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.

37 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
Show all comments ↓

Comments (37)

  1. Posted by Sabine | May 16, 2012 at 8:28 AM


  2. Posted by guest | May 16, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    Whale on whale action.

  3. Posted by Cheap Watch | May 16, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    "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. Posted by Mini Whale | May 16, 2012 at 8:46 AM

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

  5. Posted by berlusconi | May 16, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    That is one unfuckable lard arse

  6. Posted by Just The Known Facts | May 16, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    Whatever he was doing, Mr. Dimon has said publicly it was "stupid".

  7. Posted by Lloyd | May 16, 2012 at 9:01 AM

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

  8. Posted by guest | May 16, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Sara, call me

    -Warren B

  9. Posted by New York Post | May 16, 2012 at 9:06 AM

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

  10. Posted by Guest | May 16, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    What Happens When Greece's Money Runs Out?

    More Greek prostitutes at German insurance company parties

  11. Posted by guest | May 16, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    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"….

  12. Posted by whacked er | May 16, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    You're done here Ina…

    I'm Mark Zames bitch !

  13. Posted by Ultra | May 16, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    I also liked the paulson profits on golds rise one…


  14. Posted by Guestavo | May 16, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Get him out of here

    -Matt Zames

  15. Posted by ilovekrill | May 16, 2012 at 9:58 AM

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

    – Bruno Iksil

  16. Posted by Boaz Constrictor | May 16, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    Bob Zamuda is a friend of mine.

  17. Posted by JPM TV Historian | May 16, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    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!"

  18. Posted by Cunning Linguist | May 16, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    So, as Greece teeters, titters totter on the edge of sobs?

  19. Posted by Shecky Queeg | May 16, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    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."

  20. Posted by Sell 3 DRT | May 16, 2012 at 10:45 AM

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

  21. Posted by Guest | May 16, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    As long as you don't call me Vontaze Burfict.

  22. Posted by Wankin' Quant | May 16, 2012 at 10:56 AM

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

  23. Posted by Not a fan | May 16, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    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!

  24. Posted by Lebron Zames | May 16, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Hey it was two freethrows !

  25. Posted by Avery Jessup | May 16, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Look, see this one? That's a car. 275 thou. Might wanna hang onto that one.

    Pretty accurate for Greece.

  26. Posted by Guest | May 16, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    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.

  27. Posted by guest | May 16, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Selling CDX is a long bet on credit. Just sayin…

  28. Posted by Mr. Christmas | May 16, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    All right, kill him

  29. Posted by Avery Jessup | May 16, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    They do like their porsches…

  30. Posted by Guest | May 16, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    DAMMIT…I forgot to sign out of my account before replying…I need to get out of here.

  31. Posted by guest | May 16, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Everytime I see Ruhle I keep thinking Lindsay Lohan of Bloomberg….

  32. Posted by Maus | May 16, 2012 at 2:59 PM

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

  33. Posted by Bronor K | May 16, 2012 at 3:09 PM

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

  34. Posted by guestie | May 16, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Angie doing her best GWB 'strategery' impression

  35. Posted by guest | May 16, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    I caught a fish this big.
    – Angie Merkel

  36. Posted by click this | October 1, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    I didnt seek this, but I love this, found it entertaining! Keep up the excellent work!

  37. Posted by buy etizolam | October 15, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    Hey there my name is Rebecca and I’m a writer and this site really aided me. I’m inspired! Thank you!