members and Federal Reserve Bank presidents for the September 16-17 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee.
The table will be incorporated into a summary of economic projections released with the minutes of the September 16-17 meeting. Summaries of economic projections are released quarterly.
Projections (PDF) | Accessible Materials
For media inquiries, call 202-452-2955.

Federal Reserve Issues FOMC Statement: FRB Press Release - September 17, 2015.

Press Release

Release Date: September 17, 2015

For immediate release

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in July suggests that economic activity is expanding at a moderate pace. Household spending and business fixed investment have been increasing moderately, and the housing sector has improved further; however, net exports have been soft. The labor market continued to improve, with solid job gains and declining unemployment. On balance, labor market indicators show that underutilization of labor resources has diminished since early this year. Inflation has continued to run below the Committee's longer-run objective, partly reflecting declines in energy prices and in prices of non-energy imports. Market-based measures of inflation compensation moved lower; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.
Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. Recent global economic and financial developments may restrain economic activity somewhat and are likely to put further downward pressure on inflation in the near term. Nonetheless, the Committee expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, with labor market indicators continuing to move toward levels the Committee judges consistent with its dual mandate. The Committee continues to see the risks to the outlook for economic activity and the labor market as nearly balanced but is monitoring developments abroad. Inflation is anticipated to remain near its recent low level in the near term but the Committee expects inflation to rise gradually toward 2 percent over the medium term as the labor market improves further and the transitory effects of declines in energy and import prices dissipate. The Committee continues to monitor inflation developments closely.
To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate. In determining how long to maintain this target range, the Committee will assess progress--both realized and expected--toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation. This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments. The Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen some further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2 percent objective over the medium term.
The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. This policy, by keeping the Committee's holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.
When the Committee decides to begin to remove policy accommodation, it will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent. The Committee currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run.
Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Janet L. Yellen, Chair; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Lael Brainard; Charles L. Evans; Stanley Fischer; Dennis P. Lockhart; Jerome H. Powell; Daniel K. Tarullo; and John C. Williams. Voting against the action was Jeffrey M. Lacker, who preferred to raise the target range for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points at this meeting.
Last update: September 17, 2015

Jeremy Corbyn is a patriot – he would never have waged the illegal war that killed my son: The Guardian Opinion - September 17, 2015.

The best of Guardian opinion
Thursday 17 Sep 2015
Today's opinion articles More »

Gold is so cheap, it's being given away: GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH - September 17, 2015.

Gold is so cheap, it's being given away

Submitted by cpowell on Thursday, September 17, 2015. By Helen Thomas
The Wall Street Journal
Thursday, September 17, 2015

It is a sign of the beleaguered state of the gold sector that people are effectively giving the stuff away for nothing.
Consider Randgold's agreement to form a 50/50 joint venture with AngloGold Ashanti, aimed at redeveloping the Obuasi mine in Ghana, which AngloGold largely closed last year. Details weren't disclosed, but it doesn't appear Randgold is paying anything upfront for the mine, which offers 5.3 million ounces of reserves. Instead, the pair will share development costs and rehabilitation liabilities.
Mark Bristow, chief executive of Randgold, seems to have parlayed his reputation as the best operator in the business into a cut-price option on a sizable gold mine. AngloGold has already laid off thousands of workers at the loss-making mine. Near-term, Randgold need only shell out a few million to study if the mine can be overhauled and mechanized. ...

... For the remainder of the report:

SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Promoter of Pyramid Scheme Targeting Latino Communities: SEC Litigation Release - September 17, 2015.

SEC Seal


Litigation Release No. 23351 / September 17, 2015

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Tropikgadget FZE, et al., Civil Action No. 1:15 cv 10543-ADB (United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts)

SEC Obtains Final Judgment Against Promoter of Pyramid Scheme Targeting Latino Communities

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that on September 16, 2015, the federal court in Boston, Massachusetts, entered a final judgment against defendant Julio G. Cruz of Duluth, Georgia, a defendant in a previously-filed enforcement action. In February 2015, the Commission charged two Portuguese companies operating under the name Wings Network, plus three company officers and 12 promoters of Wings Network, including Cruz, with perpetrating an international pyramid scheme targeting Latino communities in the U.S.

