• 10 Jan 2013 at 9:20 AM

Opening Bell: 01.10.13

Deutsche Profits Big On Libor Bets (WSJ)
Deutsche Bank made at least €500 million ($654 million) in profit in 2008 from trades pegged to the interest rates under investigation by regulators world-wide, internal bank documents show. The German bank’s trading profits resulted from billions of euros in bets related to the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, and other global benchmark rates.

ECB Stands Pat On Rates (WSJ)
The ECB’s Governing Council decided to keep Europe’s most important interest rates at their lowest levels since the single currency was introduced in 1999, encouraged by a clear improvement in financial-market sentiment over the past month and by tentative signs of growing confidence in the euro-zone economy.

Rivals Clash As Inquiry Into Herbalife Opens (WSJ)
Daniel Loeb’s hedge fund disclosed Wednesday it owns an 8.2% stake now valued at $350 million in nutrition-supplements company Herbalife Ltd. Mr. Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management LP has bet more than $1 billion against the company by shorting its stock…The face-off between two high-profile, media-savvy hedge-fund managers highlights the arrival of a new wave of postcrisis financial stars. They tout their positions during television interviews and at conferences, in letters or securities filings and on customized Web pages, often convincing other investors to follow their lead. Their pronouncements move stocks, at times dramatically, and leave companies scrambling to respond. And when they take the opposite sides of the same trade the ensuing battle can captivate the financial world. “One of them is going to be very wrong,” said Gregg Hymowitz, founder of the $8.2 billion EnTrust Capital, a longtime investor with both Mr. Ackman and Mr. Loeb’s firms. “Ackman thinks it’s a complete and utter fraud, and Dan thinks it’s a completely legitimate business.”

Hedgie’s Herbalife Bet Counters Ackman (NYP)
[In addition to Loeb], Carl Icahn is also believed to have taken a long position in Herbalife, sources said. The possibility of Loeb and Icahn going up against Ackman’s Herbalife short sent investors into a tizzy. “It’s going to be an Ackman sandwich,” one hedge fund manager wailed.

Lew Taking Over at Treasury Puts Perennial Aide at Head (Bloomberg)
With his penchant for thinking several steps ahead, his organizational drive and his budget expertise, Lew, 57, has been Obama’s consummate aide. Now, he’s Obama’s choice for Treasury secretary, according to a person familiar with the process. Lew faces the prospect of becoming a leader at a critical juncture for the nation’s economic and fiscal future. “As chief of staff you are staff and as Treasury secretary, you are principal — Jack has to make that transition,” said Ken Duberstein, a chief of staff to former President Ronald Reagan who first met Lew in the 1980s. “It’s not the invisible hand, it is the visible hand.” If confirmed, Lew may need to play that hand as soon as next month, when the administration squares off with Congress over the U.S. debt ceiling. Lew’s job will be all the more difficult because his relations with House Republicans soured during the 2011 battle over the government’s borrowing limit.

Government’s worst signature will be on America’s dollar bills (NYP)
Lew’s signature — which looks like a strand of hair gone though a curler treatment — might even be too peculiar to grace our greenbacks, political insiders said. “Whoa! That’s completely unintelligible,” said a Senate finance aide. “This doesn’t look like anyone’s name at all.” She concluded, “Oh my gosh — I’ve never seen a signature like that.” ome social-media users were also quick to poke fun, saying Lew should clean up his squiggle. “HE GOT A CRIZZAZY SIGNATURE!!!!” one Twitter user wrote. Another tweeter quipped, “Looooooo!” But just because his autograph looks it’s penned by a drunken 3-year-old doesn’t mean it isn’t lovable, others said. Some fans created a petition on the White House’s Web site called “Save the Lewpty-Lew!” “We demand Lew’s doodle on every dollar bill in circulation,” the petition read. It had garnered 10 signatures by late yesterday…Asked yesterday if Lew had been practicing to improve his signature, presidential press secretary Jay Carney, said, “Not that I’m aware of.”

Cantor Growth Plan Sputters as 41% of Touted Hires Exit (Bloomberg)
Chief Executive Officer Howard Lutnick’s drive to turn one of the largest independent U.S. brokerages into a rival to Wall Street’s investment banks has been pocked with dismissals and defections. Forty-one percent of the 158 traders and bankers whose hirings Cantor announced in news releases since 2009 have left, industry records show. In interviews, 19 current and former employees blamed Cantor’s reluctance to commit money to deals and pressure to turn immediate profits.

