Opening Bell: 12.06.12

Diamondback to Close Down as Investors Pull $520 Million (WSJ)
Diamondback Capital Management LLC, among the hedge funds that was raided by the FBI about two years ago as part of the U.S. investigation of insider trading on Wall Street, is liquidating after clients pulled money. The Stamford, Connecticut-based fund received requests from investors to withdraw about $520 million, or 26 percent of its assets, co-founders Richard Schimel and Lawrence Sapanski, said today in a client letter. They said they plan to return the majority of the money next month. “We especially appreciate your patience and support during the last two difficult years during which we reached closure of the government’s investigation,” they said in the letter.

SEC Probes Deutsche Bank (Bloomberg)
U.S. securities regulators are investigating allegations that Deutsche Bank hid billions of dollars of paper losses during the financial crisis, according to people close to the investigation. The German bank said Wednesday that the allegations, by three former U.S.-based employees, were “wholly unfounded” and had been the subject of a “careful and thorough” review it had commissioned. The former employees have told the Securities and Exchange Commission that traders at Deutsche Bank overvalued a portfolio of derivatives to hide rapidly mounting losses when financial markets were collapsing in 2008, the people close to the investigation said. The details of the allegations were reported by the Financial Times on Wednesday.

Wall Street Job Reductions Seen Persisting After Citigroup Cuts (WSJ)
Wall Street’s cost cuts and dismissals, which have helped erase more than 300,000 financial- industry jobs in the past two years, are far from over. Citigroup’s announcement yesterday of plans to eliminate 11,000 positions in units spanning equities trading to consumer banking is the latest sign of strain from a market slowdown, stiffer capital rules and weak economic growth. Lenders around the globe are likely to trim more jobs if revenue doesn’t rebound sharply next year, analysts and recruiters said. “The knives are sharpened and ready,” said Jason Kennedy, chief executive officer of London-based search firm Kennedy Group. “These institutions are too big for the business they are generating but they are still quite bullish that the market will return by mid-2013. Unless the markets picks up, there will be more cuts in the first half.”

Broadening Tax Base and Raising Rates Key to ‘Cliff’ Deal: Summers (CNBC)
The wiggle-room in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations comes down to a balanced approach on raising tax rates for wealthier Americans and broadening the tax base by closing loopholes and deductions, former Clinton Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers told CNBC. “The president is not signing legislation — no way — that does not raise tax rates. The president has been clear as day,” Summers said Thursday on “Squawk Box.” Summers also pointed out that President Barack Obama isn’t married to repealing the Bush tax cuts for the top 2 percent of wage earners all the way back to the Clinton-era tax rates of 39.6 percent. So rates might not go that high if there’s sufficient revenue coming from the base-broadening side of the equation.

Geithner: Ready to Go Over ‘Cliff’ If Taxes Don’t Rise (CNBC)
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geither told CNBC Wednesday that Republicans are “making a little bit of progress” in “fiscal cliff” talks but said the Obama administration was “absolutely” ready to go over the cliff if the GOP doesn’t agree to raise tax rates on the wealthy. “I think they’re making a little bit of progress,” Geithner said. “They’re clearly moving and figuring out how to try to move further.” But Geithner said the White House would “absolutely” go over the fiscal cliff — triggering over $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases — unless tax rates increase on the top 2 percent of wage earners.

Steinberg Is Eyed In SAC Trial (NYP)
Prosecutors yesterday confirmed the worst-kept secret in the insider-trading trial unfolding in Manhattan federal court: They view former SAC Capital money manager Michael Steinberg as a co-conspirator in the case. Prosecutor Antonia Apps argued yesterday that Steinberg, a portfolio manager with SAC’s Sigma Alpha unit, should be officially labeled a co-conspirator in the case because he knew his former analyst, John Horvath, was receiving illegal tips on computer-maker Dell. The government has already alluded to Steinberg’s alleged role in earlier court documents, when it referred to four unnamed co-conspirators, including “the portfolio manager to whom Jon Horvath reported at his hedge fund.” That person is Steinberg.

