Opening Bell

Opening Bell: 11.09.12

RBS, UBS Traders Said to Face Arrest in Libor Probe (Bloomberg)
U.K. prosecutors are poised to arrest former traders and rate setters at UBS, Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Barclays within a month for questioning over their role in the Libor scandal, a person with knowledge of the probe said. The arrests will be made by police under the direction of prosecutors at the Serious Fraud Office within the next month, said the person, who declined to be identified because the matter isn’t public. Arrests in the U.K. are made at an early stage of the investigation, allowing police and prosecutors to question people under caution and may not lead to charges. The SFO has 40 people working on the probe into manipulation of the London interbank bank offered rate, a benchmark for financial products valued at $360 trillion worldwide, and has involved the City of London Police, said David Green, the agency’s director. “Significant developments” in the case are coming “in the near future,” Green said yesterday in an interview at his office in London without giving further details and declining to comment on any possible arrests.

Pressure Mounts On Fiscal Crisis (WSJ)
The CBO on Thursday detailed its view that if Washington policy makers don’t act before the end of the year, the economy would contract by 0.5% in 2013. The unemployment rate would jump from 7.9% to 9.1% by the end of 2013, according to the CBO—a nonpartisan arm of Congress.

Ex-Goldman Bankers See Crisis Opportunity in Greek Insurance (Bloomberg)
Alexis Pantazis and Emilios Markou are on a three-year odyssey to become next-generation car insurance executives in Greece that’s a million miles from their previous incarnation as bankers for Goldman Sachs. “One of our investors says you cannot wipe out a country,” said Pantazis, 36, a consultant at Boston Consulting Group before working as an executive director at Goldman Sachs from 2005 to 2008. “A country like Greece has 11 million people and these people need basic services. They need bread, they need milk, they need car insurance.” As French banks Credit Agricole and Societe Generale sell their Greek units to exit the only euro area country that’s in need of a second rescue package, Pantazis and Markou see an opportunity. After swapping business-class lounges and sushi for budget flights and sandwiches, the pair began pitching their Internet-based vehicle policies to Greeks two months ago.

SEC Left Computers Vulnerable to Cyberattacks (Reuters)
Staffers at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission failed to encrypt some of their computers containing highly sensitive information from stock exchanges, leaving the data vulnerable to cyberattacks, according to people familiar with the matter. While the computers were unprotected, there was no evidence that hacking or spying on the SEC’s computers took place, these people said. The computers and other electronic devices in question belonged to a handful of employees in an office within the SEC’s Trading and Markets Division. That office is responsible for making sure exchanges follow certain guidelines to protect the markets from potential cyber threats and systems problems, one of those people said…The security lapses in the Trading and Markets Division are laid out in a yet-to-be-released report that by the SEC’s Interim Inspector General Jon Rymer.

The Last Days Of Romneyland (NBC)
From the moment Mitt Romney stepped off stage Tuesday night, having just delivered a brief concession speech he wrote only that evening, the massive infrastructure surrounding his campaign quickly began to disassemble itself. Aides taking cabs home late that night got rude awakenings when they found the credit cards linked to the campaign no longer worked. “Fiscally conservative,” sighed one aide the next day. In conversations on Wednesday, aides were generally wistful, not angry, at how the campaign ended. Most, like their boss, truly believed the campaign’s now almost comically inaccurate models, and that a victory was well within their grasp. (Outside Republicans and donors are another story. Some are angry over what they felt was an overly rosy picture painted by the campaign, and at what amounts to the loss of their investment.)