European stocks under pressure ahead of Fed: European Markets at Close Report by CNBC on September 17, 2015.

European stocks under pressure ahead of Fed

Alexandra Gibbs, Arjun Kharpal, Holly Ellyatt
European equities closed mixed on Thursday, as investors remained on edge ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates later in the session.
The pan-European STOXX 600 failed to hold onto gains, ending the day 0.1 percent lower, in what was a see-saw day for markets.
London's FTSE 100 index slipped, closing 0.5 percent lower, while the German DAX managed to eke out gains, ending 0.2 percent higher. The French CAC finished up 0.3 percent up.


FTSE FTSE 100 Index 6198.92
-30.29 -0.49% 611778234
DAX DAX Index 10234.21
7.00 0.07% 89815117
CAC 40 CAC 40 Index 4660.42
14.58 0.31% 67555233
IBEX 35 IBEX 35 Idx 10116.90
140.10 1.40% 234075889
Global markets are poised for the latest policy announcement from the Fed on Thursday afternoon local time. The central bank's Federal Open Market Committee started its meeting on Wednesday and is due to announce whether it will raise rates for the first time in nine years. Consequently, U.S. stocks traded in a tight range Thursday around Europe's close.

Are you OK with the F-C-R-A?: FTC Business Blog - September 17, 2015.

Bureau of Consumer Protection Business Center Blog Updates from the Federal Trade Commission
By Lesley Fair
The Fair Credit Reporting Act isn’t just about credit. If your company uses background checks in making personnel decisions, the FTC reminds you of your obligations under the FCRA. In honor of Throwback Thursday, here’s an unconventional old-school summary of key requirements under federal law. Spin the mirrored disco ball and join us on the dance floor for “F-C-R-A.”
Read more >

U.S. The Deficit Decreased to 2.5 Percent of Current-Dollar Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 2.7 percent in the first quarter: BEA News Release - September 17, 2015: U.S. International Transactions, 2nd quarter 2015

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has issued the following news release today:   

The U.S. current-account deficit—a net measure of transactions between the United States and the rest of the world in goods, services, primary income (investment income and compensation), and secondary income (current transfers)—decreased to $109.7 billion (preliminary) in the second quarter of 2015 from $118.3 billion (revised) in the first quarter. The deficit decreased to 2.5 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.7 percent in the first quarter. The decrease in the current-account deficit was largely accounted for by decreases in the deficits on goods and secondary income. Increases in the surpluses on primary income and services also contributed to the decrease in the current-account deficit.

The full text of the release on BEA's Web site can be found at

Exclusive: Syrian Army Starts Using New Weapons From Russia - Military Source: Reuters - World - September 17, 2015.

Exclusive: Syrian army starts using new weapons from Russia - military source

By Tom Perry
BEIRUT The Syrian military has recently started using new types of air and ground weapons supplied by Russia, a Syrian military source told Reuters on Thursday, underlining growing Russian support to Damascus that is alarming the United States.The source described the weapons as highly accurate and effective. The army had started using them in recent weeks having been trained in their use in Syria in recent months, the source said.
"New weapons are being delivered, and new types of weapons. The Syrian army is being trained in the use of these weapons. In fact, the army has started using some of these (weapon) types," the source said in response to a question about Russian support.

Randgold and AngloGold team up on Obuasi: MineWeb Gold News - September 17, 2015.

Mineweb Gold News -  17 September 2015
Randgold and AngloGold team up on Obuasi

Randgold and AngloGold team up on Obuasi
Companies announce ground-breaking initiative to jointly develop the mine.
Continental permitting setback

Continental permitting setback
Continental Gold says it faced challenges in permitting a large gold project in Colombia.
Pan African Resources - trims dividend and expects an improvement

Pan African Resources - trims dividend and expects an improvement
The company remains confident in its ability to generate cash in the current environment.
Gold shortage theory derided as Comex seen well supplied

Gold shortage theory derided as Comex seen well supplied
Gold futures are headed for a third straight annual decline.
Gold holds advance as U.S. inflation seen taming rate concern Fed-fund futures show a 32% chance of a 25 basis point rise.

