Yardi Matrix data shows 6,563 new apartments completed last year in 23 Phoenix rental developments with 50 or more units.
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They are Wall Street’s gatekeepers — the crisis communications firms that work to polish reputations, persuade the press and help announce mergers and acquisitions.

Now one of the most influential New York-based public relations firms is trying to manage a turbulent deal of its own.

Sard Verbinnen & Company is in talks to sell a 40 percent stake for $60 million to Golden Gate Capital, a private equity firm based in San Francisco, according to people briefed on the matter who requested anonymity…

A P.R. Firm for Wall Street Is Managing a Rough Deal of Its Own

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Renovations are underway at the historic building which will house the headquarters of Granoff Architects.
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Hong Kong home prices have been falling since September, and dropped further after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates late last year. Goldman Sachs sees more declines, predicting a 20 percent drop for the city’s real estate market as borrowing costs go higher still…

Hong Kong’s Property Slump May Deepen, Goldman Says: Chart

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Tidjane Thiam, the chief executive of Credit Suisse.CreditFabrice Coffrini/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Credit Suisse is culling its ugly ducklings. The Swiss bank sold $1.2 billion of distressed credit to TSSP, an affiliate of the United States buyout group TPG, locking in $100 million of write-downs on top of those it has already taken. The financial damage looks less painful than the dent to the group’s credibility.

Back in October, Credit Suisse surprised the market by deciding to stick with credit and securitized products it could have sold off. Tidjane Thiam, the chief executive, took the view that the outsize return on the assets justified the risk of losses…

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Despite recent market volatility, JLL’s latest U.S. economic outlook predicts good market fundamentals will allow commercial real estate to hold strong in the coming year.
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  • Mortgage insurer cut back in Western Australia, Queensland
  • Firm may sell more stock if price rises, McInerney says

Genworth Financial Inc., the insurer that’s looking to the mortgage market for growth, has become cautious about Australian housing given its connection to China and commodities, Chief Executive Officer Tom McInerney said.

“We’re more wary there. We’ve cut back in writing in Western Australia and Queensland,” McInerney said Wednesday in an interview at Bloomberg headquarters in New York. He cited regulatory actions “and the fact that the Australian economy is more tied in a macro sense to China and commodities.”…

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Société Générale is one of France’s largest banks. CreditCharles Platiau/Reuters

PARIS — Société Générale, one of France’s largest banks, reported on Wednesday a rise in first-quarter profit, as a one-time revaluation of its own debt and a shift in the way it prepares for potential bad loans helped it offset a weak market for investment banking.

Société Générale said net income rose almost 7 percent to 924 million euros, or about $1.1 billion, in the three months through March from the same period a year earlier…

Société Générale Profit Rises Despite Weakness in Investment Banking

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  • Netflix to street artists basing projects on Brazil’s scandal
  • Artist Giucci’s exhibit showcases faces of the accused

At a gallery in Leblon, Brazil’s most expensive neighborhood and home to Rio de Janeiro’s hedge funds, patrons gaze into the eyes of men they regard as scoundrels: their elected politicians. More specifically, $1,300 oil paintings of them.

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  • Ex-UBS trader is serving an 11-year sentence for rigging Libor
  • FundRazr Website says Hayes has raised about 2,100 pounds

Tom Hayes, the former UBS Group AG trader serving 11 years in prison for rigging Libor, has turned to crowdfunding to raise 150,000 pounds ($218,000) for an appeal.

On a Fundrazr webpage covered in photographs of the trader with his wife and son, Hayes’s supporters describe the 36-year-old as a “Libor scapegoat” whose conviction was the result of a “politically motivated show trial.”…

Tom Hayes Taps Crowdfunding to Raise $218,000 for Appeal

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The Census Bureau revealed that overall construction spending increased slightly last month, with some commercial sectors faring better than others.
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  • Sycamore Partners unit opposes loan, wants chain liquidated
  • Retailer seeks probe of Sycamore, saying it forced bankruptcy

Teen clothing chain Aeropostale Inc. overcame the first challenge to its bankruptcy reorganization plans, securing $100 million in interim financing over the objection of its main lender.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane in Manhattan Wednesday approved the company’s request to draw from a $160 million debtor-in-possession financing package provided by Crystal Financial LLC. ..

