Opening Bell: 10.21.13

J.P. Morgan Pact on Table But Other Probe Looms (WSJ)
JP Morgan Chase reached a tentative deal this weekend to pay $13 billion to end a number of civil investigations into its sale of mortgage securities before the 2008 financial crisis, but a separate and potentially more serious criminal probe into the bank and its executives will continue. The Justice Department, convinced it has strong evidence related to the bank’s conduct and eager to send a message to Wall Street, rebuffed repeated attempts by J.P. Morgan to settle the criminal investigation without admitting wrongdoing and agreed only to resolve the civil investigations. It also threatened last Thursday to file its civil case this coming Wednesday if the two sides can’t reach a final deal, said people close to the talks.

Former UBS Official Arrested (WSJ)
Raoul Weill, the former No. 3 official at UBS, has been arrested in Italy based on an Interpol notice requested by U.S. authorities, according to a U.S. official. The U.S. plans to seek his extradition from Italy to face charges of helping conceal billions of dollars from US tax authorities.

Dallas Mavericks owner blasts tactics of SEC’s White (NYP)
“It wasn’t about the money,” said Cuban, who emerged victorious Wednesday in Dallas federal court. “For me, it was about doing the right thing.” Indeed, Cuban has steadily denied the SEC’s key argument, that CEO Guy Fauré told Cuban he couldn’t sell his $7.9 million stake after discussing the company’s plans to raise money in a private stock offering that Cuban passed up. And now he’s fired up about the SEC and is considering “taking steps in Washington” to make his concerns known. “They’re not looking for justice, they’re looking to win,” he said of the watchdog. Cuban also slammed the SEC’s new policy of cracking down on small violations to send a message to the wider culture. The so-called “broken windows” policy, popularized by former mayor Rudy Giuliani to describe his cleanup of New York City, will just lead to lawsuits against “a lot of little guys,” he said.

The Tie Is Dead. (Long Live the Tie) (WSJ)
Anecdotal evidence from the corporate world varies. John Fraser, 51, managing partner of a real-estate investment firm in New York, often wears a tie with his suit, but not always. He has also noticed fewer tie-wearers among his colleagues and associates. “It seems like more of a personal choice, as opposed to several years ago when it was mandatory,” said Mr. Fraser. “Now there’s broader bandwidth of what represents acceptable business clothing.” Patrick Sweeney, 36, however, wears a tie—Hermès, Etro or Salvatore Ferragamo—every day to his real estate job in midtown Manhattan. “I would get fired if I didn’t,” said Mr. Sweeney. “The head of the company wears a tie, so everyone else does as well.” When not obliged to knot up, however, Mr. Sweeney doesn’t wear one. “Generally, I find them uncomfortable and overly formal,” he said.

Twitter Quitters Dog IPO (Reuters)
People who have given up on Twitter cite a variety of reasons, from lack of friends on the service to difficulty understanding how to use it. Twitter declined to comment for this story, saying it is in a quiet period ahead of its IPO. Twitter’s attrition rate highlights a challenge that has dogged the online messaging site over the years: while it has managed to enlist many high-profile and avid users, from the Pope to President Barack Obama, Twitter has yet to go truly mainstream in the way Facebook has. Convincing ordinary people to think of Twitter as an indispensable part of their lives is key to the company’s ability to attract advertisers and generate a profit. Twitter reported it had 232 million “active” users – people who access the service at least once a month – at the end of September, up 6.1 percent from the end of June. Twitter’s quarter-over-quarter growth in active users has not exceeded 11 percent since June 2012. When Facebook was a similar size, its active users were increasing by more than 20 percent every quarter, and it was not until the social network neared the half-a-billion member mark that its user growth decelerated to 12 percent. “Twitter is a great service, it’s still got growth in front of it. But in my opinion, I would say the opportunities are less than that of Facebook, and it has to be valued appropriately,” said Dan Niles, chief investment officer of tech-focused hedge fund firm AlphaOne Capital Partners.

After extremely tight Jets victory over Patriots, male Jets fan punches female Pats fan in face (NYDN, Deadspin)
An unidentified Gang Green fan punched a woman at Met Life stadium during a post-game skirmish on Sunday, according to an video posted on The wild fight erupted near one of the exit gates following the intense overtime victory. The punk, wearing a Wayne Chrebet jersey and camouflage pants, clocked a slender blond woman square in the face and was quickly separated from the fracas. The 35-second clip shows no sign of security intervening. For the non-violent majority of Jets fans, the historic penalty that sealed Sunday’s victory was better than sex, capping a week in which coach Rex Ryan implored his players to refrain from hanky panky.

