Opening Bell

Opening Bell: 11.13.12

Wall Street Damps Pay Expectations After 2011 Bonus Shock (Bloomberg)
Almost 20 percent of employees won’t get year-end bonuses, according to Options Group, an executive-search company that advises banks on pay. Those collecting awards may see payouts unchanged from last year or boosted by as much as 10 percent, compensation consultant Johnson Associates Inc. estimates. Decisions are being made as banks cut costs and firms including UBS AG (UBSN) and Nomura Holdings Inc. (8604) fire investment-bank staff. Some employees were surprised as companies chopped average 2011 bonuses by as much as 30 percent and capped how much could be paid in cash. That experience, along with public statements from top executives, low trading volumes in the first half and a dearth of hiring has employees bracing for another lackluster year, consultants and recruiters said. “A lot of senior managers won’t have to pay up because they’re saying, ‘Where are these guys going to go?’” said Michael Karp, chief executive officer of New York-based Options Group. “We’re in an environment where a lot of people are just happy to have a job. Expectations have been managed so low that people will be happy with what they get.”

Goldman Pares Back Partner Picks (WSJ)
The New York company is expected to announce this week the promotion of about 70 employees to partner, said people familiar with the situation. The likely total is roughly one-third smaller than the 110 employees named partner by Goldman in 2010…As of Monday, the Goldman partnership committee hadn’t finished the list of new partners, said people familiar with the matter.

Greece Avoids Defaults (WSJ)
Cash-strapped Greece on Tuesday raised the money it needs to avoid default when a Treasury bill matures later this week, but investor nerves are unlikely to be calmed as negotiations for the next slice of much-needed aid continue. The rift among Greece’s official lenders over how to pare the country’s growing debt pile spilled into the open late Monday, complicating efforts for an agreement that will free up a long-delayed aid payment to the country. The European Central Bank’s reluctance to provide additional money to Greek banks poses a risk to the government, which in order to keep afloat has depended on support from local banks to sell its debt.

Greece Needs Another 80 Billion Euros: Goldman Sachs (CNBC)
The authors of the report, economists Themistoklis Fiotakis, Lasse Holboell Nielsen and Antoine Demongeot, note that the IMF’s target is “unlikely” without such a “drastic debt stock reduction.” “To increase the likelihood that the Greek debt-to-GDP ratio approaches its 120 percent by 2020 target under realistic assumptions, a much more drastic debt stock reduction (possibly north of 80 billion euros in total) will be required,” the report states.

Japan Lawmakers Agree To Avert ‘Fiscal Cliff’ (Reuters)
Japan’s ruling and opposition parties agreed on Tuesday to quickly pass a deficit funding bill in parliament, in a move that will keep the country from falling off its version of a ‘fiscal cliff’ as the prime minister eyes elections as early as next month. The bill is needed to borrow some $480 billion and fund roughly 40 percent of this fiscal year’s budget. Without it, the government could run out of money by the end of this month and would have to stop debt auctions next month, just as the economy teeters on the brink of a recession.

Marc Faber: Prepare For A Massive Market Meltdown (CNBC)
“I don’t think markets are going down because of Greece, I don’t think markets are going down because of the “fiscal cliff” – because there won’t be a “fiscal cliff,” Faber told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “The market is going down because corporate profits will begin to disappoint, the global economy will hardly grow next year or even contract, and that is the reason why stocks, from the highs of September of 1,470 on the S&P, will drop at least 20 percent, in my view.”

FBI Agent in Petraeus Case Under Scrutiny (WSJ)
A federal agent who launched the investigation that ultimately led to the resignation of Central Intelligence Agency chief David Petraeus was barred from taking part in the case over the summer due to superiors’ concerns that he was personally involved in the case, according to officials familiar with the probe. After being blocked from the case, the agent continued to press the matter, relaying his concerns to a member of Congress, the officials said. New details about how the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled the case suggest that even as the bureau delved into Mr. Petraeus’s personal life, the agency had to address conduct by its own agent—who allegedly sent shirtless photos of himself to a woman involved in the case prior to the investigation.

Trial to Open in $68 Million Insider Trading Case (Dealbook)
On Tuesday, Mr. Chiasson, 39, a co-founder of the now-defunct Level Global Investors, and Mr. Newman, 47, a former portfolio manager at Diamondback Capital Management, are set to stand trial in Federal District Court in Manhattan. Prosecutors say they were part of a conspiracy that made about $68 million illegally trading the computer company Dell and the chip maker Nvidia.

MF Report Coming (Reuters)
A US House of Representatives panel will release a long-awaited report that will dissect the collapse of failed commodities brokerage MF Global. The House Financial Services Committee said its Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will post the report online Thursday.

