Opening Bell

Opening Bell: 11.26.12

UBS Stung By Adoboli Case (WSJ)
Swiss financial market regulator Finma said it will keep a close eye on UBS’s investment bank for the foreseeable future and may ask it to raise fresh capital, following an investigation into failures that allowed London-based trader Kweku Adoboli to make unauthorized trades. At the same time, the U.K. Financial Services Authority fined UBS £29.7 million ($47.6 million). Mr. Adoboli was convicted of fraud last week and sentenced to a seven-year prison term. “The measures ordered by Finma include capital restrictions and an acquisition ban on the investment bank, and any new business initiative it plans must be approved by Finma,” the regulator said. Finma will also consider “whether UBS must increase capital backing for its operational risks,” will appoint a third party to ensure corrective measures are introduced, and will organize an audit to review the steps taken by UBS. Finma declined to say when the auditing review would be completed or when a decision on a capital increase would be made, though a spokesman said this is likely to be within months rather than years.

SAC Fund Manager Faces Choice of Trial or Deal (Bloomberg)
Martoma, 38, used illegal tips to help SAC make $276 million on shares of pharmaceutical companies Elan Corp. and Wyeth LLC, according to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Arrested last week, he is to appear today in Manhattan federal court for masterminding what the U.S. calls the most lucrative insider-trading case ever.

Flowers Foods Sizes Up Hostess (WSJ)
The Thomasville, Ga., company is considered a likely bidder for some of the assets owned by Hostess, which last week was granted permission by a federal bankruptcy-court judge to begin liquidating. The end came after a contentious bankruptcy that began in January and culminated this month in a strike.

Goldman Turns Down Southern Europe Banks as Crisis Lingers (Bloomberg)
Goldman Sachs, the No. 1 stock underwriter in Europe, turned down roles in offerings by banks in Spain and Italy this year, the only top U.S. securities firm not to take part in the fundraisings by southern European lenders as the region’s debt crisis stretches to a fourth year. The firm declined a role in Banco Popular Espanol SA’s 2.5 billion-euro ($3.2 billion) rights offering this month because it wanted greater protection to avoid potential losses on the sale, two people familiar with the talks said. JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley are helping to guarantee the deal. Goldman also didn’t underwrite this year’s share sales by Italy’s UniCredit SpA and Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo SA, which drew Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup.

Knight Seen Getting Acquisition Bids This Week (Bloomberg)
The company with a market value of about $430 million was bailed out by six financial firms in August after losing $457 million in a trading error. Chicago-based Getco LLC, one of the rescuers, and Virtu Financial LLC in New York are among the likely bidders, said the person, who requested anonymity because the negotiations are private. The Wall Street Journal reported Nov. 23 that Knight expected offers for its market-making unit.

Woman who rode manatee charged with violating protection act (Sentinel)
A 53-year-old Pinellas County woman was arrested Saturday for violating the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act by riding a sea cow in the waters near St. Petersburg in September. Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez of St. Petersburg was arrested at her place of employment — Sears at Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg — on a warrant issued by the State Attorney’s Office. The charge is a second-degree misdemeanor. The punishment could be a $500 fine or up to 60 days in jail, the Tampa Bay Times said. Gutierrez stepped forward after the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office released photos of a then-unknown woman riding a manatee near Fort DeSoto Park in Pinellas County on Sept. 30. “Gutierrez admitted to the offense claiming she is new to the area and did not realize it was against the law to touch or harass manatees,” the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Escrowyou too, judge! (NYP)
Argentina, bruised and battered after a 10-year battle to sidestep billions of dollars in bond payments, is lashing out at US courts and a Manhattan federal court judge. A high-ranking member of Argentina President Cristina Kirchner’s administration terms “judicial imperialism” the Thanksgiving eve ruling by Judge Thomas Griesa that ordered the South American country to place a $1.3 billion bond payment in escrow pending the end of the legal tussle. Kirchner has repeatedly said she would not pay up. Griesa, frustrated with Argentina’s repeated attempts to stall the legal proceedings, sided with New York hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer, whose Elliott Management owns Argentine bonds that were defaulted on back in 2002.

‘Cliff’ Threatens Holiday Spending (WSJ)
The White House warned in a new report that going off the so-called “fiscal cliff” could slow the growth of real gross domestic product by 1.4% and limit consumer spending during the holiday season. The report comes as lawmakers are returning to Washington with just weeks left to find an agreement to prevent taxes from going up on millions and spending cuts from kicking in. It will likely provide fodder for both political parties as they seek to find a compromise.

At Some Firms, Cutting Corporate Rates May Cost Billions (WSJ)
President Barack Obama has said, most recently during last month’s presidential debates, that the 35% U.S. corporate tax rate should be cut. That would mean lower tax bills for many companies. But it also could prompt large write-downs by Citigroup, AIG, Ford and other companies that hold piles of “deferred tax assets,” or DTAs…Citigroup, for instance, acknowledged during its recent third-quarter earnings conference call that a cut in the tax rate could lead to a DTA-related charge of $4 billion to $5 billion against earnings.

