Morning Report – The Avon Lady gets a fake suitor 5/15/15

Markets are flattish after some disappointing industrial data. Bonds and MBS are following European bonds higher.

Industrial Production fell .3% in April, the same as March. This is the fifth consecutive month of negative readings. On a year-over-year basis, industrial production was up 1.9%. While mining and energy extraction were down as expected, other categories like consumer goods, business equipment etc were down as well. Manufacturing Production was flat, and capacity utilization fell. The European QE-driven dollar rally that began about a year ago is probably a big reason for the continued weakness here. Here is an interesting take on the big bond market sell-off.

Consumer confidence slipped in May, according to the University of Michigan Consumer Confidence Survey. Consumers are coming to the realization that we aren’t getting the expected V-shaped recovery from the weak first quarter.

The Avon Lady had a fake suitor yesterday, which drove the stock price up 20%. Someone managed to file a fake press release on EDGAR (The SEC’s public documents website) saying the company was being bought by an investment company called PTG Capital Partners (which doesn’t exist). The fake bid drove the stock from $6.60 a share to $8.00 a share. Amazing someone was able to file a fake document on EDGAR.

I will be at the MBA Secondary Conference in NYC next week. If anyone is around and wants to meet, please let me know.

18 Responses

  1. Frist. I guess if you make money in finance, you are a lottery winner, according to our fearless leader..


    • I asked Scott about the phony takeover of Avon yesterday. I think someone had to hack the Edgar system.

      Speaking of hacking, I think the worst case scenario for Amtrak and for us is if that train’s control system was hacked.


  2. Dr. Cowbell is such a twit, but Alan Greenspan is a pussy for not calling him out.



    I will attempt to see MM:FR at the 3:55 PM (Central) today.



  4. ^^ He’s the the out-of-controller!


  5. They’re using the actor who played Toecutter in the original Mad Max film. I wonder if they are “resurrecting” him or if he’ll be considered new? In MM:BT, they had the same actor who played the gyro-captian in MM;RW but it was never made explicitly clear that he was THE gyro-captain. He portrayed a similar pilot like character. Will they do the same re Toecutter in MM:FR?

    I must know!.


  6. it makes total sense to me. you’re one false claim away from ruin.


  7. The reason I ask is because of a circumstance I found myself in in 2002. I work in the pharmaceutical business and it is, at least in the field sales force sense, women dominated. I was a specialty rep in Tucson for GSK at the time and my specialty district had about 9 other employee’s, all but two of them women. My male manager hired a female (Juanita) to replace someone who had quit and she was relatively well known in Tucson pharmaceutical circles as an unpleasant person. I never had crossed paths with her though as we sold different lines, I was in psychiatric meds and she focused on diabetes. Never the less there was something about her that made me uncomfortable (not in any sexual way) and I made it a point to never be alone with her. I tried not to be obvious about it, if we needed to meet over lunch or coffee I’d ask another co-worker, often a female, to meet with us on a reasonable pretext. Apparently this pissed Juanita off enough that she complained to my manager (a male) and he wrote me up about it and said I could be fired if I kept avoiding meeting with Juanita alone! Seriously. That annoyed/scared me so I found another job quickly and quit. Worked out in that I ended up making more money but I liked working for GSK. With 12 years hindsight I still think it was the right decision. A sexual harassment complaint would have ended my career in sales in Tucson. I did move to Houston about a year later so maybe I was just being paranoid

    I’ve spent plenty of time alone with women coworkers in this business, including having them as my manager for the bulk of my career in drug sales and Juanita is the only one who made me uncomfortable enough where I actively prevented it and it did effect my job. I’m not blaming anybody and I’m a big boy and pursued something else to avoid any potential trouble.

    A reasonable argument could be made that this was self-fulfilling on my part. I just got a weird vibe from her. If there was no ill intent on her part than my avoiding meeting with her alone could be a reasonable grounds for complaining. On the other hand there was really no need to meet alone with her, so there’s that. I’ve thought a lot about this over the years and I still can’t decide. I think her complaining about me has cemented in my mind that it was a good idea to avoid being alone. These meetings only occurred maybe 3 times in a six-month period and I thought I’d done a good job in having a legitimate reason someone else should be there.

    I just wonder if anybody else has had this type of experience.


    • Frankly I am dumbfounded that you could get in trouble for avoiding being alone with a woman co-worker. That could never, ever, happen to a woman.


    • George – I and other male lawyers I have known have kept a female legal assistant in the room during interviews with some female clients. Gut feel dictated those responses.

      This may be policy in some firms, or so I have heard.

      My then young Rabbi had a female congregant stalker [@1989]. It was ridiculously uncomfortable for him.


  8. we’ve talked about this with the babysitter. same thing.
    we’ve lost our collective minds about such things, and this overly cautious behavior is the result.


  9. Looks like the Democrats failed to undo the BCA/Sequester.

    “On a 269 to 151 vote, the annual National Defense Authorization Act cleared the House with near-unanimous Republican support and the backing of nearly a quarter of Democrats. That was an unusually low level of support — the bill received 325 votes in 2014.

    The nearly $612 billion proposal, matching President Obama’s request, actually has broad bipartisan support, based on the 60 to 2 vote approving it earlier this spring in the House Armed Services Committee. But Democrats largely opposed the measure Friday because of their demands for new negotiations to set up different spending limits on defense and non-defense agencies that were imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act.”

    But the Republicans cheated too.

    “As other committees have done in mapping out 2016 budgets, Thornberry’s panel tacked on nearly $90 billion in funds from an off-budget account used primarily for the Middle East wars.”


  10. MM:FR

    TWO WORDS: Go. See. It.


    • IDK, George. She was actually mocking blind left thinking, in large part, while maintaining her criticism of the [UK] right. Of course she bashed the USA, too. We yokels are the ones who don’t comprehend.

      But this showed at least a bit of awareness:

      Imagining that all good reform comes from the state and everything bad from outside just does not correspond to people’s lived experience.

      For the most part she certainly exuded that UK knowitall leftish view that grates so on these unworthy Texas ears.


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