How the Fed rate rise will work. If the US Fed is to lift rates this week, here’s how it will probably do it (give or take a few different words). The key indicator is the Federal Funds Rate, which is the interest rate at which depository institutions lend balances to each other on the US overnight market. The Fed’s Open Market Committee establishes the target rate for trading in the federal funds market. It has had a current target range of 0% – 0.25% since late 2008. The actual market rate was 0.14% last Friday. The Fed will probably change the target range by dropping reference to 0%, leaving the target rate as 0.25%. Market rates sit above the rate, so they will rise to between 0.30% and 0.40% (the market bounces around a bit). — Glenn Dyer

Joining the vampire squid. Rupert Murdoch, sons Lachlan and James and the management of News Corp have thrown their lot in with the big end of Wall Street by jumping into bed with Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and other banks in supplying news to Symphony, the messaging system aimed at Bloomberg. News will sell the Dow Jones news service to Symphony, which has been started in the wake of the “hacking” scandal at Bloomberg back in 2013. Then it emerged that Bloomberg reporters had been spying on bankers and others using the chat service on their Bloomberg terminals, monitoring when they had last logged on to the service and tracking them on that basis. Bloomberg is owned by Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York and the man last month Rupert Murdoch urged to run for president in 2016. At the same time, Bloomberg has a  revamp of its news service under the new editor in chief, John Micklethwait, the former editor of The Economist. — Glenn Dyer

Camera, action, loss? Macquarie Group yesterday revealed a big profit upgrade for the six months to September 30, upgrading the late July upgrade. And it believes it will top the 20-14-15’s $1.6 billion full year profit. But that doesn’t mean everything is hunky dory. In July the smallish US film studio Relativity Media went bust, owing US$1.2 billion, with only US$560 million in reported assets. One of the creditors to Relativity (along with a fleet of hedge funds and other fringe financiers) is Macquarie Investments. Media reports late last week confirmed earlier stories that Macquarie is owed nearly US$32.9 million by the failed film group for a number of financing deals of films. Deadline.com reported at the weekend that Macquarie’s debts are The Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death ($19.1 million), The Lazarus Effect ($10.6 million) and Beyond The Lights ($3.2 million). As part of the loan agreements, it has an interest in the films’ domestic distribution pacts. They include Relativity’s internet transmission deal with Netflix, one with Murdoch’s Fox to handle home video, and digital video distribution with Apple. A creditor group, known as Stalking Horse Bidders, has offered US$250 million for Relativity. Macquarie wants that process slowed because it feels it’s going too quickly (and Macquarie’s money might vanish as well). — Glenn Dyer

But Village cashes up. And in separate news, Village Roadshow Entertainment Group has completed a US$480 million recapitalisation, including US$325 million of new capital from a consortium of worldwide investors, keying a renewal of its US$750 million film production facility that finances its library of 85 movies co-produced with the likes of Warner Bros, Sony Picture and other distributors. Village Roadshow co-financed and produced seven films last year and 2015 and have reportedly been  looking to lift that number in the new deal. Village Roadshow Entertainment had previously brought in new capital in 2012 when it struck a debt and equity deal for US$275 million with Trinity Opportunities Limited. The new funding now includes US$325 million of new capital from a consortium of worldwide investors (including Vine Alternative Investments, Falcon Investment Advisors, and Village Roadshow Limited, the listed Australian arm of the Kirby family’s empire which owns around 47% of the entertainment company. Falcon and Trinity Opportunities also own stakes in the group). — Glenn Dyer

Peter Fray

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