Aeropostale Clears Early Hurdle by Securing Bankruptcy Loan

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The local company recently sold a 224,000-square-foot retail and medical office building in Chicago’s Lincoln Park.
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Hong Kong property prices have declined and sales tumbled to a 25-year low in February amid economic uncertainty.

Photographer: Billy H.C. Kwok/Bloomberg
  • Home prices forecast to drop 20 percent by 2018, volume low
  • Issues buy for Cheung Kong Property on recurring income base

Hong Kong property stocks were downgraded by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which predicts a 20 percent decline in home prices as borrowing costs rise.

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Perfection—in the form of an expansive waterfront home—comes at a price.

A 3,000-square-foot beachfront home is on sale in Seaside, Fla., a planned community so pristine it was used as the too-good-to-be-true town on The Truman Show. (The Jim Carrey film was shot in 1998, back when it seemed unbelievable that Americans would watch a reality show about a hapless fool for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.)…
An $11.8 Million Home in the Real Truman Show Town
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BNP Paribas, the largest French bank, said net income came in at 1.8 billion euros, or $2.1 billion, up 10 percent compared with the same period a year earlier. CreditDenis Balibouse/Reuters

PARIS — BNP Paribas, the largest French bank, said on Tuesday that its profit rose in the first three months of the year, even as revenue fell in “a particularly unfavorable environment.”

The lender, based in Paris, said net income came in at 1.8 billion euros, or $2.1 billion, up 10 percent compared with the same period a year earlier. The results were bolstered by a 28 percent reduction in the funds it set aside for loan losses. Without those one-time adjustments, it said, net income would have been just 4 percent higher, at €1.6 billion…

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DLA Piper’s latest State of the Market Survey shows investors remain cautiously optimistic about commercial real estate in 2016.
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  • Alan Saskin claims assets and liabilities of $0 in filing
  • CEO joins Urbancorp firms in filing for bankruptcy protection

The head of Toronto residential developer Urbancorp joined his companies in filing for bankruptcy protection.

Chief Executive Officer Alan Saskin filed a proposal under Canada’s Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, claiming assets and liabilities of C$0, according to documents submitted to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in Israel, where the closely help company issued a bond last year. The proceeding is dated April 29. Saskin is the controlling shareholder of Urbancorp, a Toronto-based residential developer that’s built more than 5,500 units in 25 years in business…

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The grocery store chain went public three years ago with an ambitious expansion plan, but was unable to fend off rivals. CreditKarsten Moran for The New York Times

The parent company of the struggling New York grocery chain Fairway Market filed for bankruptcy on Monday, just three years after taking the company public, after an ambitious expansion plan failed to generate enough sales to pay down the company’s debt.

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The Fed’s latest bank lending practices survey found most banks have tightened their standards on CRE loans in the first quarter, even though demand for these loans has strengthened at the same time.
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  • SBAB is turning away up to 25% of initial applications: CEO
  • Banks are tightening standards as mortgage risks persist

Some mortgage banks in Sweden are turning away up to a quarter of customers trying to get home loans amid signs that private debt burdens are becoming unsustainable.

The country’s state-owned mortgage lender, SBAB, is now rejecting as many as 25 percent of initial loan applications, said Klas Danielsson, its chief executive officer. That’s roughly twice as many as it turned away a year ago. SEB AB is also turning its back on borrowers struggling to meet its loan criteria even though the policy means missing out on market share, according to CEO Annika Falkengren…

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They are Wall Street’s gatekeepers — the crisis communications firms that work to polish reputations, persuade the press and help announce mergers and acquisitions.

Now one of the most influential New York-based public relations firms is trying to manage a turbulent deal of its own.

