Your daily dose of financial news The Brief – 12.11.15

by Robins Kaplan LLP

An update on the Dow/DuPont merger (which is expected to be followed, in short order, by a three-way split into ag chemicals, specialty products, and materials companies) – NYTimes and WSJ

Morgan Stanley’s agreed to pay $225 million to resolve NCUA claims over the sale of toxic MBS to five “now-defunct corporate credit unions.”  MS admitted no fault in the deal – NYTimes

We’ve had stories this week on the recent deterioration of the junk bonds market and the struggling commodities sector, and they appear to have caught up with Third Avenue Management, a large mutual fund specializing in “risky, high-yielding bonds,” which has “blocked investors from getting their money back, citing difficult trading conditions for its securities” – NYTimes and WSJ

Yahoo’s recent announcement has “flummoxed” Dealbook’s Standard Deduction column because “[w]ith respect to the relevant tax issues, the direction of the spin [the current “reverse” spinoff vs. the once-planned “forward” spinoff of the Alibaba stake] does not matter” – NYTimes

As much as anything else, the “inflation conundrum” is most likely to impact the pace of the Fed’s future rate hikes  in 2016 and beyond – WSJ

Breakingviews is all over the retirement benefit maneuvering of outgoing CIT CEO (and former chief at Merrill Lynch) John Thain—and his “tin ear”—that will allow him to hang on to stock awards worth upwards of $13 million – NYTimes

As if there weren’t enough going on in Chinese stocks over the past 6 months, news that the chairman of one of China’s “biggest non-state-owned conglomerate has disappeared” shook markets in Hong Kong and China today – WSJ

The Fed’s approved BofA’s resubmitted capital plan after regulators gave only conditional approval for the 2015 plan this spring – NYTimes and WSJ

We opened the Bitcoin founder can of worms yesterday, we might as well keep going. The latest on Craig Steven Wright suggests that one of the primary pieces of evidence (PGP keys) purportedly linking Wright to “Bitcoin king Satoshi Nakamoto” appears to be fake – VICE (continuing h/t to @btrueblood)

Season 2 of last year’s breakout podcast “Serial” is on the airwaves, with Sarah Koenig this time around taking up the curious case of former Taliban prisoner Bowe Bergdahl – WSJ

Ready to get some laughs at the near economic collapse of the United States?  It’s been 7 years, we’re good, right?  Or maybe just need a @Brendan_SD Ryan Gosling fix? If so, The Big Short should be part of your weekend – NYTimes

We’re on the 1-week countdown (officially, that’s 6 days, 16 hours, 19 minutes, and 34 seconds at the time of writing) for the Force Awakens. Bloomberg gives us rest of the numbers – Bloomberg

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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