Opening Bell

Opening Bell: 02.02.12

Facebook Sets Historic IPO (WSJ)
The filing left a few clues that Facebook’s founder, 27-year-old Mark Zuckerberg, is worried about how wealth and public scrutiny may change the company’s culture. At Facebook’s offices, employees went about business as usual Wednesday, said one person, enjoying a lunch of lobster bisque, braised beef, Moroccan couscous and apple, cream and honey galette for dessert, said another. A stack of giveaway posters left in a kitchenette at Facebook headquarters read “Stay Focused & Keep Shipping,” according to a photo shared by Facebook employees. Mr. Zuckerberg shared a photo on Facebook of the flyer on his desk.

From Founders to Decorators, Facebook Riches (NYT)
The graffiti artist who took Facebook stock instead of cash for painting the walls of the social network’s first headquarters made a smart bet. The shares owned by the artist, David Choe, are expected to be worth upward of $200 million when Facebook stock trades publicly later this year…In 2005, Mr. Choe was invited to paint murals on the walls of Facebook’s first offices in Palo Alto, Calif., by Sean Parker, then Facebook’s president. As pay, Mr. Parker offered Mr. Choe a choice between cash in the “thousands of dollars,” according to several people who know Mr. Choe, or stock then worth about the same. Mr. Choe, who has said that at the time that he thought the idea of Facebook was “ridiculous and pointless,” nevertheless chose the stock.

With Facebook, Morgan Stanley Wins Bragging Rights (Dealbook)
“In a show of support for their prospective client, bankers from the top three underwriters had set up Facebook accounts.”

Wealthy Investors May Shrug at Facebook IPO (Bloomberg)
“It’s kind of the late arrivals who get excited around the time of the IPO,” said Jason Thomas, chief investment officer of Aspiriant, whose clients on average have about $10 million under management with the Los Angeles-based firm. “Our clients remember the tech bubble very well, and are appropriately skeptical of being the last money in.”

Deutsche Bank profits fall as debt crisis bites (AP)
Deutsche Bank said in a statement on Thursday it booked net profit of 186 million euros ($245 million) in the fourth quarter, 76 percent less than in the preceding three months and a drop of 69 percent from the period from October to December in 2010. The figure is worse than expected: analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had been pencilling in fourth-quarter net profit of 572 million euros.

Global Strategists Abandoning Bearish Views (Bloomberg)
Just two weeks after saying that investors should “remain cautious,” Larry Hatheway, the chief economist at UBS AG (UBSN), raised his recommendations on global shares and high-yield bonds in a Jan. 23 note to customers entitled, “Wrong, but not too late.” Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS), and Benoit Anne, the global head of emerging-markets strategy at Societe Generale (GLE) SA, said their estimates for developing nations were proven wrong.

Man goes to court for custody of ‘kidnapped’ dog (NYP)
A Manhattan man has gone to court to regain custody of his kidnapped “son” – his dog Knuckles.
In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Craig Dershowitz says he hasn’t seen his precious puggle in months, since ex-girlfriend Sarah Brega “took unilateral control of Knuckles and kidnapped him.” He believes Brega has since spirited Knuckles away to California – and he wants a judge to force Brega to bring his “baby boy” back home. “I took the step to file suit because there seemed to be no other recourse. I tried my hardest to appeal to her sense of justice and, in general, her emotions. When that did not work, I had no other choice,” said Dershowitz, a 34-year-old art gallery employee. “You say it is an extraordinary step but I think most pet owners would agree with me. Knuckles is my son, my heart – you would fight just as hard to protect your own children.” The tattooed artist said he got “Knux” through a family in New Jersey that had a litter of puggles, which are a cross between a pug and a beagle. “I chose the name ‘Knuckles’ because he was the littlest yet most spirited of the litter. He looked like a scrapper,” the Brooklyn native said.

U.S. weighs 30 percent “Buffett Rule” tax on millionaires (Reuters)
The “Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012,” introduced by Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, has almost no chance of passage this year as the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has sworn off tax increases…Revenue generated from the tax has yet to be officially calculated, but Whitehouse said it could raise $40 billion to $50 billion a year.

Moody’s Sees Negative Ratings Trend for Asian Firms (Reuters)
Defaults by Asian companies are likely to rise this year as the economic environment deteriorates and credit becomes tighter with European lenders reducing their exposure to the region, ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service said on Thursday. “Asian sectors most vulnerable to adverse policy tightening, cyclicality, and excess capacity include Chinese property developers, as well as the refining and marketing, technology and semiconductor sectors,” Moody’s said in a report. “Weakening or volatile domestic currencies will likewise increase cost pressures for importers in countries such as India and Korea,” the U.S. ratings agency added.

Insiders: No DOJ case vs. Goldman (NYP)
Nearly nine months after the Justice Department launched a probe into whether the Wall Street firm misled clients and lied to lawmakers, executives are increasingly optimistic that the bank will avoid criminal charges and focus on what it does best: minting money. The DOJ investigation into Goldman was spurred by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who, in a scathing report in April, accused Goldman executives of unloading subprime loans on unsuspecting clients and misleading Congress during testimony in 2010.

TSE Glitch Casts Shadow Over Osaka Takeover (Bloomberg)
The Tokyo Stock Exchange suffered its biggest disruption in six years as a computer glitch forced the halt of trading in 241 securities, prompting concern about system reliability amid the bourse’s bid for its Osaka rival. Trading in the affected securities, which included shares of Sony Corp. (6758) and Hitachi Ltd. (6501), resumed at 12:30 p.m. local time, about 4 1/2 hours after the bourse said the error was detected.

