Opening Bell

Opening Bell: 02.26.14

Billionaire Paulson Said in Talks to Buy Puerto Rico Resort (Bloomberg)
Paulson & Co. is seeking to acquire La Concha Resort and the Condado Vanderbilt, neighboring beachfront hotels in the capital city of San Juan, according to two people with knowledge of the transaction. The firm will pay about $200 million for the properties, in which the territory’s Government Development Bank owns a stake, said the people, who asked not to be named because the deal hasn’t been completed.

JPMorgan to cut 8,000 jobs, lowers 2014 profit target (Reuters)
JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), the largest U.S. bank, announced thousands of job cuts on Tuesday as the mortgage lending business slows, and said it was lowering its profitability target. The company said it expected total headcount to fall by 5,000 to 260,000 in 2014. Around 6,000 full-time and contractor jobs in JPMorgan’s home loans unit and 2,000 jobs in its branch and credit-card network will be cut. At the same time, the bank expects to add 3,000 new jobs in its control function, including areas like compliance.

Tell-all on Pimco was ‘overblown,’ Gross says (NetNet)
“All this discourse about an autocratic style from my standpoint and conflict between Mohammed and myself is overblown,” Gross said during an interview on “Street Signs.”

BofA Discloses New Probes Amid Surge in Possible Legal Costs (Bloomberg)
Bank of America Corp., the second-biggest U.S. lender, disclosed new probes into mortgage and foreign-exchange units and boosted an estimate of potential legal losses by 20 percent to $6.1 billion. The developments were reported in an annual regulatory filing today by the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company. The fresh estimate of litigation expenses, which concerns costs that aren’t covered by reserves as of Dec. 31, compares with $5.1 billion at the end of the third quarter.

Many big U.S. corporations pay very little in taxes: study (Reuters)
Citizens for Tax Justice looked at 288 profitable Fortune 500 companies and said that 26 of them – including Boeing Co (BA.N), General Electric Co (GE.N) and Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) – paid no federal income tax in the five-year period. The group also said that 111 of the 288 companies paid no federal income tax in at least one of the five years measured. In a reflection of how the tax code’s complexity leaves many issues open to question, corporations sometimes dispute the way Citizens for Tax Justice calculates its numbers. Some of the companies singled out took exception to the findings. GE spokesman Seth Martin said: “For each year cited by Citizens for Tax Justice, GE paid income taxes in the U.S., as well as billions in other state, local and federal taxes in the U.S.”

‘Horny’ and drunk Florida woman arrested for calling 911, begging cop for sex: report (NYDN)
Maria Montenez-Colon, 58, was arrested Friday night in the misuse of 911. The officer drove to her home in Punta Gorda after she reportedly told a dispatcher that she wanted her late husband’s Corvette back after giving it to her son, authorities said. But it appears she really wanted to satisfy her lust for lawmen. The cop says Montenez-Colon was drunk when he arrived and immediately started making sexually suggestive comments such as “You are so sexy” and “Are you married?” But she saved the most lascivious for when he asked how he could help her. “You can f–k me,” she said, according to an arrest report obtained by The Smoking Gun. She allegedly grabbed the cop’s arm and tried to rub her hands across his chest so he told her that her behavior was inappropriate.

First Colorado county reports pot taxes (AP)
Pueblo County finance authorities announced Monday that its two shops had about $1 million in total sales in January, producing about $56,000 in local sales taxes. Pueblo County is the only place between Denver and the New Mexico state line that currently allows recreational pot stores. Its two shops were joined by three more that opened in February. “We recognize that the eyes of the world are watching us, and we are proud to have erected a robust regulatory environment in Pueblo County,” County Commissioner Sal Pace said in a statement Tuesday. Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz projected the marijuana industry will generate roughly $670,000 in new tax revenue for his county this year. The money is a combination of a 3.5 percent pot sales tax approved by county voters last year, as well as “share-backs” from the state on general and pot-specific sales taxes.

Credit Suisse Helped Clients Hide Billions, Senate Says (Bloomberg)
Credit Suisse helped American customers hide as much as $10 billion in assets from the Internal Revenue Service, more than double the amount previously known, according to a U.S. Senate committee. A report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations criticized the Zurich-based bank for failing to discipline any senior executives in the face of widespread tax evasion fostered by 1,800 Credit Suisse employees serving U.S. clients. The firm also misled investors about growth in its private banking unit, according to the report.

Mt. Gox Shutdown Prompts Bitcoin Damage Control Efforts (Bloomberg)
Reports that hackers may have pilfered more than $390 million in Bitcoin from Mt. Gox prompted companies from San Francisco to London as well as their industry group, the Bitcoin Foundation, to assure Bitcoin users that their funds won’t disappear due to theft or mismanagement. “This is certainly not the end of Bitcoin,” the foundation said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. “As our industry matures, we are seeing a second wave of capable, responsible entrepreneurs and investors who are building reliable services for this ecosystem.”

Turns Out Bottomless Brunch is Actually Against the Law (Eater)
Restaurateurs and mimosa-lovers take note: the New York City Hospitality Alliance would like to point out that all those “bottomless brunch” drink deals out there are, and always have been, unlawful. The law, according to the SLA website, specifically prohibits restaurants “from selling, serving, delivering or offering to patrons an unlimited number of drinks during any set period of time for a fixed price.” Letting promotors or party organizers do the same is also unlawful, as is any drink special that “attempts to circumvent the law.”

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26 Responses to “Opening Bell: 02.26.14”

  1. Quant me maybe ... says:

    PSA to all Dealbreaker readers:

    RE: ‘Horny’ and drunk Florida woman arrested for calling 911, begging cop for sex: report


  2. Scores says:

    For the record, our bottomless brunch remains legal.

  3. KingCo says:

    “All this discourse about an autocratic style from my standpoint and conflict between Mohammed and myself is overblown,” Gross said during an interview on “Street Signs.”

    "I mean, Mo-Mo totes knows that I was JK, kk?" Gross added.

  4. Guester says:

    Wondering how lack of Bottomless Brunch affects Laxbro's weekend…

  5. Confucius says:

    He who eat bottomless brunch at titty bar, get sick from crabs.

  6. Guest says:

    Another tragic side effect of the recession: former Environmental Law majors who can't get jobs defending baby seals, being forced to take PR internships at tech foundations and insisting on referring to an industry sector as an "ecosystem".

  7. Michael & TheThrifts says:

    " A report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations"

  8. Rebecca M. says:

    Minetta is still safe as bottomless chaps are still allowed.

  9. Shaz's beard says:

    “You are so sexy” “You can f–k me”

    -J Shazar, staring at a certain CTRL function on his keyboard

  10. Guest says:

    I was under the impression that Puerto Rico is a resort?

  11. Guest says:

    So free refills at Pizza Hut is illegal? Is this a Bloomberg thing?