Opening Bell: 02.05.13

Barclays CEO Vows To Improve Bank’s Ethics (WSJ)
Chief Executive Antony Jenkins said Tuesday he is “shredding” the legacy of the bank’s self-serving culture by improving its ethics and moving beyond the misconduct issues that have cost it billions of pounds. Mr. Jenkins told a U.K. parliamentary group that his efforts so far include changing the way employee bonuses are calculated and abolishing commissions on financial-product sales. He said the changes would take time to produce results, but that ultimately he wants to eliminate a culture that at times has been “too short-term focused, too aggressive and on occasions, too self-serving.” “Our resolve and intent behind this is absolute,” Mr. Jenkins said.

McGraw-Hill, S&P Sued by U.S. Over Mortgage-Bond Ratings (Bloomberg)
The U.S. Justice Department filed a complaint Monday in federal court in Los Angeles, accusing McGraw-Hill and S&P of mail fraud, wire fraud and financial institutions fraud. Under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989, the U.S. seeks civil penalties that can be as high as $1.1 million for each violation. Earlier today, the company’s shares tumbled the most in 25 years when it said it expected the lawsuit, the first federal case against a ratings firm for grades related to the credit crisis. “It’s a new use of this statute,” Claire Hill, a law professor at the University of Minnesota who has written about the ratings firms, said in a phone interview today from Minneapolis. “This is not a line to my knowledge that has been taken before.”

Dell Nears $25 Billion Deal To Go Private (WSJ)
Late Monday, Mr. Dell was in talks with Microsoft Corp and private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners to offer shareholders between $13.50 and $13.75 a share, said people familiar with the matter, about a 25% premium to Dell’s stock price in January before the possibility of a deal became public. The buyout, if approved by shareholders, would be the largest such deal since the financial crisis. It also would be an admission by Mr. Dell that he wasn’t able to pull off the changes needed to improve his company’s revenue and profit under Wall Street’s glare. The buyout would give Mr. Dell the largest stake in the company, ensuring that the 47-year-old is the one who gets to oversee any changes.

Gross: Beware ‘Credit Supernova’ Looming Ahead (CNBC)
The head of the Pacific Investment Management bond giant has issued an ominous forecast in which he worries that the global central bank-induced credit bubble “is running out of energy and time.” As a result, investors will have to get used to an atmosphere of diminishing returns and portfolios that will hold more hard assets like commodities and fewer less-tangible financial assets like stocks. “Our credit-based financial markets and the economy it supports are levered, fragile and increasingly entropic,” Gross said in his February newsletter.

Obama to Meet With CEOs of Goldman, Yahoo, Other Firms (Reuters)
President Barack Obama will meet with chief executives from 12 companies including Goldman Sachs Group’s Lloyd Blankfein and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer on Tuesday to discuss immigration and deficit reduction, according to a White House official. “The president will continue his engagement with outside leaders on a number of issues, including immigration reform and how it fits into his broader economic agenda, and his efforts to achieve balanced deficit reduction,” the official said Monday. Other chief executives include Arne Sorenson of Marriott International, Jeff Smisek of United Continental Holdings, and Klaus Kleinfeld of Alcoa.

A Billion-Dollar Club And Not So Exclusive (NYT)
an unprecedented number of high technology start-ups, easily 25 and possibly exceeding 40, are valued at $1 billion or more. Many employees are quietly getting rich, or at least building a big cushion against a crash, as they sell shares to outside investors. Airbnb, Pinterest, SurveyMonkey and Spotify are among the better-known privately held companies that have reached $1 billion. But many more with less familiar names, including Box, Violin Memory and Zscaler, are selling services to other companies. “A year from now that might be 100,” said Jim Goetz, a partner at Sequoia Capital, a venture capital business. Sequoia counts a dozen such companies in its portfolio. It is part of what he calls “a permanent change” in the way people are building their companies and financers are pushing up values. The owners of these companies say the valuations make them giddy, but also create unease. Once $1 billion was a milestone, now it is also a millstone. Bigger expectations must be managed and greater uncertainty looms.