U.S. economy bruised by fiscal fight: Treasury Secretary (Reuters)
The U.S. economy has been hurt by a recent budget standoff in Washington and it is important that the nation does not go through another around of brinkmanship, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Sunday. Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program, Lew said he was confident the economy, which he described as resilient, would recover from the 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government. He described events leading to the shutdown, which eroded both business and consumer confidence, as a political crisis rather than an economic one. “We know that from the shutdown, there was a loss of economic activity,” Lew said. “We need to make sure that government does not go through another round of brinkmanship. This can never happen again.”

U.S. Banks Face Profit Squeeze (WSJ)
The 10 largest traditional commercial banks and securities firms in the U.S. that have reported earnings thus far posted a 6.9% decline in combined adjusted net income, to $17 billion. Adjusted revenue totaled $116 billion for the quarter, a 4.8% decrease from the same period in 2012.

The Man Who’ll Do Triage on Europe’s Banks (NYT)
Mr. Angeloni, 59, heads the European Central Bank’s financial stability division, giving him a lead role in a task about to begin: examining the books of the 130 or so largest banks in the 17 members of the European Union who use the euro. It will be financial triage aimed at determining which banks are sound and which are not…This week, Mr. Angeloni and other central bankers are expected to announce new details of the review process. The undertaking, at the behest of the European Union, is meant to place the big banks of Europe more directly under the supervision of the European Central Bank, instead of the current patchwork of national regulators.

Songwriter Spends Life Savings on Surgeries to Look Like Justin Bieber (Gawker)
LA-based “songwriter” Toby Sheldon idolizes Bieber to such an extent, that he spent the past five years and nearly $100,000 to turn his face into a shrine for the androgynous Canadian. Spurred by an acknowledged fear of aging, Sheldon says he’s undergone multiple plastic surgeries, Aquamid injections, and hair transplants “to look like Justin.” His last time under the knife back in July, Sheldon had the sides of his mouth extended in a controversial procedure known as “smile surgery.” “It’s Justin’s smile that gives him his youthful look,” Sheldon told the British tabloid Closer. That particular elective set Sheldon back some $15,000. “My smile surgery took more than a month to recover from,” Sheldon recalled. “And, after my eyelid surgery, I couldn’t open my eyes for a week.” Still, Sheldon believes his investment has paid off. “My friends shower me with compliments,” he says. “They even call me Toby Bieber.”

63 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (63)

  1. Posted by Guest | October 21, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    Nice weave.

  2. Posted by Rebecca | October 21, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    Apparently Jets fans are not practiced in the art of a cunt punt.

  3. Posted by Fewdollarsmore | October 21, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    The money you save in ties can be used to get a smile surgery to look like Jamie Dimon.

  4. Posted by Shaz Lotion | October 21, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    But then how would you tie your poodle to the basement ceiling?

  5. Posted by Guest | October 21, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    It must be 9:30 somewhere.


  6. Posted by Turnip Truck | October 21, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    Those eyebrows are so majestic.

  7. Posted by Not | October 21, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Matt is back!

  8. Posted by Cockness | October 21, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    You got one fucked up friend El Shazo

  9. Posted by Stay hard for 8hrs | October 21, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Once Matt sees that the porn biz isnt what it's all cracked up to be he will be back.

  10. Posted by Dart | October 21, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Bess im tryna start a family, not just get in your panties

  11. Posted by TMZ | October 21, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    I heard Bess doesnt do happy hours anymore because Shazzypants misinterprets the invite as a date since it's just the two of them. Bess has made it clear that "she doesnt like him like that", but the Shazzo believes she is playing hard to get.

  12. Posted by guest | October 21, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    "After extremely tight Jets victory over Patriots, male Jets fan punches female Pats fan in face"

    The mating ritual of the New Jersey male continues to mystify scientist and anthropologists.

  13. Posted by Guest | October 21, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    extremely tight, female and New Jersey can never be used in the same sentence.

  14. Posted by daulerio | October 21, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Deadspin called and wants their comment back.

  15. Posted by Joe | October 21, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Yes, I too read the Deadspin comment section

  16. Posted by Ron Jeremy | October 21, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    Wow, a meathammer to the face doesn't even phase her. Sign her up!

  17. Posted by Fieri's Fiero | October 21, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Hey Stevie, BFF!

    -the bill is in the mail

  18. Posted by Steve Smif | October 21, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Not if he goes black.

  19. Posted by 25th Hour Trader | October 21, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Word is Shaz continues to wear outfits that he states are "for the ladies" despite Matt, before his departure, frequently querying whether the ladies ever inform Shazzy of the fact he looks like an optical illusion.

  20. Posted by SMU Secure | October 21, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Stay classy Jets. Try that in Arlington and you will be missing a face.

  21. Posted by Sergio P. E. | October 21, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Mama mia!!

  22. Posted by Jon Corzine | October 21, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Stealing from Deadspin is worse than losing investors money. You should be prosecuted.

