Opening Bell: 02.12.13

Barclays to Cut 3,700 Jobs After Full-Year Loss (Bloomberg)
Barclays Plc will cut 3,700 jobs to reduce annual costs by 1.7 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) as Chief Executive Officer Antony Jenkins revamps the lender following its first full-year loss in two decades. About 1,800 positions will go this year at the firm’s investment bank and 1,900 in its loss-making European consumer and business banking unit, Jenkins said in a statement today. The lender posted a net loss of 1.04 billion pounds for 2012, wider than the 307 million-pound estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, as it set aside an additional 1 billion pounds in the fourth quarter for compensating clients wrongly sold interest-rate swaps and loan-repayment insurance.

Obama Address to Focus on Economy, Social Issues (WSJ)
President Obama’s chief spokesman, Jay Carney, said Monday the core emphasis in the president’s big speeches remains the same: “The need to make the economy work for the middle class, because the middle class is the engine that drives this country forward and which will, if it’s given the right tools and the right opportunities, will drive us forward in the 21st century.” Republicans welcome the president’s expected focus on the economy, but also say he hasn’t done enough. “The White House says they’re talking about jobs and the economy. I welcome that engagement,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) said in an interview Sunday. “It seems as if the president is constantly trying to pivot back to jobs and the economy. The reason you see that happening is he’s never pursued it.” Mr. Obama will also address a series of automatic spending cuts set to kick in March 1—the so-called sequester—which could threaten economic growth, national—security preparation and the jobs of thousands of federal employees. Mr. Obama has called on Congress to pass a temporary measure of spending reductions and new taxes to replace the across-the-board cuts.

BNY Mellon loses U.S. tax case, to take $850 million profit hit (Reuters)
BNY Mellon Corp said on Monday it will take an $850 million charge against first-quarter profit after losing a high-stakes tax case to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, a move that will also erode some of its capital. The BNY Mellon case was the first to go to trial since the IRS accused several U.S. banks of generating artificial foreign tax credits through loans with London-based Barclays. The IRS challenged a $900 million tax benefit claimed by BNY Mellon that stemmed from a $1.5 billion loan from Barclays. The funding was so cheap that at one point Barclays actually paid BNY Mellon to take Barclays’ money, according to court papers.

Nasdaq Steps Up Pursuit Of A Partner (WSJ)
Nasdaq, long on the hunt for a partner, has ramped up its conversations about strategic options ranging from joint ventures to a sale, according to people familiar with the talks, as rival NYSE Euronext moves ahead with a merger that will form an even-bigger competitor.

Twinkie Brand Heads For Sale (WSJ)
Judge Robert Drain of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y., cleared Hostess on Monday to proceed with several of the sale processes it has unveiled during the past several weeks. Private-equity firms Apollo Global Management LLC and Metropoulos & Co. are now officially set to kick off the contest for most of the Hostess cakes business, with a $410 million offer for brands such as Twinkie, Dolly Madison, Ho Hos and Ding Dongs. That so-called “stalking horse,” or lead, bid also covers five bakeries and certain equipment. McKee Foods Corp., the maker of Little Debbie snack cakes, is the stalking-horse bidder for Hostess’s Drake’s brand. The $27.5 million offer from McKee, based in Collegedale, Tenn., doesn’t include the Drake’s plant in New Jersey.

Tesla CEO Clashes With New York Times Over Model S Review (Bloomberg)
Elon Musk, the billionaire chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc. said a range test of the Model S electric sedan by the New York Times was “fake” as the reporter didn’t disclose all the details of his drive. “NYTimes article about Tesla range in cold is fake,” Musk said in a Twitter post yesterday. “Vehicle logs tell true story that he didn’t actually charge to max & took a long detour.” The Times on Feb. 8 published a story by John M. Broder on its website detailing how the Model S he drove failed to meet the electric sedan’s 300-mile (483-kilometer) range “under ideal conditions” while driving in temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-12 Celsius). The Times also published a blog post by Broder about the test-drive on the same day, detailing his plan to use Tesla’s new “supercharger” stations. Broder followed instructions he was given in “multiple conversations with Tesla personnel,” Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Times, said in an e-mail message. The story was “completely factual, describing the trip in detail exactly as it occurred,” Murphy said. “Any suggestion that the account was ‘fake’ is, of course, flatly untrue.”

Dispute over mashed potatoes turns dangerous (TBN)
A disagreement over mashed potatoes turned dangerous over the weekend when a victim said tempers escalated and a woman came at her with box cutters. Shaquina S. Hill, 23, of Fourth Street was charged with second-degree menacing and second-degree harassment as a result, city police said. An 18-year-old woman told police she and Hill argued about mashed potatoes just before 9 p.m. Sunday at a Fourth Street address, and things escalated from there. The younger woman told police Hill grabbed box cutters and waved them at her, then dropped the knife and started throwing things at her, including a heavy ceramic vase and coffee table. She told police Hill also punched her in the chest.