Donald Trump to sue Bill Maher after bet feud (Politico)
Donald Trump filed a lawsuit Monday in California against liberal comic Bill Maher, suing him for $5 million after Trump says Maher did not follow through on a $5 million public bet he made on “The Tonight Show.” “I don’t know whether this case will be won or lost, but I felt a major obligation to bring it on behalf of the charities,” Trump said in a public statement first obtained by POLITICO. Last month, Maher said on NBC to Jay Leno that he would pay $5 million to Trump’s charity of choice if he provided a birth certificate proving that he’s not “spawn of his mother having sex with orangutan.” It was similar to an offer Trump made to President Barack Obama during the presidential campaign season, in which Trump wanted Obama to release his college records. Trump’s statement continued: “Bill Maher made an unconditional offer while offer while on The Jay Leno Show and I, without hesitation, accepted his offer and provided him with the appropriate documentation.”

Money-Market Funds Best By Excess Cash (WSJ)
Money-market funds have a high-quality problem: investors are entrusting them with too much cash. The flood of money is prompting the funds, which buy short-term, top-rated debt, to seek higher returns in investments that until recently were seen as too risky, including French bank debt. Investors plowed $149 billion into U.S.-based money-market funds between the start of November and Jan. 30, bringing total assets under management to $2.695 trillion, close to the most since mid-2011, according to the Investment Company Institute.

Knight Capital Group to Cut Workforce by 5 Percent (Reuters)
Knight Capital, which recently agreed to be bought for $1.4 billion by Getco, will lay off 5 percent of its global workforce as part of efforts to restructure the automated trading firm, according to a regulatory filing released on Monday.

FTC Corrects Language On Herbalife (NYP)
The Federal Trade Commission yesterday corrected an earlier statement regarding a “law enforcement investigation” into Herbalife. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Post, the FTC said some complaints against the company were withheld because the information was “obtained through a law enforcement investigation.” The agency said yesterday that the language in its letter accompanying the FOIA request was incorrect and it should have said that the exemption from disclosure was related to “foreign sources.” FTC spokesman Frank Dorman defined “foreign sources” as government entities, including law enforcement agencies, and the exemption relates to information-sharing between the FTC and these foreign government agencies. The FTC said that it “may not disclose any material reflecting a consumer complaint obtained from a foreign source if that foreign source has requested confidential information.” The agency said it could not confirm, or deny, an investigation into the nutritional supplements company.

Hedge Fund Mogul, Swiss Villagers Clash Over Ski Slopes (Bloomberg)
Since hotelier Tobias Zurbriggen can remember, the business of running Saas-Fee has been a local affair. Now, the Swiss ski resort neighboring the Matterhorn is feeling the heat from a New York-based financier. Edmond Offermann, a nuclear scientist turned millionaire working for hedge fund Renaissance Technologies LLC, invested 15 million Swiss francs ($16.4 million) in 2010 to revive Saas- Fee’s struggling ski-lift company. “It’s like a hobby, which completely got out of control,” Offermann, 53, said in an interview from Long Island, New York. He wants to shake things up by managing hotels and the ski-lift operator in one company controlled by a single chief executive.

JPMorgan Joins Rental Rush For Wealthy Clients (Bloomberg)
The firm’s unit that caters to individuals and families with more than $5 million, put client money in a partnership that bought more than 5,000 single family homes to rent in Florida, Arizona, Nevada and California, said David Lyon, a managing director and investment specialist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank. Investors can expect returns of as much as 8 percent annually from rental income as well as part of the profits when the homes are sold, he said.

Man Allegedly Tries To Walk Out Of Costco With 24 Quarts Of Oil — Strapped To His Body (CBS)
Jorge Sanchez, 35, was spotted about 4:30 p.m. trying to leave a Burbank Costco without paying for the oil. Store employees gave chase and officials said they lost Sanchez after he jumped a fence at the west side of the Costco parking lot. Burbank Police Sgt. Darin Ryburn told CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Andrea Fujii that nine of the 24 quarts were recovered during the foot chase. Authorities said Sanchez walked into the Costco and went straight to the oil aisle. He allegedly grabbed a couple of cases and emptied them. Said Ryburn, “He proceeded to hide the quarts of oil in his pants, socks, and in his shirt.” Sanchez was later apprehended near Beachwood Drive and Monterey Avenue, about eight blocks from the store. Officials said he was arrested on suspicion of burglary charges. Margo Martin was a witness to the apprehension. “All of a sudden, I hear ‘Get down on the ground’ and there is this man laying in our driveway.” Witnesses thought the man was running funny and weren’t sure why. Witness Manuel Atlas said, “He looked kind of heavy and out of shape.” Police said Sanchez was also running funny because he still had 15 quarts of oil strapped to him. Police said he used a bungee cord to strap the bottles down.

49 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (49)

  1. Posted by Archibold Anuson | February 5, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Should we tell him the atm has been around since the 60's?

