Opening Bell: 04.23.12

IMF And World Bank Meetings End With Little Agreement (NYT)
To be sure, the additional $430 billion in lending capacity contributed by developed economies like Japan, Britain, Saudi Arabia and South Korea was seen as a major achievement. The contributions came after I.M.F. economists determined that countries around the world might require up to $1 trillion in new loans because of the combined effects of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and sluggish global economic growth. The I.M.F. agreed to raise about half that amount if Europe would raise the other half. But finance ministers are still at odds over the effect of debt reduction on economic growth.

Geithner urges ‘aggressive’ action to fight financial crisis (DowJones)
US Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner said Saturday that the eurozone needed stronger action from authorities, including the European Central Bank, to tame a potential deterioration in the debt crisis. “The success of the next phase of the crisis response will hinge on Europe’s willingness and ability, together with the European Central Bank, to apply its tools and processes creatively, flexibly and aggressively to support countries as they implement reforms and stay ahead of markets,” Geithner told the International Monetary Fund’s policy steering committee.

Hedge Fund Short-Sellers to Target Wal-Mart Mexico (Reuters)
Hedge fund managers are bracing for selling pressure in shares of Wal-Mart Stores on Monday, but market experts said it is the retail giant’s less visible Mexican unit that could be the more attractive target for short sellers. The New York Times reported on Saturday that Wal-Mart de Mexico, which is 69 percent owned by Wal-Mart Stories, had orchestrated a widespread bribery campaign in 2005 to win market dominance. The investigative article alleged that senior Wal-Mart executives knew about the matter and tried to cover it up. “I would not consider Wal-Mart shares expensive, but I definitely would not be a buyer at these levels in the 60s. I’m more interested in shorting the Mexico traded ‘pure play,'” said private activist investor Daniel Yu, who has presciently shorted such stocks including Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Sino-Forest. Wal-Mart said in a statement on Saturday that it was “deeply concerned” about the allegations in the Times report and began an investigation into its compliance with anti-bribery laws last autumn.

MF Global Customers Press JPMorgan For Funds (WSJ)
In a letter set to be sent to regulators and lawmakers on Monday, an MF Global customer group calls for J.P. Morgan to “return hundreds of millions of dollars in MF Global customer funds transferred” to J.P. Morgan in late October. The group, called the Commodity Customer Coalition, urged U.S. officials to “demand” that the New York bank “disgorge all MF Global customer property immediately.” J.P. Morgan is cooperating with the ongoing investigation, has said it did nothing wrong and lost some of its own money in the Oct. 31 bankruptcy because it was a creditor of MF Global.

Vietnam Funds Beat India, China in Attracting Investors (Bloomberg)
Vietnam-focused stock funds became the only emerging market equity assets in Asia to lure investors every week this year as the nation’s benchmark index rose to an 11-month high, Emerging Portfolio Fund Research said.

Table Hockey, on Ice Since Heyday in 1970s, Makes a Comeback (WSJ)
Carter Campbell leaned over the stick-figure hockey players, loosening up his wrists and hopping from one foot to the other. The 14-year-old’s cap was turned around. His iPod blared tunes from the classic-rock band Rush. Across from him, 35-year-old, No. 1 ranked table hockey champ Mark Sokolski hunched over his own players. “I’m gonna stomp this kid,” Mr. Sokolski said. At stake was a slot in the elite eight of this year’s Canadian Table Hockey Championships, the best-attended North American tournament that the game has seen in decades. Across the U.S. and Canada, a resurgence of table hockey is under way, drawing younger players and women to a sport that has long been the domain of older men in their basements reliving a game that hasn’t been popular since they were kids.

Global Crisis Not Over, China Reforms to Go On: Wen (Reuters)
The global financial crisis is not over and technical innovation and investment will be key to sustaining what remains a “tortuous” recovery, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Sunday during a visit to Germany. Wen also said China, the world’s biggest exporter and second largest economy, would press on with reforms aimed at creating better legal protection for foreign investors — a major concern for the growing number of German firms active in the country.

Buffett Joined by 12 Families Pledging Wealth to Charity (Bloomberg)
Twelve families promised to donate most of their wealth to philanthropy, joining the Giving Pledge initiative started by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates. The families include hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman and his wife Karen, Tesla Motors Inc.’s billionaire owner Elon Musk and film producer Steve Bing, according to an e-mailed statement from the initiative. Arthur M. Blank, Edgar M. Bronfman, Glenn and Eva Dubin, Red and Charline McCombs, Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman, John and Ginger Sall, Henry and Susan Samueli, John A. and Susan Sobrato, John Michael Sobrato, and Ted and Vada Stanley also signed the pledge.

