Opening Bell

Opening Bell: 04.25.12

Credit Suisse Sees Profit Drop (WSJ)
Credit Suisse Wednesday reported a sharp drop in net profit for the first quarter, pressured by an accounting loss on its own debt and lower revenue at its investment bank, which shed risky assets to adapt to a tougher regulatory and market environment. Still, the bank managed a sharp turnaround from a dismal fourth quarter when it reported a loss, on improving market conditions. But Chief Financial Officer David Mathers warned that this may not necessarily be the trend going forward, as markets weren’t as favorable in April as they were during the first quarter. Credit Suisse said net profit fell 96% to 44 million Swiss francs ($48.3 million) in the first quarter from 1.14 billion francs a year earlier. This was better than the net loss expected by analysts. Excluding a raft of one-off items, net profit would be 1.36 billion francs, Credit Suisse said. Net profit suffered from a 1.55 billion franc accounting loss on the bank’s own credit. The bank also recorded costs of 534 million francs for 2011 bonuses.

Moody’s Hears It From Banks (WSJ)
In the latest sign that U.S. banks are bridling at tighter oversight that began after the financial crisis, a handful of big lenders have been jawboning Moody’s Investors Service ahead of potential downgrades expected this spring. Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Brian Moynihan and Citigroup Inc. CEO Vikram Pandit have argued against downgrades in person, people familiar with the talks said. An executive at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. last week publicly questioned Moody’s methods on a conference call with analysts and investors. Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, who has met with the ratings firm more often than usual in the past quarter, called Moody’s decision to delay any potential downgrades by a month “constructive.”

Housing Declared Bottoming in U.S. After Six-Year Slump (Bloomberg)
The U.S. housing market is showing more signs of stabilization as price declines ease and home demand improves, spurring several economists to call a bottom to the worst real estate collapse since the 1930s. “The crash is over,” Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “Home sales — both new and existing — and housing starts are now off the bottom.”

US taxpayers still on hook for $119B in TARP funds (MarketWatch)
US taxpayers are still owed $119 billion in outstanding Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds, a watchdog for the government crisis program said Wednesday in a quarterly report to Congress. That number is down from $133 billion in TARP funds owed as of January, according to the author of the report, the Office of the Special Inspector General for the TARP. The government expects TARP to lose $60 billion.

Surviving ’Taxmageddon’ Without Maiming Economy (Bloomberg)
Peter Orszag: “At the end of this year, all the Bush tax cuts expire — amounting to about $250 billion a year. The payroll-tax holiday, at more than $100 billion a year, ends too, as do expanded unemployment-insurance benefits. And we face other spending cuts of about $100 billion, from the sequester set up by the 2011 debt-limit deal. All told, this fiscal tightening adds up to about $500 billion — or more than 3 percent of gross domestic product. The economy will be in no shape to handle that much of a squeeze. If we do nothing to reduce or stop it, the economy could be thrown back into a recession.”

Goose strike forces JetBlue flight into emergency landing at Westchester (NYP)
Geese smacked into a JetBlue plane taking off from Westchester Airport last night, forcing the pilots to make an immediate emergency landing. “We got to come back. We hit two big geese,” a pilot aboard Flight 571 to West Palm Beach, Fla., radioed to controllers after the plane took off at 6:45 p.m. “We are declaring an emergency.” The pilots made it just six miles northwest of the airport before turning around. They were back on the ground seven minutes later. “JetBlue 571, nice to have you back,” a relieved controller radioed as the plane touched down at 6:52. The geese smashed into the jet’s windshield. “I was petrified,’’ said passenger Janice Hilbrink, of White Plains. “Seriously very frightened. “I heard the noise. It was very loud and the plane had a lot of turbulence. The pilot told us the windshield was cracked.’’ When she got off the plane, “the whole front of it was covered in bird.’’

Missing MF Global Funds Found (CNNM)
Investigators probing the collapse of bankrupt brokerage MF Global said Tuesday that they have located the $1.6 billion in customer money that had gone missing from the firm. But just how much of those funds can be returned to the firm’s clients, and who will be held responsible for their misappropriation, remains to be seen. James Giddens, the trustee overseeing the liquidation of MF Global Inc, told the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday that his team’s analysis of how the money went missing “is substantially concluded.” “We can trace where the cash and securities in the firm went, and that we’ve done,” Giddens said.