Norfolk 911 calls for ‘baby lion’ turn up a coiffed dog (HR)
The first caller was fairly calm. “I’d like to report a lion sighting,” he said. “Say that again?” a dispatcher responded. And thus began the drama over baby lion sightings in Norfolk on Tuesday. Police said Wednesday that they actually got three 911 calls about the “lion.” The first came at 10:19 a.m. The animal was running on Granby Street, a male voice said. Then a woman took the phone. She sounded anxious as she described the proximity to the zoo. “There was a lion that ran across the street. A baby lion. It was about the size of a Labrador retriever.” It was near Granby and 38th, she said. “It’s roaming loose in the neighborhood.” A second call came five minutes later. “I just saw an animal that looked like a small lion.” It had “the mange and everything,” a man said. He had seen it on Delaware Avenue near Llewellyn Avenue. “I don’t know if it got away from the zoo, or what,” he said. The dispatcher said they already had received a report. “I’m not sure if it actually is a lion or not, but I’ll update the information.” A third call came at 1:19 p.m. “I just saw a baby lion at Colley Avenue and 50th Street,” a man reported. “What kind of animal?” the dispatcher later asked him. “A lion. A baby lion, maybe.” The lion was going to nearby houses. “I don’t think it has caused any problem so far,” said the caller. “OK. You think it’s looking for food?” the dispatcher asked. “I don’t know.” By now, most folks know that the “baby lion” was actually Charles the Monarch, a Labrador-poodle mix owned by Daniel Painter, who lives in Riveriew and has a garden center on Colley Avenue. He has the dog groomed to look like the Old Dominion University mascot. Many people say they see Charles out a lot, especially on Colley. But to someone who hasn’t seen him, he sure doesn’t look like a dog at first.

PE King Black Is Hungry For Hostess (NYP)
Black’s Apollo Global Management has teamed with veteran food executive C. Dean Metropoulos on a potential bid for bankrupt Hostess Brands’ snacks business, which includes Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos…Hostess is in the process of selling off its iconic brands and liquidating the company after a crippling strike by its bakers union forced it to shut down in November. The Irving, Texas-based company plans to hold separate auctions for its bread and snack businesses. Hostess is just a few days away from choosing a so-called stalking horse bidder for its bread brands, including Wonder Bread, Nature’s Pride and Butternut. The snack business will follow suit later.

Mortgage Deals Came Just In Time (WSJ)
Major banks pushed to complete an $8.5 billion legal settlement with federal regulators this past weekend so they could book the deal’s costs in their fourth-quarter results and present a cleaner slate to investors in 2013, according to people familiar with the talks. The timing of the settlement of alleged foreclosure abuses, announced Monday, allowed banks including Bank of America, JPMorgan, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo to take advantage of so-called subsequent-events accounting. The same rules apply to Bank of America’s $11.6 billion pact with Fannie Mae over buybacks of questionable mortgage loans. Monday’s settlements are “almost the textbook example” of when subsequent-events accounting comes into play, said Robert Willens, an accounting and tax expert.

Obama’s 81% New York City Support is Best in 114 Years (Bloomberg)
President Barack Obama won more support from New York City in November’s election than any White House candidate in more than 100 years, according to a final tally of votes. Obama beat Republican challenger Mitt Romney by 81 percent to 18 percent in the nation’s largest city, according to a certified vote count released Dec. 31 by the state board of elections. Some New York ballots were counted late in part because of complications caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Yum Brands Apologizes For Chicken Probe (WSJ)
Yum Brands’s China chief executive apologized to consumers after negative publicity surrounding an official probe into chicken purchased from local suppliers caused sales to tumble at the company’s KFC chain. Yum failed to address problems quickly and had poor internal communications, Sam Su said in a statement posted on the company’s official account on Sina Corp.’s Twitter-like Weibo microblog service. He said the company would strengthen its management and oversight of suppliers. “We feel regretful for all the problems,” Mr. Su said in the statement. “I sincerely apologize to the public on behalf of the company.”

Swiss Banks Welcome Rejection of Germany Tax Accord, Study Shows (Bloomberg)
Swiss banks welcome the collapse of an accord with Germany that would have imposed new taxes on German clients in a bid to end a dispute over tax evasion, Ernst & Young said. About 72 percent of 120 Swiss banks surveyed see the demise of the agreement as positive, Ernst & Young said in a report today.

How Jawboning Works (WSJ)
The clearest example comes from Europe. In July, Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, defused an intensifying crisis of confidence in the euro with two sentences scribbled in the margins of an otherwise routine speech. “Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro,” he said. “And believe me, it will be enough.” That may prove to be the most successful central-bank verbal intervention in history. A few weeks later, the ECB pledged to buy bonds of governments shunned by markets if those governments made belt-tightening commitments accepted by fellow euro-zone countries. No government has sought that help so the ECB hasn’t spent a single euro. Yet global anxiety about an imminent euro crisis has abated.