Aiming for Clarity, Fed Still Falls Short in Some Eyes (NYT)
But as Mr. Bernanke prepares to meet the press for the fifth time Wednesday afternoon, after a scheduled meeting of the Fed’s policy-making committee on Tuesday and Wednesday, there are reasons to doubt that the efforts are increasing public understanding of monetary policy. Experts and investors have continued to disagree about the plain meaning of the Fed’s recent policy statements. Some say the increased volume of communication is creating cacophony rather than clarity. Political criticism of the Fed has continued unabated.

Man’s nightmare since NYPD labeled him ‘Gentleman Groper’ (NYP)
A citywide manhunt ensued after four Manhattan women were fondled in tony neighborhoods in a 35-day stretch. On April 13, authorities paraded their main suspect past snapping cameras. He defied the conventional image of a creepy perv. He was young, handsome, well-dressed, affluent, educated, a churchgoer. A gentleman groper. That suspect, Karl Vanderwoude, says if the scene seemed implausible — that’s because it was. “I didn’t do it. I wasn’t even in the vicinity of these incidents,” he said in his first interview since his arrest. “It’s a case of mistaken identity.” The 26-year-old Bible-study leader’s nightmare began 10 days ago, when he left early from his job as an operations coordinator at a Flatiron District private equity firm because he felt sick. He was in his Park Slope apartment for about an hour when the doorbell rang. “I thought it was my roommate who had been locked out and forgot his keys, which has happened, so I go to answer the door,” he recalled. Instead, two NYPD detectives were standing in the threshold. “They’re like, ‘Are you Karl? May we speak with you?’”

74 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (74)

  1. Posted by happy endings | April 23, 2012 at 8:14 AM

    In the early '60s, an American aircraft in Vietnam shot itself down with one of its own missiles.
    What happens in Vietnam, stays on Facebook.

  2. Posted by Sotrue,sofalse | April 23, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    "creepy perv"

    – – –

    Over the weekend I read that single women, tired of being cast as "psychos" have resorted to labeling guys they're not interested in, or show too much interest in them as "creepy". Unfortunately, this is one of the worst things you can call a guy because it's impossible for them to ever disprove. And guys will still date girls they know to be psycho, where single girls will be forever wary of a guy they heard is creepy. Dating in 2012: who can cast a more offensive label first.

  3. Posted by inlovewithpmco | April 23, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    Potvin Sucks

  4. Posted by Bandersnatch | April 23, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    Possible solution: try not to be creepy

  5. Posted by Kurdt | April 23, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    I am a negative creep

  6. Posted by Guest | April 23, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    Some chick you work with called you "Creepy" huh?

  7. Posted by VonSloneker | April 23, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    Just shave your pencil stache

  8. Posted by Guest | April 23, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    Reject a girl and she'll call you gay. Show too much interest and she'll call you a creep. With only your name and a couple of minutes Googling, a random girl can find out everything from where your parents live, what you studied in undergrad to what girls you used to date. Have fun out there guys.

    -Happy to be married

  9. Posted by Ax to Grind | April 23, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    UBS sucks, and BOA sucks just a little less

  10. Posted by addendum | April 23, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    ( too a man )

  11. Posted by Guest | April 23, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    Hit on a boss. Get a boss.

  12. Posted by Guest | April 23, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Creep isn't the old guy at the coffee shop with a pencil stash, or the 38 y/o natural gas trader who hits on the summer interns. It's thrown around much more liberally, and its impact on your social standing can be devastating.

  13. Posted by PermaGuestII | April 23, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Blue seats forever!

  14. Posted by BrotherLehman | April 23, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Why does 'CREEP' have to have such a negative connotation?

    –Ghost of Chuck Colson

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

    NY is a big town. I wouldn't sweat it, bro.

  16. Posted by Thom Yorke | April 23, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    Creep worked out just fine for me

  17. Posted by Special | April 23, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    lol, I have a social standing ?

  18. Posted by Guest | April 23, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    Embrace it. Play "Creep" by Radiohead after bringing LI girls home from the Penn Station Taco Bell and before removing their Bebe clothes.

    – guy who pays attention to the details

  19. Posted by E. Texas Gas Trader | April 23, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    We're just helping with their "business development" is all.