Sard Verbinnen & Company is in talks to sell a 40 percent stake for $60 million to Golden Gate Capital, a private equity firm based in San Francisco, according to people briefed on the matter who requested anonymity…

Sard Verbinnen Is Said to Offer 40% Stake to Private Equity

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The collaborative workspaces provider has acquired Enerspace Chicago and moved into its new West Loop offices.
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  • Firm joins Wanda, Evergrande eyeing lofty valuations in China
  • Shell entity Chongqing Wanli surges by 10 percent daily limit

SouFun Holdings Ltd. plans to switch its stock listing from the U.S. to China, joining companies including Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co. that are seeking higher valuations on mainland stock exchanges.

SouFun, China’s biggest real estate web portal, is seeking to move its shares to the Shanghai stock exchange via a backdoor listing by acquiring a majority stake in storage-battery manufacturer Chongqing Wanli New Energy Co. Wanli will raise 3 billion yuan ($462 million) through private placements to purchase SouFun assets, Wanli said in a stock filing on Tuesday. The plan is pending regulatory approval…

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Newly formed affiliate AMG Capital LLC will focus on premier multifamily assets in high-growth U.S. markets.
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You could spend your next vacation in an old tractor depot, Pabst bottling works, or Model T plant.

Covington, Ky., a city of 40,000 across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, seems like an odd place for a high-end hotel. For Mario Tricoci, that’s a selling point.

Last year, the Chicago developer hooked up with a local real estate investor on a $22 million retrofit of a century-old, seven-story, defunct Covington department store that locals say was the first skyscraper in Kentucky made of reinforced concrete…

Developers Are Turning Rust Belt Hulks Into Luxury Hotels

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  • Defaults seen spreading as borrowers struggle to refinance
  • April issuance sank 43% as 143 billion yuan of sales canceled

Chinese debt investors are turning bearish at just the wrong time for the nation’s corporate borrowers, which face a record 3.7 trillion yuan ($571 billion) of local bond maturities through year-end.

With this year’s biggest note payments concentrated in some of the country’s most-cash strapped industries, China needs buoyant markets to help its companies refinance. Instead, yields in April rose at the fastest pace in more than a year and issuance tumbled 43 percent as borrowers canceled 143 billion yuan of planned debt sales…

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Upon completion, the massive mixed-use project is expected to add nearly $19 billion to the city’s GDP, according to a new report released by Related Cos. and Oxford Properties Group.
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Leon Black Miami Beach

Leon Black’s unit at Miami Beach’s Faena House listed for $18.5 million.

Source: The Alexander Team at Douglas Elliman
  • Faena House unit is building’s latest to go on the market
  • Griffin, Sadove also have condos in the tower up for sale

Apollo Global Management LLC founder Leon Black is seeking a buyer for his condominium at Miami Beach’s Faena House, joining Ken Griffin and former Saks Inc. Chief Executive Officer Stephen Sadove in selling units at the just-opened tower that’s been a magnet for billionaires…

Leon Black Selling at Miami’s New Billionaire Condo Tower

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  • Firm said to shut Utah office, pare in San Francisco, Phoenix
  • CEO Vermut cites `recent tightening of the capital markets’

Prosper Marketplace Inc., one of the largest U.S. online lending platforms, is slashing its workforce 28 percent, joining rivals in signaling investors aren’t as eager to fund loans after years of rapid growth.

The venture is shutting an office in Utah and shrinking its staff in San Francisco and Phoenix, affecting a total of 171 people, according to a person briefed on the matter. Chief Executive Officer Aaron Vermut will forgo his salary this year, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public…

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Alejandro García Padilla, governor of Puerto Rico, is seen giving a speech on a television screen in a bar in San Juan on Sunday. CreditErika P. Rodriguez/Bloomberg

Puerto Rico’s default on most of a $422 million debt payment on Monday puts the spotlight back on Washington to enact a rescue package for the island, and congressional aides said a revised bill would be introduced next week.

