Opening Bell: 12.17.13

Volcker Rule Shows Its Wide Reach (WSJ)
Unforeseen consequences of the Volcker rule already are rippling into the furthest corners of the economy and financial markets. Financial institutions and investors are scrambling to line up a new way to finance municipal-bond investments, with the week-old rule set to curtail banks’ dealings in so-called tender-option bonds—a $75 billion niche of the market for debt issued by cities, states and local governments. Meanwhile, more than a dozen small and midsize banks likely will need to sell collateralized debt obligations under a Volcker rule provision limiting certain risky bank investments, according to analysts.

SEC seeks $1.1 million-plus from ex-Goldman VP Tourre (Reuters)
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission asked a federal judge to order former Goldman Sachs Group Inc vice president Fabrice Tourre to pay more than $1.1 million for his role in a failed 2007 mortgage deal, according to a court document filed Monday in Manhattan federal court…The agency asked that Tourre pay a civil monetary penalty of $910,000. It also asked that he pay $175,463 in ill-gotten gains, plus interest of $62,858.03, according to the document. The SEC also said Tourre should be prohibited from accepting reimbursement for the penalty from Goldman

More Asia Hedge-Fund Managers Expect Rising Bonuses, Survey Says (Bloomberg)
More Asia hedge-fund industry employees are expecting increases in bonuses this year as they delivered returns, a survey by executive recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. showed. The share of respondents anticipating their bonuses to increase climbed to 48 percent in a survey carried out in September by the Chicago-based executive recruitment firm, up from 45 percent in last year’s poll. By contrast, those anticipating a decline in their bonuses shrank to 11 percent from about 25 percent last year.

Insider-Trading Case May Hinge on Phone Call (WSJ)
The phone call was between Mr. Steinberg and former SAC analyst Jon Horvath, who worked under Mr. Steinberg and, according to court documents, is the only witness who can connect his former boss to the alleged insider-trading conspiracy. n his closing arguments Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry Chernoff said Mr. Steinberg received the phone call one minute before making a huge bet against Dell Inc. on Aug. 18, 2008. On the call, Mr. Steinberg received an inside tip from Mr. Horvath that Dell’s gross margins would disappoint ahead of the company’s earnings announcement, Mr. Chernoff told jurors. Jurors could begin deliberating as soon as Tuesday to decide the fate of Michael Steinberg, right. “They didn’t need more than two minutes for that call, because Michael Steinberg already knew the score,” Mr. Chernoff said. Barry Berke, an attorney for Mr. Steinberg, painted a completely different picture. The call was “rushed,” Mr. Berke said, because Mr. Horvath was calling from an airport before leaving for Mexico. The former analyst passed “perfectly proper” information to his boss ahead of the Dell announcement, said Mr. Berke.

Steinberg wife to pals: No wearing bling near jury (NYP)
Liz Steinberg, who has been noticeably dressed down during her husband’s four-week trial in Manhattan federal court, sent an email to supporters days before the trial started to instruct them to leave the bling at home if they plan to attend the trial. “Dress conservatively,” the email instructed, adding that women would be wise to check their furs, jewels and designer handbags at the door. “We request that women wear no jewelry or furs, and no designer scarves, handbags, etc.,” said the Nov. 15 email, a copy of which was obtained by The Post.

Capitals fan takes a puck to the head, refuses to get stitched up until after the game (NIS)
Tricia Drummond, a Capitals fan and hockey player herself, took a puck off the head late in the third period of yesterday’s Caps-Flyers game in Washington, opening up a pretty nasty cut on her forehead that would require stitches to repair. Those stitches would have to wait though, as Drummond refused repairs until the game was over despite leaking quite heavily from her skull. The Caps trailed by one goal with just over three minutes left to play in regulation when Drummond suffered the injury, but they managed to tie the game up and force OT before winning 5-4 in a shootout…Drummond wound up getting five stitches following the game but said it was worth it to see her team pull out the victory.

Chocolate Eaters Drive Record Cocoa-Output Deficit (Bloomberg)
Global cocoa supplies are headed for the longest production shortfall in more than five decades as chocolate demand surges in Asia. Cocoa use will top output by about 70,000 metric tons in the 12 months started Oct. 1 and deficits will persist through 2018, a six-year stretch that would be the longest since the data began in 1960, said Laurent Pipitone, head of statistics at the International Cocoa Organization in London. Prices may rally 15 percent to $3,200 a ton by the end of 2014, according to the median of 14 trader estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

The Good, The Bad, And The IPO (WSJ)
The heirs of late Italian director Sergio Leone —who invented the spaghetti-western genre and made films such as “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” “A Fistful of Dollars” and “Once Upon a Time in America”— will take their father’s company public this week in Milan, with a plan to stake out a bigger chunk of the Italian film industry and revive their father’s name. Mr. Leone, known for his intense close-ups and laconic one-liners, became an icon for a generation of younger directors such as Quentin Tarantino, who in his 2012 film “Django Unchained” emulated the kinetic violence and flamboyant style that the Italian westerns pioneered…The Leone heirs are launching the IPO to raise funds to broaden the company’s film library, make more distribution agreements with U.S. filmmakers and expand its own movie production. They plan to sell a 20% stake in the company through a public listing slated for Wednesday. Because the company is quite small—bankers value it at just €75 million ($103 million)—it will be listed with Milan’s small-cap stocks. The Leone heirs hope to raise about €17 million in fresh cash through the placement.

