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Aug 10, 2016

DealBook Morning - August 10, 2016: Jefferies, Small and Emboldened

The New York Times
By Amie Tsang
Jefferies, Small and Emboldened The investment bank Jefferies, which never took federal bailout money and is not hemmed in by the restrictions imposed on banks that did, has developed an appetite for risk. And it is matching its appetite with bold moves, bolstered by some helpful relationships.
Its interests in the field of financial technology have grown — it has repackaged loans from upstart lenders and is linked to Lending Club. Jefferies’s $37 billion in assets remain tiny next to giants like Goldman Sachs at $878 billion, but its share of Wall Street trading has doubled since 2006. It is also a subsidiary of Leucadia National, which “can write a significant equity check at a moment’s notice,” said Chris Kotowski, an analyst at Oppenheimer. Read more about how the bank has used its room to maneuver here.
Disney Bets on Streaming As viewers of satellite and cable services decline, and streaming options proliferate, critics say that Disney has exposed itself to the slowdown with ESPN. But the company hopes to ward that off with a deal for a 33 percent stake in BamTech, Major League Baseball’s streaming division. It also has the option to buy a controlling interest in BamTech in the next few years.
BamTech will work with Disney to introduce an ESPN-branded subscription streaming service offering sports like hockey, tennis and cricket, which ESPN owns the rights to but does not televise. Could this be its first step toward offering Netflix-style streaming? The company has repeatedly said it was not ready to introduce a direct-to-consumer service in the United States, but it has been testing the waters with DisneyLife, which streams Disney films and shows.
American Bar Association Forbids Sexist Remarks Several bars already have rules against singling out someone on the basis of race, religion, sex, disability or other factors, and now the A.B.A. has one, too.
Until now, there have been few consequences for lawyers using demeaning and misogynistic terms to undermine their opposing counsel. Advocates of the rule said the lack of a national prohibition has allowed too many sexist remarks toward female lawyers. Female lawyers on Facebook certainly had experiences to share when The New York Times asked.
Critics have argued that the broad rule would impair free speech while representing clients, but no lawyers signed up to speak against the new restrictions.
Intel to Buy Artificial Intelligence Firm
Intel said that it would acquire the start-up Nervana Systems as the world’s largest chip maker bolsters its artificial intelligence capabilities.
Satya Nadella, chief executive of Microsoft.
In Buying LinkedIn, Microsoft Might Pay Heed to Monster
Monster Worldwide, a former competitor of LinkedIn, has been sold to Randstad Holding of the Netherlands for a fraction of its former value.
U.S. Lenders Fall Behind in Deal-Making Drive
While toughened postcrisis regulations tempt more lenders to turn to deal making to lift returns, they also present barriers to further consolidation.
German Angst Over Chinese Deal Making
The idea of a Chinese entity owning one of the nation’s great innovators is a cause for widespread angst in Germany.
Will we ever discover what caused the financial crisis? Andy Dufresne in “The Shawshank Redemption” may have the answer.
What Happened on Wall St. Ahead of the Crisis? We May Yet Find Out
Two recent court events — a request to review a verdict, and another lawsuit’s progress — preserve the possibility of comeuppance for Wall Street.
BlackRock Targeted Over Firearms Investments
An activist group called Gays Against Guns will target BlackRock, which has holdings in Sturm, Ruger & Co. and Smith & Wesson, as part of a campaign to pressure companies to cut ties with the firearms industry.
Legal & General to Move into Venture Capital
Legal & General, an insurer, plans to double direct investments from its retirement and capital business to 15 billion pounds, or about $19.5 billion.
Justice Department Faces 1MDB Test
The legal fight for assets bought with funds stolen from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund is a test for the Justice Department’s kleptocracy initiative, which targets ill-gotten gains that have moved through financial channels in the United States.
Jerome J. Schlichter, the lawyer representing employees of M.I.T., N.Y.U. and Yale, has filed more than 20 lawsuits in the last decade on behalf of workers in retirement plans.
M.I.T., N.Y.U. and Yale Are Sued Over Retirement Plan Fees
Employees contend that each university failed to monitor, and replace, expensive, poor-performing investment options in their retirement plans.
Roslyn Lewis of Tuscaloosa, Ala., injured her back while working at a dollar store. A decade later, the pain radiates to one of her knees and remains largely unaddressed.
Minorities Suffer From Unequal Pain Treatment
Researchers cite several reasons for the disparity, including evidence of racial bias and stereotyping. The lower level of treatment tends to lead to more disability.
As it blocks ad blockers, Facebook is asking its users to help control the ads they see on the site.
Facebook Blocks Ad Blockers, but It Strives to Make Ads More Relevant
The programs that prevent websites from displaying ads will be rendered useless for those accessing the social network’s desktop site, but not on mobile browsers.