Opening Bell

Opening Bell: 11.30.12

Germany Approves Greek Aid (WSJ)
German parliamentarians approved with an overwhelming majority a package of new aid measures for Greece Friday, clinching support for a plan to close a €14 billion ($18.17 billion) gap in the heavily indebted nation’s finances and to ready a near €44 billion tranche of promised aid. The vote shows that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been able to consolidate the support of her center-right coalition of Christian Democrats and Free Democrats, many of whom have expressed skepticism that Greece can be saved without significant costs to German taxpayers. Her coalition voted 90% in favor of the measures.

Leave “fairy world” behind, Draghi tells euro zone (Reuters)
“We have not yet emerged from the crisis,” Draghi told Europe 1 radio. “The recovery for most of the euro zone will certainly begin in the second half of 2013.” “The crisis has shown that we were living in a fairy world,” the ECB chief later added at a conference with top financial officials, pointing to the unsustainable debts, weak banks and poor policy coordination that gave birth to the crisis three years ago.

Obama Takes ‘Fiscal Cliff’ on the Road; Republicans Stew (CNBC)
President Barack Obama, reapplying his re-election campaign theme of protecting the middle class, heads to Pennsylvania on Friday suggesting that Republicans could spoil Christmas by driving the country over the “fiscal cliff.” The president’s road trip, visiting a factory that makes Hasbro’s [HAS 38.60 — UNCH ] Tinkertoys, is infuriating Republicans. House Speaker John Boehner called it a “victory lap” as he rejected Obama’s proposals to avoid the cliff, the combination of tax increases and spending cuts set to start taking effect in January.

Berkshire Hathaway, CaixaBank Agree to Reinsurance Deal (WSJ)
Berkshire Hathaway will pay CaixaBank SA million €600 million ($778.7 million) for the future cash flow from a portfolio of life insurance policies, the Barcelona-based bank said Friday, a rare dip into a fiscally stressed euro-zone country for the investment firm run by Warren Buffett.

If You Like Late Nights, Try Being an Analyst in Hungary (WSJ)
As the clock ticked toward midnight on a recent night, stock analyst Gergely Gabler sat sleepily in his pajamas at the small desk in his bedroom, waiting. Then, just after 12, he sprang into action, evaluating the newly released earnings report of Hungary’s largest bank. For the next two hours, Mr. Gabler worked on a report about OTP Bank’s performance for clients of his firm, Hungarian brokerage Equilor Investments, before catching some shut eye, only to awake about 3½ hours later so he could be in his office to field questions by 7 a.m. Burning the midnight oil is a painful quarterly tradition for analysts and financial journalists in Hungary, where the country’s biggest blue-chip companies publish their results in the wee hours, after markets in New York have closed and long before they open anywhere in Europe. “I’m a night owl, so I don’t mind staying up,” Mr. Gabler said. The hard part, the 28-year-old said, is getting out of bed the next day. That morning, he grabbed a red-and-black can of Hell, a caffeine-laden Hungarian energy drink, to fuel his workday.

Moody’s Puts Aston Martin on Watch for Downgrade (NYT)
“The review was prompted by a significant deterioration in Aston Martin’s liquidity profile as per end September 2012, caused by a much weaker cash generation and operating performance in the third quarter than anticipated by the company and compared to Moody’s expectations,” Falk Frey, a Moody’s analyst, said in a statement.

Harvard Approves BDSM Group (Crimson)
It started last October with a meal in Currier dining hall with a handful of friends who shared something in common: an affinity for kinky sex. More than a year after the group first began informally meeting over meals to discuss issues and topics relating to kinky sex, Harvard College Munch has grown from seven to about 30 members and is one of 15 student organization that will be approved by the Committee on Student Life this Friday. Michael, who was granted anonymity by The Crimson to protect his privacy, is the founder of Munch, an informal lunch or dinner meeting for people across the kink community. For him, the recognition will provide a sense of ease for current and future members, knowing they are receiving institutional support. “It’s a little hyperbolic for me to get teary-eyed and paternal about sophomores, but it’s really a joy to see the experience they will have now,” Michael said. Michael said there are many benefits to being officially recognized on campus such as being able to poster for events and promote Munch’s presence…But for Michael, the biggest advantage to being recognized comes with “the fact of legitimacy,” he said. “[Our recognition] shows we are being taken seriously.” Mae, a member of the organization who asked to be identified by her middle name, said since its formation the group has provided her with a comfortable space to discuss her interests. “I didn’t think that anyone was even remotely interested [in kink] on campus,” Mae said. “It’s a community where you can feel safe, and you can feel comfortable talking about [kink].”

Cohen’s Damage Control (NYP)
Beleaguered hedge fund honcho Steve Cohen held a conference call yesterday for his roughly 1,000 employees to explain potential civil charges against his firm, SAC Capital Advisors. The call with SAC’s employees went over similar talking points as the call with investors the previous day, according to a person familiar with the call. In the latest call, officials notified employees that last week, the $14 billion Stamford, Conn., hedge fund received a Wells Notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission tied to trading by a former portfolio manager who was arrested Nov. 20 on insider trading charges.

McDonald’s Starved for Ideas as Burger King Lures Diners (Bloomberg)
Burger King has been excelling at a game McDonald’s worked to perfect years ago, introducing a steady stream of new menu items, such as snack wraps and gingerbread sundaes for the holidays. McDonald’s has “not had anything to talk about of substance,” Michael Kelter, a New York-based analyst at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said in an interview. “People are going elsewhere.”

