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Best of the Web, North American financials edition


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Best of the Web, North American financials edition

The case of a Puerto Ricanbanker murdered under strange circumstances is re-examined, former floortraders recall their time at Nymex and Bill Gross likens the U.S. creditenvironment to a game of Monopoly.

The strangestory of a murdered banker in Puerto Rico

ADoral Bank executivebrought in to turn the struggling Puerto Rican bank around was murdered in2011, which his widow believes was retaliation for his investigation ofpotentially fraudulent service contracts at the bank, Bloomberg reported. One contract was for anoffice cleaning company run by a Santeria high priest, a leader of the localreligion that practices animal sacrifices. One former employee said a ritualinvolving a caiman, an alligator-like reptile, took place in the bank'sboardroom.

Social-mediaETFs try to tweet the market

Afew exchange-traded funds track the popularity of stocks based on mentions onsocial media platforms, The Wall StreetJournal wrote. The managers of BUZ, the Sprott Buzz Social Media InsightsETF, are particularly loyal to the algorithms that create the underlying index.They argue that the collective decision-making power of social media userssurpasses any individual stock-picker's ability.

Trading:What happened when the pit stopped

TheNew York Mercantile Exchange, or Nymex, was an icon of open outcry trading until itstrading pits closed down in the face of electronic trading's rise. Floortraders sometimes had little education beyond high school but learned the handsignals and minutiae of trading commodities contracts. Ivy League MBAs werepeers with former babysitters and hot-dog-stand workers. The Nymex floor isscheduled to be closed by the end of 2016 by CME Group Inc., which bought it in 2008.

Areading list of tell-alls, strategic plans and cautionary tales in finance

The New York Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin gathered aslew of books into a summer reading list for business readers. One chronicles aformer Facebook executive's victories and defeats in the land of venturecapital; another describes the rise of modern M&A dealmakers in the 1970sand '80s. A history of shareholder activism as told through letters to companyboards is also included.

Bill Gross' monthlyinvestment outlook: Just a game

bondmanager Bill Gross' latest investment outlook likens the supply of credit tothe way the board game Monopoly is played. Central banks infuse money into thesystem, but players collect their $200 for passing "Go" only when theprivate banking system increases lending in response to central bank policy.

AWall Street golden boy blames gambling addiction for $100 million fraud

Privateequity manager Andrew Caspersen defrauded friends and family out of millions ofdollars and lost most of it on bad trades. He and his lawyer now argue thatCaspersen suffers from a gambling addiction and should be shown lenience, The Washington Post reported. Theirdefense raises questions about the blurred line between gambling and securitiestrading.