Opening Bell

Opening Bell: 10.15.12

Global Finance Chiefs At Odds (WSJ)
At the annual meetings here of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, European officials bickered about the damage caused by austerity; this week they head into a major euro-zone summit with no clear rescue plan for Greece. A territorial row between China and Japan, the world’s second- and third-largest economies, bled into the conference with no sign of resolution, highlighting a new risk to growth. And many top finance officials pointed fingers at the U.S. for casting a new cloud over global markets by failing to make progress on the budget mess in the world’s largest economy.

Thousands March In Spain To Protest Austerity (Reuters)
Several thousand anti-austerity protesters in Spain marched down a major street in the capital banging pots and pans Saturday. Many protesters also blew whistles as they blocked part of the Castellana boulevard Saturday carrying placards saying “We don’t owe, we won’t pay.” “None of us pushed the banks to lend huge sums of money to greedy property speculators, yet we are being asked to pay for other’s mistakes,” 34-year-old civil servant Maria Costa, who was banging an old pot along with her two children, said.

Bernanke Defends Fed From Claims It Is Being Selfish (NYT)
Critics say the Fed’s unorthodox policies weaken the dollar and bolster the currencies of developing countries, hurting their ability to export. “It is not at all clear that accommodative policies in advanced economies impose net costs on emerging market economies,” Mr. Bernanke said at an event sponsored by the Bank of Japan and the International Monetary Fund. The Fed last month announced a program of open-ended bond purchases that will be continued until there is substantial improvement in labor market conditions, barring a sustained and unexpected spike in inflation. To start off, the central bank will buy $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities each month. “This policy not only helps strengthen the U.S. economic recovery, but by boosting U.S. spending and growth, it has the effect of helping support the global economy as well,” Mr. Bernanke said.

Fischer Backs Fed QE3 as World ‘Awfully Close’ to Recession (Bloomberg)
While there has been “a lot of progress made” to improve the global economy, its impact hasn’t materialized, Fischer said in an interview in Tokyo with Bloomberg Television airing Sunday. He signaled that by deciding not to set an end date or total amount to its third program of bond buying, the Fed is easing worries it will run out of ammunition before achieving its goals.

Can Morgan Stanley’s Gorman Save Wall Street? (BV)
Gorman’s strategic moves are enough to convince one natural born skeptic, Mike Mayo, a financial-industry research analyst at Credit Agricole SA (ACA), to recommend Morgan Stanley’s stock for the first time in years. “The stock is valued as if it is a Greek or Spanish bank but its risk is far less,” he wrote in an e-mail to me. For Morgan Stanley to return to its glory days, he said, margins need to be improved in asset management, fixed-income trading needs to be further slimmed down and the core investment-banking franchise needs to be maintained and reinvigorated. Good advice. A firm built around lower risk-taking and lower overall pay while still providing clients with the advice and capital they need to innovate and expand is what we need on Wall Street. It’s the vision of one man taking seriously his responsibility to make the capital markets safe and productive for economies all over the world, instead of just some casino gone haywire where the house absorbs the losses and the profits go to the gamblers. The question is whether other leaders on Wall Street will follow Gorman’s example.

Sex Life Was ‘Out of Step,’ Strauss-Kahn Says, but Not Illegal (NYT)
More than a year after resigning in disgrace as the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is seeking redemption with a new consulting company, the lecture circuit and a uniquely French legal defense to settle a criminal inquiry that exposed his hidden life as a libertine…In France, “Libertinage” has a long history in the culture, dating from a 16th-century religious sect of libertines. But the most perplexing question in the Strauss-Kahn affair is how a career politician with ambition to lead one of Europe’s most powerful nations was blinded to the possibility that his zest for sex parties could present a liability, or risk blackmail. The exclusive orgies called “parties fines” — lavish Champagne affairs costing around $13,000 each — were organized as a roving international circuit from Paris to Washington by businessmen seeking to ingratiate themselves with Mr. Strauss-Kahn. Some of that money, according to a lawyer for the main host, ultimately paid for prostitutes because of a shortage of women at the mixed soirees orchestrated largely for the benefit of Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who sometimes sought sex with three or four women.

German finance chief Wolfgang Schaeuble says Greece won’t default or exit (Telegraph)
“Greece has to take a lot of very serious reforms” and “everyone is trusting that the Greek government is doing what is necessary”, he said at a meeting with business leaders in Singapore on Sunday. Mr Schaeuble said an increasing majority of Greeks understand that being in the euro “is in the best interest of Greece” and said did not think there would be a ‘staatsbankrott’ – or state bankruptcy. He said he did not see “any sense to speculate on Greece leaving the euro” because it would be very damaging for both the country and the region.

