Opening Bell: 01.22.14

Banks Sit Out Riskier Deals (WSJ)
Starting late last summer, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve sent letters to about a dozen big banks saying they need to comply with the guidance—regulators’ latest effort to reduce risk in the banking industry following the financial crisis. The new push could make deals more costly for private-equity firms, which rely on banks to lend much of the borrowed money that helps fuel their corporate takeovers. It could also create opportunity for other firms, such as some securities dealers, that aren’t regulated like banks and thus aren’t subject to the same strict regimen of regulation over lending. And it could crimp the fees banks generate from providing financing for private-equity deals in the U.S., which last year totaled $7.1 billion, according to Dealogic.

Key Witness in Martoma Trial Says He Lied to F.B.I. (Dealbook)
Dr. Sidney Gilman, the government’s star witness in its case against Mathew Martoma, a former SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager, testified on Tuesday that he lied to F.B.I. agents and regulators for nearly a year about passing inside information to Mr. Martoma. “I was intensely ashamed of it,” Dr. Gilman said. “I was hoping the whole thing would go away.” The disclosure emerged as prosecutors questioned Dr. Gilman, a retired University of Michigan professor, for a second day. It could take the sting out of the defense’s strategy to discredit him. Dr. Gilman’s testimony is at the heart of the government’s case against Mr. Martoma who, they contend, cultivated a friendship with Dr. Gilman and then “corrupted” him by seeking to gain confidential information about a clinical trial for an experimental Alzheimer’s drug being developed by Elan and Wyeth.

Two Las Vegas casinos to accept bitcoin currency (Reuters)
The co-owned Golden Gate Hotel and Casino and The D Las Vegas Casino Hotel will begin accepting bitcoins on Wednesday as payment for hotel rooms and related purchases, casino officials said in a statement…The D will also accept the virtual currency at its gift shop, the American Coney Island restaurant and Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italian Steakhouse. “Downtown has really become a technology hub for all of Las Vegas,” Derek Stevens, co-owner and chief operating officer for both casinos, told Reuters.” I think it is fitting that the Golden Gate and The D are the first hotels to offer (bitcoin).” Stevens said patrons increasingly had requested to use bitcoins over the past year. By becoming the first known casino hotels to accept the virtual currency, he hoped to attract customers unable to spend bitcoins at other local businesses.

Sandberg Becomes One of Youngest Billionaires in World (Bloomberg)
Sheryl Sandberg’s fortune surpassed $1 billion yesterday after Facebook Inc. closed at a record. The chief operating officer of the world’s most popular social-networking service owns about 12.3 million shares of the Menlo Park, California-based company, which closed at $58.51 in New York. Her stake is valued at about $750 million. Sandberg has collected more than $300 million selling shares since the company’s 2012 initial public offering, and owns about 4.7 million stock options that began vesting last May. The 44-year-old is one of the youngest female billionaires in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

With This Initial Public Offering, There’s a Lot to Drink In (WSJ)
When a company is going public, it is important that prospective investors understand its business. Magnum, a Hong Kong nightclub, is launching an initial public offering on Thursday, and its prospectus explains the following: how a nightclub works, the popularity of the Jagerbomb and that, sometimes, people drink while dancing. “Clubbing is a popular night time activity which has evolved from the discotheques of the 1970s into a modern form of social gathering with lively music, elaborate lighting and a dance floor, supplemented by both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages,” the IPO-prospectus overview begins. And it describes the scene: “The aura and atmosphere of the modern clubbing scene is filled with images of people moving in unison to the beat of synthesised remixed dance and electronic music spun out by a DJ perched upon an elevated stage.” Late on a Saturday night, the line to get into the Magnum Club can sometimes stretch down the block. As busy as Magnum gets, far more people want to buy into the company’s IPO than to dance amid its flashing walls and use its diamanté-encrusted toilets. Investors placed orders for over 3,000 times the number of shares available in the HK$126 million ($16 million) IPO, making it one of the hottest stock offerings in the city’s history. The prospective buyers are betting that the stock of the nightclub chain will skyrocket when it starts trading on Thursday.

Gold Target Cut by Morgan Stanley Seeing ‘More Pain to Come’ (Bloomberg)
The 2014 target was cut 12 percent to $1,160 an ounce and the prediction for 2015 reduced 13 percent to $1,138, analysts Peter Richardson and Joel Crane wrote in a report today. Gold remains under pressure as the global recovery gains traction, increasing the risk of higher interest rates, they wrote.

Ergen gets heat in LightSquared move (NYP)
LightSquared’s heavyweight lenders are putting the screws to Dish Network founder Charlie Ergen for backing out on his $2.2 billion deal to buy the wireless startup’s spectrum. The group, including investment giants Fortress and Capital Research & Management, are seeking to force Dish to follow through on its purchase agreement, according to court papers. Ergen had no right to walk away from the exclusive deal, the group of lenders claim in a memo filed Monday in Manhattan bankruptcy court. The lenders, owners of a $1.7 billion LightSquared bank loan, claim when Dish walked away from its deal it robbed them of any hope of recovering their investment. The group asked Judge Shelley Chapman, who is overseeing the tangled bankruptcy, to force Ergen, who owns $800 million of that debt, to keep up with his end of the bargain — or face sanctions.

Password denied: ’123456′ takes mantle as worst code: PCWorld (CNBC)
The world’s worst “password” has finally been dethroned. The term, widely considered by security experts as one of the more frequently used–and most susceptible to hack attempts–passwords has been replaced by “123456″, according to PCWorld. The publication, citing a list compiled by security firm Splashdata, said the numeric chain moved into the number one slot last year. Prior to that, “password” had dominated the rankings for years. The list of dubious passwords also included gems like “qwerty”, “abc123″ and “letmein”.

