The Good Times You'll Recall Are Starting Now: Opening Line

Look back on this moment some years from now, if the thought occurs to you, and remember when you first learned we were headed into the period of tranquility we will be enjoying.

If Simon Kennedy and Ilan Kolet are right, we are metaphorically emerging from stormy seas into a prolonged stretch of calm water.

Volatility in economic growth -- the lurching back and forth you might compare to the feeling of someone unused to a clutch pedal -- is smoothing out, the guys find. It’s half of what it was in the 20 years leading up to the start of the crisis more than five years ago, a period called the Great Moderation.

Volatility in employment is settling down, trading is smoother, and currency market fluctuations also are easing. Whether a reflection of more advanced monetary policy or sterner regulation that has trimmed the sails of the economy, as Goldman Sachs suggests, relative calm is taking hold, Kennedy and Kolet write.

Guess you’ll have to start working hard for your money again.


However, if you’re over at Barclays, forget all that. The hammer is down and it’s what we thought it would be, as Antony Jenkins undoes what Robert Diamond created.

Jenkins gutted the investment bank of 7,000 jobs among 14,000 to be cut at the bank in total and created a bad bank to offload 115 billion pounds ($195 billion) of assets in forex, fixed-income, commodities and retail banking in Europe. The bad bank also will have parts of the corporate bank, Barclaycard and wealth-management units.

Jenkins expects a cost of 800 million pounds, on top of the

2.7 billion pounds in expenses laid out in February. The shares were up more than 5 percent in London earlier this morning. Ambereen Choudhury and Gavin Finch have the story.


If you’re looking for direction, today will provide some. Rate decisions are due from many countries, but the big ones are the BOE at 7 a.m. New York time and the ECB at 7:45 a.m.

Draghi has said a lot lately about the sluggish rate of inflation and the rising euro, so while only two of 58 economists surveyed expect policy makers to cut the main refinancing rate from an all-time low of 0.25 percent today, there’s still the possibility he could announce a negative deposit rate or something, anything, to throw off sparks.

Our Stefan Riecher finds this unlikely, however, as the ECB is more likely to wait to see what next month’s economic projections bring. Carney also is likely to keep rates where they are, Jennifer Ryan reports, despite a white-hot housing market.

Trade figures in China unexpectedly rose in April.

Here in the U.S., we’ll get initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. New York time and the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort index at 9:45 a.m. Yellen testifies before the Senate Budget Committee at 9:30 a.m.

And yet more earnings: Cablevision, Wendy’s, CBS, News Corp., DISH, Apollo, ICE, Liberty Media among 42 companies scheduled to report. We’ll also have retail sales reports.

About 30 companies are holding annual shareholder meetings, notably Ford, UPS, Advanced Micro Devices, and Caesar’s.


It’s not every day you get Goldman Sachs and the Bloods street gang in the same headline.

When Goldman Sachs isn’t lending money against Steven Cohen’s impressionist-art collection, it’s lending money to the cause of clearing the streets of violence with so-called social-impact bonds, and it’s difficult to think of a more worthy use of the funds.

In Massachusetts, and pending in more than a dozen states and municipalities around the U.S., the bonds are financing the efforts of organizations to keep young offenders from returning to prison. The more who stay out of prison, the more money a state or county saves in incarceration costs. The money saved pays off the bond, Esmé Deprez reports.


The House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the proposed combination of Comcast and Time Warner Cable at 9:30 a.m. today in Washington, and the folks at Bloomberg Television are all over it. As well as covering the hearing, they’ll be breaking down the size of the combined company by the numbers, explaining the principles of an unrestricted Internet known as net neutrality that’s lurking behind the merger, and examining Comcast’s playbook in its effort to get the deal cleared by lawmakers and regulators.


Anyone see the movie “Limitless"? Not too many did. Bradley Cooper blunders into a wonder drug that turns him into the Stephen Hawking of finance.

Those little tabs taken regularly unlock his brain wide to handle multitudes of complex trading positions for Robert De Niro’s firm until he runs out of drugs and De Niro gets menacing.

Sang Lucci Capital Partners is dabbling with a concoction of synthetic nootropics mixed with fish oil and... other stuff its creators at TruBrain Inc. are examining for the ability to enhance the brain and, in the end, make more money. What are nootropics, and are they safe? Well, the website says the nootropic version TruBrain’s using, piracetam, has been given a ‘‘more or less clean bill of health.”

Michael Regan and Sam Mamudi spent some time at the Sang Lucci’s lower Manhattan loft trading room to get a sense of the Wall Street Kool-Aid TruBrain test. While the results aren’t in yet, and more testing is likely, we’re hoping the results are positive. Because we just cannot get motivated today.


Growing up in the church, a lot of that stuff sticks to you. Not all of it great, frankly. Whatever one’s uses for religion, it can be a source of useful lessons for society if applied correctly. This is one passage that’s stuck all this time. Not sure why. Maybe because notions of humility, while not as attainable as we’d like at times, is a worthy goal nonetheless.

It comes during the Sermon on the Mount, after Jesus had been tested and tempered by the devil, and he had some things on his mind. This is when we get the Beatitudes ("Blessed are the meek,’’ etc.) and, well, a lot of other stuff. At the time, it was a thing among the very pious to make a great show of their worship, something he takes issue with.

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

With that in mind, enjoy this story.


Tune into the NFL amateur draft tonight at 8 p.m. EDT on the NFL Network to watch Johnny Manziel sink to the bottom half of the first round. That’s the prediction of NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, whose mock draft last night found Texas A&M’s Johnny Football, a freshman winner of the Heisman trophy and now sophomore winner of the Big Bloviating Texas College Football Hype award, likely to go to the Dallas Cowboys with the 16th pick.

Manziel and his parents have started saying where they don’t want to go, which went over well for John Elway in 1983. Jacksonville needs a quarterback, Manziel doesn’t want to go to Jacksonville. Houston and rookie head coach Bill O’Brien get the first pick, Manziel’s parents would prefer he not play so close to home. Which is cold.

There are other players -- hundreds of them, in fact -- who will be selected over the next three days.

The New York Giants have the 12th selection, and Mayock thinks Eric Ebron the 6’4,’’ 250 lb. tight end from North Carolina, would be a nice target for Eli Manning.

The New York Jets’ first pick is at 18, but they will have 11 more picks, the most in the league. Their biggest hole? Ownership.


Well at least they scored this time. After being shut out in the previous two games, the New York Rangers got two goals past Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury last night at Madison Square Garden. Unfortunately, the Penguins got four.

The best-of-seven second-round series heads back to Pittsburgh tomorrow night with the Penguins holding a 3-1 series lead and looking to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

In the NBA, a brief power failure in Oklahoma City attributed to lightning seems apt for a team called the Thunder, which evened its second-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers with a 112-101 win.

Indiana bounced back to even their second-round series with Washington, winning 86-82 behind lusty play from Roy Hibbert, who scored 28 points and had nine rebounds.

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