Opening Bell: 10.30.07

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Oil Price Up Again Ahead of Fed Meeting (NYT)
So oil crossed the $93 mark, which means it's just a skip away from $100. Anyone who predicted $100 to get hit sooner rather than later... pat yourself on the back. Seriously. Now, as for oil up ahead of the Fed, is that a predictor of interest cuts? After all... cuts=weak dollar=high crude prices. So if there's really a connection between oil and the Fed, and we're not saying it is, then is the market telling us something?
774 Arrests in China Over Safety (NYT)
Nice picture at the top of this article, showing just what a product safety crackdown looks like in China. Anyway, the government there has done a big bust of 744 people, arresting them for all manners of safety infractions. Typical. There's obviously something unnerving about this news, cause you don't know what's going to happen to these people. But a victory for the New York Times, which has been totally fighting the good fight here, day in and day out cracking the whip on this issue.
How To Talk About Books You Haven't Read (Marginal Revolution)
We read something about this book the other day, but we'll go ahead and state the obvious, that we haven't read this Marginal Rev. post. Duh. So it's obvious this is just going to start a chain reaction of unread posts about the book, though if someone links here per this link, then they've really gone too far.
Nassim Taleb (Art de Vany)
One of our favorite things in the world is when someone we respect happens to be a fan of someone else we respect. You know, it's validation. Anyway, we still haven't finished the Black Swan, despite giddily picking it up the first day it hit bookstores. Not gonna lie, it's been a little hard to break into. And, we've read some good criticisms of Nassim Taleb's work, that deserve to be taken seriously. But, he's still an important thinker and some of his truths are undeniable. Anyway, Taleb is a fan of Opening Bell intellectual hero Art de Vany, who is a giant among men in all fields. Good to know Taleb feels the same way.
Can a Google Phone Connect With Carriers? (WSJ)
Here's the thing... the gPhone won't be an iPhone. Obviously, Google has some tricks up its sleeve and it knows how to do certain things scarily well. Nobody's denying that, to be sure. But nobody knows what the company's wireless strategy is going to be. It's probably going to be software related, and it probably won't blow your socks off the same way the iPhone did when you first saw (though it no longer does). Anyway, two weeks is is the new ETA for whatever Google's gonna bring.

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Stan O'Neal's Last Big Deal At Merrill: His Exit (WSJ)
So yeah, still hammering out the details of how much Stan O'Neal will get paid to be fired. At this point, the moneyline is at +$160 million, though of course they're not really forking over a check for $160 million just as a way of apologizing for letting him god. You know the spiel: deferred compensation suddenly undeferred, retirement stuff, etc. Sucks to be fired, but in the end, good to be Stan O'neal, no?
Oracle's BEA Take-under (Paul Kedrosky)
We've said this a couple of times already, but there exists the possibility that another bid from Oracle could come in lower than the previous one. Oracle friggin' manhandled PeopleSoft and unless it's really done with BEA, which we doubt, it'll do the same. Does anyone know whether it's hired an investment bank yet, or whether it's still going this one alone? Haven't seen any reference to this. But if Oracle does get BEA at less than $17 per share, then you have to figure that Oracle should offer its own M&A service, since it obviously knows what its doing better than anyone else.
India Lifts Banks' Reserve Limit to Check Inflation (Bloomberg)
Not that it will work any better than what China's done, but in its own attempt to put the curbs on, India has increased the reserve limit at banks. Banks must now keep deposits of 7.5 percent, up from 5.25 percent -- a big jump, but as usual, we have a hard time imagining it will work.

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