Opening Bell: 01.22.13

Glencore, Xstrata Move Closer to Deal (WSJ)
The two companies, who want to combine to form the world’s fourth-largest diversified miner with a market capitalization of about $80 billion, said they still need to secure regulatory approval from China. They will also have to abide by conditions set out by the South African regulator limiting the timing and scope of any layoffs stemming from the merger.

SAC Misses Out On Big Investment (WSJ)
Mizuho Financial Group had discussed last year making a major investment that could have brought as much as $500 million to SAC, said people briefed on discussions with SAC executives and advisers. But the bank ultimately notified SAC that it wasn’t proceeding. By December, with scrutiny of SAC’s trading practices mounting, the firm’s executives told advisers and others inside and outside the firm that Mizuho’s decision appeared final, the people said.

Global A-List Descends On Davos (WSJ)
Of all the sectors it is probably the bankers who are fielding the highest concentration of big names. Anshu Jainof Deutsche Bank AG,  Brian T. Moynihan of Bank of America Corp., Lloyd C. Blankfein of Goldman Sachs and HSBC Holdings CEO Stuart T. Gulliver are just a sample.

Trust in Business Leaders at Low as Davos Begins (CNBC)
Less than one in five people believe business and government leaders can be trusted to make ethical and moral decisions, the survey of some 30,000 people showed, with confidence particularly low in France and Germany.

Calpers Buy-Hold Rule Recoups $95 Billion Recession Loss (WSJ)
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System is poised to top a record $260 billion in assets, the market value it held before the global financial crisis wiped out more than a third of its wealth, by sticking with a strategy of buy-and-hold. The largest U.S. public pension, with half of its money in publicly traded equities, was worth $253.2 billion on Jan. 17, or about 97 percent of the pre-recession high set in October 2007. The fund returned 13 percent in 2012, about the same gain as the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index achieved.

Armstrong Becomes ‘Madoff on a Bike’ as Cheating Shatters Lives (Bloomberg)
“He’s Bernie Madoff on a bike,” said John Llewellyn, an associate professor of communication at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “The level of self-absorption and mean-spiritedness with which he has defended himself and castigated others over a decade makes an impression that’s pretty bleak for the human spirit.”

Irish lawmakers back plan to allow drink-driving ‘in moderation’ (The Journal)
KERRY count councillors have voted in favour of a motion which would allow people in rural Ireland to have ‘two or three’ drinks and still drive. The motion put forward by councillor Danny Healy-Rae calls on the Minister for Justice to allow Gardaí to issue permits to people in the most isolated parts of the country to allow them to drive after drinking some alcohol. Speaking to The Journal, Danny Healy-Rae said the idea was to help “those people in every parish who are isolated and who can’t get out of their place at night.”

Barclays Loses Anonymity (Bloomberg)
A group of Barclays employees had a request to prevent their names from being published ahead of the UK’s first trial related to manipulation of the London interbank offered rate rejected by a judge yesterday. “I simply do not see that there is any sufficient case of prejudice” to the trial, Judge Julian Flaux said in dismissing the request. The names weren’t immediately released. Affiliates of Guardian Care Homes sued Barclays over an interest-rate swap tied to Libor and argued the benchmark was manipulated. The swap resulted in a loss for the Wolverhampton, England-based Guardian and Barclays was ordered to give the company’s lawyers the identities and e-mails of bank staff that were included in disclosures to regulators.

Atari’s U.S. Operations File for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy (Bloomberg)
Atari SA’s U.S.-based video-game- making businesses filed for bankruptcy protection inManhattan with the intention of separating from the unprofitable French parent and seeking independent funding. New York-based Atari Inc., maker of video games “Pong” and “Asteroids,” as well as affiliates Atari Interactive Inc., Humongous Inc. and California U.S. Holdings Inc., asked to be jointly administered in filings yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, according to a statement. “Within the next 90 to 120 days, the companies expect to effectuate a sale of all, or substantially all, of their assets,” in a free and clear sale under the U.S. bankruptcy laws, or confirm reorganization plans that “accomplish substantially the same result,” according to the statement.

