Opening Bell: 01.19.12

Morgan Stanley Loss Smaller Than Estimated (Bloomberg)
The net loss was $250 million, or 15 cents a share, compared with profit of $836 million, or 41 cents, a year earlier, the New York-based company said today in a statement. The loss from continuing operations was 14 cents, compared with the 57-cent average estimate of 22 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Morgan Stanley posted the only increase in trading revenue excluding accounting gains among the five largest Wall Street banks in 2011, making progress toward Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James Gorman’s goal of boosting market share.

BofA Swings to Profit as Lender Rebuilds Capital (Bloomberg)
Net income of $1.99 billion, or 15 cents a diluted share, compared with a loss of $1.24 billion, or 16 cents, a year earlier, according to a statement today from the Charlotte, North Carolina-based firm. While results were boosted by one- time gains on asset sales and reserve releases, the stock advanced 5.6 percent in early trading as investors focused on the stronger balance sheet. Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan, 52, is cutting holdings, expenses and staff while raising capital to meet demands from regulators for a larger cushion against losses. So far, $50 billion in assets are gone, and Moynihan’s Project New BAC will eliminate at least 30,000 jobs as the firm seeks to save $5 billion annually. He’s also aiming to quell disputes over faulty mortgages that have cost the bank about $40 billion.

Greeks, Creditors Set To Resume Talks (WSJ)
“All the variables are being considered. After the temporary pause in the negotiations last week, the parties have reflected on the specifics,” a Greek government official said Wednesday.

Hedge Funds May Sue Greece If Loss Forced (NYT)
The novel approach would have the funds arguing in the European Court of Human Rights that Greece had violated bondholder rights, though that could be a multiyear project with no guarantee of a payoff. And it would not be likely to produce sympathy for these funds, which many blame for the lack of progress so far in the negotiations over restructuring Greece’s debts. The tactic has emerged in conversations with lawyers and hedge funds as it became clear that Greece was considering passing legislation to force all private bondholders to take losses, while exempting the European Central Bank, which is the largest institutional holder of Greek bonds with 50 billion euros or so.

Dimon, Blankfein Predict Markets To Rebound (Bloomberg)
Dimon and Blankfein have since sought to reassure investors that markets and earnings from securities units will rebound. “The world will snap back, and it will be a surprise, and it will be faster than people think,” Blankfein, 57, said at a Nov. 15 investor conference. Yesterday, Chief Financial Officer David Viniar echoed the remarks after the firm said trading revenue fell 25 percent from the third quarter to $3.06 billion. “We are clearly in a cyclical downturn,” rather than a secular decline, Viniar said. “There is less activity that is cyclical. That will come back. I have no idea when, but it will come back.” Dimon, 55, said investment banking is a volatile business in which volumes can swing by 50 percent daily.

Carlyle’s Rubenstein To Help Fix Washington Monument (WSJ)
With his bare hands! No, kidding. But he is helping: “Rubenstein, co-founder of private-equity firm Carlyle Group, has stepped forward to donate the final $7.5 million matching gift that’s needed to start repairing cracks near the top of the Washington Monument caused by last summer’s earthquake. The billionaire history buff said he was inspired to help fund the repairs to the 555-foot obelisk when it became clear how severely damaged it was by a 5.8-magnitude quake on Aug. 23. The monument received about 1 million visitors a year before the famous landmark was closed to the public after the quake.”

Fitch Sees Downgrade For Some Euro States (Reuters)
Fitch expects its ratings review of six euro zone states will result in downgrades of one to two notches in most of those countries, senior director Ed Parker said at a Fitch conference in Madrid on Thursday. Fitch put Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, Italy, Ireland and Cyprus on negative watch late last year on Dec 16.

BlackRock Profit Falls 16% (WSJ)
Assets under management fell to $3.513 trillion as of Dec. 31 versus $3.561 trillion a year earlier, although rose from $3.35 trillion in the third quarter. BlackRock reported a profit of $555 million, or $3.05 a share, down from $657 million, or $3.35 a share, a year earlier. The latest results included $32 million in restructuring charges. Excluding items, earnings fell to $3.06 a share from $3.42 a year earlier.

Romney’s Unorthodox IRA (WSJ)
Like many Americans, Mitt Romney has an individual retirement account. Unlike most Americans, Mr. Romney has between $20.7 million and $101.6 million in it, a big chunk of his fortune. Experts on estate planning said it is highly unusual to accumulate such a considerable sum in an IRA, an investment vehicle restricted by annual contribution limits. It appears that Mr. Romney’s grew so large mostly because it holds investments in Bain Capital.