On Monday, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew renewed his call on Congress to act swiftly, warning in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan that without a legal framework for a debt restructuring, Puerto Rico is in danger of getting caught in “a series of cascading defaults” that could lead to a taxpayer bailout…

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Grocery chain Fairway Group Holdings Corp. is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection as soon as tonight after reaching a deal with its senior creditors, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The New York-based gourmet grocer will file its petition in the Southern District of New York, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the preparations are private. A majority of the company’s lenders have agreed to a prearranged restructuring plan that gives control to them after the bankruptcy, the people said…

Grocer Fairway Said to Prepare for Bankruptcy as Soon as Tonight

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  • Fiserv created digital dollars to show gathered executives
  • April meeting was sponsored by blockchain startup Chain

On a recent Monday in April, more than 100 executives from some of the world’s largest financial institutions gathered for a private meeting at the Times Square office of Nasdaq Inc. They weren’t there to just talk about blockchain, the new technology some predict will transform finance, but to build and experiment with the software.

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HALLIBURTON AND BAKER HUGHES CALL OFF MERGER |The oil services providers Halliburton and Baker Hughes have called off their $35 billion merger,
Leslie Picker reports in DealBook. A person briefed on the matter said the decision came after a long regulatory review that ended with the Justice Department seeking to block the deal.

Bloomberg, which had reported that the deal would be terminated, reported that the United States attorney general, Loretta E. Lynch, said “The companies’ decision to abandon this transaction — which would have left many oilfield service markets in the hands of a duopoly — is a victory for the U.S. economy and for all Americans.”…

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Bank of America Corp. said it reached a $190 million agreement to resolve a six-year-old legal claim from Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle over mortgage-backed securities sold before the financial crisis.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based firm disclosed the April deal in a regulatory filing on Monday, noting it already set aside funds to cover the cost. Seattle Bank, one of a dozen government-sponsored regional lenders that supplied financing to member banks and finance companies, had accused Bank of America of making misstatements and omitting information about the quality of mortgages underpinning the securities…

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  • Operating profit of 65 cents a share misses analyst estimates
  • Policy sales at commercial P&C decline on Swiss Re deal

American International Group Inc., the insurer that’s shrinking under pressure from activist shareholders, posted a third-straight unprofitable quarter on losses from hedge funds and declines in the value of other investments.

The first-quarter net loss of $183 million, or 16 cents a share, compares with profit of $2.47 billion, or $1.78, a year earlier, the New York-based company said Monday in a statement. Operating profit, which excludes some investment results, was 65 cents a share, missing the $1 estimate of 20 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg…

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The medical center signed a 30-year lease to take up the whole space at Columbia Property Trust’s 222 E. 41st St., with plans for a significant capital investment.
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Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s co-head of investment banking David Solomon said investors seeking better returns amid negative interest rates in parts of Europe and Asia could end up jarring international markets.

“This monetary policy has forced investors to reach for yield and extend duration,” Solomon said Monday at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California. “How people respond to negative rates could lead to volatility issues.”…

Goldman Sachs’s Solomon Says Negative Rates May Cause Volatility

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  • Chriss says industry faces a wave of closures, consolidation
  • Loews’s James Tisch says there are too many hedge funds

Top investors took hedge fund fees to task at the Milken conference Monday, with participants saying managers return too little and face a wave of closures.

Chris Ailman, chief investment officer for the $187 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System, told Bloomberg Television that the two-and-twenty fee model is “broken” and “off the table” for large institutional investors. Neil Chriss, founder of Hutchin Hill Capital, said investors will pull out of funds that aren’t giving them returns to justify the fees…

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As part of its capital recycling program. the REIT is letting go of a sizable portfolio, including 15 multifamily properties, a retail center and several acres of undeveloped land.
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Manulife Financial Corp., Canada’s largest life insurer, will seek as much as $470 million in its second attempt at a Singapore initial public offering of its U.S. properties, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Manulife U.S. REIT, backed by three office buildings in Los Angeles and Atlanta, will offer 566 million units at 82 cents to 83 cents apiece, the people said. The trust, which plans to start taking orders as soon as Tuesday, will offer a dividend yield of as much as 6.7 percent for this year and 7.2 percent for 2017, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private….

