Opening Bell: 04.10.12

Spain Vows Reforms As Yields Soar (WSJ)
Speaking at a conference, Finance Minister Luis de Guindos defended the need for the €10 billion ($13.11 billion) in cuts his government announced Monday to the country’s health and education systems as Madrid struggles to slash its budget deficit to 5.3% of gross domestic product this year from 8.5% of GDP last year. The latest cutbacks come on the heels of the 2012 state budget presented late last month, which calls for €27 billion in spending cuts and tax increases.

JPMorgan’s Iksil May Spur Regulators to Dissect Trading (Bloomberg)
Market-moving trades by JPMorgan Chase’s chief investment office probably will force regulators to seek more detail on banks’ derivatives positions to help them distinguish risk management from speculation. Bruno Iksil, a London-based trader in the unit, has built derivatives positions linked to corporate credit that are so big he’s moved markets, according to hedge fund managers and dealers. While Joe Evangelisti, a bank spokesman, said yesterday that the trades are part of the firm’s hedging strategy, four market participants said they resemble proprietary bets.

China Swings To Trade Surplus (WSJ)
China posted a surprising trade surplus in March after a hefty deficit in February, but weak imports were a primary factor in the turnaround, raising fresh concern over the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy. State television painted a cautious picture of the trade outlook, quoting Zheng Yuesheng, director of statistics at the General Administration of Customs, as saying that “the current global economic situation is severe,” with exports and imports facing “relatively big” downward risk.

Obama To Push Millionaire Tax (WSJ)
Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats aren’t expected to win next week’s procedural vote, and a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner alluded to the minimum tax on millionaires as a “gimmick.” But Democrats want to put Senate Republicans on record voting against the tax. A number of recent public polls show support for raising taxes on millionaires running over 60%…Nicknamed the “Buffett Rule” for billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who complained that he paid a lower tax rate than his secretary, the plan would impose a minimum 30% overall federal tax rate on people earning more than $1 million a year.

Student, 13, Drives Bus to Safety When Driver Faints (ABCN)
A middle school student who jumped into the hot seat when his school bus driver passed out on the way to class this morning is being hailed as a “quick thinker” for leading the bus, and 15 other students, to safety. Seventh grader Jeremy Wuitschick is being praised by the local police chief for his actions when the driver of his school bus started gasping for hair and waving his hands frantically in the air, losing control of the bus. Wuitschick hopped out of his seat and grabbed the steering wheel, pulling the bus over to the side of the road before pulling the keys from the ignition, Milton Police Chief Bill Rhodes said today. “I’ll tell you, I’ll give the kid credit for fast thinking. He did the right thing and we’re going to do something for him. The kid definitely deserves credit,” Rhodes said.

Bernanke Calls on Regulators to Curb Shadow Banking Risks (Bloomberg)
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke called for new steps to curb “shadow banking” operating beyond standard oversight while saying the economy has far to go before fully recovering from the credit crisis. “The heavy human and economic costs of the crisis underscore the importance of taking all necessary steps to avoid a repeat of the events of the past few years,” Bernanke said yesterday in a speech in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Bank of Japan Keeps Policy Unchanged as Pressure Builds (Bloomberg)
“The BOJ held off on additional easing to show it isn’t willing to be pushed around by politicians,” said Junko Nishioka, a Tokyo-based analyst at RBS Securities Japan Ltd. who has worked for the central bank. “The BOJ will be under pressure to ease policy at its next board meeting because of its close-to-zero percent inflation outlook.”

Criticism Over U.S.’s World Bank Pick Swells (WSJ)
The front-runner to lead the World Bank, which lends tens of billions of dollars a year around the world, once admitted that he “had no idea what a hedge fund was” until three years ago when he became a university head. Jim Yong Kim, the president of Dartmouth College, got a two-day crash course in finance back then, when the physician and anthropologist was grappling with budget troubles stemming from the 2008 financial crisis.

Dennis Gartman: S&P 500 Earnings to Surprise on Upside (CNBC)
“Are we going to see 5-10 percent growth in earnings by almost all of the S&P 500? Probably,” Gartman, the author of The Gartman Letter, said.

Vancouver’s Bagpipe Ban Sparks Outcry (Globe)
…the unusually specific ban, which hit a few bagpiping buskers in Vancouver, has run into opposition from one of the city’s top Scots. That would be Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who was sworn in for a second term wearing a kilt in reflection of his Scottish heritage. The mayor has been known to play the tuba, but is prepared to go the wall for bagpipers. He’s mindful of noise complaints, but says the ban brought about by the city engineering department will face opposition from city council, dominated by Mr. Robertson’s Vision Vancouver party. The ban is under review. “My first reaction is that a complete ban on bagpipes and percussion instruments across the city is ridiculous and culturally insensitive,” Mr. Robertson said in a statement. “The clans won’t stand for it.”

41 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (41)

  1. Posted by pazzo83 | April 10, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    Keep your day job Bernanke.

    – J Coltrane

  2. Posted by guest | April 10, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    "Obama To Push Millionaire Tax "

    2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 called and want they're story back

  3. Posted by Guest | April 10, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    I knew that Jeremy Wuitschick would stop the school bus before school buses were even invented.

    -D. Gartman

  4. Posted by Ken Lewis | April 10, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    Big deal. I had no idea what a hedge fund was and I ran a bank.

