Opening Bell: 03.18.14

Wall Street Trains Fire on Idea of a Bank Tax (WSJ)
Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and other big banks are marshaling opposition on Capitol Hill to kill a proposal by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.) to tax the nation’s largest financial firms, according to people familiar with the efforts. The companies are curtailing financing for GOP lawmakers and warning of an economic hit, these people say. Goldman Sachs, which was in discussions to hold a fundraiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee, recently opted not to move forward because of concerns about Mr. Camp’s bank-tax proposal, according to people familiar with the plans.

Investment Banking Drives Jefferies to Strong Results (WSJ)
For the quarter ended Feb. 28, Jefferies recorded net earnings of $112.4 million on revenue of $899 million. Jefferies had preliminarily forecast earnings of $105 million on revenue of $875 million. A year earlier, the bank earned $80.1 million profit on revenue of about $818.5 million. The quarter’s bottom-line growth was driven by a 44% rise in investment banking revenue to $414.3 million, on the back of strength in both the capital markets and advisory businesses. Jefferies had previously reported preliminary investment banking revenue of $410 million.

BlackRock Says Bears Blundering by Exiting Emerging Markets (Bloomberg)
Investors “are selling emerging markets which have very low valuations, significant dividend yields but have underperformed in recent times,” Vecht, London-based portfolio manager at BlackRock Emerging Europe Trust Plc, said in e-mailed comments yesterday. In exchange, they’re buying assets in the developed world, “which has relatively high valuations, potentially limited long-term earnings growth and where markets have just gone up rather fast.”

Bristol man gets revenge by texting works of Shakespeare to rogue internet seller (BP)
A Bristol graphic designer who was ripped off by an internet seller has turned to Shakespeare to get his revenge. Edd Joseph, 24, who lives in the city with his girlfriend, was furious when he bought a PS3 games console for £80 and the seller failed to deliver the goods. So Edd decided to take his revenge by sending him the entire works of the Bard – by text. Edd discovered he could copy the words from the internet and paste them into a text message – without costing him a penny on his unlimited mobile phone package. He sends it as one text but his victim can only receive them in 160 character chunks – meaning the 37 works of Shakespeare will buzz through in 29,305 individual texts. So far Edd has sent 22 plays including Hamlet, Macbeth and Othello which have been delivered in 17,424 texts. He reckons the remaining 15 works will take another few days to send – meaning his adversary’s phone will have been constantly beeping for nearly a week. Edd said: “I was really annoyed and I was trying to think of ways of being more in the position of power because I felt so helpless about it. “My first thought was that I could try and pretend I had found out where he lived but it was all a bit of a cliche and it wasn’t going to worry him really.

Treasury’s Cohen Warns Unregistered Bitcoin Exchanges (WSJ)
We “know there are many virtual currency exchangers and administrators that have not registered with FinCEN and are not fulfilling their recordkeeping and reporting requirements,” Mr. Cohen said, speaking at an event at Bloomberg News in New York. “Those that do not comply with these rules should understand that their actions will have consequences.”

Germany will support Portugal’s decision on bailout exit: Merkel (Reuters)
“It is a decision for the Portuguese government,” Merkel said at a news conference in Berlin with Portugal’s Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho. “I completely understand it when the Portuguese Prime Minister says he will take the decision when it needs to be taken and Germany will support any decision.. We have stood by Portugal and we will continue to do so,” she said.

High-Speed Trading Said to Face N.Y. Probe Into Fairness (Bloomberg)
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is examining the sale of products and services that offer faster access to data and richer information on trades than what’s typically available to the public, according to the person. Wall Street banks and rapid-fire trading firms pay thousands of dollars a month for these services from firms including Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ) and IntercontinentalExchange Group Inc.’s New York Stock Exchange.

Housing Starts in U.S. Little Changed From Stronger January (Bloomberg)
The 0.2 percent decrease to 907,000 homes at an annualized rate last month followed a revised 909,000 pace in January, figures from the Commerce Department in Washington showed today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey called for a 910,000 rate after a previously reported 880,000 in January.

Manchester man accused of concealing poultry products in pants in theft attempt (WMUR)
A Manchester man who allegedly concealed poultry products in his pants and left the store was arrested and charged with willful concealment this weekend. Police said Jonathan Hood, 31, left the Hannaford’s in Hooksett without paying for the products he had hidden in his pants. He was detained by supermarket employees until police arrived.

21 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (21)

  1. Posted by guest | March 18, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    damn it shazar, I can't stay mad at you when you post chicken stories like that!

  2. Posted by guest | March 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    text guy, I bow down to you.

    -guy who really wants to do that to his sadist boss upon quitting

  3. Posted by Looking@U | March 18, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    There are no journalists. Only communist propaganda shills. I have zero respect for the frauds.

  4. Posted by Guest | March 18, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    If you are concerned about high speed in the markets, why just not hire Shazar?

  5. Posted by guest | March 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    um. what?

  6. Posted by Huge Guest | March 18, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    I am legion. I am Porker Shazarberry.

  7. Posted by Officer Barbarady | March 18, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    Oh, it says…"Sorry I had sex with a chicken! I won't do it again, bye-bye!" Well there you have it, case closed.

  8. Posted by Veritas | March 18, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    Worst opening bell of year.

  9. Posted by HotKarl | March 18, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    Hey everyone,

    Sorry about the late Opening Bell this morning…Jazzercise class went extra long!

    - J Shazar

  10. Posted by Guest | March 18, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    If the guy worked in a sausage factory, the products would be easier to conceal in his trousers,

  11. Posted by Guest | March 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    And equally, woman would have been better at concealing the chicken fillets in her breasts.

  12. Posted by Guest | March 18, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    Is Jefferies getting more investment banking biz because the junior bankers work on weekends?

  13. Posted by Guest | March 18, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    When we see the 37 works of Shakespeare appearing in snippets in the DB comment section, we'll know that someone wasn't happy with the non-delivery of OB.

  14. Posted by Old Bay | March 18, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    Hi Porker!

  15. Posted by guest | March 18, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    touche.

    -j shaz

  16. Posted by Guest | March 18, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    Maybe Atlas Shrugged? Haven't read that one yet.

    - Your boss

  17. Posted by 2005 | March 18, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    Buying a PS3 off Craigslist and then getting back at the seller with a bunch of SMS messages — old technology is the NKI.

  18. Posted by Fixed that for you | March 18, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    J Shaz

    -Douche

  19. Posted by Shaz's beard | March 18, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Conceling chicken in your pants is better than the crabs Shazzy is trying to hide.

    …….I'll be here all week

  20. Posted by New product | March 18, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    Shia

    The Douche for men.

  21. Posted by Guest | March 18, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    plowing a bitch > going to the beach