EU Approves Financial Transactions Tax (Reuters)
A majority of European Union finance ministers voted on Tuesday to allow Germany, France and nine other euro zone countries to prepare to introduce a tax on financial transactions, said two officials who attended the meeting. The vote clears the way for Germany,France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Portugal, Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Slovakia and Slovenia to press ahead with their own tax on trading.

Man paddles for love of Florida waters (NWFDN)
Justin Riney turned his back on his degree in finance and last year followed his heart and founded his own non-profit organization: Mother Ocean…Riney needed a project to kick off his newly-founded organization and bring attention to it and when he read that 500 years had passed since Ponce de Leon discovered Florida, he decided that was a cause for celebration. On Jan. 1 he began a 365-day journey around Florida on a stand-up paddle board from Pensacola. He plans to spend six months paddling the peninsula, ending In Jacksonville on July 4. Then, he will spend six months on the inner waterways, ending Dec. 31 in Tallahassee. He has named this adventure Expedition Florida 500.

Briton wrestles shark away from children in Australia (Telegraph)
The incident happened on Friday in the Sunshine Coast region of the state of Queensland, and was captured by a local news team. According to Australia’s Channel Nine, the shark came into very shallow waters and two men rushed to move it away before it reached children who were playing in the water nearby. Paul Marshallsea, a grandfather from Wales, and Terry Dale, a wildlife carer, pushed the shark towards open waters. The shark was also spotted in shallow waters of a creek by frightened parents, children and tourists.

55 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (55)

  1. Posted by Nigel Tufnell | January 22, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Kerry Policeman: Good Evening Sir
    Driver: Evenin'
    Policeman: Sure you'll tell me you have a permit for the drink now?
    Driver: i do at that.
    Policeman: Fine. Just get out of the car. It's on fire. And upside down.
    Driver: Ah right so.

  2. Posted by ray lewis' 7th kid | January 22, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Hey !

  3. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Hey guys, nappy hew year!

  4. Posted by Jon n. Shazar | January 22, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Making up a girlfriend…sheesh who woul do that..heh heh

  5. Posted by Joe Sixpack | January 22, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    In Derry police officer Gerald Fitzpatrick pulled over drunk ( only slightly) driver Patrick Fitzgerald and the pair proceeded to go Damon/Afflek on each other.

    Old joke with new twist

  6. Posted by guest | January 22, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Boing!

    -Rex Ryan

  7. Posted by Fire Jon Shazar | January 22, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Shazar isn't creative enough to put together 100 words, let alone a a fake GF.

  8. Posted by non sequitur | January 22, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Its so cold in Washington that I saw a politician with his hands in his own pockets.

  9. Posted by Shecky Guiness | January 22, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    An Irishman who had a little too much to drink is driving home from the city one night and, of course, his car is weaving violently all over the road.

    A cop pulls him over. "So," says the cop to the driver, "where have ya been?" "Why, I've been to the pub of course," slurs the drunk.

    "Well," says the cop, "it looks like you've had quite a few to drink this evening." "I did all right," the drunk says with a smile.

    "Did you know," says the cop, standing straight and folding his arms across his chest, "that a few intersections back, your wife fell out of your car?"

    "Oh, thank heavens," sighs the drunk. "For a minute there, I thought I'd gone deaf."

  10. Posted by Guestalt | January 22, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    I see we're aiming for a new commenting low this morning.

  11. Posted by guest | January 22, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Its so cold on Wall Street that the hookers are charging 20 bucks just to blow on your hands!

  12. Posted by Guestalf | January 22, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Well it's the path you've chosen.

  13. Posted by Jon Shazar | January 22, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    I've been told I often have that effect on people.

  14. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Hard to get excited when the site is shite.

  15. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    I think the difference between Bernie Madoff and Lance Armstrong is that when people found out that Bernie was lying they were genuinely surprised.

  16. Posted by Billy Vogon | January 22, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Are we on? Is this site live? Can anyone else read this?

