Opening Bell: 12.18.12

Dozens Likely Implicated In UBS Libor Deal (FT)
bout three dozen bankers and senior managers will be implicated in the alleged rigging of Libor interest rates when UBS settles with global regulators later this week, according to people familiar with the matter. UBS is close to finalizing a deal with UK, US and Swiss authorities in which the bank will pay close to $1.5 billion and its Japanese securities subsidiary will plead guilty to a US criminal offence. Terms of the guilty plea were still being negotiated, one person familiar with the matter said on Monday, adding that the bank will not lose its ability to conduct business in Japan…Not all of the three dozen individuals will face criminal or civil charges and the level of alleged misconduct varies among them. While it also is not clear how many bankers will be criminally charged, people familiar with the investigation said the settlement documents will document an intercontinental scheme to manipulate the Yen-Libor interest rate over several years involving desks from Tokyo to London.

Cerberus Seeks Sale of Gun Maker Freedom Group (WSJ)
Private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP said it is seeking to sell the company that manufactures a gun used in last week’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. “We have determined to immediately engage in a formal process to sell our investment in Freedom Group…We believe that this decision allows us to meet our obligations to the investors whose interests we are entrusted to protect without being drawn into the national debate that is more properly pursued by those with the formal charter and public responsibility to do so,” Cerberus said in a statement Tuesday.

Cliff Talks Narrow (WSJ)
President Barack Obama backed away from his long-standing call for raising tax rates on households making more than $250,000 a year, a development that inches the White House and congressional Republicans closer to a budget deal. Mr. Obama’s move, a counter to Republicans’ recent proposal to raise tax rates on income over $1 million, further narrows the differences between the two sides. During a meeting with House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) Monday the president proposed allowing Bush-era tax rates to expire for households making more than $400,000 in annual income, people familiar with the meeting said.

Poland Finds It’s Not Immune To Euro Crisis (NYT)
During much of the region’s debt crisis so far, Poland has counted itself fortunate that the troubles began before the country had joined the euro currency union. By being part of the E.U.’s common market, but not bound by euro strictures, Poland has been one of the Continent’s rare economic good-news stories. But the deceleration in Polish growth, which has prompted the central bank to begin a series of interest rate cuts to stimulate the economy, has underscored the country’s exposure to slumping euro zone consumer markets.

Hedge Fund Managers Convicted of Insider-Trading Scheme (Bloomberg)
Level Global Investors LP co-founder Anthony Chiasson and former Diamondback Capital Management LLC portfolio manager Todd Newman were convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy for an insider-trading scheme that reaped more than $72 million. After deliberating a little more than two days, a federal jury in New York found both men guilty of conspiracy to commit securities fraud for a scheme to trade on Dell Inc. (DELL) and Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) using illicit tips. The panel found Chiasson, 39, guilty of five counts of securities fraud, earning Level Global $68.5 million on inside tips trading on the two technology company stocks. Newman, 48, was convicted of four counts of securities fraud related to trades on inside information that earned his fund about $3.8 million. “We had all the evidence we needed,” said Felicia Rivera, a juror from Westchester County near New York City, said after court.

Credit unions sue JPM for $3.6B (NYP)
The nation’s credit-union watchdog sued JPMorgan for a second time yesterday over $3.6 billion of Bear Stearns mortgage bonds that imploded in the wake of the financial crisis. The suit brought by the National Credit Union Administration accuses Bear Stearns, the failed bank acquired by JPMorgan in 2008, of peddling toxic securities to four credit unions that later collapsed. The same government agency sued JPMorgan last year over $1.4 billion in mortgage-backed securities that led to losses for credit unions. That suit is still pending. In the latest complaint, the credit union regulator said Bear Stearns conspired with at least 16 outfits that cranked out toxic mortgages and securities sold to unsuspecting buyers. Those included notorious subprime mortgage outfits such as Countrywide Financial, New Century and People’s Choice Home Loans.

Man wears 70 items of clothing at airport to avoid baggage charge (DS)
A man took to putting on 70 items of clothing to avoid an extra baggage charge at an airport. The unidentified passenger turned up at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in China, described as looking like a ‘sumo wrestler’. According to Guangzhou Daily, the man’s luggage exceeded the weight limit. He did not want to pay the extra baggage costs, and thus took out and wore more than 60 shirts and nine pairs of jeans. Wanting to board a flight to Nairobi, Kenya, he was stopped by the metal detector and had to undergo a full body search.

AIG Raises $6.45 Billion as AIA Priced in Top Half of Range (Bloomberg)
AIG sold 1.65 billion shares at HK$30.30 each, AIA said in a statement today. The shares were offered at HK$29.65 to HK$30.65 each. AIA fell 3.3 percent to close at HK$30.60 in Hong Kong, the most since July 23. It was the biggest decliner and most actively traded stock by both volume and value in the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index (HSI) with HK$56.6 billion ($7.3 billion) worth of shares changing hands today.