  5. Posted by Guest | April 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    I would have gone with, "But they'll never take our FRREEEEEDOOOMMM!!!!!"

  6. Posted by Shecky MacGregor | April 10, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Jock & Jimmy, two RBS investment bankers, were walking along a street in London. Jock looked in one of the shop windows and saw a sign that caught his eye. The sign read, "Suits £5.00 each, Shirts £2.00 each, trousers £2.50 per pair".

    Jock said to his pal, "Look at the prices! We could buy a whole lot of these and when we get back to Scotland we could make a fortune. Now when we go in you stay quiet, okay? Let me do all the talking cause if they hear our accents, they might think we are cheap Scotsmen and try to screw us. I'll put on my best London accent".

    "OK Jock, I'll keep me mouth shut" said Jimmy.

    They go in and Jock said in a posh voice, "Hello my good man. I'll take 50 suits at £5.00 each, 100 shirts at £2.00 each, and 50 pairs of trousers at £2.50 each. I'll back up me truck ready to load them on, old chap!

    The owner of the shop said quietly, "You're from Scotland, aren't you?"

    "Well yes," said a surprised Jock. "What gave it away?"

    The owner replied, "This is a dry-cleaners…….." !

  7. Posted by Guest | April 10, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Fudgie the Whale is a friend of mine.

    -Fat Gasparino

  8. Posted by nachocheese | April 10, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    that might be a picture of Ward, Wally and The Beave hanging on the wall

  9. Posted by Mexi_Cant | April 10, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    I drove a car when I was 13 and I received 3 tickets and two black eyes from my grandmother, this kid gets "credit".

  10. Posted by Bo Obama's Poop | April 10, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    So there is a millionaire tax called the "Buffet Rule", named after a guy who is a billionaire?

    – Confused UBS Nickname Quant

  11. Posted by Smiling June Cleaver | April 10, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    "Ward, you were a little mean to the Beaver last night."

  12. Posted by pazzo83 | April 10, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    I thought it was dealing with something else… almost had a heart attack there for a sec.

    – M Moore

  13. Posted by VonSloneker | April 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    "Ward, you were a little [hard on] the Beaver last night."

    – Paleolithic joke quant

  14. Posted by Alt_EST | April 10, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    That would have made a baker's dozen…

  15. Posted by Ex-UBS = Freedom | April 10, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    *their

    -A grammar deficient person that finds this misuse annoying

  16. Posted by Bad news | April 10, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    UBS called… They want they're grammar goon back

  17. Posted by Was me and the beev | April 10, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    "The Beave" is a good name for a bad gf

  18. Posted by Guest | April 10, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Laterian Milton?

  19. Posted by Cut Me | April 10, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    I keep typing in "derivatives positions" into the search, and RedTube has not come up with any matches. Can anyone help?

    -SEC Lawyer

  20. Posted by HFguy | April 10, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    "when the driver of his school bus started gasping for hair and waving his hands frantically in the air"

    — Give the man your hairy balls will ya.

  21. Posted by Guest | April 10, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    kid just wanted to do hoodrat things with his friends

  22. Posted by Guest | April 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Someone in HR should have vetted this before he was given the position….
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-10/scene-la
    "Jamie Dimon 'Is a Terrible Dancer': His Wife"

  23. Posted by Guest | April 10, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    PORTERHOUUUSE!

    -HipHopHilarious

  24. Posted by Guest | April 10, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    You kept making all the stops?

    Well people kept RINGING THE BELL!

  25. Posted by L. Milton | April 10, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    I just wanted to do hood rat things..

  26. Posted by Artist | April 10, 2012 at 11:19 AM
  27. Posted by VonSloneker | April 10, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Ease up fella, some white nerds can really wail…

    – Stan Getz

  28. Posted by Coco | April 10, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Well…the jerk store called

  29. Posted by Bartleby | April 10, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Our school bus driver, at a fairly posh private country school, was an inveterate alcoholic. He appeared to dress his hair with raw butter. One snowy Spokane morning the bus left the road and slid down a slope into a tree. I could not have been more thrilled to see the driver's flask slide across the floor into my foot. I put it in my bookbag and smiled.

  30. Posted by InfiniteGuest | April 10, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    It's a bong.

  31. Posted by Mexi_Cant | April 10, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    http://dlisted.com/node/25917

    I be famous sukazz. n g-ma shulda nown she aint supozed 2 b eetin ma fukin chiken wingz

  32. Posted by guest | April 10, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    just be careful in central florida…

  33. Posted by James, 11 | April 10, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Pretty cool, but you shoulda seen this easter bunny they left us with last week…

    I've been flying for days

  34. Posted by Guest | April 10, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    +1 . Started laughing when I read "RBS investment bankers"

  35. Posted by motives | April 10, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    CSB

  36. Posted by Bad news | April 10, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    oh yeah ? Well I fucked your wife.

  37. Posted by Logically Next | April 10, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Well…the ocean called and they're running out of shrimp

  38. Posted by 12 yr old | April 10, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Good, becuase I didn't want to tonight.

  39. Posted by qu qu estion | April 10, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    is that a stutter ?

  40. Posted by telugumovies1 | April 11, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    Tremors were felt in several parts of India this afternoon after massive earthquake had hit Indonesia’s Aceh province today.

  41. Posted by icons set | October 4, 2012 at 2:00 PM