With Super Bowl on the way, strip club debuts with a super pole (NYDN)
Just in time for the Super Bowl, New York City will finally be able to answer that age-old question: Just how many strippers can you fit on a 25-foot pole? The answer: at least three. Promising never-before-seen heights of eroticism, the new Vivid Cabaret in Midtown boasts this 7.6-meter steel stake, more than twice as tall as other stripper poles in Fun City. “It’s sturdy enough and long enough to do all the tricks I know,” said Vivid Cabaret dancer Carlie, 22. “There are a lot of clubs, but the poles are never big enough to do all the tricks I’ve learned.” [...] The new club is a partnership between Rick’s Cabaret, a national chain of strip clubs listed on NASDAQ, and Vivid Entertainment, a major player in adult-film production. It seems likely that the mammary mast will help Rick’s stock price, which is already at about $11, up from about $8.50 a year ago.

26 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (26)

  1. Posted by SMU Secure | January 22, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    Anyone have an extra Super Bowl ticket? My girlfriend is in town that weekend and is looking to go. Please let me know.

  2. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    Meet me at Minetta's. Look for a 300lbs black dude with a golden tooth grill. Choke on my bald eagle while looking at a picture of George Zimmerman so I know it's you.

  3. Posted by KingCo | January 22, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    “Downtown has really become a technology hub for all of Las Vegas”

    Recent VC-backed projects include:

    Penicillin Shooters

    Waterproof Glitter

    Mobile Pawn Apps

    Ribeye-on-a-stick

  4. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    "Clubbing is a popular investing activity which has evolved from the overpriced restaurants of the past into a modern form of separating foolish investors from their money," the IPO-prospectus overview begins.

  5. Posted by Henchman 21 | January 22, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    Relinquish that toilet for it belongs to me, THE MONARCH!

  6. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    It’s sturdy enough and long enough to do all the tricks I know,” said Vivid Cabaret dancer Carlie, 22. “

    - MFA '12, Sarah Lawrence College

  7. Posted by Man Financial | January 22, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    # joe fuckin scarmucci

  8. Posted by Jon Shazner | January 22, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    That's a smokin pole.

  9. Posted by Carnivoritorium | January 22, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    You say "Ribeye on a stick" like it's a bad thing . . . ?

  10. Posted by KingCo | January 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    It's just derivative. After the Minneapolis-St. Paul incubator launched the MeatSicle everything else lost its luster.

  11. Posted by Shaz's beard | January 22, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    "I've smoked bigger"

    -Gundlach

  12. Posted by UVA Secure | January 22, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    ummmm what?

  13. Posted by Texashedge | January 22, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    You know your life has taken a left turn somewhere when you're using bitcoins to buy lunch at the American Coney Island restaurant in downtown Las Vegas

  14. Posted by WC_ | January 22, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    I am so wet.

  15. Posted by Quant me maybe... | January 22, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Chinese can't keep a regular toilet clean, how the hell they going to keep a rhinestone covered toilet clean?

    > Guy who's been to China a bunch of times and can attest to the last of hygiene outside of the hotel economy.

  16. Posted by R Kelly | January 22, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    That's why I only use self-cleaning toilets.

  17. Posted by Winklevii | January 22, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    Sheryl Sandberg: world's most expensive babysitter

  18. Posted by Convex Blowhard | January 22, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    "The club had its “soft opening” this week, with an official G-string cutting on Jan. 29"

    Those degrees in journalism continue to yield talented wordsmiths by the busload

  19. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    Not to be confused with your friend, also a 300lb black dude, but with a golden George foreman grill.

  20. Posted by guestie | January 22, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    "You're going to like the way you look – I guarantee it."

  21. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    wot's the backchat on el-erian. he seems to have some admirers on bberg blogsphere:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-21/el-erian

    "FYI Ticker: Mohamed El-Erian left Egypt when he was less than 10 years old, returning just for brief periods on holiday or as part of an IMF mission. Contrary to popular belief, he is not fluent in either Arabic or French (just have him take a written test in each), and he has neither local political expertise nor a grass root constituency in Egypt. And his past associations with (just to name a few) ECES and Messrs. Gamal Mubarak, Ahmed Ezz (of Ezz Steel), Taher Hilmy, Youssef Boutros Ghali, Hassan Heikal, Mahmoud Mohieldin, Essam El-Erian, etc. has now brought him onto the radar of the office of Egypt's prosecutor general. In fact the last time Mohamed was in Cairo, back in 2012, he left it hurriedly within 24 hours. So seeing him accept a position in the new Egyptian government (assuming one is offered to him) is highly highly unlikely. There are also signs he has looming issues in Washington, DC … more on that to come!"

  22. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    wonder what this bitchslapfest looked like

    Hours and friction prompted Pimco exit http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5fcc4732-8392-11e3-86c9

  23. Posted by Guest | January 22, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    how can bill gross spar and get fracticious in yoga pants?

  24. Posted by guesst | January 22, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    "Wot's". I hate it when people use wot's. High correlation, in my experience, between using wot's as an abbreviation, and being willing to plagiarize a term paper.

  25. Posted by Butt N Shit | January 22, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    You big tooth grinning mother fucker. Come tap dance on my ass with your insightful anal–ysis

  26. Posted by Rebecca M. | January 22, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    Bond King actively seeking a Bond Prince.

    Looking for a talented individual that loves to Tweet and conga. Must have a grasp of numbers, know what a bond is, and not be fearful of pornstaches. If you believe you meet these requirements, please forward your resume. Be sure to do it soon, no one likes to be at the end of the line.