Probe Sparks Split On Trades (WSJ)
A regulatory investigation into whether stock exchanges have given unfair advantages to high-speed traders has sparked complaints against the exchanges, fueling a broader debate about how the market operates and is regulated. The Investment Company Institute, trade group for mutual funds, complained in a recent letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission that U.S. stock exchanges “facilitate strategies” for rapid-fire trading firms “that can lead to disorderly markets or that can benefit market participants at the expense of long-term investors.”

Buybacks Rule The Day (WSJ)
American companies bought back $274 billion more shares than they issued in the year through September, according to Ed Yardeni, president of investment advisory firm Yardeni Research. And the spending spree looks set to continue, a sign that companies have the cash to put to work but don’t yet see an economic case for using it to expand their businesses or create jobs.

Dog swallows a foot of Christmas lights (Mirror)
Charlie, a seven-year-old crossbreed dog from Southampton, was saved by surgeons from veterinary charity PDSA after wolfing down his family’s Christmas lights recently. And the dog has a track record for getting his paws, and teeth, on household objects, having once eaten his owner Sharon Fay’s scarf. Ms Fay, who aptly refers to her dog as the “light of her life”, became concerned when she noticed bits of wire sticking out of Charlie’s faeces in the garden. The 45-year-old said: “I hadn’t even noticed that the lights had been chewed at this stage but it quickly became clear what had happened. “Back in March he ate one of my scarves and needed an operation to remove it, but I thought it was just a one-off incident as he hadn’t shown any signs that he was going to be a repeat offender. I’ve had dogs all my life and have never known a dog act like this before.” An X-ray immediately cast a light on Charlie’s problem – the tangled remains of the decorations clearly showed up in his stomach and would have proved fatal if they were not removed. Vets rushed Charlie to the operating table and removed the Christmas decorations, also finding a shoelace.

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Comments (60)

  1. Posted by Guest | December 18, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/odd/news/a445886/woma

    Thought this story just had more to it than sumo clothing guy.

  2. Posted by Guest | December 18, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    The article focuses on the number of clothing items he wore (including nine pairs of jeans). It should have asked why the guy owns nine pairs of jeans in the first place.

    -Trader who recommends this guy give a pair of jeans to someone who truly needs them – that is if he can spare it.

  3. Posted by guestie | December 18, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    I couldnt think of a worse time to sell a gun company. Investors best interests are higher MOIC/IRRs; the debate about gun laws just didnt start last week.

  4. Posted by Incitatus | December 18, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    And why, WHY for the love of all that is holy is he taking all nine to Nairobi?

    Also, I think he needs to buy his Matryoshka jeans a little more true-to-size.
    -Dude thinking three pairs simultaneously would be iffy

  5. Posted by Guest | December 18, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    This definitely feels like a Shazar opening bell.

  6. Posted by Marketing genius | December 18, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Maybe they felt like owning the product that just killed 20 kids isn't the best PR right now?

  7. Posted by Alt A Marketing MD | December 18, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    People's Choice Home Loans, because its YOUR choice! Us!….. Or a Nigerian payday loan!….

    See you at the closing….

  8. Posted by Guest | December 18, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    I love how even Feinberg's press release statements ramble such that they require elipses when quoted in the press.

  9. Posted by guest | December 18, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    Same people that decided to name their PR firm Cerberus are PR-conscious all of a sudden?

  10. Posted by Guest | December 18, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    When officers asked the individual to take off the first layer of clothing they realized that it was, in fact, just Maria Baritoromo in Under Armour cold gear and waved her through.

  11. Posted by guest | December 18, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    should have said PE firm, apologies everyone

  12. Posted by Mark Sanchez | December 18, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    So we're going lower ?

  13. Posted by Guest | December 18, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    don't worry, who is going to buy it?

  14. Posted by Guest | December 18, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    He would have been significantly better off with one pair of Bonobo's and an Amex Platinum Card which pays for baggage fees.

  15. Posted by b2bmd | December 18, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    Old trick. Wonder if he tried the armadillo in his trousers?

    Derek Smalls

  16. Posted by Im_a_Dude | December 18, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    are you by any chance N'08 younger brother?

  17. Posted by 3rd derivative | December 18, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    And why Nairobi

  18. Posted by Stamford barrista | December 18, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    You're short on ears. Long on mouth.

  19. Posted by Berns | December 18, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    You'd be surprised.

  20. Posted by Nervous Jew | December 18, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    "A man took to putting on 70 items of clothing to avoid an extra baggage charge at an airport."

    I swear it wasn't me.

  21. Posted by Guest | December 18, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    I apologize if my typo reflects me showing indifference to and disrespect of PR firms I never intended that.

    -Angus T. Jones

  22. Posted by Wire | December 18, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    Yeah, metal detecters don't pick up armadillos. Tin foil-wrapped zucchini are not TSA approved.

  23. Posted by guest | December 18, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    You're a fucking idiot.

  24. Posted by Wire | December 18, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Impostor.

  25. Posted by SPIOT | December 18, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    I'd stay away from these here parts then.

