Opening Bell: 5.29.07

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Editor's note: Joe is still memorializing (at least for a week), so the remaining DB staff will be filling his role this week. Welcome back to work (as dreary as that sounds)!
NBC Programming Chief Kevin Reilly to Leave as Ratings Slide [Wall Street Journal]
NBC is experiencing a sunset of sorts, stripping executives from its studio (and not just 60). The network, which was #1 in 2005, is now a distant 4th behind Fox, CBS and ABC, and is firing top programming executive Kevin Reilly, to be replaced with “The Office” producer Ben Silverman. NBC looks to stay in its current position (being the anchor in the 4x400 is a good thing, right?) with its fall lineup of a new 8-hour long “The Office” running over three days to compete with “American Idol,” a remake of the 1976 show “The Bionic Woman,” a show about a man who can travel through time and get laid in multiple eras called “Journeyman” and “Chuck” a comedy about a skinny, nerdy shot-put champion with super strength (and the 3rd planned “Heroes” spin-off).
Treasury Yields Could Throw a Curve [Wall Street Journal]
The Treasury yield curve is slowly but surely un-inverting itself (damning the formerly hot pick-up line, "I want to invert you like the yield curve"), with yields on the 10-year note rising to 4.86% last week, surpassing the yield on the 2-year note. The yield on the 10-year note has for the most part stayed below 5% since 2002, save for a 4 month span last spring and summer when it climbed to 5.25%.
British Airways Shares Rise on Takeover Speculation [Bloomberg]
Shares of British Airways bucked a negative trend (down over 8% this year) and rose almost 5% by noon in London, fueled by speculation that Europe’s third-largest airline may be the target of a PE takeover bid. Investors are also following Goldman, which upped its stake of British Airways from 3% to over 5% last week. No word on what happens if Goldman jumps off a bridge.
Tishman, Lehman May Buy Archstone for $12 Billion [Bloomberg]
Tishman Speyer Properties LP and Lehman Brothers are looking for a sweet pad, and may end up locking down US apartment developer Archstone-Smith Trust for just a shade over $12bn, which would be a prohibitive rent for most. Tishman would assume about $8bn in debt if the deal were to happen, bringing the total deal value to over $20bn. Archstone-Smith is the 2nd largest US apartment REIT (and the largest publicly traded apartment owner in Manhattan) to Sam Zell’s Equity Residential (of course Blackstone bought Zell’s EOP Trust for a whopping $39bn in February).
RBS group raises the stakes in ABN Amro bidding [MarketWatch]
RBS pumped up its cash offer for ABN Amro by 11% to bring its total bid with stock to over $95bn (that’s US dollars or over 71bn euros), surpassing rival Barclay’s offer by almost 4 euros per ABN share in value. The proposed deal would instigate an orgy of bank asset sharing, with RBS paying over 27bn euros for ABN's North American, Asian, Latin American (except Brazil), investment and corporate banking arms. Fortis, for 24bn euros, would get ABN’s Dutch, private-client and asset-management businesses. Santander would get the remaining scraps (the Brazilian and Italian divisions) for almost 20 billion euros.

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