New Zealand Dogs Learn How to Drive (ABC)
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Not the New Zealand chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), which has launched a marketing campaign featuring dogs — real dogs — learning how to drive. Really. SPCA Auckland chose three abandoned dogs — Monty, Ginny and Porter — and put them behind the wheel of a car to show that rescue dogs are a first-rate choice for adoptions. “I think sometimes people think because they’re getting an animal that’s been abandoned that somehow it’s a second-class animal,” SPCA Auckland’s CEO, Christine Kalin, told the New Zealand Herald. “Driving a car actively demonstrates to potential rescue dog adopters that you can teach an old dog new tricks.” The trio of highway-ready rescue dogs was chosen by SPCA two months ago and then relocated to Animals on Q, a “premiere New Zealand animal talent agency,” according to its website, to begin their “doggy driver training process,” the Herald reported. The dogs have trained for the past eight weeks under the supervision of Animals on Q owner Mark Vette. Next week one of the dog’s skills will be put to the test in front of a live national TV audience. Porter, a 10-month-old Beardie Cross and the star among the three pups, will drive a Mini Countryman on the “Campbell Live” program on New Zealand’s 3 News, the station reported in a sneak peek that aired last night. The TV appearance will mark the first time that Porter, or any of the other pups, drives without human assistance. While training, Porter — along with Monty, an 18-month Giant Schnauzer, and, Ginny, a 1-year-old whippets cross — used a canine-modified Mini, but had human help in the form of steering wheel adjustments and verbal commands.

Nasdaq drops ball on IPO — again (NYP)
The electronic exchange run by CEO Robert Greifeld was forced yesterday to cancel orders on a planned $100 million initial public offering of WhiteHorse Finance due to “human error,” a Nasdaq spokesman said. A staffer in the exchange’s market-watch department “inadvertently” pressed a button to cancel trading rather than to delay the launch of the company.

Standard Chartered to Pay Additional $330 Million in Iran Settlement (WSJ)
Standard Chartered said Thursday it expects to pay an additional $330 million to settle with U.S. authorities over past transactions with Iranian clients that may have violated U.S. sanctions, putting its total bill at around $670 million.

Madam Set To Name NFL Big (NYP)
Notorious Upper East Side madam Anna Gristina is about to start naming names of high-power clients from her little black book — and an unlucky NFL executive will be the first bombshell name she lets fly, we’re told. “There is going to be a giant name dropped — actually, a couple of them,” Gristina told The Post’s Laura Italiano, speaking of her plans for an upcoming interview with TV host psychologist Dr. Phil. Asked if those names would be “giant” with a capital “G,” the Hockey Mom Madam gave a distinctly mischievous laugh that portends bad news for the bigwig client…“Everyone’s going to have to watch Dr. Phil,” she said. “I will tell you that one of the names is high-level [NFL] management. Then there’s an older [football] player who’s still very well known. Tune in to Dr. Phil!”

Jobless Claims Fall (Reuters)
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 370,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week’s figure was revised to show 2,000 more applications than previously reported.

EU Pushes Crackdown On Tax Havens (WSJ)
The European Union’s executive Thursday moved to step up efforts against tax havens, encouraging members to name and shame ultra-low-tax jurisdictions and crack down on cross-border tax avoidance within the 27-nation bloc.

Guatemalan Police Arrest Software Guru McAfee (AP)
Software company founder John McAfee was arrested by police in Guatemala on Wednesday for entering the country illegally, hours after he said he would seek asylum in the Central American country. The anti-virus guru was detained at a hotel in an upscale Guatemala City neighborhood with the help of Interpol agents and taken to an old, three-story building used to house migrants who enter the country illegally, said Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla. It was the latest twist in a bizarre tale that has seen McAfee refuse to turn himself in to authorities in Belize, where he is a person of interest in the killing of a neighbor, then go on the lam, updating his progress on a blog and claiming to be hiding in plain sight, before secretly crossing the border into Guatemala. “He will be in danger if he is returned to Belize, where he has denounced authorities,” said his lawyer in Guatemala, Telesforo Guerra. “His life is in danger.” Guerra said he would ask that a judge look at McAfee’s case as soon as possible. “From them moment he asked for asylum he has to have the protection of the Guatemalan government.” Earlier Wednesday, McAfee said he had formally requested asylum in Guatemala after entering the country from Belize, where he says he fears for his safety because he has sensitive information about official corruption and refused to donate to local politicians. “Yes, we are presenting this, and I want it to be clear, because of the persecution, not because of the murder,” he told the AP about his asylum bid.

44 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (44)

  1. Posted by Bow | December 6, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    Dude we're not going until we all pitch $5 for the tank man

  2. Posted by Guesteban | December 6, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Dogs, great. Now what about small Asian ladies?

  3. Posted by ROR | December 6, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    I'll eat them both.

    -Asian cannibal

  4. Posted by Guest | December 6, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    My queens girlfriend won't learn to drive because she is scared of all the Asian drivers. True Story.

  5. Posted by K-9 DB Dog | December 6, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    I didn't want ever want you to go darlin' I cant help but let the whole world know

    – Dog driving in a Mini

  6. Posted by Ragon Rady | December 6, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    How much signal I need to cut across eight lane? None? I turn now. Good Luck, everbody else.

  7. Posted by Guest | December 6, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    "eight rane"

    Other than that, no concerns.

