Opening Bell

Opening Bell: 05.16.12

Greece Teeters As Talks Fail (WSJ)
In a potent sign of Greeks’ rising anxiety, depositors withdrew €700 million ($898 million) from local banks on Monday alone, according to the country’s national bank—a significant escalation in capital flight from the country. Greek President Karolos Papoulias told party leaders that the situation facing Greece’s lenders was very difficult and that “the strength of banks is very weak right now,” according to a transcript released Tuesday.

Merkel: I Want Greece To Stay In The Euro (CNBC)
In an interview with CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange,” Merkel said: “I want, just like Jean-Claude Juncker, that Greece stays in the euro. I think that would be good for Greece and for all of us. If Greece believes that we can find more stimulus in Europe in addition to the Memorandum (the deal stuck with the Troika), then we have to talk about that,” she said, but she underlined that Greece and its euro zone partners had to be able to trust each other.

What Happens When Greece’s Money Runs Out (Reuters)
“I’m really not sure Greece could survive for very long if external money was cut off,” said Darren Williams, economist at fund manager AllianceBernstein. “But what an experience of IOUs may do rather quickly is bring home to the average Greek citizen just how much more difficult a place it is outside the bailout program and outside the euro.”

Moore Leads Hedge Funds Betting on JPMorgan Before Losses (Bloomberg)
Hedge funds Moore Capital Management LLC and Blue Ridge Capital LLC boosted their stakes in JPMorgan Chase, while Kingdon Capital Management LLC divested, before the shares plunged because of a $2 billion trading loss. Moore, the $15 billion New York-based firm run by Louis Moore Bacon, bought 6 million shares of JPMorgan and its $297.3 million stake was its largest U.S. stock holding as of March 31, according to a filing yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. John Griffin’s New York-based Blue Ridge purchased 1.85 million shares, raising its stake in the bank to 6.14 million.

The man who beached ‘Moby Iksil’ (NYP)
Here’s one take: “Boaz Weinstein, a renowned CDS index arbitrageur who launched Saba in 2009, in early February recommended the index, which tracks a basket of US corporate bonds. “They are very attractive” and can be bought at a “very good discount,” said Weinstein, a former Deutsche Bank proprietary trader, speaking at the Harbor Investment Conference on Feb. 2. It appears the index was so cheap because Iksil was buying it to make a big short bet. Weinstein, whose Saba overseas $5.5 billion in assets, decided to go long and said he bought the index a few days before the conference at around 120 basis points. For a while, Weinstein’s genius trade wasn’t working out. The IG9 Index continued to sink under the weight of the Whale’s buys — hitting a low of 105 on March 21. But two weeks later, on April 3, reports surfaced about the Whale’s outsize positions and the tide started to turn. The price spiked to 130 as traders piled on. What JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon first termed a “tempest in a teapot” started to get serious. By last week, Dimon announced a $2.3 billion loss on the Whale’s trade, and word spread that Iksil’s head may roll. Meanwhile, Weinstein, who earned roughly $100 million last year, saw his position and the index continue to soar. The CDS index traded around 146 yesterday.”

Facebook Said to Raise Size of IPO to 421 Million Shares (Bloomberg)
Facebook is boosting the number of shares for sale in its initial public offering to 421.2 million, allowing the world’s most popular social network to raise as much as $16 billion. Existing holders will offer 241.2 million shares, compared with the 157.4 million they originally planned to sell, according to a regulatory filing today. Menlo Park, California- based Facebook and its existing holders had earlier planned to offer 337.4 million shares.

Soros’s Firm Buys JPMorgan, Suntrust in First Quarter (Bloomberg)
The $25 billion Soros Fund Management LLC, based in New York, increased the value of its stake in financials by 7 percent, including 606,000 shares of JPMorgan worth $28 million as of March 31, and 3.2 million shares of Atlanta-based Suntrust valued at $77 million, according to a filing yesterday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Paulson Holds to Gold ETFs in First Quarter, Profits as Prices Rise (Reuters)
So that’s nice.