  23. Posted by Guest | October 21, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Stealing from Reading Deadspin is worse than losing investors money. You should be prosecuted.

    Fixed. Sports trash for dumb monkeys who went to Rutgers or shitty Big Ten schools.

  24. Posted by Ncaa>Nfl | October 21, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    If you're at an NFL game and not in a suite, you're white-trash.

  25. Posted by guest | October 21, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Were the jocks mean to you growing up?

  26. Posted by no mas | October 21, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    no tie = "creative" types = <$100k yr

  27. Posted by @1stworldanalyst | October 21, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    That's a whole new type of contrast collar.

    Follow @1stworldanalyst

  28. Posted by Devoted DB MD | October 21, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Not only will I not follow you. I'm telling my entire department that if anyone does they'll be fired for a fabricated breach of conduct.

  29. Posted by Guest | October 21, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    So people in Arlington steal faces?!?
    -Guy noting reason #4529 that TX sucks

  30. Posted by Always Learning | October 21, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    TIL that 99.9% of NFL stadium crowds are white trash

  31. Posted by guest | October 21, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    I hope you get your issues worked out in therapy.

    – guy who reads deadspin about twice a year.

  32. Posted by guest | October 21, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    two major centers of wealth generation in the US right now: silicon valley (no ties) and hedge funds (no ties, mostly).

    good luck.

  33. Posted by Dr. Rosen | October 21, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    Not the worst thing. DFW area has more plastic surgeons per cap than 90120. You can get a new face.

  34. Posted by Shhhhhhhhhhhaz | October 21, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Meth makes you do crazy things

  35. Posted by Shaz's beard | October 21, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    Word I got was she can't stand the overwhelming smell of his Sex Panther cologne

  36. Posted by AAA | October 21, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    No posts after the opening bell, did SEC seize your laptops. Is anyone up?

  37. Posted by Oilman | October 21, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    Bolo ties count?

  38. Posted by Guy Galveston | October 21, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Texas is fucking paradise on earth man.

  39. Posted by Guest | October 21, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Wait, "worse than losing investors money" – you mean that's a bad thing?

    – J.P.

  40. Posted by Houston trader | October 21, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    I love all the Texas love in here today!!!!!

    -Hook 'em Horns!

  41. Posted by Guest | October 21, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    99.9% of whites in this country are white-trash.

  42. Posted by Guest | October 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    I think you meant to say "one major center of wealth generation and one major center of rent-seeking".

    – Guy who works in finance but has no illusions about the role it plays in the larger economy

  43. Posted by Shazar's sausage | October 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    You wanna come check what's up?

  44. Posted by Guest | October 21, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    "TIL that 99.9% of NFL stadium crowds are white trash"

    Pretty much.

  45. Posted by Guest | October 21, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    TIL every clown that can't afford a closet full of Hermes thinks he's Zuckerberg or Cohen. Dream big in your H&M zippie or Banana Republic sweater vest

  46. Posted by Guest | October 21, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    Ties aren't dead. They're fantastic. They're the most incredible male fashion statement on the market. They're the only correct way to say, "You're fired!" And, I make the klassiest ties in the world.


  47. Posted by Bored Guest | October 21, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    What do you get when you cross a UT grad with an A&M grad?

    A guy who hooks 'em and gags 'em.

  48. Posted by Ann Coulter | October 21, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    I like bow ties. A good bow tie accentuates a man's double chin. And if doesn't have one, it creates one.

  49. Posted by guest | October 21, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Oh please tell me that was a joke that didn't translate well to the written word.

  50. Posted by UVA Sexcure | October 21, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Also, everyone in Texas is fat.

  51. Posted by Mark Cuban | October 21, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    $1M if you shave your head.

  52. Posted by Rogue Shazman | October 21, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Beth makes you do crazy things I meant.

  53. Posted by Newport beach | October 21, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    no, but the mexicans and chinamen sure are

  54. Posted by Warren | October 21, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    "hedge funds" good one

  55. Posted by Where's pimco | October 21, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    some girls like that..

  56. Posted by guest | October 21, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    no one specified whom they were generating wealth for. but definitely for the people working at them.

  57. Posted by Serge | October 21, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    That you UBS MD ?

  58. Posted by Guesteeculos | October 21, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Pick a side!

  59. Posted by El Balleno | October 21, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Gorditas bonitas?

  60. Posted by Im_a_Dude | October 21, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    I think all the regulars here should pitch in a write a post or two while DB is short handed. good volunteer work, and I'm sure Bess will be eternally grateful.

  61. Posted by MFIN Grad | October 21, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Trump Steaks >>Makers and Merchants

  62. Posted by Profligate Writer | October 21, 2013 at 6:08 PM


  63. Posted by Guest | October 22, 2013 at 6:58 AM

    around here, ties are required if you're female.
    -DoubleLine Leather Analyst