  8. Posted by Guest | December 6, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Who let the dogs out?..who who who?

    -One man wolfpack

  9. Posted by Tru Story | December 6, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    My asian gf won't drive because she's afraid of herself….

  10. Posted by Dudes Everywhere | December 6, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    Still not worth tuning in to Dr. Phil

  11. Posted by Guest | December 6, 2012 at 10:16 AM


    –Knute Rockne

  12. Posted by Alt. Caption Guy | December 6, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    "In an attempt to further cut costs, Mike Corbat hires best friend to drive Town Car to work each day."

  13. Posted by Guest | December 6, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    SAC needs to merge with Bank of America LLP and form BALL SAC.

  14. Posted by Toonces | December 6, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    Hopefully dogs drive better than cats.

  15. Posted by Americans | December 6, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Another outgrowth of the disastrous policies which permit mass immigration to the US

  16. Posted by DMX | December 6, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    I've heard of Ruff Ryders, but now there's Ruff Drivers?

  17. Posted by guest | December 6, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Please be Goodell, please be Goodell….

    -Still angry Packers fan

  18. Posted by The Truth | December 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Please be Goodell, please be Goodell….

    -Every NFL fan ever

  19. Posted by Erevated Crash Revel | December 6, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    GEICO dropped my car insurance after I told them I was going to MIT.

  20. Posted by Hobbes | December 6, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    How do you know when an asian robbed your house?

    Your homework is done, your computer is upgraded, and two hours later she still can't pull out of the driveway.

  21. Posted by pedant | December 6, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    How much signar I need to cut acloss eight rane? None? I turn now. Good Ruck evelbody erse

    other than that no concerns.

  22. Posted by Devon | December 6, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    I remember Abercrombie had a "Belize the Hype" shirt awhile back.

  23. Posted by Brian Griffin | December 6, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    fucking amateurs

  24. Posted by _guest | December 6, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    "Notorious Upper East Side madam Anna Gristina is about to start naming names of high-power clients from her little black book…"

    If she dies in the next 60 days, I will know why.

  25. Posted by John M. | December 6, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    No, no, it's not the murder thing, it's the persecution!

  26. Posted by Guest | December 6, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    100% Agree.

  27. Posted by Porter | December 6, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Man what the hell. Now they've got me driving this damn car.

  28. Posted by Dic Pick | December 6, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    OH NO! Favre's legacy is going to be tarnished…

  29. Posted by Some Jerk | December 6, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    Nice to hear that Frank Gifford hasn’t slowed down a bit!

  30. Posted by Laxbro | December 6, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    I remember when we'd go see our oriental girlfriends at the massage parlor during lunch in the 80s…

    – GeezerOilTrader

  31. Posted by PermaGuestII | December 6, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    "A staffer in the exchange’s market-watch department 'inadvertently' pressed a button to cancel trading rather than to delay the launch of the company."

    Anyone else find it wierd that NASDAQ has an actual "Cancel Trading" *button* somewhere?

  32. Posted by Deleveraging | December 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    We have an Instagram Group dedicated to swapping pix of Asian's with their wrecked cars on the side of the road. The best multi car wrecks are in Queens.

  33. Posted by Deleveraging | December 6, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    That or the fact that you play Violin

  34. Posted by seharpro | December 6, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Every company should have a mission statement. Then hire as many MBA'ers as payroll can handle so they can say buzz words like: mission critical, synergys, and social media savvy

  35. Posted by Wire | December 6, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Likely big and red and you have to open a plastic cap to push it.

  36. Posted by Changster | December 6, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    mmm dogs.

    – regular asian

  37. Posted by Guest | December 6, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    NASDAQ : Exchanges :: Jets : NFL

  38. Posted by Guest | December 6, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Soon to be upgraded to the dual-key format they have on things like nuclear subs and GoldenEye control panels after this latest balls-up.

  39. Posted by PermaGuestII | December 6, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Damn straight! Last thing we need is more whisky-swilling Micks and greasy Eye-ties and Hunkies!

    -my great-great-grandfather circa 1892

  40. Posted by Belizean Guest | December 6, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Deportation or not, I don't think McAfee will make it stateside in the next 60 days bro

  41. Posted by Guest | December 6, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    I think your doing an injustice to the Nasdaq…

    – Bitter Jets Fan

  42. Posted by Dennis K. | December 6, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    So . . . will these dogs now be able to do "outcall"?

  43. Posted by gUEST | December 6, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Not to mention an apparently similar looking "Delay launch of company" button. I'd like to see some of the others on this panel. Perhaps a "Launch IPO Trading" button and a "Multiply IPO orders by 100" button right next to each other.

  44. Posted by PermaGuestII | December 6, 2012 at 4:04 PM