New York Subway Repairs Border ‘on the Edge of Magic’ (NYT)
There were some hiccups…On Thursday morning, inside his office, Joseph Lhota, the chairman of the transportation authority, checked his BlackBerry often, hoping for an update on the L train. Moments later, he placed a call to Howard B. Glaser, Mr. Cuomo’s director of state operations, whom he wanted to brief on the Queens-Midtown Tunnel. The tunnel could open Friday, he told Mr. Glaser, remarking that Mr. Bloomberg, “like an idiot,” had predicted publicly that the tunnel might open over the weekend. “He’s making it up,” he said, after a brief hail of profanity in which Mr. Lhota wondered aloud who, exactly, Mr. Bloomberg had been talking to. “It’s wrong,” he told Mr. Glaser. “It’s just wrong.” Mr. Lhota also spoke of the L line’s importance, as if his audience needed convincing. “You know who knows where the L train goes?” he barked into the phone. “All the hipsters in Williamsburg.” The BlackBerry buzzed on the table in front of him. He grabbed it quickly, then put it back. No good news yet on the L, he said. Hours later, that would change. “Ladies and Gentlemen,” he wrote on Twitter. “The L train is back. Enjoy your trip home tonight.”

Whistleblower To Get Big Payment In Bank Of New York-Virginia Deal (WSJ)
Bank of New York Mellon Corp. has reached an agreement with the state of Virginia to resolve accusations the bank charged hidden markups on currency transactions to Virginia’s employee pension fund, in a deal that will also involve a $1.1 million payment to a whistleblower group, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The whistleblower group includes Grant Wilson, who spent two years as a secret informant while sitting on the bank’s Pittsburgh trading desk. Mr. Wilson’s identity was disclosed in a page-one article in The Wall Street Journal last year. As part of the agreement, Virginia won’t pursue litigation against BNY Mellon, and the bank will offer reduced fees in the future under a new custodial deal, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

Nearly Half Of Britons Want EU Exit (Reuters)
Nearly half of Britons would vote in a referendum to leave the European Union and less than a third to stay in, according to a poll highlighting divisions facing Prime Minister David Cameron. Polling company YouGov said on Thursday 49 percent favoured leaving the EU, 28 percent would vote to stay in the 27-nation bloc, 17 percent were undecided and the rest would not vote.

Crédit Agricole Posts Record Loss After Greek Sale (WSJ)
The Paris-based lender, France’s third-largest bank by market value, posted a third-quarter net loss of €2.85 billion ($3.63 billion), well below analyst forecasts of a €1.76 billion net loss. The bank reported a €258 million profit in the same quarter a year earlier.

Rochdale Traders Await Rescue (NYP)
Sixteen days after a rogue trader rocked Stamford, Conn.-based Rochdale Securities, the broker-dealer, still hasn’t reached a deal with a deep-pocketed investor, sources said.

Fla. principal resigns after offering promotions for sex (WPBF)
A Florida high school principal who offered teachers’ promotions in exchange for sex has resigned from his position. Steve Van Gorden’s resignation comes after a 300-page investigative report by Pasco County school officials into allegations of sexual harassment. Several teachers claim Van Gorden, who is also the mayor of Zephyrhills, sent text messages offering career boosts in exchange for sex and threatened them if they refused. Van Gorden said he’s sorry. “The bottom line is I’m truly sorry for what occurred, and it’s not going to happen again,” Van Gorden said. Van Gorden has a year and a half left on his term as mayor.

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63 Responses to “Opening Bell: 11.09.12”

  1. lucas says:

    “You know who knows where the L train goes?” he barked into the phone. “All the hipsters in Williamsburg.”

    Is that an argument for or against resuming Ltrain service?

    • Guest says:

      It's an argument in favor of resuming eastbound service.

    • Guest says:

      Against. No particular need to run the L train when all the hipsters are back moping around their parents' houses in the gated communities while waiting for city services to be restored. And goodness only knows their musical so-called careers aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

  2. Dick Rove' says:

    Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.

  3. PermaGuestII says:

    I'm not sure which is more of a sign of the impending apocalypse– the hurricane itself, or the fact that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority turned out to be a model of efficiency and competence in response.

    • pazzo83 says:

      Gonna have to agree here. The fact that they had the 4/5 tunnel from Manhattan to Brooklyn up and running late last Friday considering it was entirely filled with water from the storm is pretty amazing.