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  • Billionaire intensifies critique of Wall Street, consultants
  • Meeting also included comments on derivatives, AmEx, Coca-Cola

Warren Buffett’s biggest investment tip: Be wary of fees.

At the annual meeting of his Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the billionaire warned about the enduring risk of derivatives, defended stocks in his portfolio and signaled that some of the company’s biggest subsidiaries are hitting speed bumps. But he saved a prime portion of the weekend event to argue again why investors would be better off ditching expensive money managers and consultants…

Buffett Hits Hedge Funds While They’re Down, Faulting Fees

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The deal would expand Cousins’ footprint in the trophy office market and create a new REIT combining the companies’ holdings in hard-hit Houston.

Cousins Properties' 1.4 million-square-foot Post Oak Central complex in Houston would become part of a new REIT as part of a merger agreement with Parkway Properties.Cousins Properties’ 1.4 million-square-foot Post Oak Central complex in Houston would become part of a new REIT as part of a merger agreement with Parkway Properties.

Moving to expand their Sun Belt footprint and consolidate their holdings in hard-hit Houston, Cousins Properties Inc. and Parkway Properties Inc. struck a deal to merge while spinning off their Houston assets into a separate REIT, the companies announced on Friday.

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  • Bets on a silver rally increase to highest on record
  • Bloomberg Precious Metals Subindex up more than 20% this year

Nothing seems to be slowing down the gold market, even when speculators take a step back.

Bullion has been on a tear, with futures last week posting the biggest advance in two months. Hedge funds missed the party, reducing their wagers on a rally by the most since they turned bullish in January. The money managers were more fortunate when it came to silver, taking their holdings to the highest on record just before the metal had its best monthly advance since 2013…

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Some winners but also some big losers.

Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

A number of traders and hedge fund titans have marked May 4 on their calendar to attend one of the premier hedge fund conference of the year: the Sohn Investment Conference.

Billionaire fund managers attend the conference to support a charity and share their big investment ideas for the coming year. Unfortunately, only two of last years speakers had winning bets, and even they had poor calls that overwhelmed their winners . This comes as active managers have been struggling, with the likes of Warren Buffett taking a shot at the industry this past weekend…

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As television moves to the cloud, two companies are coming together to try to find the silver lining.

TiVo, known for its devices that can record and stream television, agreed to be acquired by the Rovi Corporation, which makes the guides that allow users to scroll and click to watch shows. The $1.1 billion deal, announced on Friday, is a turning point for two companies that have fought ferociously to maintain their places in a rapidly changing industry.

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Anxieties have arisen since thieves stole $81 million from the central bank of Bangladesh by gaining access to an international bank messaging system called Swift. CreditAmr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

Tens of millions of dollars siphoned from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. A shadowy set of casinos in the Philippines. A large bank in Bangladesh with creaky technology. An unknown — and perhaps uncatchable — group of anonymous thieves with sophisticated hacking skills.

What unites this curious cast of characters and enabled one of the mostbrazen digital bank heists ever is a ubiquitous and highly trusted international bank messaging system called Swift…

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  • Finland’s richest company to invest as much as $455 million
  • Fortum quoted record low solar tariffs in India in January

Finnish utility Fortum OYJ is ready to self-finance Indian solar projects that promise to generate electricity at record-low prices, boosting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s renewable energy ambitions and sidelining bankers spooked by SunEdison Inc.’s insolvency.

“We’ll take the construction risk ourselves,” Sanjay Aggarwal, managing director at Fortum, said in an interview in New Delhi. “We’re very clear — we would bring in our funds.”…

Fortum Financing Solar Spares India Banks Made Wary by SunEdison

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The floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Wall Street companies trade at a fraction of their book values, which J. Daniel Plants, a hedge fund founder, views as an opportunity. CreditBrendan Mcdermid/Reuters

It’s not so fun working on Wall Street these days. The hours are long, the pay is not nearly what it once was (though it is still very good, all things considered), and the public’s animosity toward the industry has become all too familiar. Even worse than working at an investment bank, however, is investing in one.