Treasure Hunter Says He Found $3B WWII Wreck (AP)
A treasure hunter said Wednesday he has located the wreck of a British merchant ship that was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Cape Cod during World War II while carrying what he claims was a load of platinum bars now worth more than $3 billion…Treasure hunter Greg Brooks said he and his crew identified it via the hull number using an underwater camera, and he hopes to begin raising the treasure later this month or in early March with the help of a remotely operated underwater vessel. “I’m going to get it, one way or another, even if I have to lift the ship out of the water,” Brooks said.

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53 Responses to “Opening Bell: 02.02.12”

  1. nachocheese says:

    A happy, healthy, peaceful, prosperous and safe Ground Hog Day to all.

  2. HandiCapital says:

    Here you go Stanley, have a sparkler. It's your shining day little buddy! All your dreams can come true!

  3. guest says:

    craigslist freelance painter > MBA > CFA

  4. Guest says:

    “you would fight just as hard to protect your own children" says a 34-year-old who went to a Foster the People concert last night.

  5. Inquisitive Soul says:

    Groundhog Day = the egg mcmuffin of national holidays

  6. Dr. Obvious says:

    animals =/= humans

    children = humans

    pet dogs = animals


    pet dogs =/= children


  7. Heavy Metal Thunder says:

    If this treasure hunter is correct, he is about to increase the total supply of platinum in the market by 1%.

    Show your work you say? OK fine. 3.6 million ounces produced each year. For 50 years gives a world supply of 180 million ounces. $3 billion in the shipwreck at $1620/ounce =1,851,000 ounces.

    • Mexi_Cant says:

      Fail. You are clearly ignoring the dilution from a massive increased supply.

      -Intermediate Economics Quant

    • Guest says:

      Please show how much more ice Birdman can floss with that supply.

      – Weezy

    • Texashedge says:

      I'm pretty skeptical that the British would ship 58 tons of platinum all on one surface ship in the middle of the Battle of the Atlantic. Keep in mind, back then platinum was worth 2x gold. You'd ship that cargo on a sub.

      • PermaGuestII says:

        Disagree for three reasons.

        First, it was a Soviet payment to the United States for lend-lease aid, being shipped in a British hull.

        Second, I'm not sure a RN sub of the mid-40's would have had the capacity to carry 58 tons of cargo. An S3 class RN sub of the WWII era displaced 990 tons submerged, was 217' long and carried 13 torpedoes. Doesn't seem like there would be room for it unless you left the torpedoes and ammo for the deck gun ashore. If you were going to ship it in a man o'war it would make more sense to use a surface ship- a destroyer or even something larger.

        Third, even if you could fit the cargo on a sub, I doubt the RN would've spared one to serve as a cargo carrier for Uncle Joe. They needed every ship they could get their hands for work in the Atlantic, the North Sea, the Med and the Indian Ocean.

        • Adm. F. Goodwin says:

          Quite the opposite, we would happily send an unarmed sub to act as a courier for Mr. Stalin, seems like a rock solid strategy to me.

        • FKApmco says:

          Hey Perma: Wanna get together later and play Battleship?

          –cue torpedo jokes in 3, 2, 1………

        • Texashedge says:

          You are entirely correct.

          When I bothered to read the article, I see that I was dead wrong in my assumptions and that it was actually 71 tons–along with "gold and diamonds" (probably Anastasia's fillings in there somewhere)

          Shipping that much loot on one surface ship all the way from Murmansk still seems really stupid, but –given its credit history–I guess the USSR probably couldn't get an L/C on their arms shipments. I bet the RN would have rented out a couple of subs as long as the money came upfront.

      • trojan_ says:

        closest comparison i can think of is the HMS Edinburgh, carried 4600 kg of gold from soviets to uk. pretty insane salvage with actual divers going down 800 ft, no robots

        • PermaGuestII says:

          Holy s–t: 800 ft down *in the Barents Sea*

          Talk about having cojones the size of softballs….

    • UBS MD says:

      So you're saying we should buy platinum.

    • J Gundlach says:

      Can you imagine the size of the dildo one could make from that?

  8. lol wut says:

    50 miles off the coast, in 700 feet of water you say? Someone get a nautical map, we should be able to find this thing in no time.

  9. juniormistmaker says:

    What's this facebook thing all about?

    – UBS head of S&T

  10. Guest says:

    why isn't anyone reporting about the facebook ipo?

  11. VonSloneker says:

    Remember that time that a graffiti artist became the richest artist in the history of the world for bartering a schlong mural for stock…yup, should have been a sign

    – Guy in a cave, post apocalypse

  12. Guest says:

    Jay Z is playing Carnegie Hall…..Isn't that the seventh sign of the Apocalypse?

  13. Col. Mustard says:

    Some Facebook asshole just falcon punched my god damn pet donkey.

  14. lucas says:

    I didn't realize the Chinese guy from Hangover was an early Facebook investor.

  15. sarah says:

    No way I'm giving up that dog after teaching him the peanut butter trick!

  16. guestosaurus says:

    “I chose the name ‘Knuckles’ because that was last thing he would see before it was "lights out" each day. I liked him because he was the littlest of the litter – big dogs are hard to punch out.” the Brooklyn native said.

    • Guesteeculos says:

      I believe he wanted to go with "Precious" first, but Brega wised up, lost some weight and ran to Cali.

  17. theirregulator says:

    I'm nervous about Nervous Jew not posting about Bess not posting yet.

    -Nervous Jew's nervous mother

  18. ReaganLaw says:

    Why won't Morgan return my calls?

    -Tom from MySpace

  19. Scoobie Doo says:

    Bess – Boxer puppy?

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