Weil on Finance, P.M.: Cuban Beats SEC
Happy Hump Day, View fans. It's time for more fun with annotated links. Here's some of what I've reading this afternoon.
Victory for Mark Cuban in insider-trading trial
A federal jury today found that the Dallas Mavericks owner didn't trade on confidential information nine years ago when he sold almost $8 million of stock in a company called Mamma.com. A little fish facing such allegations might have settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But Cuban is a billionaire and thus can afford to defend himself, and he did it well. His final witness was Erik Sirri, who led the SEC's division of market regulation and trading from 2006 to 2009. Here's a link to the Bloomberg News article summing up the SEC's unsuccessful closing argument. Maybe the SEC someday can explain why it targeted Cuban but not anybody from Lehman Brothers.
Day 16: We knew things would turn out this way, didn't we?
All that yammering and posturing and worrying, along with countdown clocks and doomsday deadlines, have now led to what most people figured was the inevitable outcome all along: Congress is on the verge of ending the shutdown and raising the U.S. debt limit. Get ready to go through the same ridiculousness all over again at U.S. lawmakers' earliest possible convenience.
Should the U.S. be downgraded?
Michael Casey in a column at Market Watch says "America doesn't deserve to be Triple-A." It's hard to argue against him after all the nonsense that Congress has put us through the past few weeks: "It matters not whether the U.S. is actually forced into a devastating default–still an extremely unlikely event. Triple-A credits do not behave like this."
We're already getting nostalgic for the shutdown
Now that the government shutdown is almost over, the Atlantic has compiled a list of its best moments in a post called "October 2013 -- America's Finest Hour." There's the time a bunch of veterans stormed the gates at the World War II Memorial, and then there was the guy who mowed the lawn at the Lincoln Memorial, plus the oh-so-sad picture of a teddy bear peering through the locked gates of the National Zoo. God bless America.
Oh no, the crabbers are going on strike
If you've ever been to Miami Beach, then surely you have heard of the legendary Joe's Stone Crabs, which turned 100 this year and just re-opened after closing for the summer (when stone crabs are out of season.) Now comes word that some fisherman "have refused to catch the popular crustaceans unless Joe's, the top buyer of the claws, raised its initial price of $7 a pound," according to the Miami Herald. Last year medium-sized claws fetched $11 a pound. Winter for some Wall Street snowbirds might not be the same if we can't end this unfortunate showdown.
(Jonathan Weil is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter.)