  2. Posted by Alt_EST | February 5, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Geezer Oil Trader, where are you now?

  3. Posted by guest | February 5, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Yes. we too tried to escape our misconduct issues by way of shredding

    – K. Lay

  4. Posted by Teller quant | February 5, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Sweet ATM's!

  5. Posted by Bond Guy Says | February 5, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Things are going to be bad, buy bonds.

  6. Posted by Laxbro | February 5, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Not to overshare but would you guys fly 8hrs RT for a slam? Seems desperate yes? This blond and I have kept up fairly constant communication since college. Recently she transitioned from being pointless to getting naughty. Last night she sent me a pic of her in her new underwear. She's hot and I'd hit her like an open jumper if I ever had a reason to be in Houston. But my Dad isn't Geezer Oil Trader and all of my good friends are successful, so none of them ended up in Texas. I can easily lure her here, but in a previous conversation I told her only a dumb girl would fly across the country for a guy (when she asked my opinion about her friend in a similar situation). Not to sound harsh, but I think I'm obligated to hang with her for the duration of the weekend even if I lose all interest in her before the first 24 7 expires?

  7. Posted by VonSloneker | February 5, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Meanwhile, elsewhere in Burbank. The rest of the fraternity sits around an empty inflatible kiddie pool, empty of oil, but filled with two bored strippers waiting to wrestle. I think Jorge Sanchez's fraternity rush is over…

    – Blue

  8. Posted by Laxbro | February 5, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Reminds me, would you guys fly 8hrs RT for a slam? Seems desperate yes? This blond and I have kept up fairly constant communication since college. Recently she made a strong transition from babble to getting naughty. Last night she sent me a pic of her in some new underwear. She's hot and I'd hit her like an open jumper if I ever had a reason to be in Houston. But my Dad isn't Geezer Oil Trader and all of my good friends are successful, so none of them ended up in Texas. I can easily lure her here, but in a previous conversation I told her only a dumb girl would fly across the country for a guy (when she asked my opinion about her friend in a similar situation). Not to sound harsh, but I think I'm obligated to hang with her for the duration of the weekend even if my interest in her is nonexistent before the first 24 7 expires? If nothing happens soon I'm going to block her #. Feels too bizarre not capitalizing on sext messages.

  9. Posted by Cooper Douchify | February 5, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    I want to start one of those retarded no purpose tech company's that are worth billions. I will call the said company Douchify. My product will connect douches on vacation and help them locate lost dogs while on vacation. Also once you locate and find the lost dog, you can take a pic and post it in the BaterZone. The BaterZone is where you go and wack to pictures of douches with scruffy dogs. We will then collect all the sperm from the BaterZone and donate it to Africa to use as sun screen. The sperm sun screen will help lighten their skin, thus improving their job opportunities.

  10. Posted by Event Planning Quant | February 5, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Deal Breaker Dramatic Reading Night – Energy Edition!

    Perfect excuse to be in Houston, and since Aubrey's got some free time on his hands now he could probably organize/host it (schedule it the night of a Thunder home game so he can't try and have it in OKC)

  11. Posted by J. Paulson | February 5, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    NOO, but Gold instead, please!

  12. Posted by Jon Shazar | February 5, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Loving this idea

  13. Posted by Dennis Kneale | February 5, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Go on….

  14. Posted by Guest | February 5, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    I wanted to give you a thumbs up but this site is so crappy, that the thumbs up/down icon didn't load, so I had to click by feel.

  15. Posted by guest | February 5, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    ATM was around in the 50's.

    – Jim Nabors

  16. Posted by Long un | February 5, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Dont decide till you've banged one out.

  17. Posted by Winne the Poo | February 5, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Its my honey and I want it now!

  18. Posted by VonSloneker | February 5, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    Flight time to Houston hyperbole aside, head on down son you'll have a good time. You don't know what a dime is until you've been to Texas.

    – Guy you should trust because he's been everywhere

  19. Posted by Guest | February 5, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Ivy prude can't get a local cowboy to buy her a $64 dry-aged Delmonico on Valentine's Day, so she sends sext messages to washed up lacrosse player who's too far away to bang her. Unless she hints around that she needs a vacation, hoping you get the hint and invite her to New York, you’re being used for attention. Welcome to the friend zone, bro.

  20. Posted by Ein Satz | February 5, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Disturbing post.
    Do you have a single giant eyebrow? Have you been outside lately? Do you have feet you have seen recently?

