Opening Bell: 11.12.12

Leucadia Agrees to Buy Jefferies for About $2.76 Billion (Bloomberg)
Leucadia National Corp agreed to buy the the portion of Jefferies Group it doesn’t already own for about $2.76 billion. Investors will receive 0.81 Leucadia share for each Jefferies share they own, the companies said today in a statement. The deal values the entire company at about $3.59 billion, based on data from the company’s most recent 10-Q regulatory filing. Jefferies management will run the firm, according to the report. Leucadia already holds about 28.6 percent of New York-based Jefferies. Jefferies Chief Executive Officer Richard Handler will become CEO of New York-based Leucadia after the transaction is completed, which the companies said they expected in the first quarter. Handler will remain CEO of Jefferies as well. “This transaction represents the realization of a personal dream for me,” Handler, 51, said in the statement.

Greece Passes 2013 Austerity Budget (WSJ)
Greece passed on Monday a 2013 austerity budget needed to unlock further funding for the cash-strapped country, although international creditors have indicated the disbursement may be weeks away as they squabble over how to resolve the nation’s debt problems. Euro-zone finance ministers will meet Monday in Brussels, where they had been expected to approve Greece’s next aid payment of €31.5 billion ($40 billion), but no decision is now expected until they are assured the country’s overhauls are on track. The budget, approved by a 167-128 vote, foresees Greece taking €9.4 billion of budget cuts next year, dealing a fresh blow to an economy seen contracting 4.5% next year, its sixth year of recession.

Spain Needs A Bailout Urgently: Former ECB Member (CNBC)
Bini Smaghi told CNBC that Spain must not waste any more time and that it needed to apply for help from Europe’s bailout fund. “They need to revitalize the economy and they need lower interest rates [and] the only way to do that [is] to request a program,” he said, adding that Spain should have done so “yesterday.”

White House Plans Public Appeal On Deficit (WSJ)
Mr. Obama has planned the meetings as policy makers start work to craft a package of deficit-reduction measures that could come in place of the so-called fiscal cliff, the mandatory spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to begin in January. His meetings with labor and business leaders come before he meets with congressional leaders Friday, evidence the White House believes Mr. Obama can use momentum from his re-election to marshal outside support and heighten pressure on Republicans to agree to tax increases on upper-income earners. The strategy comes as many Republicans appear to have softened their antitax rhetoric in the wake of the election, with many openly acknowledging that higher taxes will likely be part of any plan to reduce the deficit.

Boehner Tells House GOP to Fall in Line (NYT)
On a conference call with House Republicans a day after the party’s electoral battering last week, Speaker John A. Boehner dished out some bitter medicine, and for the first time in the 112th Congress, most members took their dose. Their party lost, badly, Mr. Boehner said, and while Republicans would still control the House and would continue to staunchly oppose tax rate increases as Congress grapples with the impending fiscal battle, they had to avoid the nasty showdowns that marked so much of the last two years. Members on the call, subdued and dark, murmured words of support — even a few who had been a thorn in the speaker’s side for much of this Congress. It was a striking contrast to a similar call last year, when Mr. Boehner tried to persuade members to compromise with Democrats on a deal to extend a temporary cut in payroll taxes, only to have them loudly revolt.

No Increase Of Banker Bonuses This Year (NYP)
That’s the dour view of executive-compensation firm Johnson Associates, which says investment-banking business is so slow that after the sector’s workers bore the brunt of most of the 7,000 job losses on the Street this year, they will find the bonus pie smaller as well. “It’s a tremendous drop from five years ago. If you were getting an average bonus of $400,000 back in 2007, then this year it will probably be around $200,000 or $250,000,” says Alan Johnson, managing director of Johnson Associates…However, fixed-income executives, who sell bonds, should see bonuses rise this year by something between 10 percent and 20 percent.

Deputies: Man impersonated federal officer to get into Epcot for free (Orlando Sentinel)
A 74-year-old Miami man who was trying to avoid paying nearly $100 to get into Epcot, was arrested after he impersonated a Federal officer. Emerito Pujol flashed a fake badge at an Epcot employee as he passed through the turnstiles at the park around noon on Saturday. The employee challenged him and asked to see the badge again. He claimed he was an undercover officer who was looking for someone, according to an arrest report. When a security guard approached him, Pujol again claimed he was “in service” and was “guarding someone important,” the report states…Pujol was arrested and charged with unlawful use of a police badge, falsely impersonating an officer and petty theft.

No Individual Charges In Probe Of JPMorgan (WSJ)
The top U.S. securities regulator doesn’t intend to charge any individuals in its planned enforcement action against J.P. Morgan for the allegedly fraudulent sale of mortgage bonds, according to people close to the investigation. The largest U.S. bank by assets will pay a significant financial penalty under the proposed deal, which has been approved by Securities and Exchange Commission staff but not by the agency’s five commissioners, said the people close to the probe.

Nomura Launches Private Equity Index (FT)
The Japanese bank will look to match the returns of private equity funds – which take over companies, restructure them, and then seek to sell them at a profit – by investing in publicly traded companies in sectors that are attracting attention from buy-out groups.