  17. Posted by 80s kid | January 22, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Best Christmas of my life was when I got Jungle Hunt for the Atari 2600.

  18. Posted by new lows | January 22, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    then years later you met jon shazar and the dream died.

  19. Posted by Im_a_Dude | January 22, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Bess/Matt (not shazar),
    no post on Mary Jo White= grade school teacher from hell?
    you guys sleeping in this am?

  20. Posted by Erector Set | January 22, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Shazaar kicks kittens and eats puppies.

    -True story/no shlomo

  21. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    +12635443483316453612

  22. Posted by Save us | January 22, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Where art thou Evil David Letterman?

  23. Posted by Laxbro | January 22, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Bess, do you watch Girls? I keep hoping the show will stop revolving around the disgusting tubby, but then I remember it's written by her and it's her outlet to get all of the attention she never received in real life or whatever. The hipster lexicon is so forced and obnoxious. I love overhearing spoiled do-nothing slams talk about how brilliant this show is and that it's "SO them" — like totally. Yea, hearing the NYU one talk about washing pigs was like SO funny. I could literally record random terminally unmotivated Bushwick kids in a coffee shop and get the same boring show. Aside from that, did anyone catch that middle-class in Manhattan article in the Times? The cast of Girls vs. the not quite rich enough to afford dinner at Per Se cry babies.. we'll call it the battle of the insufferables.

  24. Posted by Laxbro | January 22, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    reporters during Bush administration telling us the twins were getting shit faced at Tombs, Smith Point and Town Hall >>>>>>>>>>> reporters during Obama administration fawning over Obama girls' pea coats

  25. Posted by Jon Shazar - Kouwe | January 22, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    My favorite show on TV by far.

  26. Posted by Laxbro | January 22, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    I picture 40-55 yo pervy guys that visit an outer borough once a year — Flushing for the US Open — being the most obsessed with this show. Like this is their "authentic" glimpse into the hip Brookyln people the Times keeps writing about.

  27. Posted by Double boast | January 22, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Something tells me there aren't that many hipsters lamenting the existence of waspy sales traders who can't read a chart or a balance sheet taking up all the tee times at National.

    Well, not that they would admit anyway. That was their fathers' battle,

  28. Posted by Guestalt | January 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    This is what happens when you type with your fists.

  29. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Why you hating bro? More cushion for the pushin and all that.

  30. Posted by Jon n. Shazar | January 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Hey !

  31. Posted by Still short GM | January 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Nice to see they have followed our model.

    - City of New Orleans

  32. Posted by guest | January 22, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Man paddles for love of Florida waters (NWFDN)

    ^^not that I'm interested in reading about this hippie but what does NWFDN mean? can I click this at work? slightly intrigued

  33. Posted by Nailz6 | January 22, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    There's such a thing as Chinese regulatory approval?

  34. Posted by Worried | January 22, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    I understood all that he said.

  35. Posted by guest | January 22, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    +1, would have been a +2 if you signed it Niagara Falls.

  36. Posted by derpies | January 22, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    go ef yourself

  37. Posted by News person | January 22, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Non-Work Friendly Distributed News. Probably shouldn't click it.

  38. Posted by nachocheese | January 22, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    how did you get my bonu$ number?

    Lloyd B.

  39. Posted by DUH | January 22, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Hipsters are a waste of space

  40. Posted by Slow news day | January 22, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    "Less than one in five people believe business and government leaders can be trusted." – So 4/5 people are lying to themselves ?

  41. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Wait, you know people who actually watch "Girls"? I thought the only reason its ratings were not zero is because it took people time to find the remote to change the channel after "A Game of Thrones" ended.

  42. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    It means North West Florida Daily News. Definitely not safe for work, I think whatever it is that turns people into Floridians may be contagious and can spread through electronic media.

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    "

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  55. Posted by youtube.com | September 23, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    The two companies, who want to combine to form the world’s fourth-largest diversified miner with a market capitalization of about $80 billion, said they still need to secure regulatory approval from China. They will also have to abide by conditions set out by the South African regulator limiting the timing and scope of any layoffs stemming from the merger.