Sibanye Gold invests in coal firm to secure fuel for power production Plans to build a $226mn solar-powered plant.

Gold market freezes with tightest trading range in eight years Traders are pulling out of gold trading ahead of Fed meeting.

Mega-trends shaping the mines of the future Technology is going to play a bigger role.

The sexiest mining company in the world And it's not just Mila Kunis that's bringing a sparkle to investors' eyes.

In Marathon Debate, a Few Candidates Emerge From the Pack: NYT First Draft on Politics - September 17, 2015.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015 »

Carly Fiorina, center, after the prime-time Republican debate on Wednesday evening.
Carly Fiorina, center, after the prime-time Republican debate on Wednesday evening. Max Whittaker for The New York Times
In Marathon Debate, a Few Candidates Emerge From the Pack
Fifteen Republicans gathered in two debates, with the four lowest-polling candidates engaging in the so-called undercard debate, where foreign policy and exasperation at Donald J. Trump dominated the discussion, and with the remaining 11 fighting to be heard, to stand out next to Mr. Trump, and to distinguish themselves. A few of them did just that. 
Clarity? What clarity? 
After they spent nearly 180 minutes debating one another at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., there were two clear winners in the sprawling Republican primary field. 

DealBook Today's Top Headlines - September 17, 2015: Altice to Buy Cablevision | The Fed Cliffhanger | Bank of America's Title Bout | Anheuser-Busch InBev Dreams Big.

Thursday, September 17, 2015
ALTICE TO BUY CABLEVISION Altice, the European telecommunications giant, agreed on Thursday to buy Cablevision for $17.7 billion, Mark Scott reports in DealBook.

Altice will pay $34.90 a share in cash, 22 percent higher than Cablevision's closing stock price on Wednesday. That represents an equity value of $9.6 billion. To help finance the takeover, Altice will sell additional shares in itself and draw on financing from three major banks, Michael J. de la Merced and Andrew Ross Sorkin report in DealBook.

The cable and telecommunications industry is already in a state of upheaval as companies search for more scale and negotiating power with content providers. A takeover of Cablevision, one of the last trophies of the American cable industry, would draw significant concern from regulators, particularly as control of the telecom market shrinks to a few players.

Altice has already announced its intentions to build a footprint in the United States. It struck a $9.1 billion deal for Suddenlink Communications this spring and considered bidding for Time Warner Cable. Altice would join the top echelon of cable companies in the United States by adding Cablevision and its 3.1 million customers.

Altice does not intend to create many cost savings by combining Cablevision and Suddenlink, the people briefed on the matter said. But that may change once it digests its acquisitions.
THE FED CLIFFHANGER A crucial moment is coming up for Janet L Yellen, when the Fed's policy-making committee announces whether the time has come to raise rates, Binyamin Appelbaum writes in The New York Times. After markets churned this summer, Fed officials wondered aloud whether it might sense to hold off raising rates for a few more weeks, turning the September meeting into a cliffhanger.

Ms. Yellen's silence has compounded the mystery. In early July, she said "communicating with the public is an important part of my job." The next week, she testified twice before Congress. But for two months, she has said nothing. She will speak for the first time since July on Thursday afternoon.

The Fed has already kept its benchmark rate near zero much longer than expected. Officials in 2012 agreed to keep rates near zero until the unemployment rate fell below 6.5 percent. It fell to 5.1 percent in August.

The Fed has maintained a united front in recent months. Ms. Yellen has won unanimous votes to continue the stimulus campaign at each of the committee's five meetings so far this year. But here are growing signs of divide over the precise timing.

If Ms. Yellen does persuade the committee to announce another delay on Thursday, the vote is unlikely to be unanimous. At least one member, Jeffrey M. Lacker, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, has indicated that he would vote in dissent if the committee does not raise rates.
BANK OF AMERICA'S TITLE BOUT Bank of America's top executives and one of its board members have been pounding the pavement from London to Houston, trying to convince shareholders that Brian T. Moynihan should keep his job as both chairman and chief executive, Michael Corkery writes in DealBook.

