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from Steve Gorman:

Seventh Los Angeles sheriff’s official found guilty in jail probe

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was found guilty on Tuesday of obstruction of justice and conspiracy for his role in trying to thwart a federal probe into prisoner abuse and other misconduct inside the United States' largest jail system.

A U.S. District Court jury convicted James Sexton of charges he helped hide an inmate informant from federal investigators after the inmate's cover was blown, altering computer records to make it appear the informant had been released, then re-booking him under false names.

An earlier trial of Sexton ended in May with the jury deadlocked 6-6 over a verdict. He now faces a prison term of up to 15 years when sentenced in December.

Six co-defendants tried collectively before a separate jury were found guilty of obstruction of justice and other charges in July. They are scheduled to be sentenced next Monday.

from Counterparties:

Trimming the hedge funds

The California Public Employees Retirement System is getting out of hedge funds. Calpers’ decision to divest the $4 billion it had in hedge funds (of about $300 billion total) isn’t exactly a surprise, since members of the organization openly expressed doubts about the investment strategy last year. But Calpers’ reputation as the gold standard among public-employee pension funds may portend changes in the way smaller pension funds invest their money.

It’s not that Calpers’ investments with hedge funds were performing badly; it’s just that they weren’t performing well enough to make the extra costs worth it. Hedge fund management fees cost Calpers $135 million in the last fiscal year, according to Bloomberg. Hedge fund investments earned it a return of 7.1 percent (below the target of 7.5 percent) and massively underperformed the fund as a whole, which earned 18.4 percent. Dan McCrum writes that “the more hedge funds that are added to the [Calpers] portfolio, the closer returns will be to that of the average hedge fund, which has failed to beat a simple mixture of stocks and bonds for many years.”

from Alison Frankel:

Allergan restrictions on shareholders’ meetings were too tough to swallow

In the middle of a status conference Friday, Delaware Chancellor Andre Bouchard asked a blunt question of Theodore Mirvis of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Mirvis represents Allergan, the pharmaceutical company fending off a unique tag-team hostile bid by the Canadian drugmaker Valeant and the hedge fund Pershing Square. In late August, Pershing notified Allergan that it had amassed the requisite shareholder support to call for a special meeting to oust the company's directors, despite the onerous consent procedures Allergan had adopted in a bylaw enacted earlier this year. On the same day, Pershing and Valeant sued Allergan in Delaware Chancery Court to force the company to schedule the special meeting.

By Friday, when lawyers for all three combatants appeared before Bouchard, Allergan had already set a date, Dec. 18, for the special meeting. But Pershing and Valeant told the chancellor that they were still worried Allergan would use provisions of the controversial bylaw - which, among other restrictions, revokes rights for shareholders who are net short on Allergan stock and requires investors to provide continuous updates on their holdings until 10 days before the special session - to call off the meeting.

from jharonnemartis:

WILL THE ALTUZARRA COLLECTION HAVE ‘LEGS’ AT TARGET?

Target Corp. (TGT.N) has partnered with young and compelling fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra to launch a much-anticipated line of fashionable women’s clothing. The news went viral on social media on the Sept. 14 launch and crowds showed up early at the stores to check out the styles. Will this early enthusiasm translate into a sustained comeback for the giant retailer? That might be a moving target.

Target has done this before, many times. Its 2011 collection with the Italian label Missoni generated so much traffic that the target.com website crashed. The chance to get haute design glamor at an affordable price has proven to be irresistible.

from MacroScope:

A Fed dove does Broadway

Earlier this month, the chief of the Minneapolis Fed gave an extraordinary speech http://bit.ly/1qUTucn in which he called for higher inflation.

That's right -- you and me, paying more for goods and services. Why would a central banker want something like that?

from Breakingviews:

Henry Kravis spins a different kind of club deal

By Jeffrey Goldfarb

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

Henry Kravis is spinning a different sort of club deal. The old kind, in which several private equity shops would make an acquisition together, led the buyout baron’s KKR to join the recent hefty settlement of a lawsuit that alleged collusion with other firms. In the new iteration, KKR buys Pioneer’s DJ audio equipment business for $550 million. Kravis is laying down a smooth groove in a funky M&A market.

from FaithWorld:

Chief Rabbi Korsia says French society has turned indifferent to anti-Semitism

(French Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia meets with the Anglo-American Press Association in Paris, Sept.. 16, 2014//Tom Heneghan)

(French Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia meets with the Anglo-American Press Association of Paris, Sept.. 16, 2014//Tom Heneghan)

France's government has reacted strongly to a rising tide of anti-Semitic acts this year but French society seems indifferent to the threat they present, the country's newly elected chief rabbi said on Tuesday.

from Breakingviews:

Applying corporate finance to nations

By Rob Cox

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. 

It is generally accepted on Wall Street that breaking up bloated and unwieldy companies is a good thing. Division makes them easier to manage, more accountable and allows them to deliver greater value to their many constituents. On the eve of Scotland’s historic vote on independence, it’s worth considering whether the same logic might also be applied to nations.

from FaithWorld:

Philadelphia planning as if Pope Francis is coming in 2015, Chaput says

(Archibishop of Philadelphia Charles Joseph Chaput attends a news conference at the Vatican September 16, 2014. Chaput announced officially that the next World Meeting of Families will be held in Philadelphia from 22 to 27 September in 2015. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

(Archibishop of Philadelphia Charles Joseph Chaput attends a news conference at the Vatican September 16, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is planning and raising funds as if Pope Francis will visit the city next year for the World Meeting of Families, the city's Roman Catholic leader, Archbishop Charles Chaput said on Tuesday.

from Reuters FYI:

Bison, goldfish, bats and mice all catch a break

A bison emerges after swimming across the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, June 21, 2011. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

A bison emerges after swimming across the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, June 21, 2011. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

No bison burgers for dinner

Conservationists petition to halt the killing of bison in Yellowstone National Park.

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