    - South Padre Island Oil Trader

  26. Posted by What? | December 18, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    What is the purpose of "a foot" of Christmas lights? Decorating a potted plant?

  27. Posted by Guest | December 18, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    "Dozens Likely Implicated In UBS Libor Deal" But theres only 20 of us left?

    -Twelfth man on the deal team, last to know.

  28. Posted by Charlie | December 18, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    I get cutoff alot this time of year.

  29. Posted by Snack | December 18, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    If you order a pizza, do you have to eat the entire pie?

  30. Posted by Mantooth | December 18, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    You are not who you say you are, friendo.

  31. Posted by Peter North | December 18, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    :)

  32. Posted by Guest | December 18, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    No.

  33. Posted by Pug Ugly | December 18, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    That room looks like a slaughterhouse.

  34. Posted by Maria Bartoma | December 18, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    oh yeah

  35. Posted by Guest | December 18, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    That's just the hen house… you should see their broiler room.

  36. Posted by Rex Ryan | December 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    A foot of Xmas lights?

  37. Posted by Tulsa Oil Pro | December 18, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    One of our crude oil guys just opened up a Christmas card that had a dick drawn on the inside of it!

  38. Posted by Foxconn | December 18, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    We may want to move some of our lines there. China is getting too expensive. Do they work the weekends though?

  39. Posted by SEC jr staffer | December 18, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    That's usually sent as a precursor to a wells notice.

  40. Posted by Alt A Marketing MD | December 18, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    Serious question, you think these scapegoats have any voice in the plea bargaining whatsoever? Or is senior management really negotiating the sentences of 36 people??? Should make for an interesting exit interview.

    -Not an Attorney, but Contemplating Taking Side Bets on their Appeal Success

  41. Posted by VonSloneker | December 18, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    Yes sir, I thought it was strange that I got the comission to design the space as well. Purpose built though, wouldn't you say?

    - Temple Grandin, UBS Abattoire MD

  42. Posted by Guest | December 18, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Ron Burgundy: Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it Freedom Group, which of course in German means a whale's vagina.
    Veronica Corningstone: No, there's no way that's correct.
    Ron Burgundy: I'm sorry, I was trying to impress you. I don't know what it means. I'll be honest, I don't think anyone knows what it means anymore. Scholars maintain that the translation was lost hundreds of years ago.
    Veronica Corningstone: Doesn't it mean Freedom Group?
    Ron Burgundy: No. No.
    Veronica Corningstone: No, that's – that's what it means. Really.
    Ron Burgundy: Agree to disagree.

  43. Posted by Guest | December 18, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Do they even have to actually sell it to get good PR? I mean, if they can't get an appropriate price I assume they won't just offload it anyways, and just by saying they're looking to sell they get the WSJ to write about them in a positive light. To me it looks like mission accomplished, by the time they decide it's not prudent to sell now people will have forgotten about them.

  44. Posted by SPIOT | December 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Buy a bike and move to Portland

  45. Posted by Dateraider | December 18, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    You're a virgin idiot.

  46. Posted by Guest | December 18, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Their CEO lives in Newtown. This isn't a PR move….

  47. Posted by guest | December 18, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    His kids are safe as long as he doesn't agree to testify in LIBOR case.

  48. Posted by guest | December 18, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Approved "green light string" under Obama DOE regulations.

  49. Posted by guest | December 18, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Berscoloini's bytch looks like a Tranny……..guy who has spent many days in SF and knows what he is talking about

  50. Posted by Tebow | December 18, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    HEY!

  51. Posted by Anonomous | December 18, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    * they're

    - UBS Grammer Quant

  52. Posted by guest | December 18, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Bushmaster is soo Bush League I save my $$$ and go with Christensen hardware because I am a successful American

  53. Posted by Glen Salami | December 18, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Will I finally get shit canned? I have been a loser for 20+ years for this firm.

  54. Posted by guest | December 18, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    to sell them. Isn't that obvious? You can't put on nine pairs of your own jeans. They have to be in increasingly larger sizes.

  55. Posted by PermaGuestII | December 18, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Is there really a big market for jeans in East Africa?

  56. Posted by Hey? | December 18, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Gwen Stafani?

  57. Posted by PermaGuestII | December 18, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Excellent! None of these bloody Masons at UBS.

    -Mr. John Wiggin
    Fellow, Royal Institute of British Architects

  58. Posted by VonSloneker | December 18, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Masonry opens doors

    - Guy that knows the secret handshake

  59. Posted by guest | December 18, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    There was a NYT article on this. These guys are traders in the most basic sense. Come to NYC on a tourist visa, buy unbrellas for $2 sell for $5, live in a dorm, do this for a few weeks, then buy big ticket electronics to bring home, bribe the customs guy at the airport, sell them for less than local retail, use the profits to buy another ticket to NYC (or Rome to sell handbags, Greek islands for sunglasses, etc.)

  60. Posted by guest | December 18, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    or more importantly, a market for large sizes of jeans?