Opening Bell

Opening Bell: 03.22.13

Clock Ticks On Cyprus (WSJ)
Cyprus, in an 11th-hour bid to unlock international aid, reopen the nation’s banking system and preserve membership in the euro, readied a plan that would restructure its second-largest lender and enforce unprecedented restrictions on financial transactions. The proposals, if they take effect, would allow authorities to restrict noncash transactions, curtail check cashing, limit withdrawals and even convert checking accounts into fixed-term deposits when banks reopen. They have been closed since March 16. Parliament is set to debate the measures on Friday. If Cyprus can’t pass them, it could find itself with little choice but to leave the euro zone—opening a Pandora’s box that could threaten Spain and Italy. Time is short: The European Central Bank on Thursday threatened to cut off a financial lifeline if Cyprus’s banks aren’t stabilized by Monday.

Credit Suisse Chief Gets 34% Raise (WSJ)
Credit Suisse rewarded Chief Executive Brady Dougan for repositioning the bank in 2012 with a 34% pay rise, despite a fall in net profit for the year and a backdrop of growing criticism of executive remuneration. Mr. Dougan earned 7.77 million Swiss francs ($8.21 million), up from 5.8 million francs in 2011, when he took a pay cut as Switzerland’s No. 2 bank by assets slogged through a difficult year in which its stock price fell 41%.

Europe’s Bonus Clampdown Hits Two-Thirds of Fund Managers (Bloomberg)
The European Parliament’s vote to cap bonuses in the asset-management industry could affect two- thirds of senior fund managers in the U.K., U.S. funds in Europe and hedge funds open to small investors. Bonuses should not exceed base salaries for managers of mutual funds regulated by the European Union, known as UCITS, European lawmakers in the economic and monetary affairs committee voted yesterday. The rules would cover 5 trillion euros ($6.5 trillion) of assets in UCITS, which include funds managed outside Europe and some linked to hedge-fund strategies such as John Paulson’s New York-based Paulson & Co. and Och-Ziff Capital Management Group. “If the final rules are even close to what has been agreed today, then this will fundamentally change the way asset managers are paid,” said Jon Terry, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC. Asset managers “are now facing the toughest pay rules across the whole of the financial-services sector.”

Boaz Says Dimon Should Have Known (NYP)
The buck stops with Jamie Dimon. That’s the view of Boaz Weinstein, the hedge-fund manager who first speared the “London Whale” that led to $6.2 billion in trading losses for Dimon’s JPMorgan. Despite making a bundle by taking the other side of the bank’s bad bet, Boaz says that requiring bank CEOs to sign off on such trades is the only way to prevent debacles. As the “ultimate boss” of JPMorgan, Dimon should have had to approve the complicated trade, he said. “If you had a rule that anytime, anyone wants to make an investment in any one thing greater than $10 billion or $20 billion, the boss has to sign off on it,” then those types of disasters wouldn’t happen, Boaz said yesterday at the Absolute Return Symposium in Manhattan.

Long Island Man Accepts Plea Deal in Fake Drowning (AP)
The man, Raymond Roth, 48, of Massapequa, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree conspiracy. “The restitution Mr. Roth is ordered to pay ensures that the taxpayers won’t foot the bill for this scam,” said Kathleen M. Rice, the Nassau County district attorney. Prosecutors said Mr. Roth and his son, Jonathan Roth, 22, had plotted to collect about $400,000 in life insurance. The younger man’s case is pending. On July 28, Jonathan Roth told the authorities that his father had gone for a swim at Jones Beach and never came back. Responders searched for Raymond Roth for several days, while he was actually on his way to Orlando, Fla., prosecutors said. Raymond Roth’s wife found e-mails discussing the plot, and the authorities were alerted. Raymond Roth’s lawyer, Brian Davis, said on Thursday that he believed the plea bargain was fair, adding, “At this point, he wants to put it behind him.”

Mood Sours In Northern Europe (WSJ)
A worsening mood among businesses largely predated fraught negotiations over a Cypriot bailout, which economists say could stoke tensions surrounding the euro zone’s debt crisis. Poorer sentiment among businesses lessens the chances of a rise in corporate investment, crucial for an economic recovery in the bloc at a time when most of its member states are cutting spending to control their debts.

Economists See No Crisis With U.S. Debt as Economy Gains (Bloomberg)
Three years after a government spending surge in response to the recession drove the U.S. past that red line — the nation’s $16.7 trillion total debt is now 106 percent of the $15.8 trillion economy — key indicators reflect gathering strength. Businesses have increased spending by 27 percent since the end of 2009. The annual rate of new home construction jumped about 60 percent. Employers have created almost 6 million jobs. And with borrowing costs near record lows, the cost of paying off the debt is lower now than in the year Ronald Reagan left the White House, as a percentage of the economy.

