The Morning Brief: Trump Rebuffs Scaramucci for White House Job

March 08, 2017   Stephen Taub


SkyBridge Capital founder Anthony Scaramucci had been tapped to lead the Office of Public Liason but got tripped up by a lengthy ethics review process.

Oops. So much for selling the family business. President Donald Trump decided not to hire Anthony Scaramucci as his director for the Office of Public Liaison after all. Instead, Trump tapped George Sifakis, founder of information management firm Ideagen PFC, for the job, according to Bloomberg.

Scaramucci, who was a fundraiser and spokesman for the president during his campaign, headed hedge fund of funds firm SkyBridge Capital; created the SALT conference, which brings hedge fund managers and other industry titans to a four-day conference in Las Vegas; and revived the iconic Wall Street Week television show. He earlier this year agreed to sell his 45 percent ownership position in the hedge fund business to a subsidiary of China-based HNA Group and RON Transatlantic, a little-known firm, to clear the way for the White House job.

However, Bloomberg had earlier reported his hiring was held off due to a delay in the Office of Government Ethics’ review of Scaramucci’s financial disclosures. Last week Scaramucci drew fire when he implied in a tweet that the rash of threats and vandalism targeting Jewish sites could be the work of Democratic supporters.

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The folks at Mantle Ridge are receiving a rude response to their first activist victory. Shares of CSX Corporation fell 2.7 percent, to $48.44, even though the railroad giant announced a settlement deal with the hedge fund. Under the pact, well-respected railroad veteran E. Hunter Harrison was named chief executive officer of the company. In addition, CSX appointed five new directors to its board.

Mantle Ridge was founded by Paul Hilal, a senior partner at Pershing Square Capital Management. CSX stock is up 31 percent since January 18, the day Mantle Ridge reportedly told CSX it had recently become a CSX shareholder, owning less than 5 percent of the stock. The shares spiked that day. However, that development was not disclosed to the public until February 14, when the company issued a press release.

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D.E. Shaw disclosed it owns passive stakes of 5 percent in two different companies.

The New York multistrategy firm said it owns 3.4 million shares, or 5 percent, of Myriad Genetics, a molecular diagnostic company. Separately, it disclosed it owns 3.7 million shares, or 5 percent, of drug company BioCryst Pharmaceuticals.

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Highbridge Capital Management disclosed a roughly 8-million share stake in Parker Drilling, or 5.54 percent of the total outstanding of the contract drilling company. The multistrategy firm did not own any shares of Parker at year-end.

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Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International continued its free fall. Shares of the controversial drug company fell another 5.8 percent, to $11.69. They are now down 24 percent this year.


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