Opening Bell

Opening Bell: 01.28.13

Davos Money Men Say World Emerges From Doldrums Fretting Relapse (Bloomberg)
“Optimism, but with a sober tone,” was how Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan characterized the mood pervading the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, even as investors were lifting the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index above 1,500 for the first time since 2007.

Fed To Keep Money Spigot Open (WSJ)
Federal Reserve officials are likely to continue their easy-money policies when they gather this week to weigh a mixed economic outlook and a recent run of low inflation. The Fed has said it would maintain its $85 billion bond-buying programs, aimed at boosting the economy by lowering long-term interest rates, until it sees substantial progress in labor markets. It has also said it would keep short-term interest rates near zero until the jobless rate drops to at least 6.5%, as long as inflation remains steady.

Beneath the Calm, SAC Works to Contain Fallout From Inquiry (NYT)
“This has always been a stressful place to work,” said an SAC employee who requested anonymity because he was unauthorized to speak publicly about the fund. “Now it’s just more stressful.” Mr. Cohen’s fund was dealt a blow last week when a Citigroup unit that manages money for wealthy families disclosed that it was withdrawing its $187 million investment. The move by the bank was the most prominent client departure since November, when the multiyear investigation into SAC’s trading practices entered a more serious phase. Citigroup’s withdrawal represents a tiny percentage of SAC’s $14 billion in assets under management. The fund has said it expects total investor redemptions for the first quarter of up to $1 billion, a number that an SAC spokesman has said will not adversely affect its business…Still, the Citigroup decision stung, say people close to SAC’s business, because of the longstanding and lucrative relationship between the bank and the fund. Another concern, said these people, is that the move could influence other large SAC investors currently weighing whether to keep their money at the fund. For Citigroup, its withdrawal of money from SAC carries substantial business risk. The bank has a vast relationship with SAC, earning revenue by providing the fund with financing and trading services. SAC could exact retribution on Citigroup by terminating, or at least scaling back, its broader relationship with the bank. An SAC spokesman declined to comment.

Credit Suisse Could Owe $2 Billion Over Fraud (Reuters)
Credit Suisse Group faces a potential $2 billion of exposure over fraud that occurred a decade ago at National Century Financial Enterprises, a result of a federal judge’s determination on how to apportion responsibility. Friday’s decision by U.S. District Judge James Graham could expose the Swiss bank to hundreds of millions of dollars of added liability over the activities of Lance Poulsen, who co-founded National Century in 1990 and was its chief executive. He is now serving a 30-year prison term and is presumed insolvent.

Goldman Raising $1 Billion From ICBC Share Sale (WSJ)
The Wall Street company is selling the Hong Kong-listed shares in a block trade at 5.77 Hong Kong dollars (US$0.74) each, the people said, without disclosing the number of shares. The price represents a 3.0% discount to ICBC’s HK$5.95 closing price Monday. A person familiar with the situation said the sale reflects prudent risk management on Goldman’s part to reduce the size of its ICBC investment.

MBA’s Salary Enhancing Power Slashed (FT)
Students on the top US MBA programs in the mid-1990s saw their salaries triple in five years, but those who graduated from the same schools in 2008 and 2009 saw that increase halved, according to data collected for the FT’s annual Global MBA rankings. At the same time, MBA fees have risen by 7 percent a year. MBA students who enrolled in 2012 paid 62 percent more in fees – up 44 percent in real terms – than those who began their programs in 2005, even though the increases in post-MBA salaries remained in line with inflation.

Beyonce has yet to apologize to Chuck Schumer for lip-syncing at inauguration (NYP)
The New York senator angrily admitted yesterday that the pop queen has not called him to say sorry after she turned last week’s inaugural bash into an unexpected Milli Vanilli concert by lip-syncing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” “I have not heard from her before, during or after,” a testy Schumer told The Post after he was asked if Beyoncé had called him to give a musical mea culpa. “She did not talk to me at all. I didn’t say any words to her, period.” Schumer has been credited with drawing the pop diva and her hubby Jay-Z to the inauguration, where many said they stole the show from the president and first lady walking hand-in-hand on the steps of Capitol Hill. Schumer was seen beaming with pride just steps behind Beyoncé while she appeared to be belting out the National Anthem. Obama administration insiders and inauguration planners were in the dark about Beyoncé’s decision to use a prerecorded tape of her singing with the Marine Band during the swearing in. They were later left fuming over the embarrassment, according to reports. Some on Capitol Hill have even placed the blame on Schumer for the Star-Spangled sham.