Jay-Z ‘pops’ up at club gala (NYP)
Jay-Z last night made his first public appearance since his wife, Beyoncé, gave birth to their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter. The rap icon apparently left mom and baby at home as he celebrated the re-opening of his 40/40 Club on West 25th Street. Jay-Z darted past the press on the red carpet without saying a word. Beyoncé was nowhere to be seen, and was presumably home caring for their 11-day-old daughter. But some of Jay-Z’s pals made it out for the opening — including billionaire investing tycoon Warren Buffett.

34 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (34)

  1. Posted by Warren | January 19, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    NY drinks are so expensive

  2. Posted by JZ ca. 1988 | January 19, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    Gibz me yo wallet!

  3. Posted by Gronk | January 19, 2012 at 9:59 AM


  4. Posted by Alt_EST | January 19, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    It's never too early to examine your motives.

  5. Posted by Vanilla Ice | January 19, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    Tilson was spotted at the opening of my new club.

  6. Posted by S&M BSD | January 19, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Tilton was at mine.

  7. Posted by Guest | January 19, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    Nothing quite says "hip-hop is dead" like hip-hop artists hobnobbing with old rich white guys who own banks.

    Actually, no. I take that back. Nothing says "hip-hop is dead" like a legendary hip-hop artist playing hype man for a young female pop singer in a music video targeted at teenage white girls. But hobnobbing with old rich white guys who own banks has got to be close.

    – Examining Motives and Musical Preferences

  8. Posted by slow morning | January 19, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    JZ: Cool, a reflective tie
    WB: My hands are cold, may I?

  9. Posted by guest | January 19, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    Haha, I hand't noticed that first glance of the pic. Thanks.

  10. Posted by guest | January 19, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    I'm doing to start doing that in meetings with people, spice things up.

  11. Posted by C Gizzle | January 19, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    I like to start at the cuff of the pants.

  12. Posted by Pickpocket action | January 19, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    Watch closely as he distracts his victim by appearing to be an old doddering midwesterner while relieving his victim of his gold watch.

  13. Posted by Warren | January 19, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    Lay it on me, Brother! "Hambone, Hambone, Where you been?"

    – Sociopathic Motive Guy

  14. Posted by Maddog | January 19, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    40/40? No way is that better than 20/20…

  15. Posted by Guest | January 19, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    "You crazy for this tie, Warren"

    -Expert Inanimate Picture Lip Reader

  16. Posted by Guest | January 19, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    "You Cray for this tie, Warren"

    -Other than that, no concerns

  17. Posted by m. hunt | January 19, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    i see…

  18. Posted by HungryIntern | January 19, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    "Warren, is that tie 90% Rayon?"

    ~Future Lip Reader

  19. Posted by RichardCripples | January 19, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    "If you don't stop motherfucking talking about raising motherfucking taxes, I'm gonna choke you to death with this tie."

  20. Posted by pazzo83 | January 19, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Mr. Z, my friend, let me share a few secrets with you…

    – Willard M. Romney

  21. Posted by JT | January 19, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    I'd bet the house on that.

    J. Corzine

  22. Posted by PermaGuestII | January 19, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    {some joke about Carlyle, secretive billionaires and Masonic symbols that I'm too lazy to figure out}

  23. Posted by Texashedge | January 19, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    Kind of like how he pretends to think these fancy, new-fangled derivatives are something that a down-home Nebraska boy would never touch and then sells a HUGE number of puts on a synthetic S&P index to then fund a long position that more or less tracks the S&P.

  24. Posted by Barren Wuffett | January 19, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Jay, we have a problem my boy. Why the fuck is there no Cherry Coke on tap here?

  25. Posted by Al Sharpton | January 19, 2012 at 11:55 AM


  26. Posted by guest | January 19, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Jay-Z supported Obama in the last election and is doing the same in the upcoming one. Just an FYI.

  27. Posted by Unsilent Majority | January 19, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    "AIn't that right Jay, What'd she order? Fish Fillet?"

  28. Posted by trojan_ | January 19, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    you forgot to sign "-LEH Quant"

  29. Posted by Barren Wuffett | January 19, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    I wouldn't have expected Gundlach to be there.

  30. Posted by Bandersnatch | January 19, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Rubenstein will be reinforcing the monument's stone top with a giant iron triangle?

  31. Posted by Dog | January 19, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Looks like Wilbur will be playing a new tune! i hope carl likes ragtime.

    Icahn Buys LightSquared Debt as Distressed Investors Circle

  32. Posted by Unsilent Majority | January 19, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    alright jay. here's that bump i promised you. save some for me for god's sakes. I need to be high to get passed these assholes in suites trying to sell us exploading derivatives,

  33. Posted by 2StopShop | January 19, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    A little something from Rocawear's new Paisley & Plaid collection. Very nice.

  34. Posted by Lakendra Dickerman | September 19, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    I get so much enjoyment outside of putting these packs together How long do we get to keep doing this??