Opening Bell: 05.24.12

Europe Plans Girds Greece Exit (WSJ)
Emerging from Wednesday night’s informal European Union summit, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said most leaders had backed issuing common debt, or euro-zone bonds, to help support troubled members. But Germany and others opposed them and demanded Greece do more. “We want Greece to remain in the euro zone,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters after nearly eight hours of talks. “But the precondition is that Greece upholds the commitments it has made.”

Citi: Greek To Exit Euro, New Currency To Fall 60% (CNBC)
Greece will leave the euro zone next year and the country’s new currency will “immediately fall by 60 percent,” according to Citi chief economist Willem Buiter. “The elections (on June 17th) will not produce a viable government that can follow the troika plan, leading to a stalemate between the Greek government and official creditors, and to the suspension of EFSF-IMF funding,” Buiter wrote in Citi’s latest Global Economic Outlook.

Slim Family Sees European Crisis As Good Time To Invest (Bloomberg)
Carlos Slim sees Europe’s debt crisis as a “good moment” to apply his strategy of investing in times of turmoil, said the billionaire’s son, America Movil SAB Co-Chairman Carlos Slim Domit. America Movil, controlled by the elder Slim, announced a $3.4 billion bid to increase its stake in former Dutch phone monopoly Royal KPN NV earlier this month. While the acquisition would be Slim’s first major European foray, it follows a longstanding pattern, his son said. America Movil tries to stay as efficient and financially sound as possible so that it can quickly capitalize on fresh opportunities, he said. “When hard times come, you can look at opportunities in a very agile way,” Slim Domit, 45, said in an interview this week in Mexico City. “Europe is in a good moment.”

After Facebook Fiasco, NYSE-Nasdaq Rivalry Heats Up (WSJ)
“In the short term, if I’m deciding which platform to go with, I’d think twice at this point” before choosing Nasdaq, said Sang Lee, managing partner with Aite Group, a consultancy that researches exchanges.

Investors Leery Of Paulson’s Big Gold Bet (NYP)
Investors are upset over Paulson’s huge gold positions — specifically, his outsize holding of AngloGold Ashanti, down 20 percent this year. That has dragged down two of Paulson’s funds. “I would be happier if he cut the gold position in half,” says one investor who put in a notice to take his money out of the fund in June. “He would have been up 4 percent in the first quarter if it weren’t for the goddamned gold.”

Auction Of Ronald Reagan’s Blood Stirs Debate (WSJ)
Since his death in 2004 at age 93, President Ronald Reagan’s popularity has only increased. Republican candidates invoke his name and policies. About 400,000 visitors a year flock to his hilltop museum outside Los Angeles, where a gift shop sells biographies, photos and his favorite jelly beans. Many people, it seems, want a piece of Mr. Reagan. But now, the sale of a very personal effect of the late president is stirring a controversy. Bidding for a vial purported to hold Mr. Reagan’s blood topped $14,000 Wednesday in an online auction scheduled to end Thursday—if the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation doesn’t try to block the sale first. PFC Auctions, based in the British Channel Islands, is offering the vial, said to have been obtained from a Maryland laboratory after the failed assassination attempt on Mr. Reagan in 1981. The sample was sent to the lab to test Mr. Reagan’s blood for lead. A lab employee kept the vial as a memento and later passed it on to her adult child, according to the auction site. The head of the Reagan Foundation, a nonprofit group, called the sale “a craven act” and is fighting to stop it. It is uncertain what claims, if any, the foundation may have on the vial, which appears to contain dried blood residue, as depicted in a picture on the auction site…The seller, an admirer of Mr. Reagan’s free-market policies, said in comments on the auction page, “I was a real fan of Reaganomics and felt that Pres. Reagan himself would rather see me sell it rather than donating it.”

Morgan Stanley, Others Make Profit of $100 Million Stabilizing Facebook (WSJ)
These gains are expected to be offset somewhat by losses associated with reimbursing clients who lost money because of technology snafus at the Nasdaq Stock Market in Facebook’s first day of trading, one of these people added.

The Next Treasury Secretary? (NYT)
On the Democratic side, possibilities include Laurence D. Fink of BlackRock, the asset manager; Erskine Bowles, who served on President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform; Daniel K. Tarullo, a member of the Federal Reserve Board; and Roger C. Altman, the investment banker. For the Republicans, the front-runners include Robert B. Zoellick, the head of the World Bank; John B. Taylor, the Stanford economist; Glenn Hubbard, the head of Columbia Business School and a Mitt Romney adviser; and Kevin Warsh, a former member of the Federal Reserve Board.

JPMorgan Shows Fighting Complexity Is Futile (FT)
Sallie Krawcheck: “…regulators should be candid with themselves. Easy to say, hard to do. If their assessment is that their risk models and stress tests are unable to keep up with the complexity of certain types of trades or sub-businesses, then the activities should not be allowed in a regulated banking entity. Full stop.”

