Opening Bell: 02.27.13

Bernanke Affirms Bond Buying (WSJ)
In his semiannual report to Congress Tuesday, Mr. Bernanke said the bond buying is helping the economy by holding down long-term interest rates and ought to be sustained. “Keeping long-term interest rates low has helped spark a recovery in the housing market and has led to increased sales and production of automobiles and other durable goods,” he said. The Fed has accumulated $2.8 trillion of Treasury and mortgage securities. Mr. Bernanke’s remarks signaled little change in the central bank’s plans to purchase $85 billion a month of long-term Treasury and mortgage debt. The Fed’s next policy meeting is March 19-20.

Regulators Hope For Libor Pacts (WSJ)
Regulators investigating alleged interest-rate manipulation are hoping to reach settlements with at least three major financial institutions by the end of summer, according to a person familiar with the probes. It isn’t clear if the companies will go along with any proposed settlements, and previous agreements with banks were delayed before being completed. So far, regulators have settled rate-rigging charges with Barclays, RBS, and UBS collecting about $2.5 billion in penalties. All three banks admitted that employees sought to rig rates.

Barclays to Unveil Numbers Earning 1 Million (FT)
Barclays is set to reveal the number of staff who earned above 1 million pounds ($1.5 million) last year, in a push for transparency that could turn the bank into a trailblazer for the sector. In its annual report next week, the British retail and investment bank will for the first time give an outline of the various pay brackets among its 140,000 staff, people close to the situation said. Analysts estimate that between 600 and 700 employees – mostly in the investment bank – will be revealed as having taken home more than 1 million pounds last year.

JPMorgan To Cut 17,000 Jobs (WSJ)
The move announced Tuesday by the New York company, the nation’s most profitable bank in 2012 and the biggest U.S. lender by assets, will reduce its staff by 6.5% in one of the most aggressive reductions to date amid widespread financial-industry cutbacks.

Bond brawl: Singer v. Argentina today (NYP)
Lawyers Ted Olsen and David Boies will appear before a Manhattan US appeals court to argue over how $1.44 billion in Argentina debt should be paid. Olsen represents billionaire hedge fund magnate Paul Singer, who claims he and other bondholder holdouts should be paid alongside those holders who agreed to a steep haircut during a debt restructuring. Argentina President Cristina Kirchner has long insisted she will never pay “one dollar” to the Singer holdouts. Boies represents the bondholders who agreed to the restructuring — and they oppose Singer, believing that Argentina will never go along with a pro-holdout ruling, thus putting their bonds at risk of default.

Cops: Florida Man, 36, Assaulted Teen Relative With Taco Bell Burrito (TSG)
The victim told cops that he was having a “verbal altercation” with his mother and Brown, his brother-in-law, when Brown “asked his mother to bring him the burrito,” according to an arrest affidavit. Brown then allegedly threw the burrito “with force” at the victim, striking the boy in the face with the fast food item. While interviewing the teen, cops noted that he had “burrito cheese, sauce and meat all over his clothing and face.” Brown told police that the victim was disrespectful to his mother and had cursed at the woman. He also acknowledged that he had “delivered” the burrito. After being booked into the county jail, Brown warned that he would “take care” of the teen upon his release from custody, adding that the victim “was going to get knocked out.”

Best Buy Takeover Attempt by Founder in Jeopardy (Reuters)
Best Buy founder Richard Schulze’s effort to take the company private is in trouble after attempts to secure financing faltered while an alternative strategy to line up minority investors may not pan out either, five sources familiar with the matter said. No longer pursuing a full takeover bid for the troubled electronics retailer, Schulze has focused discussions in recent weeks on a potential deal in which private equity firms would buy a non-controlling stake, the sources, who declined to be named because the discussions are private, said.

‘Penta-Millionaires’ Happier Than Merely Rich: Study (CNBC)
Breaking: A survey from Spectrem Group found that individuals worth $5 million or more are far more satisfied with their jobs, relationships and work than those worth $100,000 or less.

Dimon Says Banks Have More Capital Than They Can Use (Bloomberg)
The biggest U.S. banks are lending the smallest portion of their deposits in five years as cash floods in from savers, a slow economy damps demand from borrowers and regulators push financial firms to bolster themselves against any future credit crisis. The average loan-to-deposit ratio for the top eight commercial banks fell to 84 percent in the fourth quarter from 87 percent a year earlier and 101 percent in 2007, according to data compiled by Credit Suisse Group AG. JPMorgan had the lowest ratio in the group at 61 percent. “I don’t want to say it’s anti-American” to be held to international standards, Dimon said, adding that the bank’s assets include highly rated securities. “That balance sheet is almost as liquid as you can get.”

Budweiser Has Been Sued 3 Times for Watering Down All Those Watery Beers (Atlantic Wire)
The plaintiffs — including one guy who bought a case of Michelob Ultra a month, for some reason — allege that the public doesn’t know what all the beers under the Budweiser umbrella really taste like, and that they’re not getting their money’s worth. There is no science backing up the defendants’ claims, and AB InBev has yet to respond in court. The krux of the evidence comes from “information from former workers” of Anheuser-Busch breweries who claim watering down the beer in post-production is a company policy.

36 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (36)

  1. Posted by guest | February 27, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    You're going to love the way you look… I guarantee it.

  2. Posted by Guest | February 27, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    I'll see your button, and raise you two!
    -B. Frank.

