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Opening Bell: 4.4.08

Citi merger architect calls deal ‘mistake’ (FT)
More reflection on a decade of Citigroup. In retrospect, says John Reed, who helped orchestrate the merger of Citi and Travellers, well it might not have been the best idea. In an interview with FT he called the company a sad story, adding: "The specific merger transaction clearly has to be seen to have been a mistake." He declined to say whether it was the management or the model that deserved the blame, although to some extent that's irrelevant. Sort of like those horrendous conversations kids have in college about whether communism could ever work if only it had the right leaders.
Ex-UBS chief pushes for bank’s break-up (FT)
Luqman Arnold, ex-CEO of UBS, wants to see a break up of the bank, which isn't doing so hot. Specifically, he wants to see the separation of its investment and private banking arms. Beyond that he wants a total board overhaul. And oh yeah, he's quietly amassed a stake in the company. Well .7 percent of it. Yeah, probably not enough to push through any changes on his own. But, you never know.
Investors Stalk the Wounded of Wall Street (NYT)
Nobody wants to be the one who tried to catch the falling knife... but to some extent a little obvious: with financial assets way down, folks are nibbling. And that's probably a good thing, though we smell a faint whiff of "vulturism" in this story.
Study Suggests Financial Bloggers May Move Markets (Research Recap)
Take heart, a study suggests that financial bloggers move the markets. We've moved the markets several times, obviously, with our revealing of timely info, but apparently we're not the only ones. A PHD condidate at University of Oklahoma (don't get us started) came to the conclusion. Sort of a trendy thing to analyze, but still interesting. Here's a link to the paper. Meanwhile, if anyone knows, we'll throw out another question: has the impact of sell/buy signals decreased over the years? So, for example, if an analyst comes out with a "strong buy", on average, does that move a stock less than that would have 10 years ago? We're thinking yes, but would like to know the data.
J.P. Morgan buys $140.7 million in Bear Stearns stock (MarketWatch)
JPM now owns a significant chunk of Bear, as it announced that it bought 11.5 million shares on the open market for $140.7 million. Taking no chances obviously -- that's at $12.20 per share, over 20 percent above what the company has an agreement to buy Bear at once the shareholders vote.
J.P. Morgan Said to Withdraw Bear Offers (Dealbook)
Pretty predictable: Fresh Bear Stearns hires are having their job offers rescinded from JPM. Obviously not very appealing, but you have to figure that seniority counts for something at a time like this.