Beautiful Existence, Seattle Woman, Plans To Eat Only Starbucks For One Year (HP)
A Seattle woman, legally named Beautiful Existence, will eat only food from Starbucks this year. She’ll also be only drinking beverages from Starbucks as well, but will include drinks from Tazo Tea and Evolution Fresh since both fall under the Starbucks brand. Beautiful Existence cites several reasons for this endeavor. She explains them on her blog: “So how can eating only one company’s products impact me, anybody? Well Mr. McDonald’s already proved that question years ago with his documentary and Mr. Subway did his take on the loosing weight portion of the food challenges too. But when I watched those guys doing their thing I asked myself “where are the WOMEN challenging themselves in the world?” “Where are the effects being shown on a woman’s culture? A woman’s family & children? A woman’s diet, weight, fashion, checkbook, community and world through challenges?” “Where is HER VOICE on how an international company is directly or indirectly impacting everything from her waistline to her bottom line and every other woman’s, man’s, child’s, societies and planets world with their presence?” So far, Existence has really liked the Turkey Rustico Panini and is trying hard not to eat any of the baked items.

50 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (50)

  1. Posted by Inigo Montoya | January 10, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    It had "the mange and everything." Hmm. I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  2. Posted by Charles | January 10, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Throw that beautiful bitch to the Lions. I'll settle her snatch.

  3. Posted by Cash Mob Woah | January 10, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    I posted awhile back about a special day that I had. It involved getting drawn into a cash mob and ejaculating into a scented candle when I came across the cute girl from the coffee shop that I’m crushing on. I just want to say that I’m doing OK……doing pretty good.

  4. Posted by VonSloneker | January 10, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Why is everyone fucking with Lew's signature? I think it's beautiful.

    - The Ghost of Cy Twombly

  5. Posted by Not Lion | January 10, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Considering the probable number of all the responsible gun owners in Norfolk, who would gladly react quickly to a perceived threat, suggests to me the lion-looking dog's owner is not a MENSA member.

  6. Posted by Starbuck | January 10, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Beautiful Existence apparently had a previous diet regimen involving paint chips.

  7. Posted by guest | January 10, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Its a Liger…bred for its skills in magic.

    -N. Dynamite

  8. Posted by Nick Lachey | January 10, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Beautiful Existence, the daughter of Blowjob Queen

  9. Posted by Jim Lahey | January 10, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    This whole Herbalife saga has been elevated to old school WWF style nonsense. "WHAT'S THAT?! GOOD GOD THAT'S DAN LOEB'S MUSIC!"

  10. Posted by The Rock | January 10, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    If Carl Icahn hits him with a chair while he's resting against the turnbuckle, I'll put 9% of my portfolio into HLF also.

  11. Posted by Guest | January 10, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Terrible.
    And "The handler asked why the lion was so upset?" is a declarative sentence.
    –Shecky's 2nd grade english teacher

  12. Posted by Guest | January 10, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    the mutt looks to have a bit of mange.

  13. Posted by Guest | January 10, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Yes, but it won't be a true Wall Street-WWF mashup until Meredith Whitney gets involved.

  14. Posted by Seattle Court-Doc | January 10, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    I, Beautiful Existence, herby confirm on this date of January 1st, 2014 that I will now be legally addressed as "Lumpy HorseButt."

  15. Posted by Decay of Society | January 10, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    She's my cousin man!

    - Beezow Doo-Doo Zoopittybop-Bop-Bop

  16. Posted by Shecky Perkins | January 10, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    A lion at the Norfolk zoo startled his handlers by speaking English one day. "I want to go to Bridgeport, Connecticut, and play poker with another animal there at the Beardsley Zoo….but there is one animal I will not play poker with." The lion didn't want to offend the other animals who might also speak English so he whispered that animal's name to his stunned keeper.

    Arrangements were made and the English speaking lion was on his way to Bridgeport. A well known hedge fund owner heard of the effort via his wife who volunteered and raised money for the local zoo. The hedge fund owner said, "I'm going to play poker with that lion!! I have to be the first person to play poker with an English speaking lion!!" With a generous donation to the Beardsley Zoo, the hedge fund owner was assured of his place in poker history.

    The day came and the lion and the hedge fund owner played Texas Hold 'em, 5-card draw and 7-card stud. Unfortunately, the lion lost most of the games. On the way home to Norfolk, the lion bitterly complained about the historic game to his handler. The handler asked why the lion was so upset? The lion replied, "I told you there was one animal I would never play poker with and guess what?? You set me up with that animal……a cheetah!

  17. Posted by Guest | January 10, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    I didnt read this but I think its safe to ask you to please fuck off.