BP to return $8 billion to shareholders from TNK-BP sale (Reuters)
BP, which completed the sale of the half-owned TNK-BP to Russian state oil firm Rosneft on Thursday, said the move, designed to increase the value of remaining shares, was an amount equivalent to the value of the company’s original investment in TNK-BP in 2003.

Man finds knife blade in his back three years after stabbing (TS)
A Northwest Territories man was just scratching what he thought was an annoying old itch earlier this week when it turned out to be a knife blade that had been buried in his flesh for almost three years. “I jumped in a cab and went straight to emergency,” said Billy McNeely, 32. The story goes back to an April 2010 birthday party in McNeely’s home town of Fort Good Hope, N.W.T. McNeely said a fight broke out between himself and another man over an arm-wrestling contest that ended up with McNeely being stabbed five times. “They stitched me up and bandaged me up,” said McNeely. “They never took X-rays.” Ever since, McNeely has had a lump in his back where the knife went in. Doctors and nurses told him nerves had been damaged in the stabbing. But the old wound never stopped nagging. “I always had back pains. There was always a burning feeling with it.” The injury was constantly itchy and irritated. It set off metal detectors. That was explained away as a metal fragment that had lodged in his bone. On Monday, while McNeely and his girlfriend were asleep in bed, the pain came back. “I sat up, I tried to rub it and scratch it the way I always did, and then the tip of my nail caught a piece of something solid, something sharp. “My girlfriend got up and she started playing around with it and she manoeuvred my back in a certain way and the tip of a blade poked out of my skin.” Doctors dug out a blade measuring about seven centimetres long.

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58 Responses to “Opening Bell: 03.22.13”

  1. She is hot says:

    Is it worth pursuing a PYT on the same floor>division but different group? We are not near each other so I could leave and come into my desk without issue of seeing her if things go bad.

    • PippyLongSausage says:

      Bro, unless you have the proper skills to not screw things up, DO NOT pursue employees at work. Since you're asking here, I'm assuming you don't have the proper skills to not come off as a creep and make yourself a potential liability.

      You do live in a big city right? Pursue other women outside of work. Quit nutting your pants at every cute employee you see in your building bro, there are plenty others out there. Try going out sometime.

      • She is hot says:

        The main problem is the PYT and I are both quite younger than everyone on the floor so people are trying to play matchmaker. I'd rather pursue women who dont have security badges to get on my floor.

        • Guest says:

          You should just eat her and get it over with.

          -Cappy the Cannibal Cop

        • PippyLongSausage says:

          Doesn't matter. This is most likely not going to play out well. You do have balls, right? You know how to defer and refuse what people tell you to do in a socially acceptable way right?

          You know how to go out and approach girls outside of your workplace, right? Right?

          • She is hot says:

            Approaching women is not the issue. Deciding whether to a pursue a girl being brought to your attention at work or declining without looking like dick is. My idea was to make her a friend and neutralize the situation.

          • NakedShort says:

            You seem to be the person to ask. There is this creepy guy that works on my floor that seems nice enough but I catch him staring at me quite a bit. I think that he assumes since I am the only person on the floor his age that I am into him. How can I let him know to stop pining after me w/o it being awkward?

          • Guest says:

            You should just eat him and get it over with.


          • Guest says:

            I have an idea, but it involves a large iguana.

            Meet at 51st and Park?

          • Guest says:

            Wear an Indigo Girls shirt.

          • Guest says:

            Look for a pink Hermes tie with fishes on it. Oh, I'll be holding an iguana too if that helps.

        • Your MD says:

          Get the hint… I am trying to offload her to you.

    • UBS Law Quant says:

      Go for it!

    • Guest says:

      A little 'stinky pinky' at work is never a bad idea.


    • Lowly Assistant says:

      Never, ever come into your desk. Use a napkin, tissue or gym socks.

    • DK'd says:

      Forget it, it's amateur and has danger signs all over it. I am actually more suprised that there are people in your office encouraging you to pursue this. Either someone is trying to derail your career or you work with some f-ing stupid people. The last thing you need is someone dropping the dime on you. It's a small world, everyone knows everyone. So unless you've fantisized about Bess posting some snarky story about you being issued a Restraining Order while at your desk, back off.

    • Guest says:

      Yes it is worth it. Especially if you can enter and exit the office without seeing her. Everyone telling you not to is forgetting three things:
      – you may be in a function (say, IB) that leaves you zero time to pursue women outside the office
      – politely declining is at least as hard to pull off as the soft landing / stay friends breakup. i've done the latter half a dozen times with women in my office. it's not that hard.
      – factor into your cost/benefit the cred you'll get with the old married guys in the office who will want to live vicariously through you. this can be good for your career.