Spain To Recapitalize Bankia (WSJ)
The Spanish government will provide about €9 billion ($11.4 billion) to cover Bankia SA’s provisioning needs, Finance Minister Luis de Guindos said Wednesday, in the latest sign that Spain’s economic deterioration is forcing authorities to inject more public funds to bail out ailing banks. Since Bankia won’t be able to meet provisioning and capital needs, Spain’s Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring will be ready to inject capital into Bankia’s unlisted parent company, Banco Financiero & de Ahorros SA, which holds the company’s most toxic real-estate assets, Mr. de Guindos told legislators in Parliament.

Indian State OKs Shooting Tiger Poachers On Sight (AP)
A state in western India has declared war on animal poaching by allowing forest guards to shoot hunters on sight in an effort to curb rampant attacks on tigers and other wildlife. The government in Maharashtra says injuring or killing suspected poachers will no longer be considered a crime. Forest guards should not be “booked for human rights violations when they have taken action against poachers,” Maharashtra Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam said Tuesday. The state also will send more rangers and jeeps into the forest, and will offer secret payments to informers who give tips about poachers and animal smugglers, he said.

62 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (62)

  1. Posted by Fox News | May 24, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    The seller, an admirer of Mr. Reagan’s free-market policies, said in comments on the auction page, “I was a real fan of Reaganomics and felt that Pres. Reagan himself would rather see me sell it rather than donating it.”

    When asked to clarify his view of what Reaganomics in fact was, the seller responded, "You know, like on that documentary series, True Blood."

  2. Posted by Guestavo | May 24, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Note to self: next time you murder someone in India, plant a kangol hat and binoculars

  3. Posted by 052412 | May 24, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    Fuck off Sallie.

    – B. Moynihan
    – V. Pandit

  4. Posted by Guesto | May 24, 2012 at 8:56 AM

    Fat family sees no looming crisis as opportunity to invest in carbs

  5. Posted by Guest | May 24, 2012 at 8:56 AM

    John Travolta tried to molest me after a dinner at the White House. He said I wouldn't even remember it the next day. Next thing I know I was landing on a US carrier (mission accomplished) while wearing a diaper.

    – Ghost of R Reagan

  6. Posted by VonSloneker | May 24, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    …and Bonzo the vampire monkey shall, at last, taste of that which he was denied.

    – Guy who can't imagine what kind of sicko would want the Gipper's blood

  7. Posted by Motivated Guest | May 24, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    What about Jackson Heights? Or that truck on 53rd and 6th?

  8. Posted by Guest | May 24, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Profoundly awful

  9. Posted by Harbinger investor | May 24, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    “I would be happier if he cut the gold position in half,” says one investor who put in a notice to take his money out of the fund in June. “He would have been up 4 percent in the first quarter if it weren’t for the goddamned gold.”

    Nobody likes a bragger.

  10. Posted by Guest | May 24, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    The Buiter quote is out of context. In context, the quote is simply describing the assumptions for his most likely scenario. It's not a hard prediction.

  11. Posted by Culverhouse advisor | May 24, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    it's, "braggart" ….

    also blew you out of your gold futes hedge, so fixed that for you.

  12. Posted by Guest | May 24, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    If only there were a way to gain exposure to something like gold, or say, a store like Target without paying these darn high hedge fund fees.

    – Family Office CIO

  13. Posted by Vacillator | May 24, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    That's in the disclosure document, under not held.

  14. Posted by Lowly Assistant | May 24, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Samuel L. Jackson on a stakeout?

    -Banana In Tailpipe Quant

  15. Posted by Carlos | May 24, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    You can never be too rich or too slim.

  16. Posted by ya | May 24, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    whatever happened to mexicant anyway ?

  17. Posted by Real Talk | May 24, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Yeah, today's headlines are admittedly a bland mess of whocares, but that comment….

    I mean, have you even seen Broken Arrow? Face Off? ……Battlefield Earth?

  18. Posted by guest | May 24, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Don't blame the lack of news the day before a three day weekend for your subpar comment.

  19. Posted by Chief Chief | May 24, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Car 54 Where Are You?

  20. Posted by guest | May 24, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Not funny at all but thinks he's hilarious racist says what?

  21. Posted by Nice Softball | May 24, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Hey!!

    -Karen Carpenter

  22. Posted by Angry Badger | May 24, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    So what's your excuse?

  23. Posted by VonSloneker | May 24, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    No, he's right

    – Mama Kass

  24. Posted by Guest | May 24, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Quotation. Pet peeve–sorry.

    – Peeved

  25. Posted by Quotidian Capital | May 24, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    Where mean regression is not just our mission, but a way of life.