  18. Posted by James S. Cramer | January 10, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    OH MY GOD SKEE DADDY!!!! EATING OOOOONLY SBUX FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR!!! THERE IS ONLY ONE WORD THAT CAN DESCRIBE SUCH MADNESS: COCKANAMY!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS DEFINITELY A GOOD SIGN THIS MEANS SBUX DISCRETIONARY SALES AND SALES/SQFT WILL BE UP!!!! I ADVISE A LONG POSITION IN SBUX WITH A DEEP STOP HEDGED BY A SHORT IN HLF!!!

    AND FOR ANY OF THOSE WHO WATCHED MY SHOW LAST NIGHT YOU WOULD KNOW THIS: FB IS A BUY BUY BUY BABYY!!!!

    TALK SOON,
    –<3 JIM "KRAZY BOI" CRAMER

  19. Posted by guest | January 10, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Please go open a kosher deli in Pakistan.

  20. Posted by Bored Guest | January 10, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    “It’s going to be an Ackman sandwich,” one hedge fund manager wailed.

    Let's dial the drama back a notch or two, NYP. No one is doing any wailing here.

  21. Posted by gUEST | January 10, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Sorry, thumbs down just for making me think of Jim Cramer.

  22. Posted by Cornholio | January 10, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    He is Aragorn, son of Arathorn, of bunghole

  23. Posted by Ahab Capital LP | January 10, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Hey!

  24. Posted by Dave Koresh, CFA | January 10, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Is anyone listening to this HLF presentation? Talking about some old widow who acts like it's a cult, and that's a good thing?

  25. Posted by Guest | January 10, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Hey man today is a new day.

  26. Posted by Guestalt | January 10, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    <approving golf clap>

  27. Posted by Oscar Wilde | January 10, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    "Be yourself….everyone else is already taken."

  28. Posted by Barney Frank | January 10, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    An Ackman sandwich? Go on…

  29. Posted by DSA | January 10, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Just to be clear, Herbalife sells shakes, not cool aid, and is therefore not a cult.

  30. Posted by Guest | January 10, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    Hey Jim I'm still long Herbalife, any idea when it's going to get back up to 60, where it was when you recommended it back in 2011?

  31. Posted by Guest | January 10, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    "It's going to be an Ackman sandwich"

    Go on.

    -L. Tilton

  32. Posted by LA Major | January 10, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Today is a new new day, isnt it?

  33. Posted by Guest | January 10, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Well it certainly isnt yesterday

  34. Posted by guestido | January 10, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Tomorrow is a Latter day!

    -Elder Price

  35. Posted by Quant me maybe | January 10, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Some times you swing and you hit, sometimes you swing and you miss. Stick with it.

  36. Posted by Guest | January 10, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    What the fuck is this? An Ackman salad?!? Get the fuck out of here. You're fired.

  37. Posted by UBS Equities MD | January 10, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    That's too bad, I was planning on going to a nutrition center and calling it research and was really hoping they'd have kool-aid, not just because it's refreshing, but because it might be laced with cyanide and that would be prettay, prettay nice after looking at my bonus.

  38. Posted by Guest | January 10, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Other noms de plume previously considered by Beautiful Existence:

    Crystal Beth
    Serenity Stupor
    Hemp Orgasm
    Jane

  39. Posted by Guest | January 10, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    This idiot thinks it's actually Cramer lol

  40. Posted by caligula | January 10, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    You're swinging wrong.

  41. Posted by J. Gundlach | January 10, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    I volunteer to be the meat.

  42. Posted by Slightly Agitated | January 10, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    When you are writing this crap can you at least fix the cockanamy to the correct cockamamy….it is almostg more annoying than the posts

  43. Posted by guest | January 10, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    unrealistic.

  44. Posted by Guestalt | January 10, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    This joke was definitely funnier the second time it was made.

    -UBS Humor Arbitrage Quant

  45. Posted by Sandwich name quant | January 10, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    Wouldn't that then be a Gundlach sandwich? Rest easy, you can still provide the buns.

  46. Posted by Guest | January 10, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    This idiot thinks this idiot thinks it's actually Cramer lol

  47. Posted by herbalife down line | January 10, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    it is going to be a cherios tasting sandwich..

    herbalife down line

  48. Posted by Magi More | January 10, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    <img src="http://www.ladyoffice.com/new/images/yue.jpg"/>herbalife is a big scandal itself, nothing it sells actually works. <img src="http://www.ladyoffice.com/new/images/lyue.jpg"/&gt;

  49. Posted by Hale Bopp | January 11, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Well we've been awaiting your arrival — hurry on up!

  50. Posted by sohbet | May 12, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    telling these little stories, here's a good idea: Have a point. It makes it so much more interesting for the listener.