There’s a Twinkie in the eye of Apollo (NYP)
Hostess Brands is expected to name Leon Black’s Apollo Global Management as the preferred bidder for Twinkies and its other snack brands, The Post has learned. The announcement from the bankrupt baker could come as soon as today, sources said. The selection of Apollo would give Manhattan buyout billionaire Leon Black the inside track to buying one of the country’s most well-known consumer brands. Black’s Apollo and co-bidder C. Dean Metropoulos, a veteran food exec, were vying with Grupo Bimbo, the Mexico-based baker, for the right to be the preferred, or stalking horse, bidder for Twinkies, Ho Ho’s, Ding Dongs and other Hostess snacks.

Bank of America Moves $50 Billion of Derivatives to UK (FT)
Bank of America has begun moving more than $50bn of derivatives business out of its Dublin-based operation and into its UK subsidiary, according to people close to the operation. The move, part of the group’s global drive to rationalize its operations, has been encouraged by regulators but will also allow BofA to benefit from tax breaks stemming from the accumulated losses in its UK business.

Singer Backs Off Aggressive Stance In Dealings With Buenos Aires (NYP)
After a decade of aggressively pursuing $1.44 billion he claims the country owes him and a group of bondholders, including successfully pressing Ghana to seize a locally docked Argentine naval vessel to help pay down the debt, the billionaire New York hedge fund mogul is sounding like Bobby McFerrin in “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Singer’s Elliott Management now feels Argentina will do the right thing, according to recent court filings. It’s quite a change from last fall’s legal arguments, in which Singer urged a federal judge to hurry up and force Buenos Aires to put some of the monies owed into escrow, citing the country’s president’s plot to avoid the debt payment.

Italians Have a New Tool to Unearth Tax Cheats (NYT)
Despite the government’s best efforts, tax evasion remains something of a pastime in Italy, where, famously, more than a few of the Ferrari-driving set claim impoverishment when it comes to declaring their incomes. So this month, not without controversy, the National Revenue Agency decided to try a new tack. Rather than attempting to ferret out how much suspected tax cheats earn, the agency began trying to infer it from how much they spend. The new tool, known as the ”redditometro,” or income measurer, aims to minimize the wiggle room for evasion by examining a taxpayer’s expenditures in dozens of categories, like household costs, car ownership, vacations, gym subscriptions, cellphone usage and clothing. If the taxpayer’s spending appears to be more than 20 percent greater than the income he or she has declared, the agency will ask for an explanation.

Traders Make Peace With Computers (WSJ)
On a recent day on Barclays PLC’s stock-trading desk in Manhattan, an electronic platform posted a notice that Barclays was selling a large block of Pfizer shares. In recent years, a computer typically would have swiftly matched such an order with a buyer, sidestepping trading floors altogether. But soft trading volume has left many traders unable to move stock as quickly as they might like. That is one reason why Barclays connected its recently launched DirectEx platform to its trading floor. The move paid off when a client who was buying 150,000 shares on the electronic network decided, after chatting with a Barclays salesman, to take an additional 150,000 shares.

Woman Found with 92 Pounds of Marijuana in N. Bellmore (Patch)
According to detectives, around 6 p.m., an unmarked First Precinct police car observed Mizzie Artis, 27, of Bellport, operating a 1999 Hyundai eastbound on Columbus Avenue while talking on a cell phone and not wearing a seat belt. Police then observed Artis drive to Armand Street where she met with a male subject in a minivan. As officers drove by both vehicles to further observe, the male subject fled the scene in the van, police said. Artis drove away and failed to stop at a stop sign and did not signal when turning, police said. Officers stopped Artis and, upon approaching the car, observed two large cardboard boxes in the auto. Officers also detected an odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. K-9 officers responded to the scene and performed a narcotic search of the vehicle. The cardboard boxes in the front seat had a positive alert for narcotics, police said. Two additional boxes were recovered from the trunk containing marijuana, bringing the total approximate weight to 92 pounds.

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34 Responses to “Opening Bell: 01.28.13”

  1. Free Gift Cards 4 DB says:

    I wish my boss would just leave her husband and stop ranting about him to me.

  2. guest says:

    Ahhh! more porno pics on opening bell!! Deal breaker should be ashamed of themselves.
    -C. Christie

  3. Chuck Schumer says:

    Beyonce really Sharzared that inauguration.