U.K. Regulator to Investigate Autonomy (WSJ)
The Financial Reporting Council, the regulator tasked with promoting good corporate governance and financial reporting in the U.K., announced the investigation Monday on its website. It said the probe will look at Autonomy accounts published between Jan. 1, 2009, and June 30, 2011.

New York fund manager arrested on Ponzi scheme charges (Reuters)
Federal prosecutors charged Jason Konior, 39, with defrauding investors by promising to match their investments in his fund, Absolute Fund LP, many times over. Prosecutors said he used $2 million of the money he collected from three hedge funds to pay his own expenses and cover redemption requests from prior investors, according to the criminal complaint dated February 7.

Treasury’s Brainard Says G-20 Must Refrain From Devaluation (Bloomberg)
“The G-20 needs to deliver on the commitment to move to market-determined exchange rates and refrain from competitive devaluation,” Lael Brainard, the Treasury’s undersecretary for international affairs, said at a news conference in Washington today. Brainard said “global growth is weak and vulnerable to the downside,” and strengthening demand must be a top priority for G-20 finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Moscow Feb. 15-16.

Ex-Fund Manager Avoids Jail Time (WSJ)
The cooperation of Ali Far, co-founder of Spherix Capital LLC, led to the convictions of at least five people, including Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam, prosecutors said. Mr. Rajaratnam, who was convicted on conspiracy and securities-fraud charges, is serving an 11-year prison sentence, one of the longest terms ever imposed for insider trading. Mr. Far secretly agreed to cooperate with the government’s probe shortly after he was approached by federal agents in April 2009, prosecutors said. Mr. Far, a former Galleon employee, recorded about 244 calls, including calls with Mr. Rajaratnam, prosecutors said. He also was prepared to testify at Mr. Rajaratnam’s trial as a government witness in 2011 but was never called, they said. “I am truly sorry for my mistakes and I am ashamed,” Mr. Far said at a hearing in Manhattan federal court Monday. U.S. District Judge Robert Patterson sentenced Mr. Far to one year’s probation. He also imposed a $100,000 fine.

The Perils of Being A Dog Show Judge (WSJ)
Cindy Vogels had a litter of options for Best in Show at last year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. As the final judge, she could have chosen a German Shepherd, a Doberman pinscher or even a Dalmatian. Instead she picked a Pekingese named Malachy—and everyone else judged her. One person, Vogels said, called the Pekingese “that awful dog.” Vogels recalled another saying: “Why would you give Best in Show to the dog that couldn’t walk?” “The American public was horrified,” Vogels said. “The public has no appreciation for a Pekingese.” It is the ultimate honor for a show judge to name the Best in Show winner at Westminster, the year’s glitziest dog show, which concludes Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. But it also can bring out the worst in people. The math behind this logic is basic: There are 187 breeds, only seven will win their groups and just one will win the opinion of Michael Dougherty, the Best in Show judge on Tuesday. “You go in there alone,” said Elliott Weiss, the 2010 Best in Show judge, “and you come out alone.”

72 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (72)

  1. Posted by Kim Jong Eun | February 12, 2013 at 7:17 AM


  2. Posted by Bandersnatch | February 12, 2013 at 7:34 AM

    I know how you feel.
    – Pope B

  3. Posted by Mike Larson | February 12, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    what did you wanna say?

  4. Posted by Time Mgmt Quant | February 12, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    That you should stop commenting on DB and instead investigate whether Groupon has any offers on how to be funny, or at least not annoying, lessons.

  5. Posted by Matt's Dog | February 12, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    Westminster's nice and all, but their lack of a financial modeling or at least basic chart making category is somewhat frustrating.

  6. Posted by guest | February 12, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    That's why we always serve stove top stuffing at our house.

    – Matt's mom

  7. Posted by Archieinniagra | February 12, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    No real motives being examined in Buffalo, apparently.

  8. Posted by Guest | February 12, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    The issue was probably whether to leave the skin on or off. Pretty divisive.

  9. Posted by Guest | February 12, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    "Breaking" News from the WSJ…

    "Behind David Einhorn's protestations on Apple Inc. AAPL +1.03% is a novel way to return cash to shareholders.

    Last week Mr. Einhorn, the billionaire manager of hedge fund Greenlight Capital Inc., proposed that Apple issue a special class of stock, which he called "perpetual preferred," that would carry a high dividend yield."

