Opening Bell: 11.1.07

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Bear CEO's Handling Of Crisis Raises Issues (WSJ)
We thought this was basically old news, but maybe there are some new specifics here. Anyway, James Cayne, CEO of Bear Stearns, played a lot of golf this summer, even while his company was ravaged by turmoil. Not only that, he played bridge, at one point going on a 10 day bridge and golf trip. Then again, maybe he was just playing bridge with Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, both avid fans of the game. Besides, we can't really fault him... it's not like online poker has never cut into our productivity.
Crude Oil Rises to Record Above $96 on U.S. Stockpile Decline
$96! We were going to say that the rate cut pushed oil higher -- you know, a combo of an economic stimulus and a weakening dollar, but apparently that's not it. This time it has to do with a stockpile decline. Boy those inventories can change a lot in just a day or two. Now just $4 to go before the century mark. We're not sure what we'll do when that happens, but obviously the moment will deserve special coverage.
Tully Says O'Neal Ruined Merrill's Hit-by-Bus Succession Plan (Bloomberg)
Days after his departure, the Stan O'neal pile-on continues. It's not enough that nobody liked him and his risky ways resulted in big losses. Also turns out that he wasn't to keen on succession planning, which is why the company finds itself in the bind it does today. May be true, but this has to be it for O'Neal criticisms. Once a new CEO is found, time to give it a rest.
It’s Halloween: U.S. Warns on Toxic Teeth (NYT)
By now it's too late, but if your kids had fake teeth on valentine's day then they may have exposed themselves to toxins. Good to know for next year. That being said, where was the warning about the biggest toxin of the day? Sugar. Obviously sugar is the real halloween threat/killer, the thing that should be giving kids/parents nightmares. Next year, there should be a warning, and if you want to dress up your kid as something cute/scary, try a fructose molecule.

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Google's Clout Grows With Price (WSJ)
In case you missed it, Google shares passed $700 yesterday. The company is now the fifth biggest in the US by market cap. AT&T, Exxon, GE and Microsoft are all still bigger.
Corporate espionage, pornography part of odd airline battle (Today In The Sky)
Weird case here that we're still trying to wrap our heads around. Evidently Mesa Airlines has been forced to cough up $80 billion to Hawaiian Airlines to compensate it for economic damages stemming from Mesa's launch of an intra-Hawaii airline. Sounds weird, since when, do you have to compensate your competitor for damaging them economically? Well, apparently Mesa was able to launch Go using secret information it obtained during Hawaiian's own bankruptcy case.... information it shouldn't have had. Then there's some part about a guy illegally deleting relevant documents, but coming up with the brilliant defense that he thought he was deleting porn. Somehow that fits in too.
Will the 90s Ever End? (CrossingWallStreet)
Hmm, maybe the IPO/Tech boom is scarily similar to the one during the 90s. Eddie takes a look at the arc of BigBand Networks, from IPO, to explosive earnings, to lower earnings, to warnings. As he notes, now we just need a shareholder suit, and then after that some merger with an even crappier partner.
China Plans to Launch Futures Market (Dealbook)
China has plans to launch a stock futures market so as to broaden investor options and allow better hedging of risk. If there's one thing we're sure off, it's that this market will be all about hedging risk. And we're suuure it won't just become another vehicle for wild speculation and gambling. Nah, just a healthy escape valve to make the general market run better.

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