CFTC Is Poised to Expand Its Reach Overseas (WSJ)
The CFTC is preparing to say that multiple rules developed by the European Union and five other jurisdictions governing so-called swaps aren’t strict enough, clearing the way for the CFTC to impose its regulations on much of the $693 trillion global swaps market, the official said.

Store owner forgives thief who returned $300 samurai sword to his Beach business (WTKR)
In the surveillance footage, the man is seen stuffing the sword down his pant leg, concealing it with a black trench coat. The store’s owner, John, who did not want to show his face or give his last name, says he was upset when he first saw the video, but says he forgave the thief. “He really didn’t mean to steal it from my store,” John says. “I can tell from their eyes or their face. I think everyone makes mistakes.”

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Comments (23)

  1. Posted by Guest | December 17, 2013 at 7:16 AM

    Damn a chocolate fountain would hit the spot right about now.
    -Rex Ryan

  2. Posted by Guest | December 17, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    "Forgiving" a guy who favors black trenchcoats and thinks stuffing a samurai sword? Good call.

    (cf: Steve Buscemi character in "Billy Madison")

  3. Posted by Chris C | December 17, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    desk just moved

  4. Posted by HotKarl | December 17, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    I wonder how Lisa Maria Falcone would have reacted to the 'no bling' and 'dress conservative' email….

  5. Posted by PeterNorth | December 17, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    What the fuck? It's news now when some chick takes one in the hair? Ho-hum….

  6. Posted by Bored Guest | December 17, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    He didn't mean to steal the sword that he put down his pants and covered with a trenchcoat? There's a sucker born every minute.

  7. Posted by Guest | December 17, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Volcker Rule: Wide Reach, No Reach-Around.

  8. Posted by guesst | December 17, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Did Shaz take over the comments section too? What is going on these days?

  9. Posted by kwest | December 17, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    weak ass comments this mornin. yall monfuckas suffering from low T. i'm in paris n shit, eatin croissants wit coldplay. just saw janet yellin she axed me bout my maybach; i bet she thinks i'm a slave or some shit.

  10. Posted by Guest | December 17, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Let it all burn. We will destroy this comment section, and then when it is done and in ashes, you have my permission to die.

    - Bane, Social Revisionist & DB commentator

  11. Posted by Guest | December 17, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    "Capitals fan takes a puck to the head"

    Well, now she knows what it feels like to be a Redskins fan.

  12. Posted by #OccupyComments | December 17, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Downvote everything!

  13. Posted by Texashedge | December 17, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    What would you like us to comment about? A 50 year old Clint Eastwood movie? That someone stole a sword in Florida?

    I did not go to two years of evil business school to comment on sword theft in Florida.

    "CFTC Is Poised to Expand Its Reach Overseas." Great stuff.

  14. Posted by Rebecca M. | December 17, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    I bet Mr. Steinberg wishes John [redacted] was on his jury right about now.

    Big holiday weekend coming up, and I'm hoping to get a Polar Express in before Christmas Day. Anyone want to be the caboose?

  15. Posted by guest | December 17, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    this is what happens when you get the commentariat accustomed to post-lunch OB and then all of a sudden hit them with a 7:00am one… its all your fault, Shazar

  16. Posted by hunch guest | December 17, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    or someone with too much time on his hands figured out how to bounce around IPs and downvote comments multiple times…

  17. Posted by AD fan | December 17, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    The thief, identified as Gob Bluth of Newport Beach, California, confessed to stealing the sword while the shop owner was in a back room fetching dong tea. Bluth escaped on a Segway scooter but later decided to return the Samurai sword after discovering he had severely injured his leg when he stuffed the sword into his pants.

  18. Posted by Guest | December 17, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Holy censhorship Batman!

  19. Posted by Bessexy<3 LOL | December 17, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    The admin gets all like the movie "The Social Network" and get's in this mood where he doesnt know if he is going to masturbate or burst into tears for 90 minutes straight, thus any good comment gets blocked or deleted.

  20. Posted by oye | December 17, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    Holy crap, moderators at dealbreaker are removing comments without the customary comment removed by moderator

  21. Posted by Bored Guest | December 17, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Ha, that's only when you negatively compare DB pre-Matt departure and post-Matt departure.

  22. Posted by Another bored guest | December 18, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    The problem is not the departure of Matt. Work changed from interesting and lucrative to a nasty grind. And over the same period rents in NYC have gone through the roof. Under the circumstances, who would have the energy to be witty.

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