    Wasn't the perpetual preferred idea floated months ago by Einhorn and written about extensively by Matt?

    I know this isn't in the spirit of the Dealbreaker commentary to give Matt credit, but well done.

  10. Posted by Dennis | February 12, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    I can help you with your frustrations

    -D. Kneale

  11. Posted by Comment QR Quant | February 12, 2013 at 9:09 AM


  12. Posted by Diddy | February 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    No, it wasn't. You can't multi-task.

  13. Posted by Kneale | February 12, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    *Furiously beating it into a cup*

  14. Posted by Ad Rock | February 12, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    And then I stuck my dick in the mashed potatoes….

  15. Posted by guest | February 12, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Don’t hurt my dog!

    -Buffalo Bill

  16. Posted by Guest | February 12, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Call the close on how many thumbs down this gets?

  17. Posted by guestf | February 12, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    “Barclays to Cut 3,700 Jobs After Full-Year Loss”

    How can a “full-year” = Loss?

    -UBS Reading Comprehension Quant

  18. Posted by Excel | February 12, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    lim x->∞ | ƒ(x) = x

  19. Posted by Guestalt | February 12, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Go buy a handgun, load it, and clean it while looking down the barrel.

  20. Posted by Guestalt | February 12, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Go watch the Oprah Winfrey Network.

  21. Posted by Guestalt | February 12, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    Damn, Cindy. I know just what you're feeling.

    -Laxbros inner monologue

  22. Posted by guest | February 12, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Comments….have…. really ….gone down hill…

    -Shatner's voice

  23. Posted by guest | February 12, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    Obama Address to Focus on Economy, Social Issues = Obama Address to Cast Blame / Finger Point, and Engage in Class Warfare

  24. Posted by Sharptonetal | February 12, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    You forgot race baiting.

  25. Posted by Guesteban | February 12, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Dog show judges are like contemporary art critics. Just find the weirdest, ugliest specimen of whatever they're judging, the kind of thing you'd never want in your home, and dollars to donuts that's the thing they'll judge as the best.

  26. Posted by guest | February 12, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Oh yeah? Well the jerk store called, and they're running out of YOU.

  27. Posted by Guest90 | February 12, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    Should have pop'd a Mentos in your mouth after the farting. Everyone just would have started to laugh and you would have walked a free man.

    – Child of the 90's

  28. Posted by Guest | February 12, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    I wonder what the income limit for middle-class in his speech will be? I'm guessing around $850k a year sounds about right.

  29. Posted by Mr. Carson | February 12, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    I bought a Dealbreaker "Gold Pass" only to watch the quality of the formerly hilarious morning comments drop. I would demand my money back but you have to go to Minetta's wearing a large NY Jets foam cowboy hat and meet an unknown, swarthy representative of Breaking Media to get a refund.

  30. Posted by jon shazner | February 12, 2013 at 10:27 AM


  31. Posted by commentariat | February 12, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Welcome to db it help desk

  32. Posted by Proud Thumbs Downer | February 12, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    I am proud to state that my thumbs down made it -21.

  33. Posted by freak show | February 12, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    You mean like the new american electorate ?

  34. Posted by Hakuna Matata Guy | February 12, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    Miss me that much, huh?

  35. Posted by Jon Shazzamy | February 12, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    So you're saying I could finally win something?

  36. Posted by Dad of DB admin | February 12, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    I got a gay son.

    – Dad of DB admin.

  37. Posted by Opposite Day VP | February 12, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    UBS engaged in an activity and its performance was sub-optimal? Shocking, please, tell us more.

  38. Posted by .Bo | February 12, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Should have gone with MSSB…

  39. Posted by L. Tilton | February 12, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Do i smell funny?

  40. Posted by Mantan Moreland | February 12, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Quit ripping me off.

  41. Posted by Greg Headrick | February 12, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Mr. Hamper, we've been over this. The decision to place your entire investment in the Nigerian Emerging Markets Fund was yours alone, and you maintained contact with Barrister Oku despite my urgent protests. I'm so done with your crap.

  42. Posted by Guest | February 12, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    How did you manage to accumulate a million dollars when you used 'their' wrong three times in two sentences?

  43. Posted by Hakuna Matata Guy | February 12, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Hate to play Monday Morning Quarterback, but closing your account in 2010 seems like mistake #1. Perhaps you could rejuvenate your acting career in an upcoming Speed sequel. Come back from the dead or something.

  44. Posted by Hobbes | February 12, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Knowing the NY Times, I'm surprised a review of an electric car didn't mention how it could solve economic disparity, rising tuition costs, gun control and climate change.

  45. Posted by guest | February 12, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Obama hates gray people

  46. Posted by guest | February 12, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Only the government funded electric cars can do all that and more. Not ones created by billionaire entrepreneurs.