      However, I'm sure the MTA will soon revert back to its normal incompetent ways.

    • Guest says:

      I would recommend you wait for the MTA to submit its bill to the city government before jumping to any conclusions on its efficiency.

  4. Dateraider says:

    Syphilis in Zephyrhills

  5. Evil David Letterman says:

    Big weekend planed. Going to try my first bugchasing party. Wish uncle Dave luck that he comes home with the gift that keeps giving.

    • constructive says:

      how bout a gun and some depressants instead ?

    • Dunbar says:

      Why would someone give Phonographs as a gift for attending a party?

    • Guest says:


      – The ghost of Freddie Mercury

    • HungryIntern says:

      To me it sounds like you are trying to say, that you are going to Jos. A. Bank to load up on the buy 1 get 4 free deal that they are running this weekend.

    • Paul's taint says:

      UPDATE: This just in. Evil David Letterman? – Still not funny. Doesn't even reach the level of comically bad.

      By the way, PLANNED. Similar to your parents Un-planned pregnancy. Unless you're speaking of aerodynamics, woodworking tools or hydrodynamics.

  6. Incitatus says:

    Am I the only one thinking that 75-80% of our best commenters were among Sandy's 110 person death toll?

  7. Karl Rove says:

    I just blew through $300 million. Given the history of financial employment after such incidents….are any of you hedge funds hiring?

    • pazzo83 says:

      1. Spend $6 billion.
      2. ???
      3. Get largely the same government you started with.

    • political vc says:

      actually those were the funds of contributors. Rove and associates gets the advertsing industry standard 15% to his consulting firm for the advertising, strategic consulting etc.

      these people care nothing whatever about political philosophy, like all else in the us it has become just another racket.

      • Venture Guest says:

        Kweku probably said, "Those were just the funds of others……"

        • Euston Payday loans says:

          Then went on to say, "….people at ubs care nothing about the clients or the profit and loss of the bank, it's just another racket "

  8. Guest says:

    It's nice to see us New Yorkers come together in a time of crisis. It's even nicer to see that during that time, we all still hate hipsters from Brooklyn

  9. Guest says:

    Where's your Mormon god now, Chompers?

    -The Latino Gianto

  10. guest says:

    Thank god we busted this sex for promotions thing with our teachers and we can get back to the old way of promoting teachers, giving them tenure and letting them getting old and more useless.

    -Teachers Union Rep

  11. JohnStreet Cannibal says:

    Hipsters are the fucking rake.

  12. Quant me maybe says:

    What's wrong with hipsters. They don't smell bad do they?

  13. Hobbes says:

    Serious Fraud is Serious Business.

  14. .Bo says:

    It's a two way street.

  15. Finger Pointer says:

    I heard that the JPM quantitative risk team gets to buy gasoline on days divisible by -0-.

  16. grumpy friday says:

    Lazy bums, put up another post.

  17. Guest says:

    In other news Obama campaign credit cards have automatically converted to food stamp cards and the campaign aides have been immediately enrolled in unemployment insurance. Fiscally liberal!

    -Sarcastic guy

  18. Curious monkey says:

    Can someone please explain the "welcome home Morgan Stanley" thing on the website banner?

    • 2 cubes over says:

      Go home.

    • Keenan says:

      I have no idea!

      – Keenan

    • God Shamgod says:

      It went somewhere, and now it is back home.

    • FKApmco says:

      Hey Monkey Boy, the story goes something like this:
      –Commenter says mean thing about MS HR.
      –MS throws hissy fit, threatens to sue Bess.
      –Bess says "Fuck you"
      –MS bans DB
      –MS get over themselves and allow access about 2 months ago
      –Banner still on DB because someone has to tell MS Bankers they are welcome somewhere…James just put a freaking SALES & TRADING guy in charge of the Investment Bankers.

  19. new says:

    what gives ?

  20. clean up crew says:

    That robot has a beautiful smile!