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2 ex-JPM personal bankers allegedly “preyed” on the dead (Bloomberg)
Jonathan Francis, 27, and Dion Allison, 30, both former personal bankers at JPMorgan, are accused of stealing $400,000 from inactive bank accounts belonging to at least eight deceased customers. Bloomberg reports, prosecutors say the duo, along with their co-conspirators, made at least 350 withdrawals, using ATM cards they made, from “dormant” accounts in Brooklyn, New York that were receiving regular direct deposits from Social Security. Douglas Rankin, an attorney for Francis says his client is “not guilty” while Victor Knapp, an attorney for Allison, says his client hasn’t decided whether or not to fight the charges. Knapp told Bloomberg, Allison has “no criminal background whatsoever.”
Average usually doesn’t happen in the markets (Business Insider)
On average, investors are taught to expect a 10% return on stocks and 5% return on bonds each year. However, that usually doesn’t happen. A scatterplot provided by Vanguard shows that “average” returns have only materialised nine times going back to 1926.
International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde told the German newspaper Handelsblatt, “In many countries the financial sector still has weaknesses and in emerging markets the financial risks are increasing.” She continued, “All of that means global growth will be disappointing and uneven in 2016.” Lagarde pointed to the lingering effects of the global financial crisis as well as low productivity and unfavorable demographics as reasons for the disappointment, Reuters says.
Pimco’s Total Return had a great 2015 (Bloomberg)
Bloomberg reports, Pimco’s flagship fund, the Total Return Fund returned almost 1% through December 28, outperforming 89% of its peers. The fund’s outperformance comes despite seeing $52.7 billion in outflows, which have lowered its assets under management to $92 billion. According to Bloomberg, the fund held $293 billion AUM at its peak in 2013. Mihir Worah, one of the fund’s co-managers said, “We’ve been defensive,” staying out of the high-yield energy market.
2015 was a record-setting year at the box office (USA Today)
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” capped a record-setting year at the box office in North America. The sequel has brought in about $600 million on the continent, running 2015’s box-office total over $11 billion, according to Rentrak data. The previous record was $10.9 billion, set in 2013, USA Today says. Aside from “Star Wars,” other hits at the box office in 2015 included “American Sniper,” “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Jurassic World.”
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