Europe Struggles With Painful Deficit Cures (WSJ)
The target, set in 2009, is still seen as an important signal that the budget rules won’t be flouted as they were in the past. But meeting the 2013 goal, which for most countries was a deficit of 3% of gross domestic product, will entail more spending cuts or tax increases by governments across the EU.

Soros And Roubini Take Aim At Euro Zone (CNBC)
Nouriel Roubini, an economist and founder of RGE Monitor used a series of tweets on Tuesday evening to call for action on weakening the euro. “If domestic demand is going to be anemic and weak in this fiscal adjustment because of private and public sector deleveraging you need net exports to improve to restore growth,” wrote Roubini who believes much looser monetary policy is needed. “In order to have an improvement in net exports you need a weaker currency and a much more easy monetary policy to help induce that nominal and real depreciation that is not occurring right now in the euro zone,” said Roubini. “That’s one of the reasons why we’re getting a recession that’s even more severe,” he said. During a debate on Tuesday, billionaire Investor George Soros made it clear what side of the growth versus austerity debate he is on. “Europe is similar to the Soviet Union in the way that the euro crisis has the potential of destroying, undermining the European Union,” he said. “The euro is undermining the political cohesion of the European Union, and, if it continues like that, could even destroy the European Union,” said Soros.

New Fashion Wrinkle: Stylishly Hiding the Gun (NYT, related)
Woolrich, a 182-year-old clothing company, describes its new chino pants as an elegant and sturdy fashion statement, with a clean profile and fabric that provides comfort and flexibility. And they are great for hiding a handgun. The company has added a second pocket behind the traditional front pocket for a weapon. Or, for those who prefer to pack their gun in a holster, it can be tucked inside the stretchable waistband…The chinos, which cost $65, are not for commandos, but rather, the company says, for the fashion-aware gun owner.

(hidden for your protection)
Show all comments

44 Responses to “Opening Bell: 04.25.12”

  1. Richard Longman says:

    I have to get custom pants for my gun too.

  2. PermaGuestII says:

    Mario Draghi [staring at himself in mirror, visibly nervous]: "It is not 1992. We are not the Bank of England. It is not 1992. We are not the Bank of England. It is not 1992. We are not the Bank of England."

  3. The Truth says:

    See, I told you it was NBD

    – JC

  4. Guest says:

    Dammit, I should have put it under the toaster

    -Jon Corzine

  5. Guest says:

    Jet Blue? My initial thought was a bottle of Grey Goose tipped over and hit the windshield.

  6. pazzo83 says:

    "When she got off the plane, 'the whole front of it was covered in bird.'"

    What's the big deal? That's how we prepare our inflight meals.

    – Spirit Airlines

  7. Capt. Edward Smith says:

    "Attention all first class passengers…..The crash is over……….."

  8. Felton Grabder says:

    Odd…..when I saw the image of the goose I thought it would be in reference to another story on the alleged Wall Street groper.

  9. Shecky Listing says:

    My buyer told me that he lived in the same house for 10 years. When I checked, I found out he'd still be there today if the Governor hadn't pardoned him.

    The sellers told me their house was near the water. It was in the basement.

    How much are they asking for your rent now? Oh, about two times a day.

    I have a temporary mortgage. What do you mean temporary? Until they foreclose.

    Realtor: first you folks tell me what you can afford, then we'll have a good laugh and go on from there.

    The dream of the older generation was to pay off a mortgage. The dream of today's young families is to get one.

    There is no longer a need for the neutron bomb. We already have something that destroys people and leaves buildings intact. It's called a mortgage.

    If you think no one cares you're alive, miss a couple of house payments.

    My buyers went through debt consolidation. Now they have only one bill they won't pay.

    I listed a maintenance free house. In the last 25 years there hasn't been any maintenance.

    Did you hear about Robin Hood's house? It has a little John.

  10. Whoops says:

    Was the Jet Blue pilot's call sign Ice Man, by chance?

  11. Guest says:

    We're going on strike!

    -Goose Local 200

  12. InfiniteGuest says:

    I'm not fashion-conscious, just happy to see you.

  13. Hamilton says:

    Your front will be covered in birds with our services too!

    – AEsir

  14. Mexi_Cant says:

    Eating goose shit > AEsir

  15. Guest says:

    Gun in Chinos > Gun in sweatpants


  16. Lauren says:

    Why do you need to hide your gun? Did the lame stream media tell you need to?

    -Sarah Palin

  17. Dope Rapper says:

    Those pants come in kids sizes?

    – [Redacted]
    Harlem Middle School '14

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