  4. Guest says:

    "Traders Make Peace With Computers"

    There will be no peace!

    There will be no peace!

    There will be no peace!

    -UBS Prop

  5. Evil David Letterman says:

    Hey, if I could just say one thing. Do you think if I told Jewel I appreciate her music she would let me fuck her snaggletooth?

  6. Ghostofharborside says:

    It's an anonymous dark pool for trading blocks, only the whole equities dept can see your orders.

  7. guest says:

    "Bank of America Moves $50 Billion of Derivatives to UK"

    Will they also be transferring the "five eight's account"?

    -Sweating bullets in Dublin

  8. A$AP Matty says:

    I love charts and graphs, that's my fucking problem, and yeah I like to fuck, I got a fucking problem

    A$AP Matty

  9. The Fortress says:

    Seriously. SAC will find it difficult to retain employess with no milkshake program in place.

  10. Shecky O'Cousteau says:

    An Irish investment banker working for Bank of America was so upset with his employers that he went to the sea shore and shouted at the ocean. What did the ocean do?

    It waved.

  11. Plasma Selling FICC says:

    Friday at the plasma center was kind of interesting. I needed the $40.00 we get on the week's second "donation" and showed up early after the 2 mile walk. There was a large group of donors so the wait was going to be about 4 hours. There were lots of what I would call nice cars in the parking lot. I "profiled" the lot, I guess, thinking it would be full of junkers but the majority of cars weren't. I saw Frank the concrete contractor when I got in an it wasn't long before he sidled up in the chair next to me with his haggard self. "What's going on in your world?" he asked. I told him that some of my former colleagues were saying a guy named "Jamie" at a finance company got his pay cut in half. I didn't offer any more color on "the Jamie" or "the finance company". Frank looked at me and said, "Sorry to hear that. No one needs their pay getting cut in half in this economy. At least he's got a job" I nodded. Frank changed the subject. "What are you going to do with your money today?" Frank meant the $40.00 we would get after our donations. I told him I didn't know yet. Frank said, "I'm going to get a T-Bone steak at the store and a beer!" He was pretty excited. I asked him how he was going to cook it: pan fried or grilled? Frank said, "The guy who lets me park my van at his place said he'd let me use his grill." Frank lives in his van. Have I mentioned that? I seem to be forgetting little details lately for some reason. We talk about steaks and how we like them. Frank repeated his goal, smiling off into a thousand yard image of something, his voice lowering a bit each time: "A steak and a beer. A steak and a beer….".

    I used to be paid to find hidden value in things and I think I did a pretty good job at that back before the troubles in the industry. Afterward, in cutting costs I dropped cable TV, of course, along with all the stuff most people take for granted who are still employed in the financial world. Imagine the last cost you'd cut and I've cut it. Anyway, I have a friend who gets cable and he was telling me about a show called Gold Rush where some guys go to Alaska or Canada and mine for gold given its high price per ounce. He let me and the wife come over to watch it ( yes, we cut cable ) and it was a pretty good show. They use water to drench dirt they dig up and the water washes away everything but little gold flakes that can add up to big money these days. It was very interesting. Anyway, after the donation and the $40.00 in 4 crisp $10 bills was handed to me I headed back home, a little woozy for some reason, and so I took a short cut through an old neighborhood. Recent rains had floated off a lot of leaves that had fallen in the street. To pass the time as I wobbled home, I looked for money laying by the curb that had been dropped by whomever was parking there at some time in the past. Looking for spare change in such a manner is probably a common thing for folks like me. I figured if someone's spare change had fallen out , the leaves would have washed away like the dirt in Gold Rush to reveal some value waiting to be picked up where the leaves had been. There is a church nearby where I live and wouldn't you know it I found a $1 bill in the leaves near a gutter! I was pretty stoked when I got home and showed my wife what I found but she didn't seem to be as elated as me. I used it when I was buying cat food. Fucking cats. I hope the library staff doesn't read these posts.

  12. guest says:

    Roses are Red, Violets are Blue
    Senator Schumer you are nothing but a dirty Jew!

  13. Food for Thought says:

    How could anyone be a better suitor for Twinkies, Ho Ho’s and Ding Dongs than Grupo Bimbo?

  14. Guest says:

    Checked out the story on N Bellmore Patch. Was this your attempt to show how diversified the market is?