  47. Posted by freak show | February 12, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Yellowish is the new black.

  48. Posted by lucas | February 12, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Tesla has gotten plenty of government funds.

  49. Posted by Revenge on DB | February 12, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    If you want to get back at Headrick, simply pee on Shazar when he is sleeping and throw flour on him.

  50. Posted by guest | February 12, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Yep, I'm "guest" above. Upon reading that Tesla received $465M in Dept of Energy loans I withdraw my comment.

  51. Posted by Guest | February 12, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    The post war world has not been kind to you.

  52. Posted by Guest | February 12, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Step off or I'll cut you

    – Hungry Jack

  53. Posted by Sarah Bernett | February 12, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    If you'd stayed with them for just a bit longer, I could have let you invest with me.

  54. Posted by PermaGuestII | February 12, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Who the fuck is going to pay $80k for a car that breaks down if you drive it in rush hour traffic or exceed the speed limit?

  55. Posted by Hakuna Matata Guy | February 12, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    What happened to the post about the guy complaining his retirement account is down from $1mm to $100k? I figure out something witty to say for the first time in months, come back to see how it was received by the rest of the commentariat, and its completely gone. Oh well,

  56. Posted by Disgruntled Guest | February 12, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    DB has gone to shaz…

  57. Posted by meg swan | February 12, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    you OBVIOUSLY don't know my dog!

  58. Posted by Soopy | February 12, 2013 at 1:37 PM


  59. Posted by Herb Schmertz | February 12, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    I will.

    -Cameron Frye's dad

  60. Posted by VPCA | February 12, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    You'd be surprised.

    -Volkswagen Phaeton Club of America

  61. Posted by guest | February 12, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    I think Shazar has absconded with our national treasure!

  62. Posted by guest | February 12, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Ah, so THAT'S where shaniqua lives now.

    – Little T and One Track Mike

  63. Posted by Rebel on DB | February 12, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    DB is embarrassed by the commentaries. All they care about is getting advertising revenue from chump companies like Bonobos. But let me say this. I will continue to post obscene, off color, maniac masturbation post as long as the site exists!!!!

  64. Posted by Where Are You Guys? | February 12, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    Anyone here today? Did Matt finally open his copy of Excel 2013 and can't tear himself away? Is Bess grabbing lunch with Lisa Falcone and Wilbur? Is Shazar lurking in the equinox steam room and claiming it's because he's meeting with Chazzy Gazparino?

  65. Posted by PermaGuestII | February 12, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Sliding scale based on how the money is earned.

    Entertainment, Technology, alternative energy, tort law = "good" industries = $4.5mm/year

    Banking, heavy industry, mining, transportation, oil & gas e&p = "bad" industries = $45k/year.

  66. Posted by PermaGuestII | February 12, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    Shazar's chihuahua got in a fight with the DB IT hamster.

    The hamster has been temporarily banished whilst the chihuahua is being rushed to the veterinary hospital.

  67. Posted by Im_a_Dude | February 12, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    i think everyone is gone already for presidents day

  68. Posted by Excel | February 12, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    We've got you beat.

    -All Pre-2008 Audi's

  69. Posted by Guestido | February 12, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Take it back

  70. Posted by DB IT Hamster | February 12, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    I kicked that little bitch's ass.

    As for me, I prefer to think of it as "Gardening Leave". Mostly because I'm eating lettuce instead of those damn pellets while I'm out of the office.

  71. Posted by Mr. Carson | February 12, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    One used to get the courtesy of a "This comment has been deleted by the administrator… but such has been lacking of late. It reminds me of the general rule at Downton that when one needed to evacuate one's bladder during the evening's formal dinner, one simply said nothing. No explanation was offered much like the explanation of the disappearance of certain threads and comments here recently. At Downton, if you needed to leave the table to to take a leak, or as Lord Grantham would sometimes state privately among the gentlemen, "I have to see a man about a proper polo pony..", you would not verbalize such a condition to the help. Instead, you would quietly leave your fork and knife in a V-shape on your plate , which would signal to the footman that you are not finished. To indicate that you were done with a course, you would set your silverware upside down in the middle of the plate, perpendicular to the table's edge. Upon returning to the table after a refreshing evacuation, a gentleman need not reference "how cold the water was in the WC" or remark upon its depth because that simply was not done. Among the ladies, deference was given to the dowager countess' lactose intolerance if she was to return to the table after a necessary visit to the loo for said ailment and two Yorkies were stationed nearby to blame for any lingering fragrances. Longstanding formalities keep the House strong and should act as a reminder to this blog's masters.

  72. Posted by So is... | February 12, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Like a bank?