They have cut a deal to mollify an outspoken critic and enlisted the help of the former Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank, an architect of Wall Street's regulatory overhaul. Mr. Frank, who recently joined the board of Signature Bank, a small commercial bank in New York, said the most important oversight of financial companies comes not from its directors but from regulators. "People expect too much of boards," he said.

The cast of characters involved in the battle includes a Roman Catholic priest, Warren E. Buffett and two giant California pension funds that have mounted an aggressive countercampaign.

Bank officials say that Mr. Moynihan earned his dual positions by steering the company through costly acquisitions and that there is no evidence that companies perform better with separate chief executives and chairmen.

The California Public Employees' Retirement System and the California State Teachers' Retirement System argue that an independent chairman would provide better oversight of a bank with a troubled history.

As many as 40 percent of shareholders are expected to vote against Mr. Moynihan from the outset. The vote, scheduled for Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., has highlighted the level of discontent over the board's decision to overturn a 2009 shareholder vote requiring the bank to have a separate chairman and chief executive. The fight has been an unwelcome distraction for a bank that had just put most of its legal and regulatory troubles behind it.
ON THE AGENDA The Federal Reserve finishes its two-day monetary policy meeting and will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Data on new home construction in August is released at 8:30 a.m.
ANHEUSER-BUSCH INBEV DREAMS BIG The world's largest brewer has approached its rival SABMiller about a potential takeover that would bring some of the world's most popular beers under one roof, Chad Bray and Michael J. de la Merced report in DealBook. A merger would bring together two companies with $69 billion in annual revenue and command over 30 percent of global beer sales.

Talks are not yet underway and no offer is on the table; Anheuser-Busch InBev has until Oct. 14 to make one, under takeover rules in Britain, where SABMiller is based.

Anheuser-Busch InBev would probably have to pay more than $103 billion for SABMiller, which owns Miller Lite, Peroni and Grolsch. Its shares surged 20 percent in London trading on Wednesday, giving it a market value of $90 billion.

Anheuser-Busch InBev, which has Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois under its roof, would also have to win over the cigarette maker Altria and the Santo Domingos, one of the wealthiest families in Colombia. They own 41 percent of SAB Miller.

Any deal would bring close scrutiny from antitrust regulators too, Michael J. de la Merced writes in DealBook. Although the deal would bring obvious benefits, giving Anheuser-Busch InBev more exposure to fast-growing emerging markets, like Colombia and Ecuador, it is likely to prompt investigations from government officials who have already shown skepticism about a number of huge mergers.

Analysts and investors speculate that should the takeover happen, it would prompt a number of follow-on deals, as the two companies shed assets to win regulatory approval.

Analysts say that the United States Justice Department is almost certain to demand that MillerCoors be dissolved. SABMiller formed the joint venture with Molson Coors in 2008 to combine their United States operations.

Trevor Stirling, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, said SAB would also need to divest itself of its 49 percent stake in CR Snow, a Chinese joint venture that owns Snow, the country's best-selling beer brand.

If the deal is successful, SABMiller would probably be subject to the cost-cutting that 3G, the private equity firm that put together Anheuser-Busch InBev, has imposed at other companies. Zero-based budgeting, a system that requires managers to justify all expenses each year, is likely to be put into effect. Staff members will be purged. Any unnecessary expenses will be eliminated.

3G's motto is "dream big" and they have established themselves as one of the most audacious deal makers of the last decade by following through on that, David Gelles writes in DealBook. In 2010, they acquired Burger King. In 2013, they joined with Warren E. Buffett on a $23 billion takeover of H.J. Heinz. Last year 3G bought Tim Horton's and merged it with Burger King; this year they worked with Mr. Buffett again to buy Kraft in a deal worth more than $80 billion.