Hong Kong IPOs Generate Little Excitement (WSJ)
Hong Kong appears unlikely to regain its position as the world’s top venue for initial public offerings anytime soon. In recent days, the city’s biggest IPO in two years drew only lukewarm support, while another deal ran up against insufficient demand and a third was postponed.

Recession Left Baby Bust as U.S. Births Lowest Since 1920 (Bloomberg)
The country’s birth rate fell 8 percent from 2007 to 2010, according to a Pew Research Center report. The rate dropped 6 percent for U.S.-born women and plummeted 14 percent for foreign-born females since 2007, the onset of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The decline continued last year to the lowest point since records began in 1920.

Rogue caviar fugitive Mario Garbarino admits his guilt in fishy egg smuggling scheme (NYDN)
Isidoro (Mario) Garbarino, 69, who went on the lam 23 years ago pleaded guilty Thursday to smuggling $10 million worth of Russian and Iranian savruga and beluga to New York more than two decades ago. Garbarino’s plea deal requires him to pay $3 million in restitution. He also faces up to four years in prison when he is sentenced in January. Garbarino, a supplier to fancy gourmet shops including Zabar’s, was indicted in 1987 for cheating the government on import duties. Feds say his Bronx company, Aquamar Gourmet Imports, engaged in an elaborate scheme to smuggle more than 100,000 pounds of the expensive delicacy from 1984 to 1987. As part of the plot, Garbarino switched the high-quality caviar with much cheaper American caviar which he then sold to Pan Am, other airlines and cruise ships operators as the real thing. In 1989, Garbarino fled. He was nabbed two months ago in Panama and extradited to New York. “Isidoro Garbarino ran his high-end importation business in a low-end way — cheating the government out of millions of dollars in tax revenues and defrauding his international clients who paid top dollar for exotic caviar they did not receive,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara…Garbarino admitted he “occasionally misrepresented the nature of the caviar” to avoid paying the required taxes.

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39 Responses to “Opening Bell: 11.30.12”

  1. Guest says:

    "Leave 'fairy world' behind, Draghi tells euro zone"

    You'll be hearing from us.

    – Harvard Law Pro Bono LGBTQBDSM Defense League

  2. Guest says:

    What's wrong with having a club dedicated to a railway company?

    – UBS Bulk Shipping Quant

  3. VonSloneker says:

    50 Shades of Crimson…and then she stepped on his balls.

    – Constance Fry

  4. Early Attempt says:

    An applicant for Harvard's new BDSM group was asked why he stated he preferred the S&M part of the group's moniker more than the B&D. "Beats me…" he replied.

    • Shecky Welby, MD says:

      A young couple who were members of Harvard's BDSM club were sitting in one's parked van late one night discussing which investment bank they hoped would hire them when they graduated. One thing led to another and soon they were having sex. The young man mentioned, "I like it a little rough and kinky …..", so the girl looked around and found the van's broken radio antenna and began to whip him with it while having sex. Both had an enjoyable time. Later the marks from the whipping began to fester and the young Harvard man went to the school clinic. The doctor looked at the bruises and inflamed marks and asked the young man, "Did these marks come from a sex event in a vehicle?" The young Harvard MBA was astonished and asked, "How did you know that?" The doctor replied, "It's the worst case of van aerial disease I've ever seen…"

  5. Guest says:

    Mae… You have found a home at Everyone here feels comfortable talking about [Kink].


  6. Edmond_Dantes says:

    "…it's a community where you can feel safe…' Mae elaborated, before re-inserting the gag in her mouth.

    • Not the Nuts! says:

      "…it's a community where you can feel safe…having a woman put on 5 inch heels and step on your nut sack' Mae elaborated, before lining up her spiked toed boot on a curious sophomore who has been a very bad boy.

  7. RWA Quant says:

    "Garbarino admitted he 'occasionally misrepresented the nature….'"

    Duly noted for future defense.

  8. _guest says:

    "McDonald’s has “not had anything to talk about of substance,” Michael Kelter, a New York-based analyst at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said in an interview."

    But McDonald's food is?

  9. Central_Wanker says:

    a BDSM group? In my day we just called it "pledging"…

    • Texashedge says:

      It's like: if you hit your pledges with paddles, that's banned, unacceptable, possibly felonious hazing, but if you bone them while you're doing it: have at it. Perfectly legit.

  10. Guest says:

    "Obama Takes ‘Fiscal Cliff’ on the Road"

    "Obama on road to fiscal cliff"

    There, fixed it.

  11. Guest says:

    They make orange Tapioca?

    -UBS Culinary Quant

  12. Movie Buff says:

    "You, of course, understand that we cannot take you past the double sided dildo room because you're not a member."

    – Cameron and Tyler

  13. Sam says:

    Caviar is the worst.

    • THEBro says:

      The rake?

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  14. VonSloneker says:

    Am I too late for the Dealbreaker Dramatic Reading Night Auditions?

    – Christopher Walken

  15. Hobbes says:

    The Crimson also noted that Angela Merkel and the government of Greece have recently started attending the BDSM club.

  16. SellingLow says:

    "That morning, he grabbed a red-and-black can of Hell, a caffeine-laden Hungarian energy drink, to fuel his workday."

    Alternate names considered for the delicious energy beverage also included:
    -Toddler Punch
    – Puppy Death
    – Life Cancer
    – Schoolbus Fire

  17. Guest says:

    Introducing McCaviar

  18. Guest says:

    What about the blog editor/insider trader?!…. you know who that is!

    Alleged Insider Group Includes Website Editor .

  19. Full-blown AIDs says:

    I always thought that was part of that whole "Yale thing"