Opening Bell

Opening Bell: 11.28.12

Gorman Enlists Morgan Stanley Workforce in Fiscal Cliff Campaign (Bloomberg)
Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer James Gorman called on the investment bank’s employees to pressure U.S. lawmakers into reaching an agreement that averts the so-called fiscal cliff. “No issue is more critical right now for the U.S. economy, the global financial markets and the financial well-being of our clients, which is why I am asking you to participate in the democratic process and make your voice heard,” Gorman wrote in a memo, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News. The message went to about 30,000 U.S. workers including 16,000 financial advisers, said James Wiggins, a company spokesman.

Buffett Expects ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Fix, But Not By December 31 (CNBC)
Buffett didn’t outline a specific solution that he prefers, saying he could “go with any number of plans.” But he thinks the end result should have U.S. revenues at 18.5 percent of GDP and expenditures at 21 percent. Those levels would be “sustainable” because the ratio of the nation’s national debt to GDP wouldn’t increase, and might even fall over time.

SAC Capital Received a Wells Notice From SEC Last Week, May Be Subject to Civil Charges (CNBC)
Story developing.

EU Approves Spanish Banks’ Restructuring Plans (WSJ)
European Union regulators Wednesday gave the green light to nearly €40 billion ($51.78 billion) in euro-zone funding for Spain’s stricken bank sector, as it approved the restructuring plans for four lenders. BFA/Bankia, NCG Banco, Catalunya Banc and Banco de Valencia SA BVA.MC will require a total of €37 billion for their recapitalization plans, the regulators said. The European Union’s Competition Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, said bondholders would face losses.

Will Italy Need A Bailout In 2013? (CNBC)
“We still see as our baseline scenario that Italy will likely be forced to ask for an international bailout at some point in 2013,” said Citi Analyst Giada Giani in a report on the country. “Italian economic fundamentals have not really improved, despite some improvement in market conditions. The negative feedbacks from fiscal austerity on growth have been severe, as the ability of the private sector to absorb fiscal tightening by lowering its saving rate is limited.”

EU Agrees New Controls for Credit Rating Agencies (Reuters)
European Union countries and the bloc’s parliament agreed on Tuesday to introduce limited controls on credit ratings agencies after their judgment was called into question in the debt crisis. Michel Barnier, the European commissioner in charge of regulation who helped broker a deal on the new law, said it aimed to reduce the over-reliance on ratings and establish a civil liability regime. The new rules should make it easier to sue the agencies if they are judged to have made errors when, for example, ranking the creditworthiness of debt.

Deutsche Bank Sued Over Home Mortgage-Backed Securities (Bloomberg)
Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest lender, was sued by a trustee over claims that some securities sold by a unit of the bank were backed by home-mortgage loans taken out by fraudulent borrowers. DB Structured Products Inc.’s pool of more than 1,500 mortgages included more than 320 that were defective, HSBC Bank USA (HSBA), acting as trustee, said in a lawsuit filed yesterday in federal court in Manhattan. “Borrowers lied, with or without the knowledge of the loan originators themselves, concerning how much money they owed, how much money they made, whether and where they worked, and where they lived,” HSBC claimed. “A handful of instances of such inaccuracies is perhaps to be expected. Hundreds of instances of borrower dishonesty is not.” HSBC seeks unspecified damages and said Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank must buy back the breaching loans under its agreements with the trustee.

Woman Jailed For Attacking Beau Over Bad Sex (TSG)
A Florida woman was jailed last night for a post-coital assault on her boyfriend, an attack the victim says was prompted when only he climaxed during a sexual encounter in the couple’s residence. Raquel Gonzalez, 24, was arrested Monday afternoon for felony domestic battery and booked into the Manatee County lockup, where bond has been set at $750. According to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report, Gonzalez and Esric Davis, 30, are “boyfriend and girlfriend who live in the same home and are involved in a sexual relationship.” Deputies noted that Davis and Gonzalez were “involved in sexual intercourse” when “Esric then climaxed and Raquel did not.” Which reportedly angered Gonzalez, who allegedly “began hitting and scratching [Davis], causing scratches near his eye and nose.” Davis told investigators that Gonzalez “goes off” frequently and that she had previously been physical with him.

Be right back, hon … with a $53M tip (NYP)
Anthony Chiasson, the founder of hedge fund Level Global, started getting illegal insider tips in 2008 when the $4 billion firm was going through a rough patch, a key government witness told a jury yesterday. The witness, Sam Adondakis, a former analyst who worked for Chiasson, said he told his boss tips on Dell came straight from the tech giant…The Dell tip that netted the firm millions wasn’t without its drama. On Aug. 27, the day before Dell announced its results, Chiasson, Level Global co-founder David Ganek, and Greg Brenner, fund executive, held a conference call about their Dell position. At the time, Adondakis, on vacation in the Hamptons, was sitting down to breakfast with his girlfriend, he said yesterday. Adondakis said he remembers the conference call well because his girlfriend “was annoyed” by the conversation, which took him away from their meal for a good 40 minutes.