Morgan Stanley Sues Ex-FrontPoint Manager Over Insider Trading (Reuters)
In a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court on October 31, Morgan Stanley sued ex-FrontPoint Partners hedge fund manager Joseph “Chip” Skowron over the funds the bank paid to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The lawsuit also called for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. Doctor-turned-stock picker Skowron pleaded guilty in August to trading stock of Human Genome Sciences Inc in 2008 based on non-public information he admitted to having received from a consultant for the biotech company, who also pleaded guilty to insider trading charges. Skowron was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to forfeit $5 million. “Beyond the harm attendant to having one of its managing directors plead guilty to serious criminal conduct, the firm expended its own reputational capital by defending Skowron during the years it believed, based entirely on his misrepresentation, that he had not violated the law,” the complaint said.

So, maybe that Romney face tattoo wasn’t such a good idea… (Politico)
With the election over, supporters of Mitt Romney have to pack up their campaign signs and paraphernalia and get on with their lives. But what if you can’t get rid of that stuff? Literally. Eric Hartsburg caught some attention in the weeks leading up to the election for having the Romney campaign’s logo tattooed on his face. Suffice to say, he’s not happy with Tuesday’s results. “Totally disappointed, man,” Hartsburg told POLITICO. “I’m the guy who has egg all over his face, but instead of egg, it’s a big Romney/Ryan tattoo. It’s there for life.” Hartsburg’s tattoo covers a 5-by-2 inch space on the side of his face, and he did it after raising $5,000 on eBay for the effort. He didn’t even tell his wife he planned to get the tattoo until about an hour before. “Right away, she was taken aback,” Hartsburg said, adding that his wife is also a Romney/Ryan supporter. “My 15-year-old son, however, he was all about it.”

30 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (30)

  1. Posted by Inkstain | November 12, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Think of it like a cool tribal tat, only instead of Maori it is D0uchebag

  2. Posted by VonSloneker | November 12, 2012 at 9:11 AM

    I feel you Emerito. My female body inspector t-shirt failed to get me into the ladies locker room this weekend.

  3. Posted by qwestion | November 12, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Richard Handler. Wow.

  4. Posted by Guest | November 12, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    IRR Hooker > IRR Jefferies

  5. Posted by guest | November 12, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    I take it you're not familiar with his CFO, Peter Pflouffer?

  6. Posted by Johnson | November 12, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Who's the BSD now??

  7. Posted by Bejujular | November 12, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Who wants to get into EPCOT? Was the Knoxville World's Fair next on his hit list?

  8. Posted by Flo | November 12, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    Or his right hand man, Richard Tucker.

    - guy that could go on all day but won't

  9. Posted by What? | November 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Advised by UBS? Really? That's like getting parenting advice from Octomom

  10. Posted by Guest | November 12, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Wait, who the f@@!@ is Leucadia? Did they even consider my offer for a well-know bridge in Brooklyn? It was significantly less than $2.7bn and way more valuable.

  11. Posted by Jim | November 12, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    MF Global auction of tacky lithographs and assorted branded crap:
    https://www.proxibid.com/asp/Catalog.asp?aid=5938

    The clacker board would be cool though.

  12. Posted by Texashedge | November 12, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    At least we destroyed the sun sphere

  13. Posted by Charles Lazarus | November 12, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    The combined company will be called "Geoffrey's"

  14. Posted by VonSloneker | November 12, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    Or the dynamic duo heading up the diversity initiative Benjamin Dover and Phillip McCrevice.

    - Guy who is too old for this shit (not Murtaugh)

  15. Posted by Toys 'R Us | November 12, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    Hey!

  16. Posted by Claude Balls | November 12, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Hey!

  17. Posted by Capt. E. Smith | November 12, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    That's like getting high speed North Atlantic transit analysis from the White Star Line.

  18. Posted by Guest | November 12, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Dick Handler and I.M.Cumming

    You couldnt have scripted it better.

  19. Posted by Guest | November 12, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    That's like getting sovereign bond advice from Jon Corzine

  20. Posted by Monte Zuma | November 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    I drank the water in Cabo once, came down with a furious case of Leucadia for a week.

  21. Posted by N'08 | November 12, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    ..like going to me for marriage counseling

  22. Posted by Gost' | November 12, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    its like asking GeezerOilTrader to reflect positively on natgas traders

  23. Posted by Nelson Muntz | November 12, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    great reference

  24. Posted by Guest | November 12, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    You perverts need to grow up!

    – Anita Hummer
    Hedge Fund IR Consultant

  25. Posted by L. Tilton | November 12, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    that's like asking me to swallow.

  26. Posted by guest | November 12, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    When your bank is valued at 2.8x a smartphone app, you know something's wrong.

  27. Posted by UBS M and A | November 12, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    no no no. This was an "A" not a "M"

  28. Posted by Hobbes | November 12, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Actually, I think they valued Jefferies with a smartphone app.

  29. Posted by der Gast | November 12, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    That's like asking Nervous Jew for advice on getting past your paranoia

  30. Posted by Peter Morak | November 12, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    <img src="http://www.freecouponplace.info/ikea/makt.jpg"/>Man those Greek finally passed their austerity measure. <img src="http://www.freecouponplace.info/xbox/yle.jpg"/&gt;