A Dose of Realism for the Chief of J.C. Penney (NYT)
Andrew Ross Sorkin: “You should know you have a problem when sales at your stores fall 26.1 percent in one quarter. That was the surprising decline J.C. Penney reported last week, when it disclosed that it had lost $123 million in the previous three months…Here’s the good news: In the stores that have been transformed, J.C. Penney is making $269 in sales a square foot, versus $134 in sales a square foot in the older stores. So the model itself is working. And Mr. Johnson has the support of the company’s largest shareholder, Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman, who personally recruited Mr. Johnson. If Mr. Johnson were starting with a blank slate, it might be a great business.”

China Banker Sees Lower Bar for Yuan Globalization (WSJ)
“Renminbi internationalization can be realized based on a partial opening of the capital-account and partial convertibility of the currency,” said Mr. Li, a delegate to the 18th Communist Party Congress and longtime advocate of a greater global role for the yuan. The Eximbank is a major arm of the Chinese government for financing trade and investment overseas.

Finally, a Place in Brazil Where Dogs Can Go for Discreet Sex (NYT)
Heart-shaped ceiling mirror: check. Curtains drawn against the bright day: check. Red mattress: check. The establishment that opened here this year has features that demanding clients naturally expect from a love motel. Brazil, after all, is a world leader in these short-stay pleasure palaces, which beckon couples for trysts away from prying eyes with names like Swing, Absinthe and Alibi, and design motifs like medieval castles or of the American Wild West. But Belo Horizonte’s newest love motel stands apart from the crowd in one crucial aspect. It is for dogs. “I adore the romantic feel of this place,” said Andreia Kfoury, 43, a manager at a technology company who peeked inside the Motel Pet one recent morning while she and her husband were on a clothes-buying spree for their Yorkshire terrier, Harley. The couple, who are motorcycle enthusiasts, bought about $500 worth of imported Harley-Davidson brand items for their dog. “I’m definitely bringing Harley back here when it’s time for him to breed,” a smiling Ms. Kfoury said. “He is very macho, and would be a hit in this place.” Whether dogs like Harley actually need a romantic curtained-off suite to breed seems beside the point. Some dog owners simply like the concept of a love motel for their amorous pets and are willing to pay about $50 for each session, which Animalle will happily arrange.

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49 Responses to “Opening Bell: 11.13.12”

  1. VonSloneker says:

    While I'm scrounging in the gutters of my favela for food, dogs like Harley are "burying their bones" in luxury slam pads. This is not what Lula promised us…

    – Brazilian Mongrel

  2. Not'08 says:

    So, another long weekend (well for us government workers at least), and another wild wedding party. It was at a chapel I used to go to a few years back, and ran into one of the pastors I knew – didn't have time to chat, but we had had some good discussions over the last couple years about me settling down. Anyway, I don't know if it was the root beer or the wedding cake, but I was pretty buzzed, I was swing dancing til at least 7 p.m., and not just with the girls I already knew from my Sunday School class. I think I made some pretty steady progress with the ladies – won't get into any specifics, but suffice it to say, I think I'll have someone in the passenger seat of the old station wagon when I head over to the Messiah sing-along this year.

  3. k9pimpin says:

    Competitor Lipstick Lounge to open Jan, 2013…

  4. Sleeper says:

    "and ran into one of the pastors I blew when I was an alterboy."

    Fixed it for you.

  5. Evil David Letterman says:

    Hey, If I could just ask one question. Why does that Michael J Fox always look so nervous? Anyone got a clue?

  6. guesticle says:

    I'm usually a sucker for odd-ball NYT pieces but that Brazil dog motel article is fucking weird.

  7. Dennis K. says:

    This is . . . exciting beyond words.

  8. Guestopolis says:

    Themistoklis Fiotakis

    -Other than that …..

  9. SellTheBorrow says:

    Mike Mayo works for the FBI?

  10. Alt_EST says:

    Times like this, we really need Hotel Receipt Guy.

  11. Guest says:

    “A lot of senior managers won’t have to pay up because they’re saying, ‘Where are these guys going to go?’” said Michael Karp, chief executive officer of New York-based Options Group"

    ….oh the irony….

  12. Little Fritz says:

    Romantic place for dogs? (Post Lynn Tilton Joke here)

  13. Guest says:

    Worst comment morning in weeks.

  14. guest says:

    Bonuses are down? According to our model that means bonuses are up!

    -UBS Quant

  15. Laxbro says:

    Anyone else severely let down that the nation's most decorated military general and head spy was communicating with his side piece via GMAIL DRAFTS???! Other than that, I can't blame him for tagging the psycho. Look at his wife. Although the guy on O'Reilly last night made a very good point, "Every smart guy has had a 'Broadwell' chasing after them. The really smart ones don't return her calls." Tough but fair. With that said, if Petraeus was a tenured professor plowing his TA this would be NBD.

  16. Hobbes says:

    I'm pretty sure Motel Pet is the only place in the world where males get bored of doggy style.