Opening Bell

Opening Bell: 03.28.12

Top MF Global Witness Talks Deal With Justice (WSJ)
The star witness in a congressional hearing about MF Global Holdings Ltd.’s collapse has told Justice Department representatives through her lawyers details about transactions that ended up dipping into customer funds, people familiar with the matter said. But Edith O’Brien, the assistant treasurer at MF Global, isn’t expected to reveal those details when she appears at Wednesday’s hearing of the House Financial Services Committee’s oversight and investigations subcommittee. Ms. O’Brien plans to invoke her constitutional right against self-incrimination and to decline to answer questions, people familiar with the matter said.

J.P. Morgan Was ‘Assured’ on MF Global Transfers (WSJ)
MF Global Holdings Ltd. Chairman and Chief Executive Jon S. Corzine was in direct contact with J.P. Morgan Chase officials about a large transfer of customer funds to the bank shortly before the securities firm collapsed, according to prepared testimony from a J.P. Morgan lawyer for a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday. The testimony by Diane Genova, deputy general counsel for J.P. Morgan, provides additional details about a transfer of $175 million in MF Global customer funds to a J.P. Morgan account on Oct. 28. That move is the subject of scrutiny as investigators hunt for clues about how MF Global firm lost about $1.6 billion in customer funds.

Magic Johnson Group to Buy L.A. Dodgers for $2 Billion (Bloomberg)
The group was chosen yesterday by Dodgers owner Frank McCourt over billionaire Steve Cohen, who runs hedge fund manager SAC Capital Advisors LP, and Stan Kroenke, who owns the National Football League’s St. Louis Rams and Arsenal of English soccer’s Premier League. [WHO DOES STEVE COHEN HAVE TO SCREW AROUND HERE TO BUY A BASEBALL TEAM???]

BATS Chairman Will Give Up Post (WSJ)
BATS Global Markets Inc.’s directors voted to remove Joe Ratterman as chairman Tuesday, while expressing unanimous support for him to stay on as the company’s chief executive. The vote came after Friday’s collapse of the exchange operator’s initial public offering, which raised questions about BATS’s technology and put Mr. Ratterman on the defensive…BATS has launched a search for a new chairman, according to a spokesman.

Face time with Facebook CEO stirs concerns on Wall Street (Reuters)
Two people who attended Facebook’s March 19 meeting remarked on the young CEO’s absence and privately said they expected at least a cursory appearance. One analyst asked how involved Zuckerberg would be in future. In response, the company said expectations should be set pretty low, according to one of the two who was at the meeting. “Investors are crazy to want to get in bed with a company where the guy who controls it doesn’t even pretend to care about the rest of the shareholders,” said Greg Taxin of activist investment firm Spotlight Advisors, who will not buy shares. “That seems like a recipe for disaster.”

Texas journalist Sarah Tressler outed for leading a double life (NYDN)
By day, she’s a reporter who strips through the veneer of Houston’s high society. By night, she’s a reporter who strips off her clothes. And Sarah Tressler, a 2008 graduate of NYU’s School of Journalism, is not ashamed. In fact, until recently, the 29-year-old brunette blogged about her after-hours gig and posted pictures of herself in scanty outfits on a Facebook page entitled “Diary of an Angry Stripper.” Since the outcry, that — and her titillating Twitter account — have been moved to a protected site. Before Tressler went underground, one of her juicier postings was about an alleged and “somewhat disappointing” sexual encounter with “Entourage” star Jeremy Piven.

Europeans Sees Crisis Near End (Bloomberg)
The euro area’s woes are “almost over” after a slow initial response by policy makers, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said in Tokyo today. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday that the crisis is ebbing and her country’s borrowing costs will probably rise as its status as a haven wanes.

Jefferies CEO Handler’s Pay Drops 7.9% for 2011 After Stock Rout (Bloomberg)
Handler, 50, was awarded $14 million for the fiscal year ended Nov. 30, compared with $15.2 million for the 11 months through November 2010, New York-based Jefferies said today in a filing. The package included $1 million in salary and $13 million in restricted-stock units that were granted in 2010. Handler elected to not receive a bonus for 2011.

Goldman Bows To Pressure (WSJ)
Goldman Sachs agreed to change its board structure in order to persuade a union pension fund to drop a shareholder proposal that could have cost Chief Executive Lloyd C. Blankfein his job as chairman. The deal between the New York securities firm and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees means Goldman will appoint a “lead” director, but shareholders won’t get a chance to vote at the firm’s annual meeting in May on the proposal to replace Mr. Blankfein with an independent chairman.

Ben Bernanke: The World Needs More Nerds (OS)
In an exclusive interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said it’s important not to be complacent about the improving economy…[he also said] he takes no offense that Time magazine, in naming him Person of the Year for 2009, described him as “the most powerful nerd on the planet.” “I am very proud of my nerd-dom,” he told Sawyer. “In fact, the world needs more nerds. Nerds, you know, create more jobs and advance science, and I hope make good economic policy, but that remains to be seen.”

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38 Responses to “Opening Bell: 03.28.12”

  1. Guest says:

    To: All SAC Employees (minus Steve)
    From: HR
    We highly recommend you wear your company issued Kevlar lined fleeces until advised otherwise. He's pissed! Not, you lost me $5mm pissed, but seriously pissed off about that LA project. DO NOT look him in the eye and if you can avoid him all together we would appreciate it.

  2. Guest says:


    Ans: Hopefully not Magic Johnson.

  3. Guest says:

    "Hi, I'm Magic Johnson. Here are some helpful tips on how to launder yo customer's funds"

    – Guy who saw Magic's pic next to the top story.

  4. Comment generator says:

    [Predictable joke about Bess taking career advice from Sarah Tressler]

  5. guest says:

    Sarah –
    You dance like a wounded hippo. And you couldn't write a postcard.

  6. InfiniteGuest says:

    Most Dodgers fans don't care enough about the team to even put in a cursory appearance at the games.

  7. strange talker says:

    if you get a chance listen to edith obriens voice. it is one of the strangest you will ever hear, like a mouse with a speech impediment.

    she's a pleasant women, just very strange phone tlaker.

    will have had NO ROLE whatever in deciding what funds to send where, simply a person to facilitate transactions as will be evident immediately.

  8. Guest says:

    HIV Capital Management

  9. Edith Chappelle says:

    1,2,3,4,5 FIFFFFF

  10. blunty 420 says:

    Magic johnson group…what's that, the new village people?

  11. says:

    Dear Sarah:
    i) Are you purposely following Diablo Cody's (screenwriter of Juno) template? How trite.
    ii) You look like you bang black guys.

  12. Guest says:

    [youtube 5npZwUdZwnY&feature=fvst youtube]

  13. VonSloneker says:

    Wait…how many zeroes in a billion?

    – Magic

  14. Stripper Quant says:

    Any guesses on how many lap dances GeezerOilTrader got from Sarah Tressler?

  15. GUest says:

    Paul Tagliabue is a friend of mine. I screwed him.

    Chazzy the Bat

  16. Guest says:

    Why won't Mark accept my friend request? :(

    – UBS Facebook Analyst Quant

  17. gues says:

    and they say there's no cure

    -arthur ashe