Cohen’s General Counsel Gives SAC Boss Cover (NYP)
The sharks of the US Attorney’s office have SAC Capital Advisors surrounded — and owner Steven Cohen is looking a lot like chum. Good thing the billionaire hedgie has a large supply of shark repellent. That would be Peter Nussbaum, SAC’s longtime general counsel who, over his 12 years at the Stamford, Conn., firm, has built up an impressive 30-person compliance department — not including an additional tech compliance team. “Nussbaum is the most respected person at SAC,” said a hedge fund executive not at SAC. “He is going to do what he thinks is best for the firm and not be cowed by anyone.” Nussbaum’s huge compliance department, observers said, was built, in large part, because of the perception that the government was determined to bust Cohen.

Confidential Police Docs Found in Macy’s Parade Confetti (WPIX)
Confidential personal information is what some paradegoers found among confetti tossed during the world’s most famous parade. That information included social security numbers and banking information for police employees, some of whom are undercover officers. Ethan Finkelstein, who was home from college on Thanksgiving break, was watching the parade at 65th Street and Central Park West, when he and a friend noticed a strip of confetti stuck onto her coat. “It landed on her shoulder,” Finkelstein told PIX11 News, “and it says ‘SSN’ and it’s written like a social security number, and we’re like, ‘That’s really bizarre.’ It made the Tufts University freshman concerned, so he and his friends picked up more of the confetti that had fallen around them. “There are phone numbers, addresses, more social security numbers, license plate numbers and then we find all these incident reports from police.” One confetti strip indicates that it’s from an arrest record, and other strips offer more detail. “This is really shocking,” Finkelstein said. “It says, ‘At 4:30 A.M. a pipe bomb was thrown at a house in the Kings Grant’ area.” A closer look shows that the documents are from the Nassau County Police Department. The papers were shredded, but clearly not well enough.

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53 Responses to “Opening Bell: 11.26.12”

  1. Guest says:

    "The papers were shredded, but clearly not well enough."


    – SAC

  2. Guest says:

    Hey, not all of us can looks as thin as the sea cows in the magazines…

    Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez

  3. Guest says:

    Back in college we used to get drunk and ride sea cows all the time. This is NBD.

    – Poseidon

  4. VonSloneker says:

    Cristina, we all know female, latin american, politicos only pay their bills if they're for shoes…fund the escrow.

    – Judge Greisa through a tryptophan hangover haze

  5. OpportunityCost says:

    Gotta love that the UK FSA's response to UBS' $3b loss was to tell them "Sorry you lost $3 billion. You should fix that. Oh, also pay us $47mm. Oh, and by the way, your cash levels are a little low FYI, might want to bring those up."

    Really twisting the knife there.

  6. Guest says:

    I have it on good authority that Stevie Cohen has taken on a ride on a manatee or two in his day.

  7. Hold on to your hats over the next 30 days folks!

  8. VonSloneker says:

    Nah, your wife just has mad UTI. Prophylactic Cape Cods while we're getting liquored up makes sense.

    – Demetrius, Your wife's "personal trainer"

  9. Guest says:

    My only regret is that I have but one thumb down to give to this comment

  10. Shecky Jorgensen says:

    While enjoying a drink with a buddy one night at Nobu, a momentum trader for a Dallas-based hedge fund decides to try his luck with an attractive young girl sitting alone by the bar. To his surprise, she asks him to join her for a drink and eventually asks him if he'd like to come back to her place. The pair jump into a taxi and go back to her place. 

Later, the young hedge fund trader pulls out a cigarette from his jeans and searches for his lighter. Unable to find it, he asks the girl if she has one at hand. "There might be some matches in the top drawer," she replies. Opening the drawer of the bedside table, the trader finds a box of matches sitting neatly on top of a framed picture of another man. Naturally, the trader begins to worry.

"Is this your husband?" he inquires nervously. "No, silly," she replies, snuggling up to him. "Your boyfriend then?" "No, don't be silly," she says, nibbling away at his ear. "Well, who is he then?" demands the bewildered fellow. Calmly, the girl takes a match, strikes it across the side of her face and replies, "That's me before the operation."

  11. Reality Slinger says:

    So, was he a talented trader before or after the tips ? Wonder how many more "talented" guys are out there talking boatloads of shit.

    • Guesteeculos says:

      Wonder how many more "talented" guys are out there talking boatloads of shit.

      If you have to ask, then you are one of them…

  12. Guest says:

    Are riding land cows off limits too?

  13. MapleLeafs4Ever says:

    No Love for Carney?

  14. Guest says:

    Knight is getting offers for its marking making business but the company is not for sale? What else is there to the company than the marking making business.

  15. Buddy says:

    " How much is enough Steve ? How many sharks do you need embalmed?"

  16. Peter Morak says:

    <img src=""/&gt; Confidential Police Docs Found in Macy’s Parade Confetti, haha, this is hilarious.<img src=""/&gt;

  17. VandelayCapital says:

    Riding manatees is illegal, but it pays handsomely!

    -Stedman Graham

  18. Jim G says:

    "Oh, hi everyone you can call me the manatee!"

    "Yeah right, sea cow."