Banks Feel Currency Pinch (WSJ)
Banks reported sharp drops in currency-trading revenue last quarter, in many cases deepening a slump that began early this year. Even Deutsche Bank AG, the world’s biggest foreign-exchange bank, reported revenue “significantly lower than the prior year” even as the volume of transactions it handled hit a record high in the third quarter. Banks are struggling on two fronts. A calm in currency markets relative to the swings of the last few years has reduced overall trading activity. And the explosive growth of electronic trading has brought transparency to a roughly $4 trillion-a-day market, making buyers and sellers less reliant on big banks to pair them up.

Executives’ Good Luck in Trading Own Stock (WSJ)
Among 20,237 executives who traded their own company’s stock during the week before their companies made news, 1,418 executives recorded average stock gains of 10% (or avoided 10% losses) within a week after their trades. This was close to double the 786 who saw the stock they traded move against them that much. Most executives have a mix of trades, some that look good in retrospect and others that do not.

‘Two and a Half Men’ star apologizes for offending cast and crew (CNN)
A day after a video posted online showed him describing “Two and a Half Men” as “filth” and advising viewers to stop watching the sitcom, actor Angus T. Jones apologized to the show’s cast and crew Tuesday. “I apologize if my remarks reflect me showing indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed,” Jones said in a statement released by his publicist. “I never intended that.” The 19-year-old actor — who plays Jake Harper, the CBS sitcom’s “Half” man — didn’t detail what motivated him to make comments…In the video, the actor, who’s been on the show since 2003, repeatedly asks viewers not to watch the sitcom. “I’m on ‘Two and a Half Men,’ and I don’t want to be on it,” Jones said. “You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that. I know I can’t. I’m not OK with what I’m learning, what the Bible says, and being on that television show. You go all or nothing.”

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62 Responses to “Opening Bell: 11.28.12”

  1. Chevy_Chased says:

    I'm not sure which is worse, making national news when your girlfriend 'goes off' after failing to get off, or being named 'Esric'.

  2. inlovewithpmco says:

    I guess she "goes off" when she doesn't get off

    • Guest says:

      Never underestimate the importance of foreplay with a woman.

      – Guy who imagines you can't just hit the drop zone, cut the chute and start blasting away with bullets with a gal like PMCO either

  3. Gambling Guy says:

    Great, now I'm not only unable to use Intrade to wager on whether Italy will need a bailout in 2013 but I also can't bet on how many spreadsheets of NPV math Matt will make about such a bailout should it occur, I was feeling pretty good about 14.

  4. CryderLane says:

    Thank you 75 Main for keeping (most of) the d-bags off the beach on perfectly nice sunny days.

  5. Angus says:

    I apologize if my apology reflects me not really apologizing. I never intended that.

  6. Descend to Farce says:

    " which is why I am asking you to participate in the democratic process and make your voice heard. " Gorman was quoted in the memo. The company would later that day announce a series of cost cutting measures that included signifigant headcount reductions in the Investment Bank.

  7. swissy says:

    Regarding SAC…. 60% of their assets (USD14b in total) are held by "internal investors" ie staff…

    Wondering if any of the staff money is still locked in the side-pocket they still have as a legacy from 2008, or is it just "external investors" that are subjected to their side pocket?

    Just thinking aloud …. mmmmm

  8. Grayson Manatee says:

    " and booked into the Manatee riding, County lockup "

    This is a disturbing trend.

  9. Mighty Taco says:

    Upcoming Yahoo! Headlines:

    1)Rock found in Jerusalem indicates Jesus voted for Obama; major blow to GOP
    2)100% of Republicans hate themselves
    3)Feminist claims company that donated heavily to GOP wants to drill for oil in vagina
    4) Nation demands DWTS kept out of fiscal cliff talks

  10. Sean says:

    Had Esric been on Bath Salts that would have been the most Floridian story of all time.

  11. E Texas Gas Trader says:

    Too bad we can't use Intrade to bet on this:
    http://www.examiner.com/article/cowboys-fans-peti

  12. Shecky Olaf says:

    A Morgan Stanley trader and his wife are shopping at a Target store. The trader mentions to his wife, "Jimmy wants us writing our legislators about the "Fiscal Cliff" that's all in the news these days. Oh, and hey, look, lets get a couple of six packs of Stella Artois while we're in the beer aisle…" The trader's wife says, "Let's don't. Aren't those expensive? We might need to start saving some money…."

    The Morgan Stanley trader says, "Now hold on. Don't you buy that fucking expensive SK II – LXP face cream??" Wife says, "Yes, and because it makes me look so beautiful for you when we're making love!"

    Trader replies, "So do 12 Stella Artois at about 1/10th of the price……"

  13. guest says:

    Ashton Kutcher may be a bigger con artist than Madoff. I have never laughed at this talentless douchebag — ever — yet he rakes $1M per episode and $10M per film. How does he have a career????!

    • Kunis says:

      Kelso.

    • Guest Analyst says:

      What is it with that show that makes their actors go off on tangents like this. First Charlie Sheen, now the kid. Who's next, Jon Cryer? Or maybe it's Jon Cryer that's the root…

    • Larry says:

      my real name is larry.