Housing Starts Probably Rebounded From a Five-Month Low (Bloomberg)
“Homebuilding is inching up pretty much everywhere in the U.S.,” said Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts. “The days when housing was a drag on the economy are behind us.” Even so, “housing activity is at depressed levels,” with foreclosures “still a problem for builders,” he said.

Bloomberg Reporter Makes Wardrobe Adjustment On Camera (DM, NYO)
A microphone mishap led one television reporter from revealing a bit more than she expected.
When it became clear that one reporter’s mic was not working, the cameraman swapped over quickly to Sara Eisen. Clearly thinking she was off-camera, the Bloomberg News reporter was adjusting her skirt and smoothing out her undergarments. Because the camera swapped over to her sooner than expected, the financial-savvy viewers caught a glimpse of Ms Eisen’s underwear…In spite of the hiccup, Ms Eisen was able to brush her skirt down and get back to business. She flashed a quick, knowing smile and then moved right into the news about Spain’s banking system debate.

(hidden for your protection)
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37 Responses to “Opening Bell: 05.16.12”

  1. Sabine says:


  2. guest says:

    Whale on whale action.

  3. Cheap Watch says:

    "Facebook is boosting the number of shares for sale in its initial public offering to 421.2 million, allowing the world’s most popular social network to raise as much as $16 billion"

    Harry: All right, pop quiz. Airport, gunman with one IPO. He's using her for cover; he's almost to a plane. You're a hundred feet away… Jack?

    Jack: Raise the offering.

  4. Mini Whale says:

    Iksil was selling it to make a short bet. Not buying.

  5. berlusconi says:

    That is one unfuckable lard arse

  6. Lloyd says:

    That's as good as money, sir. Those are IOUs.

  7. guest says:

    Sara, call me

    -Warren B

  8. New York Post says:

    Ed: In long, we only hire illiterate OWS journalists.

  9. Guest says:

    What Happens When Greece's Money Runs Out?

    More Greek prostitutes at German insurance company parties

  10. guest says:

    is it just me or did the NY Post writer get everything exactly backwards

    nm, i should have stopped this post at "NY Post Writer"….

  11. whacked er says:

    You're done here Ina…

    I'm Mark Zames bitch !

  12. ilovekrill says:

    Sara, don't worry. We all make mistakes.

    – Bruno Iksil

  13. Boaz Constrictor says:

    Bob Zamuda is a friend of mine.

    • JPM TV Historian says:

      That was a great schtick Zamuda had back in the 70s:

      "Name??? My name is Raymond J. Johnson, Jr. Now you can call me Ray, or you can call me J, or you can call me Johnny, or you can call me Sonny, or you can call me Junie, or you can call me Junior; now you can call me Ray J, or you can call me RJ, or you can call me RJJ, or you can call me RJJ Jr., but ya doesn't hasta call me Johnson!"

    • Sell 3 DRT says:

      The Boaz constrictor….that's like a put fly on CDXIG right.

      • Wankin' Quant says:

        I'd prefer an "outs tranche put" bridge mezzanined to a VPP lookback knockout.

  14. Shecky Queeg says:

    A JP Morgan treasury executive fell overboard during a corporate cruise event and was rescued by a JPM commodity trader. The executive asked the trader how he could reward him. "The best way, sir," replied the trader, "is to say nothing about it. If the other traders knew I'd pulled you out, they'd throw me in."

  15. Not a fan says:

    Whoa, awkward Bloomberg moment, gotta say Eisen and Fu are decent reporters, since Ruhle turned up this show has become more and more like the View, workouts in the trading room, cheap pizza, hanging out with Einhorn at poker games, Superbowl trips, and always shouting in every segment, you're not on the trading floor now!

  16. Guest says:

    I was going to hedge the losses just by buying Weinstein's hedge fund and book the profits in the coming quarter.

    But some Indian banker named Vikram told me it won't work.

    Jamie D.

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    academia-research review very good article,maybe it should help me

  18. Bronor K says:

    <img src="">Finally the greek vote has a deadline made.<img src=""&gt;

  19. guestie says:

    Angie doing her best GWB 'strategery' impression

  20. guest says:

    I caught a fish this big.
    – Angie Merkel

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