  3. Posted by guest | February 27, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Guarantee 90% of the people were about to type this comment.

  4. Posted by Guest | February 27, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Alex Trebek is purchasing Best Buy? I bet that Watson super computer is behind this. Putting my tinfoil hat on as I type this.

  5. Posted by Deleveraging | February 27, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    "The plaintiffs — including one guy who bought a case of Michelob Ultra a month, for some reason — allege that the public doesn’t know what all the beers under the Budweiser umbrella really taste like, and that they’re not getting their money’s worth. "

    Really?

    - Guy who doesn't want to know what all the beers under the Budweiser umbrella really taste like.

  6. Posted by Alt_EST | February 27, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    It's egregious, simply outragous, what AB Inbev is doing…I can't believe they'd claim what they're selling is 'beer.'

  7. Posted by Deleveraging | February 27, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Sounds to me like the TBTF subsidy is getting expensive if the average loan-to-deposit ratio for the top eight commercial banks fell to 84 percent in the fourth quarter from 87 percent a year earlier.

  8. Posted by Bejujular | February 27, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Cops were called for a burrito throwing? That's rather tame for a Florida story.

    Usually it's "Man attacked by pet crocodile, after throwing burrito" or "Burrito contents revealed to be family's grandparents".

    Shazar's losing his touch.

  9. Posted by Vin | February 27, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    guaranteeing returns ?

    welcome to JT.

  10. Posted by WTF__k | February 27, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    I'll bite: what the hell is a "krux"? Shazar wrote this, amiright?
    http://goo.gl/txYO1

  11. Posted by Guest | February 27, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Hi, my name is ShaFeef. I am pleased to be here.

  12. Posted by Texashedge | February 27, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Would be a pretty standard Friday night at Penn Station

  13. Posted by Bloomberg Editor | February 27, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Actually, I'm trying to figure out how to assault Matt with a burrito.

  14. Posted by Inner Matt Thoughts | February 27, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Shazar showed up to work today wearing oversized sunglasses, and he won’t take them off. Bess is also wearing sunglasses, but she reeks of alcohol and keeps hassling people if they have any aspirin. She also screamed at the intern when he tried to turn the lights on. I can’t let that stuff get to me today –no, today is about giving Bloomberg the coup de grace. My spirit animal is the wolf; I can do this.

  15. Posted by Guest | February 27, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    For best results, I suggest freezing the burrito first.

    -UBS Mexican Ballistics Quant

  16. Posted by Myth Busters | February 27, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Burrito Gun?

  17. Posted by Worst group | February 27, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    We'd advise the use of a chimichanga in this case.

    -UBS Tex-Mex Advisory & Payday loans

  18. Posted by Hobbes | February 27, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Cheese, sauce and meat on the victims face? Sounds like Shazar's weeknights.

  19. Posted by Guest | February 27, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Sunglasses and Advil, last night was mad real.

    –Inner Bess Thoughts

  20. Posted by Foghorn Leghorn | February 27, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    Really CNBC? People with a worth of $5 million are happier than people with $100k. Talk about top notch investigative reporting. You have a future at Bloomberg.

    Oh, ShaFeef, those types of posts are for when the comments go to the archives. What is with that anyway: "Your site is so amazing. I have learned so much from you about how to build my site. Thank you."

  21. Posted by Bored Guest | February 27, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Quickly becoming some of my favorite posts…

  22. Posted by Guesti | February 27, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    "Breaking: A survey from Spectrem Group found that individuals worth $5 million or more are far more satisfied with their jobs, relationships and work than those worth $100,000 or less."

    SUCK IT BBG EDITORS

  23. Posted by PermaGuestII | February 27, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    They really all taste alike since they're all made in the same brewery with the same low-grade ingredients.

  24. Posted by PermaGuestII | February 27, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    CNBC considers people worth $100k to be "rich"?

    Guess that explains the commercials.

  25. Posted by Guest | February 27, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    I reread the story 5 times trying to find the part where Brown stuck his genitals into the burrito prior to the assault.

  26. Posted by ShaZarf | February 27, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Thanking you for most helpful information. It would be pleasing if you could send $200 to Western Union account to confirming your identity for receive of $10,000,000. I am lawyer for most dead rich man. Very good.

  27. Posted by Foghorn Leghorn | February 27, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Much better example!

  28. Posted by Guest | February 27, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Throwing a burrito? I see nothing wrong with this.

    - R. Burgundy

  29. Posted by VonSloneker | February 27, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    "Florida Man, 36, Assaulted Teen Relative With Taco Bell Burrito" Subliminal Dealbreaker "Taco Bell Griller" advertising cited as potential trigger.

    - Guy who likes letting DB advertisers know we're paying attention

  30. Posted by GI Tract | February 27, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    1. Eat burrito.
    2. Wait 2 hours.
    3. Stand in Matt's cube for an extended period of time.

  31. Posted by Adblock+ | February 27, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Paying attention to what?

  32. Posted by Matt's Excel 2013 | February 27, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Hey!

  33. Posted by Spartan Cheerleader | February 27, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    Taco! Burrito! What's in Shazar's speedo?!

  34. Posted by Turnip Truck | February 27, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    There was meat on the kid? Well, that pretty much clears Taco Bell of all involvement.

  35. Posted by DB Compliance | February 27, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    Bad jokes are the only felony, don't write none without telling me…

  36. Posted by Kabooz bartender | February 27, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    basically yes