Ryan's Feed
Aug 27, 2013
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Ceiling the deal

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The US government is once again approaching its somewhat arbitrary, regularly expiring $16.7 trillion borrowing limit. The Treasury Department said on Monday that the US will run out of money to pay its bills in mid-October, and Treasury secretary Jack Lew told CNBC that the president is “not going to be negotiating over the debt limit.” John Boehner, meanwhile, promises a “whale of a fight” over spending cuts.

Aug 23, 2013
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Out of Office

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Steve Ballmer will step down as the CEO of Microsoft in the next 12 months, as the company said today that it was making a transition from software “to a devices and services” company. In a letter to employees Ballmer, who joined the company in 1980, wrote, “we have delivered more profit and cash return to shareholders than virtually any other company in history.” Gates, who remains chairman of the board, will help find a new CEO; Ballmer says Microsoft is “well down the path”  in that search.

Aug 19, 2013
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The gilded Apple

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After more than a decade, the Bloomberg Era in New York City is coming to an end in December. Ken Auletta spoke to the the 71-year-old, three-term mayor, whose personal fortune is said to be $27 billion. The NYT, a paper which Bloomberg reportedly “detests,” also has a sprawling retrospective on the era this weekend, focusing in part on the city’s economic transformation.

Jul 31, 2013
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Herbastrife

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The battle over Herbalife is getting a lot more complicated. George Soros, CNBC’s Scott Wapner reports, has taken a stake in Herbalife — reportedly one of his three biggest positions — sending the shares up roughly 8% on the day. (Though, this may actually not be a new development). If you’re scoring at home, Team Herbalife now includes Soros, along with Carl Icahn and Dan Loeb’s fund Third Point, which has made hundreds of millions betting on Herbalife.

Jul 25, 2013
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Trimming the edges

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After a seven-year investigation, innumerable headlines, and comparisons to mythic aquatic beasts, the DOJ has handed down criminal fraud charges against one of the hedge fund industry’s legendary firms, Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors. The company, the Feds allege, fostered “insider trading that was substantial, pervasive, and on a scale without known precedent.” (The emails, as always, are the fun part. More on traders referencing “black edge” and info from “my guy” at Company X here.)

Jul 19, 2013
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Disaster in Detroit

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Yesterday, Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history. Today, a Michigan judge ruled that the bankruptcy plan’s move to cut city workers’ pensions violated the state’s constitution.

Jul 11, 2013
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Performance anxiety

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On the same day the the SEC lifted its ban on hedge fund advertising, Bloomberg Businessweek’s cover story declares: “Hedge funds are for suckers”. Hedge funds are trailing the S&P by 10 percentage points this year, Sheelah Kohlhatkar writes, and they’ve underperformed the MSCI All Country World Index for five of the past seven years.

Jul 8, 2013
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Game of Chairs

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Here’s the speculation over the next Fed chair in one line: “The people who know aren’t talking, and the people who are talking don’t know,” Neil Irwin writes. The talking-but-not-knowing group apparently includes the Friends of Larry Summers, some of whom tell the WSJ that Summers is “more than a little interested in the Fed job.”This isn’t the first time Summers has flirted with the top Fed job. Damian Paletta reports that President Obama and Summers discussed the possibility of Summers being the next Fed chair in a private conversation at the end of 2010, and there were similar rumors when President Obama’s first term began.

Jul 3, 2013
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Short political legitimacy

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It’s a good time to go short political legitimacy. There is, of course, Egypt. Meanwhile, Europe’s political climate has deteriorated in a strikingly familiar way. Here’s Reuters’ Luke Baker:

Jul 2, 2013
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Zynga’s latest acquisition: adult supervision

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Kara Swisher broke the news yesterday that Zynga is going through a tech rite of passage — bringing in a professional manager. Don Mattrick, the former head of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment, will take over as CEO. This is a move, Swisher notes, that’s been blessed by Mark Pincus, Zynga’s co-founder and current CEO, who still has 61% voting control of the company. Pincus, in a blog post, said he’ll stay on as chairman and head of product.

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      "Ryan McCarthy is a Deputy Editor of Reuters.com and edits Counterparties.com with Felix Salmon. Previously, he was the Business Editor of the Huffington Post."
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