Carlos Brito, the chief executive of Anheuser-Busch InBev, has been skilled at cost-cutting, which might give investors the confidence to finance the deal, Robert Cole writes in Breakingviews. Mr. Brito has managed to turn nearly 40 percent of its revenue into earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the current year - nearly twice the peer median.
Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News UK, left the offices of Unruly in London on Wednesday.
News Corporation to Buy Unruly for Up to $176 Million The purchase of the video ad technology company underlines the publishing company's continued push to remake itself for the digital age.
Green Light for Expedia to Buy Orbitz The Justice Department will not block Expedia's $1.3 billion purchase of Orbitz, another travel-booking site.
G.E. Sells $3.7 Billion British Home Loan Portfolio General Electric sold a $3.7 billion portfolio of loans from its British home lending business to private equity-backed Kensington Mortgage as it continues to shrink its financing arm, GE Capital.
China Electronics Said to Be in Talks to Acquire Atmel China Electronics, the nation's largest state-owned information technology company, is in preliminary talks to acquire the United States chipmaker Atmel, Bloomberg News reports, citing people with knowledge of the process.
Amgen to Buy Dezima Pharma for $300 million Amgen said it would buy the biotechnology company Dezima Pharma, adding another cholesterol drug to its expanding portfolio of treatments for cardiovascular diseases.
Henry Gosebruch was co-head of North American mergers.
Henry Gosebruch, Rising Star at JPMorgan, Is Departing for AbbVie Mr. Gosebruch, 42, who was promoted in March to co-head of North American mergers, has been one of the bank's top deal makers for the pharmaceutical industry.
For the latest updates, go to
Elliott Said to Seek Partner in Taking CDK Global Private The activist hedge fund Elliott Management is seeking to team up with a private equity firm to take CDK Global private, Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
A Lyft driver, with a pink furry mustache on the dashboard, makes his way through Midtown Manhattan.
Lyft Announces Deal With Didi Kuaidi, the Chinese Ride-Hailing Company The partnership will allow Lyft, which is based in San Francisco, to operate in China for the first time.
Stemcentrx Gets $5 Billion Valuation A start-up largely unknown outside biotechnology circles has emerged with a $5 billion valuation and a pipeline of drugs that could give hope to some patients with lethal cancers.
Tech Firms Venture Into Lending Intuit, PayPal and Square are stepping up efforts to mine their data to get into the lending business.
Envoy Raises $3 Million to Help Seniors Live at Home Longer The start-up is tapping into a potentially large market - an estimated 34.2 million American adults have been an unpaid caregiver to someone age 50 or older in the last year.
S.E.C. May Have Weakened Justice Dept. Stance in Insider Trading Case The Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to review an insider trading case, but an S.E.C. administrative judge might have undercut its argument, Peter J. Henning writes in the White Collar Watch column.
Thousands of public sector workers demonstrated on Friday against an austerity plan to help pull Puerto Rico out of a debt crisis, saying the private sector should take more of the pain.
Puerto Rico's Debt Rescue Plan Called Into Question The planners appeared to have overstated Puerto Rico's financial needs, so it is seeking twice what it actually needs in concessions from creditors, a credit analyst said.
Steven H. Davis, Dewey & LeBoeuf's former chairman, outside the State Supreme Court in New York last week.
Dewey & LeBoeuf Accounting Fraud Case Goes to Jury The trial of three former executives of the once-prominent law firm is headed to a verdict - but jurors had plenty of questions for the judge.
Lu Wei, China's Internet czar. Beijing has summoned American tech companies to a forum in Seattle next week, while President Obama has suggested they are being hurt by China's anticompetitive practices.
China Tries to Extract Pledge of Compliance From U.S. Tech Firms Some have received letters asking for a promise to make their products "secure and controllable," a catchphrase that might mean backdoor access to private information.
Stockbroker Pleads Guilty in Insider Trading Case A stockbroker has admitted to his role in a five-year insider trading scheme that yielded more than $5.6 million in net profits.
Top Deputy to Exit Attorney General's Office Mr. Levy, who was one of Eric T. Schneiderman's first hires, is returning to the litigation firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner.