Opening Bell: 04.25.14

Alibaba Puts IPO Record in Sight (WSJ)
No final decision has been made, but the addition of new Alibaba shares could help push the IPO beyond $20 billion, potentially topping Agricultural Bank of China Ltd.’s record $22.1 billion offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong in 2010, according to Dealogic, which tracks IPO data. The largest IPO in the U.S. was Visa Inc.’s $19.7 billion offering in 2010.

Former KPMG Partner Scott London Gets 14 Months for Insider Trading (WSJ)
Federal prosecutors argued Mr. London’s actions weren’t purely to help a friend, but also for personal gain. The judge said the amount of that gain – about $70,000 — was “a drop in the bucket” relative to Mr. London’s $900,000 annual salary. But Assistant U.S. Attorney James Bowman emphasized what he said was the serious nature of the crime, saying “any time you’re a vice president of KPMG and you’re on a street corner accepting bags of cash you’re part of a corrupt arrangement.”

KKR and Nasdaq Plan Market to Trade Shares in Private-Equity Funds (WSJ)
KKR & Co. plans to allow its investors to sell portions of their stakes in buyout funds through a private market run by Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., thought to be the first time pieces of these exclusive vehicles have been traded this way in the U.S., said people familiar with the matter.

Tech giants settle wage-fixing allegations for a reported $324M (Reuters)
Four major tech companies including Apple and Google have agreed to pay a total of $324 million to settle a lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to hold down salaries in Silicon Valley, sources familiar with the deal said, just weeks before a high profile trial had been scheduled to begin. Tech workers filed a class action lawsuit against Apple Inc, Google Inc, Intel Inc and Adobe Systems Inc in 2011, alleging they conspired to refrain from soliciting one another’s employees in order to avert a salary war. They planned to ask for $3 billion in damages at trial, according to court filings. That could have tripled to $9 billion under antitrust law.

Woman Jailed In Altercation Over Corn Dogs (HP)
Workers at a Midland, Texas business said Charmelle Henry threw 75 cents at them and demanded a corn dog, according to News West 9. When the 45-year-old wasn’t happy with the corn dog she received, she threw that at them as well and demanded a dog that was not microwaved. After giving her a second corn dog, the workers noticed that Henry had a knife in her hand. She allegedly told the workers that she would “stab [them] in cold blood” unless she got another corn dog. She also began stabbing the counter with her pocketknife, according to an arrest report obtained by MRT.com. One employee called police, who subdued the “extremely agitated” woman with a K-9 unit after she refused to follow their orders.

BofA Ex-CFO Settles Merrill Case With New York (WSJ)
The deal addresses the last piece of a lawsuit New York filed against Bank of America in 2010 alleging the bank and its former executives misled investors over mounting losses at Merrill Lynch. Bank of America agreed to buy Merrill Lynch in September 2008. Shareholders of both banks approved the deal 2½ months later, but the lawsuit alleged Bank of America shareholders weren’t fully aware of what they were getting into.

Michael Dell to sell gardening firm ValleyCrest to KKR unit: FT (Reuters)
ValleyCrest, owned by Dell’s family investment office MSD Capital, is expected to fetch about $1 billion and talks for a deal are understood to be advanced.

The 10 worst jobs for 2014 (CNBC)
#1. Lumberjack. Change from ranking on 2013 list: Down 1. Midlevel income: $24,340. Key factors for ranking: work environment (ranked worst of all 200 jobs), income and outlook. Lumberjack comes close to the bottom for nearly every factor, from the job being dangerous to low income. But it’s also taken a hit on the outlook as the construction industry slumps and the newspaper industry shrinks. Plus, technological advancements are quickly replacing the need for humans in the wood-harvesting process. There were just under 44,000 logging workers, as the BLS calls them, in 2012, and that number is expected to drop 9 percent by 2022. Still, good luck finding a lumberjack who would agree he (or she) has the worst job! Most say they love being outdoors and that trumps everything else.

James Franco loves taking selfies in bed, doesn’t plan on slowing down (NYDN)
ames Franco says his recent Instagram postings of him in bed — alone or not — are his way of sharing a “very kind of intimate portrait” of himself and to get people talking. “It’s not like I’m exposing myself or anything,” he said in an interview Thursday. Franco calls selfies and Instagram phenomena “that I am just playing around with like everybody else” to see what kind of reaction it evokes. He says when he takes pictures of himself, “It’s almost like it’s connected to you” and that by putting “that intimate space out there it’s kind of this new thing that we’re all getting used to.” He also says that it “obviously causes a lot of stir,” noting that he was being asked about the photos by reporters. The actor, author and director wrote in a New York Times essay last December titled “The Meanings Of The Selfie” that he has “become increasingly addicted to Instagram” and acknowledged that he has “been accused of posting too many of them.”

17 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
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Comments (17)

  1. Posted by Guest | April 25, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    Shia LaBoeuf = – James Franco

  2. Posted by Shia | April 25, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    Hey!

  3. Posted by Papa Knowles | April 25, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    Lunch isn't for a couple hours sweety.

  4. Posted by Jeff Ross | April 25, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    James Franco is half-Italian, half-asleep.

  5. Posted by London Banker | April 25, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    Bess, can I take you for dinner at Dorsia and show you how few delicate sensibilities I really have?

    – UBS American Psycho Quant

  6. Posted by Guest | April 25, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    Hey James, I know you've had bad experiences around this recently. But just a heads up, it's best to avoid social media photos documenting you laying the pipe on underage chicks. You want people to know you and love you for being skilled at your profession.

    – Mark Sanchez

  7. Posted by Guest | April 25, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    You can say many things about Jonathan Shzar, but you cannot deny he is a grade A cocksucker and at least a grade B motherfucker.

  8. Posted by S. Silverman | April 25, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    I don't think James Franco is necessarily gay or straight. I think he literally can't open his eyes enough to see who he's fucking.

  9. Posted by investorcluzo | April 25, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    In Soviet Russia, corndog stabs you!
    -I'll show myself the door now…

  10. Posted by CDBS - CDFPS | April 25, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    The corndog wasn't cooked properly? Inspecting the corndog I see it provides the perfect levels of risk for three tranches. The top part of the corndog is well cooked – it allows for a 3% food poisoning rate. The bottom part is not cooked at all – I predict a 16% FP rate. The middle I will peg at 8%. We will also offer Corndog FP Swaps which allows an investors to bet on FP actually occurring. This my friends….is the perfect security.

  11. Posted by Shazmom | April 25, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    You call that grade B motherfucking?

  12. Posted by Guest | April 25, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    Working at RBS has to be in the top ten sucky jobs. They are supposed to be capitalist but the government gets to step in and quash their bonus pay at the end of the year. Who wants that?

  13. Posted by O. Mayer, CFA | April 25, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    You'd have to be a real wiener to see any liquidity in those positions

  14. Posted by Shecky State Fair | April 25, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    A corndog walks into a Manhattan bar. Bartender says, "You'll have to leave…." Corndog asks why. Bartender says, "We don't serve food here…"

  15. Posted by Rodney Tranche | April 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    A handsome, wealthy investment banker is asked to participate in a Connecticut hedge fund owner's charity event. The wealthiest people in Connecticut were invited. The investment banker is asked to sell "kisses" at a "kissing booth" with all the proceeds going to the hedge fund owner's charity. During the day's events at the kissing booth, after a string of gorgeous women participated in the kissing booth event, a particularly homely but extremely wealthy woman badgers the investment banker incessantly even to the point of following him around the event grounds after his shift in the kissing booth. At one point, the investment banker asks his assistant to try to deflect the woman's efforts.

    Days later, the investment banker is handed a note received by his assistant from the homely woman, thanking him for spending so much time with her at the charity event. After the woman's signature is the handwritten phrase, "Pizza Face".

    The investment banker laughs and is impressed by the woman's self deprecation. He write a note back to her: "Dear Pizza Face, I enjoyed making your acquaintance" and sent the personal note off in the mail.

    The next day, the investment banker's assistant asks him, "Did you get that note from the homely woman at the charity event? I wrote "Pizza Face" after her name so you'd know which one she was."

  16. Posted by Im_a_Dude | April 25, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    that was awful

  17. Posted by Rahodeb | April 25, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Great, the one day SMU Secure decides not to read the Opening Bell…