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ACRE welcomed two new independent directors to the company’s board.
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Paul Taubman, the one-man investment bank who has single-handedly accounted for a staggering $175 billion in deals, in New York.

Paul Taubman.

Photographer: Tina Fineberg/The New York Times via Redux
  • The banker received $164 million in awarded pay for 2015
  • Awards push him past Blackstone’s Schwarzman, Gamco’s Gabelli

Paul J. Taubman, who made his name advising on transactions worth hundreds of billions of dollars, may have made his best deal yet.

The former Morgan Stanley banker is the highest-paid Wall Street executive for 2015 with awarded compensation of $164 million, according to the Bloomberg Pay Index. That’s almost entirely in stock granted in conjunction with the spinoff of his PJT Partners Inc. from Blackstone Group LP in October. It’s not guaranteed — he’ll need to more than triple the value of his firm to receive it all…

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It isn’t clear whether a jump in egg futures will affect prices at markets, like this one in Beijing.CreditHow Hwee Young/European Pressphoto Agency

HONG KONG — China is pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into its economy in a new effort to support growth. Some of it is going into roads and bridges and other big projects that will keep the economy humming.

And some of it is going into eggs.

China’s latest lending deluge has sent money sloshing into unexpected parts of the economy. That includes a financial market in Dalian where investors can place bets on the future productivity of the country’s hens…

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In his new position, John Rubin will assist clients with the understanding of rights and liabilities throughout the whole landlord-tenant relationship cycle.
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  • Railroad slumps, insurance unit hit by claims on hail storms
  • Buffett books gain on Procter & Gamble stock in Duracell deal

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s profit rose 8.2 percent in the first quarter as gains at manufacturing units and the investment portfolio overseen by Chairman Warren Buffett offset a slump at insurance units and the railroad.

Net income climbed to $5.59 billion from $5.16 billion a year earlier, the Omaha, Nebraska-based company said Saturday in a statement with preliminary results…

Berkshire Profit Climbs 8.2% to $5.59 Billion on Investments

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Carlson Hospitality just revealed that it has signed on the dotted line to sell Carlson Hotels to this Beijing-based global conglomerate.
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  • Loan impairment charges increase to highest in six years
  • Westpac expects bad debt charges to decline in second half

Westpac Banking Corp. first-half profit narrowly missed estimates as charges for soured loans soared to the highest in six years. Shares fell the most in more than a month.

Cash profit, which excludes one-time items, was A$3.9 billion ($3 billion) in the six months ended March 31, compared with A$3.78 billion, a year earlier, the Sydney-based lender said in a statement Monday. That missed the A$4.025 billion average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg…

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  • At least 3 Dubai managing directors depart amid investigation
  • Improper lending scrutinized in internal probe, people say

Standard Chartered Plc has been conducting a probe into its bankers’ conduct, including cases of padding expense reports and improperly lending money to colleagues, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The investigation led to the departure of several bankers in Dubai in the past six months, including at least three managing directors, after Standard Chartered found they personally lent money to other employees in violation of internal compliance rules, two of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private….

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In his new role, Michael Meyer will work closely with the Kearny Point team to leverage its existing platform and drive growth across the broader redevelopment efforts.
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The veil is lifted on a secretive website.

FIGHT CLUB, Brad Pitt, 1999, TM &  20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection

Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden in Fight Club, 1999.

Source: 20th Century Fox Film Corp./Everett Collection

Colin Lokey, also known as “Tyler Durden,” is breaking the first rule of Fight Club: You do not talk about Fight Club. He’s also breaking the second rule of Fight Club. (See the first rule.)

After more than a year writing for the financial website Zero Hedge under the nom de doom of the cult classic’s anarchic hero, Lokey’s going public. In doing so, he’s answering a question that has bedeviled Wall Street since the site sprang up seven years ago: Just who is Tyler Durden, anyway?…

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The Silicon Beach asset was immediately leased back to Univision.
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