  21. Posted by Kling | February 5, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    One slippery customer

  22. Posted by Former Amway star | February 5, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Damn Donald, you are losing it, let me help.

  23. Posted by Guest | February 5, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    You're a talented writer. I bet during college you were drowning in pussy.

  24. Posted by F+C quant | February 5, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    "abolishing commissions on financial-product sales. He said the changes would take time to produce results…."

    I'm going to say it will take less time than he could ever imagine.

  25. Posted by Incitatus | February 5, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    "…and all of my good friends are successful, so none of them ended up in Texas."

    Yes, by all means, come on down. Texas is probably the only place in the universe big enough to host your condescension.

  26. Posted by PippyLongSausage | February 5, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    I think that hit laxbro right in the feels.

  27. Posted by Guest | February 5, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Yeah, I can only imagine that the "hahaha TEXAS AMIRITE? oh-and-by-the-way we're moving to Austin next month" must get really tired really fast. First, they insult your homeland, then they buy a place next door to you. The fact that every European of money has an apartment in New York and a condominium in Miami seems to do nothing to dent the condescension they send in a Stateside direction . . .

  28. Posted by Mike Larson | February 5, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    <img src=""/&gt; i didn't know that. Is that a fact?

  29. Posted by guest2 | February 5, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Amen. Have been here in Austin a couple of years, and getting calls every couple of weeks from hedgies thinking of fleeing high-tax NYC. A hedgie and a PE guy have moved in to my little neighborhood in the last 6 mo. But, yeah, I guess the fact that they don't live with 4 other guys in a Murray Hill bedsit means that they aren't "successful".

  30. Posted by Crewbro | February 5, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    I've done this a couple of times. I'm all about putting points on the big board, so no problem if that is the end result. Best part about it, she leaves after 48 hours – what more could you want? Plus she's going to brag about banging some guy in NY, win-win.

  31. Posted by Guest | February 5, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Tough spot. On one hand she could be using you for attention. On the other, she's in Texas and (I assume) you're in New York, so you're automatically 1,000 times more interesting than any dickhead energy trader she meets. If she's bored and lonely she's probably cyber-stalking you, and if your escapades are mostly true, your instagram and Facebook should confirm you're a rowdy bon vivant who slays smokeshows. In other words, she'll know you're not desperate. Offer to fly in for a weekend. If she blows you off she's not interested.

  32. Posted by Angry + Hungover | February 5, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    You might want to start commenting elsewhere, maybe you, that samurai fuckstick and zombie shitbird can start your own message board on Yahoo finance.

  33. Posted by You Winklevii? | February 5, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    Reading comprehension isn't your strong suit, is it champ?

  34. Posted by zoroz | February 5, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    hearing barclays NY IBD layoff day

  35. Posted by Guest | February 5, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    Pretty easy to manufacture an excuse. Say you have some meetings regarding investing personally in an oil well.

  36. Posted by Entendre Quant | February 5, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    It's a gusher on top of a huge load that's ready to blow.

  37. Posted by shark tank | February 5, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    I'll give you $1.3B for a 51% stake


  38. Posted by Zomburai | February 5, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Feed me your alcohol infused brainzzzz

  39. Posted by Shazquille O'Neal | February 5, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    I'll tattoo BaterZone on my forehead for….well….nothing!

    ~ Shazquille O'Neal

  40. Posted by Kramerica Industries | February 5, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    You're going to need a sofisticated bladder system to transport all that douche sperm.

    – Kramerica Industries

  41. Posted by Edmond_Dantes | February 5, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    The NY Post – journalism, at its finest:

  42. Posted by Guest | February 5, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    The upfront costs make it sound more like shale mining. And everyone knows you don't consider shale unless your oil supply back home is low.

  43. Posted by ESL | February 5, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Is not site, is browser. Go Chrome

  44. Posted by Guest | February 5, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    You know they really had a nice thing going. I was enjoying the dialog. Then you had to come in and fuck it all up. Thanks asshole.

  45. Posted by Guest | February 5, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Well I guess you'd first have to see what her POF account says for availability.

  46. Posted by Achilles | February 5, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    I thought Ass-To-Mouth has been around since the Greek and Roman civilization

  47. Posted by Guest | February 5, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    'She was finishing her workout; he was just starting his."

  48. Posted by Edmond_Dantes | February 5, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Keiko Herskovitz was one of the few who fought on both sides during WW II

  49. Posted by Guest | February 5, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Shredding the legacy of my bank's self-serving culture worked out fine for me.

    – F. Quattrone