Opening Bell

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.

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62 Responses to “Opening Bell: 05.24.12”

  1. Fox News says:

    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. Guestavo says:

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

  3. 052412 says:

    Fuck off Sallie.

    – B. Moynihan
    – V. Pandit

  4. Guesto says:

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

  5. Guest says:

    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. VonSloneker says:

    …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. Harbinger investor says:

    “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.

    • Culverhouse advisor says:

      it's, "braggart" ….

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

    • Guest says:

      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

  8. Guest says:

    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.

  9. Nick Papageorgio says:

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

    –Yale SOM Valedictorian graduation ceremony speech

  10. Guest says:

    I molested a collie dressed as a cowboy once.

    -Kneale before Zod!

  11. The Truth says:

    "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

  12. im_new_here says:

    One step closer to cloning Ronald Reagan!

  13. PermaGuestII says:

    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.

  14. Guest says:

    REAGAN SMASH! REAGAN SMASH!

  15. Guestest says:

    Welcome. Its tiger hunter hunting season.

    — India Tourism Dev Corp

  16. Deleveraging says:

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

  17. Z Galifak says:

    That's so raven.

  18. PaEm says:

    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.

  19. Hakuna Matata Guy says:

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

  20. History Major says:

    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.

  21. Sean Hannity says:

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

  22. alucard says:

    A market for plasma excellent