  2. Boaz' Mom says:

    Oh! My little bubby is so smart for harpooning that Gentile whale!! Wait…is whale meat Kosher?

  3. Clumpus says:

    Yeah, but Dimon can pull off wearing a feather Boaz better than most people.

  4. Guest says:

    Florida — the state of choice for insurance fraudsters.

  5. Guesteban says:

    Wow. Those doctors really missed the point.

    • Ginsu says:

      Those doctors aren't the sharpest.

      • Dr. Doctor says:

        Let me take a stab at getting this thing out.

        • Gabby Giffords says:

          I love to sing-a
          About the moon-a and the June-a and the spring-a,
          I love to sing-a,
          About a sky of blue-a, or a tea for two-a,
          Anything-a with a swing-a to an "I love you-a,"
          I love to, I love to sing!

    • David Guest says:

      Lighten up man, it was just a slice of life. We don't need cutting remarks on every redneck story.

  6. VonSloneker says:

    If your girlfriend is scratchin' your itchin' back and she pulls out a well fed juicy tick or an old knife blade buried in your back from an old birthday party knife fight…you might be a hillbilly.

    – Cletus Foxworthy

  7. John Meriwether says:

    I have to tip my cap to Boaz's PR people, because for the life of me I don't understand why every time his name is mentioned in the press, it isn't immediately followed by ", whose negative basis prop bets would have destroyed Deutsche Bank in 2008 if other parts of that bank had not been short your house".

    • St. Copious says:

      because almost no one in the press (or anywhere else, in fairness), knows what a negative basis prop bet is.

    • Guestradamus says:

      I'm sure they'll do that right after they put "(famous for one trade/call)" next to all the people whose horrible predictions we now have to listen to.

  8. Fewdollarsmore says:

    I hate the birthday parties where they use cheap knives for stabbing.

  9. Wake Up DB says:

    I told you all. First gay marriage, then people getting stabbed 5x after arm wrestling!

  10. ignorant teen says:

    NWT: basically the wild wild west (with less Will Smith)

  11. Shaz's Inner Though says:

    Guiding my hands, she helped me unbutton her pretty lilac blouse, then locking her arms around my neck she pressed her lips furiously into mine – her hips grinding into mine… bzzt, bzzt,bzzt,bzzt,bzzt,

    Damnit! that fucking alarm clock.

  12. quant me maybe... says:

    In related news, Facebook is getting into online banking. Can't imagine what could go wrong with that.

  13. Jim Lahey says:

    The story goes back to an April 2010 birthday party in McNeely’s home town of Fort Good Hope, N.W.T. McNeely said a fight broke out between himself and another man over an arm-wrestling contest that ended up with McNeely being stabbed five times.

    Why aren't we letting Darwin do his work?

    • Charles Darwin says:

      The dude shook off being stabbed 5 times ?

      You are still snivelling about lost love.

      Get off my back.

  14. Guest says:

    Some days I feel so numb that I have to slam my yambag in my desk drawer just to feel.

  15. Guest says:

    When did lying about the length of the unnoticed blade in your back take the place of lying about the length of your willy? 7 centimetres? Sure mate..sure…

  16. Guest says:

    Does Dimon even live in NYC?

  17. L. David says:

    JERRY: Kramer, you can't keep avoiding her like this, you're gonna have to say something.
    KRAMER: What am I supposed to say?
    JERRY: Tell her you lost your itch.
    GEORGE: What happened to your itch?
    KRAMER: I lost it two days ago. I've been faking it so I wouldn't hurt her feelings.
    JERRY: Well you should tell her.
    KRAMER: I'll let her down easy. All right. (he gets up and walks to Olive) Well, hi Olive. (she reaches for Kramer's back) No, no. No more of that. There's something I have to tell you.

  18. Guest says:

    Dealbreaker's slum beat reporter flying north for the summer?

  19. Turnip Truck says:

    Yes, the key reason to sleep with a hot woman colleague is definitely to gain the approval of older males who are monitoring your sexual behavior.

  20. PermaGuestII says:

    You're an idiot. The industry has been shrinking for 5+ years. There are only two things the higher-ups care about at this point: 1. if you are in a revenue-generating position, you generate revenue for the firm; 2. if you are not in a revenue-generating position, you are hardworking and otherwise as inconspicuous and inoffensive as the Aeron chair on which you sit.

    Nobody but NOBODY in senior management gives a shit about your sex life (or lack thereof), nor is your generating a potential HR headache going to cause them to chuckle fondly and remember the old days.