  20. Posted by Guest | April 23, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Karl Vanderwoude groped me in the Equinox steam room. I think someone else was in there too, watching….

  21. Posted by WCrasher | April 23, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    good one

  22. Posted by Guest | April 23, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Before my girlfriend and I started going out she used to call me a cute creep. I guess I got lucky. Or she's just a lunatic, maybe.

    – Happy medium.

  23. Posted by CheesyCrisps,I'mLong | April 23, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Oh my Gouda! What is happening to the markets!?

  24. Posted by Wears Old Spice | April 23, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    I liked HBO's "Girls". I saw it last night nd thought it was quite well written.

    -Old Guy but Not in A Creepy Sort of Way

  25. Posted by Not_a_creep | April 23, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    Saturday 10:37 p.m.: Hey girl, what are you doing 2night?
    Saturday: 11:58 p.m.: Helloooo?
    Sunday 1:44 a.m.: I think it's fucked up you won't return my texts.
    Sunday 1:46 a.m.: You know how many girls would love for me to text them right now? A lot. And my last girlfriend was easily a 9 out of 10. But apparently you're too cool to even bother to glance at your iPhone and give me the courtesy of a response.
    Sunday 2:20 a.m.: Whatever, you're obviously a lesbian.
    Sunday 3:11 a.m.: I love you.
    Sunday 11:14 a.m.: Whoa, a bit much to drink last night. Sorry. Lol. Wanna grab brunch?

  26. Posted by Timing | April 23, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Or she was desperate and you were there?

  27. Posted by MIT | April 23, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    You very slick with woman. I take notes.

  28. Posted by Guest | April 23, 2012 at 11:19 AM


    I once saw a short video of a midget kicking himself in the head on YouTube. Could it be the same thing?

    – Raj Raj

  29. Posted by Guest | April 23, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    You're blaming me for that?

    – Mark Zuckerberg

  30. Posted by Guest | April 23, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Yes, that's what people called me before Facebook became really something.

    – Mark Zuckerberg

  31. Posted by DB "community" | April 23, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    this kind of admission will effect your social standing

  32. Posted by Lowly Assistant | April 23, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    I am the walrus.


  33. Posted by HAM05 | April 23, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    creepy, like "sexual harassment", is something only ugly dudes have to worry about

  34. Posted by Guestest | April 23, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Table hockey story: who won??

  35. Posted by Courtney | April 23, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    you've been drinking bleach again

  36. Posted by Dwight | April 23, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    FALSE. It's a characteristic of over-confident guys who can be both ugly or good looking. Typically surfaces when a guy doesn't get what he expects from a girl. (see: Not_a_creep, who is actually a seemingly charming, above average looking, Yale graduate.)

  37. Posted by E. Texas Gas Trader | April 23, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    My daddy always tole me to never date a woman crazier or poorer than me.

  38. Posted by guest | April 23, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    "Yale graduate"

    say no more.

  39. Posted by Roger Sterling | April 23, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    My mother always said be careful what you wish for, because you’ll get it. And then people will get jealous and try to take it away from you.

  40. Posted by Whoops | April 23, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    The only way to win is not to play at all.

  41. Posted by PermaGuestII | April 23, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Google doesn't work well if you have a generic name.

    -"Mike Smith"

  42. Posted by Johnny Fingers | April 23, 2012 at 1:01 PM
  43. Posted by Laxbro | April 23, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    creepy, like "sexual harassment", is something only ugly dudes have to worry about

    *fist bump*

  44. Posted by girl | April 23, 2012 at 1:31 PM


  45. Posted by stealth | April 23, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    I was stalking my bitch for a while, then she caught me once.

    She calls it a "creep meet"

  46. Posted by AIG TV Quant | April 23, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Do you still produce "The Twilight Zone"? Man, some of those episodes freaked me out!

  47. Posted by ny times | April 23, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    greg smith

  48. Posted by Cut Me | April 23, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Sorry, but I only play challenging table sports.

    -G. Smith

  49. Posted by bar chick | April 23, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    semmingly charming, but in akinda creepy way

  50. Posted by Prudence Muench | May 10, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    I’d better get moving! I have got to receive the “sandwich” quilted!! LOL

  51. Posted by Tan | June 4, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it. social media courses

  52. Posted by Du lich thai lan | June 17, 2012 at 5:57 AM

    Karl Vanderwoude groped me in the Equinox steam room. I think someone else was in there too, watching….

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