High-Speed Trading No Longer Hurtling Forward (NYT)
Profits from high-speed trading in American stocks are on track to be, at most, $1.25 billion this year, down 35 percent from last year and 74 percent lower than the peak of about $4.9 billion in 2009, according to estimates from the brokerage firm Rosenblatt Securities. By comparison, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase each earned more in the last quarter than the high-speed trading industry will earn this year.

Titanic Tycoon Plans Stake Sale Talks for $8 Billion Gas Project (Bloomberg)
Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer, who’s planning to build a modern replica of the Titanic, aims to start talks next year to sell stakes in a potential $8 billion natural gas project in Papua New Guinea. “We’ve had interest from major petrochemical companies who want to joint venture” including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chinese companies, Palmer said in an interview. “We will talk to them at the appropriate time,” likely mid-2013 when field work is scheduled to be completed, he said.

Occupy Supporters Stage Protest in London (AP)
Several supporters of the anti-corporate Occupy movement chained themselves to the pulpit of St. Paul’s Cathedral during a service on Sunday in an action for the anniversary of its now-dismantled protest camp outside the London landmark. The dean of St. Paul’s, David Ison, said he was conducting an evening prayer service when “four young women dressed in white” chained themselves to the structure.

Dutch make massive cocaine bust in fruit shipment headed for zoo, arrest five (AP)
A major cocaine seizure in Europe turned out to be good news for the animals at Rotterdam’s zoo. The drugs were hidden among boxes of bananas, and the fruit went to the monkeys and other creatures at the Blijdorp zoo. Dutch prosecutors said Friday more than eight tons of cocaine was hidden among the bananas on a ship from Ecuador. The drugs were seized Monday in the Belgian port of Antwerp, while the bananas were allowed to continue on to Rotterdam – the shipment’s final destination. Dutch police arrested a Belgian truck driver and four Dutch men on Tuesday.

(hidden for your protection)
Show all comments

58 Responses to “Opening Bell: 10.15.12”

  1. Harrumph says:

    Freezing pay increases and slashing your own bank is the NKI

    – Bitter MS employee

  2. Bored Guest says:

    NakedShort – DSK has been enjoying a "roving international circuit" of $13,000 sex parties, replete with purple & black tiger striped walls, Belgian escorts, etc. You get up to anything like that this weekend?

  3. V Putin says:

    The dean of St. Paul’s, David Ison, said he was conducting an evening prayer service when “four young women dressed in white” chained themselves to the structure.

    Want me to fix that for you?

  4. zoo employee says:

    Sir, the monkeys went bananas!

  5. guest says:

    From Menage to Libertinage – france's contribution to the new century

  6. d roubini says:

    those 27 plaster vulva's on my wall and busloads of teenage asians at my parties? oh, that's just to ingratiate myself with Mr. Strauss-Kahn.

  7. Maria did what? says:

    She was banging her two children? Nasty.

  8. Musing in Munich says:

    Dear Mr. Strauss-Kahn,

    Would you by chance have any interest in lending your expertise to a new boutique insurance company that believes a well incentivized sales force is the key to providing best in class risk management services to leading corporate clients? If so, we think you could be a great fit for our corporate culture as we break-away from our corporate parent, which was stifling our urge to properly compensate our people.

    Former MunichRe Wristband Quant, Aspiring International Boutique Insurance Company CEO

  9. VonSloneker says:

    Ah to be a French public figure. I'd probably be president by now…

    – Client #9

  10. Kool-Aid says:

    “He’s a man of incredible moral strength,” said Michel Taubmann, his biographer. “I saw this man resisting, avoiding a fall. Never have I have seen him desperate. He knows he is innocent and wants to move forward.”

    Mr. Taubman, please name your price. Our spokesman search is over.

  11. SellTheBorrow says:

    They're on to us!

    – Pablo Apescobar

  12. Bonzo says:

    Wait – these are just bananas! Dammit.

    – Disappointed Zoo Monkeys

  13. Guest says:

    Hoobastank is an underrated band.


  14. Guest says:

    Looks like Oswald Cobblepot has put on some weight.

  15. guest says:

    I'm curious to know what DSK considers out of step.

  16. Bored Guest says:

    Wondering if this was on the short list for the morning's Bell:

    Creepy, weird, and kinda hot.

  17. Grape Ape says:

    Mexican Coke Shark > Rotterdamian Cokeless Monkeys

  18. Eyes Wide Shut says:

    (i) How much coin do I have to make to secure an invite into this "Libertinage" society? (ii) If the 'circuit' has so many powerful people in attendance, why haven't these charges against DSK vanished?

  19. jack says:

    I'm still of the belief that QE3 is dangerous

  20. LetsBreel says:

    What did you assholes do to run Chelsea Clinton off of Wall Street? Thanks. Now we have to deal with her.

  21. itchy throat says:

    I amazed with the research you made to create this particular publish extraordinary. Great job!