  26. Posted by Nick Papageorgio | May 24, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    No longer we will wear blindfolds while jerking each other off!

    –Yale SOM Valedictorian graduation ceremony speech

  27. Posted by Guest | May 24, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    I molested a collie dressed as a cowboy once.

    -Kneale before Zod!

  28. Posted by The Truth | May 24, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    "Two of these banks — Morgan Stanley and Citibank — have put Paulson on a “watch” list"

    We have gone further and put Paulson on Double Secret Probation

    – D. Wormer, MD UBS Fund Investing

  29. Posted by Deleveraging | May 24, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    You know this will turn into a bloody mess.

  30. Posted by Guest | May 24, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Part of me thinks Kneale actually posts these himself.

  31. Posted by im_new_here | May 24, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    One step closer to cloning Ronald Reagan!

  32. Posted by HungryIntern | May 24, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    I would love a pint or two….

    ~ Glenn Beck

  33. Posted by Whoops | May 24, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    You stay the fuck away from the Halal Guys.

    -Midtown Denizen

  34. Posted by PermaGuestII | May 24, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    So, basically, the Continent's combination of stasis and chaos is starting to resemble that of Latin America, creating opportunities for Mexican and other investors accustomed to operating in dysfunctional economies.

    Sounds about right.

  35. Posted by Guest | May 24, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    REAGAN SMASH! REAGAN SMASH!

  36. Posted by Shaq | May 24, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Don't forget Solvania's strategic Pledge reserves

    – Late night talk show joke writer

  37. Posted by Alienist | May 24, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    every day the US becomes more like bolivia.

    what on earth could explain this ?

  38. Posted by Guestest | May 24, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Welcome. Its tiger hunter hunting season.

    — India Tourism Dev Corp

  39. Posted by Deleveraging | May 24, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Since nothing has been posted since Opening Bell, should we assume Bess and Matt are at the Goldman Meeting?

  40. Posted by Tony | May 24, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    That's NOT GREEEEEEAAAAAAAT!!!

  41. Posted by Retail_in_Dallas | May 24, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    winner

  42. Posted by Guest | May 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Team RamRod checking in

    – Farva

  43. Posted by Not Me | May 24, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    He had secured a buyside offer for 2013.

  44. Posted by Z Galifak | May 24, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    That's so raven.

  45. Posted by PaEm | May 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    The fallout of this IPO doesn't surprise me. Unfortunately, most folks that got "zuckered" into this classic pump and dump scheme (in which zuck already cashed out over $1B in personal shares) are the same who would enroll in shitty mba programs today with the hopes of rising from the ranks of the unwashed masses.

    There are too many "paper billionaires" in this world. In the end, Facebook is a company that has no assets or hard equity that would amount to half a billion. If you bought into the facebook IPO hype, you are what made folks like Zuckerberg and P.T. Barnum rich.

  46. Posted by trojan_ | May 24, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    Rabbit season.
    -DD

  47. Posted by $$$ | May 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    way to be

  48. Posted by Hakuna Matata Guy | May 24, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    "Paper billionaire"? Don't forget W.B. Mason

  49. Posted by who | May 24, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    brunette #2 : "that's so us"

    patrick: "there is no us"

  50. Posted by Charles O. | May 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Shall we DANCE?

    – C. Prince

  51. Posted by guest | May 24, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    *Wabbit season.
    -E Fudd

  52. Posted by Bugs | May 24, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Duck season

  53. Posted by History Major | May 24, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Didn't anyone think that maybe a common euro currency was not a great idea..Didn't these guys fight against each other during two wars over the past 90 years… and who knows how many over the past two hundred.

  54. Posted by Hakuna Matata Guy | May 24, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    69 to be exact.

  55. Posted by Guest | May 24, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Jokebriefer?

  56. Posted by Whoops | May 24, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Bonzo was a chimp who starred alongside Reagan in the 1951 "comedy" "Bedtime for Bonzo". I imagine VS was just riffing on that.

    -Not even close to the Joke Briefer but a fan of his work.

  57. Posted by Sean Hannity | May 24, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Ronald Reagan in a Cowboy outfit. I'm so moist.

  58. Posted by further | May 24, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    later went on to run the wealth management division of a large swiss bank with US headquarters in Greenwich CT.

  59. Posted by speech economy | May 24, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    okay ( calls desk )

    "I need a quotation on the dec sp 1300 straddle"

    **click**

  60. Posted by guest | May 24, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    shhhhhh

  61. Posted by VonSloneker | May 25, 2012 at 9:11 AM

    Thankfully they stopped the auction.

    Rather than a superfan, I was thinking of some uber-lefty freak who wants to perform some kind of repugnant "ritual" using the blood. It should be disposed of.

  62. Posted by alucard | May 27, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    A market for plasma excellent