Opening Bell: 3.11.08

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SocGen Offering Draws Demand (WSJ)
Other than some sub-prime stuff and some little issues with internal controls, there's nothing wrong with SocGen that can't be fixed with what's right at SocGen. At least that's what investors seem to think. The bank raised a cool $8.4 billion in a stock offering, with very heavy demand. So, they got away with this once. But if they let it happen again...
Home Price Hedging (ArtDeVany)
Robert Schiller, the backer of HedgeStreet, has been a bit of a naysayer for a long time, and it's no surprise that his primary "product", if you could call it that, is a financial market to protect against the price of your home going up. It's consistent with his own personal bias, and although such hedging has looked very attractive lately, in light of home price declines, it won't always be this way. Anyway, here's an interesting criticism, an argument in favor of call-based hedging, allowing homeowners to take better advantage of upward movements.
Michael Lewis Exposed (Falkenblog)
One of our favorite bloggers, Eric Falkenstein, has been on blogging hiatus for a long time, but it looks like he's back. He's a big Nassim Taleb critic, which is cool, and here he bashed Michael Lewis. Also cool, not necessarily because we have something against Lewis. Just that more people should take on these guys. If we recall, he also doesn't like Steve Levitt, though that could be a phantom memory. Anyway, he references an old Michael Lewis one here, on Black-Scholles, explaining what the problem with that article was.
A Boy Named Sue (MarginalRevolution)
Good news if you're a boy with a femme-ish name. No harm! Economists looking at guys with these names have found no evidence of any psychological or economic negative impact on these people. And here's more from MR explaining why "$4300" isn't so ridiculous.


Take-Two Is Sued Over EA Bid (WSJ)
Life typically isn't predictable. Duh. Sometimes though, like in the days after an aggressive, hostile takeover bid, it can be. Company makes bid. Company rejects bid. Company gets disappointed. Waiting game begins. Queue lawsuits. And there we are with TTWO, which, despite the fact that it's probably figuring out ways to get more out of EA for its shareholders has been slapped with a suit. Just like Yahoo. Big deal? Actually, just the opposite: boring.
Paying at the Pump, in a Big Way (NYT)
It's cause we're callous New Yorkers that we don't get too worked up over high gas prices and the pain they cause drivers. That being said, we sorta have a soft spot for truckers. Mainly ever since we saw the movie Convoy as a kid, and then in high school, during our record collecting days, we got really into truck driving records -- country music about truck driving. So stories about big rig jockeys paying $505 for half a tank of gas are pretty crazy. Diesel is at record highs. Let's just hope that all the other forms of inflation (wage, commodity, etc.) have benefited the truckers with some equivalence.
Another Meeting? Good. Another Chance To Hear Myself Talk (WSJ)
Ah, the dreaded meeting. Cue ominous music.. Typically, we don't really go much into the officey-lifestyley articles in the Journal, but this one seems to ring true. People don't really hate meeting as much as they purport to. For one thing, yes, people like to talk. Another: people don't like to work. A meeting accomplishes both of these. What's not to love?
Self Destruction (AVC)
A sympathetic, insightful analysis of the Spitzer situation from Fred Wilson, who's had some contact with the guy and his wife.

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