      I was getting high with mcconaahey yest, discussing shit.

      we think its got something to do with good looks

      ya know, because this is hollywood.

    • Bored Guest says:

      Jimmy Fallon confuses me just as much.

      • Guest says:

        Jimmy Fallon got far in comedy primarily through his impressions – he is very good at impressions, almost as good as Phil Hartman. The rest of his success, though, doesn't make sense to me either.

  14. Shecky Audit says:

    Abysmal performance.

    Future 'shecky style,' jokes should be sure to include;
    – Proper grammar, unless used via sarcasm ('Let's don't?')
    – Non-cliche plot, unless used via sarcasm (Alcohol vs. makeup?, well played)
    – Increased use of profanity, vulgarity, and/or general crassness.

    • Kid in the Stands says:

      Good job! Good effort!

    • TheJokeBriefer says:

      Allow me to balance the books a bit here. The "Shecky" jokes are contributed by a writer -or writers- under a first name of "Shecky" (see Shecky Green) and a surname (not to be confused with the South American country) that is usually related to a personality somehow related the origins of the joke in some way. In this case I think the "Olaf" used as Shecky's surname relates to a former energy trader associated with Morgan Stanley's formerly massive energy commodity trading business. I could be wrong. "Olaf" is a common name among some Nordic peoples and has been used for centuries in "Sven and Oly (or Olaf") jokes, popular in the northern midwest of the United States, purporting to detail the many slapstick adventures of two Scandinavian immigrants who are hard workers but allegedly slow thinkers.¹ The history of observed "set ups" structure for the seemingly daily "Shecky" jokes has been "Opening Bell" news snippets and links. Basically, and in a financial sense, a reader hopefully still employed in the financial industry could be led to believe that the Shecky jokes are "self margining derivatives" of earlier linked stories in that the linked stories of Opening Bell are the "underlying" instrument, the Shecky joke is the first derivative and the commentariat "margins" the Shecky jokes with "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" that are colloquially referred to as "likes" or "dislikes". Going forward, the clever "Shecky Audit" made use of the surname jocularity which segued into a critical discussion and numerical notation of that readers perceived flaws of the joke. While the polls have not closed on the joke, an oral joke can take a licking at the hands of critics who seek to suck out and spit away poorly constructed grammar only to make the joke betterand that is a noble deed. The author of this particular Shecky joke committed to the joke, followed through with the joke and won't apologize for the joke as the joke creed states but in so doing, knowingly accepts the fate of the "mark-to-market" self-margining by the commentariat. As for the latter comment on the use of popular humoristics of profanity, vulgarity and or general crassness, it is well know that the aforementioned planks of a stable joke platform are extremely popular and have been well honed over time.² The more cerebral elements of such support planks in tales of joke-based ribaldry are typically enjoyed and presented by individuals employed to judge the nuances of distinguished members of society who price their job duty risk based on vast reservoirs of intelligence. The more basic, guttural forms of humor are enjoyed by those with underused IQs, those who have vast amounts of time for golfing on the company dime or attendees at Texas Railroad Commission cocktail parties. From your Joke Briefer's perspective, they could be so-called "landmen" as well. I would think that those who truly love "Little Johnny" jokes are on the "sell side" and may have recently wound up on the "cell side" if you get my inside joke.³ Concluding, I would say that the joke was true to form but deserved some criticism, much like Jerry Jones selling Victoria's Secret panties with a Cowboy logo within a store inside Cowboy Stadium.

      1. "The 12 Jokes Consistently Told by Minnesota-based Commodity Traders between 1870- 2010", by Fats, Butter Cow Press, 6 pages.

      2. "New Discoveries in Scatological Humor Among Remains of Migrating Hunter/Gatherers of the Bronze Age", Clovis and Bruce, Retreating Glacier Press, page 334.

      3. "Intrusive Mechanics of Consensus Clustering of Proto-Indicative Neural Correlations Among Lyrical Improvisations in "Little Johnny" Jokes" , The Joke Briefer, Youngman Press, page 209.

  15. Guest says:

    My entire office stinks of feet.

    -Gorman

  16. S.A.C. says:

    Cicil charges? Meh. I've got more problems with my shark.

    At last, the real shark is exposed: As prices for Damien Hirst’s works plummet, pity the credulous saps who spent fortunes on his tosh http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2239504/A

  17. Chip Chupperson says:

    Sound like Cliff Clavin or Sumptin……

  18. Guest says:

    Would you rather be named Angus or Esric? Or Engus?

  19. Alotta Fagina says:

    In Japan, men come first and women come second.
    Or sometimes not at all.

  20. Angry Aussie says:

    Speaking on behalf of the entire firm, I'll be the first to say we have a tremendous amount of respect for Gorman here at Morgan Stanley. His opinions regarding Wall Street pay being too high have been completely fair, and he's really making great progress on growing margins and bringing MS back to the top of the ranks! I'll do whatever he asks and like it. I can only hope that he, too, gets four more years.

    -MS Sarcasm Quant

    P.S.: Please be sure to "like" your favorite CEO on his Facebook page!

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