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Opening Bell: 4.9.08

Citigroup May Sell $12 Billion of Loans, Person Says (Bloomberg)
Lots of chatter that on a thawing in certain a-liquid markets, or at least an attempt at holding a hairdryer to the iceberg. Word is that Citigroup may be able to unload $12 billion in loan off of its books, which at this point would be like getting a free $12 billion. It's practically found money. Optimism that such a sale could take place pushed Citigroup shares 3 percent higher in German trading.
China Said To Ready Bid For BHP (Forbes)
As the article calls it, it's a bit unbelievable, but there's renewed talk of a China-led buyout of BHP. Talk to this effect has come up in the past, though it didn't seem very credible at the time. And it's still not clear how serious the reports are -- the original report was in The Australian, and it didn't seem very specific. Also, the suggestion is that the main thrust would be about thwarting BHP's bid for Rio Tinto, which is understandable, but seems like overkill.
Oasis HK Air halts operations amid swelling losses (MarketWatch)
Did you realize that there were like four airplane carrier shutdowns in the past week in the US? Yup, all the budget airlines that don't charge are finding things a tad difficult in the current environment. Looks like the pain is being ilternationally, as budget airline HK Air, in Hong Kong, has shuttered its service on high fuel prices. All flights have been canceled, and it plans to bring about a liquidation.
EMC To Acquire Iomega
Heh, remember Zip drives?

As Prices Rise, Farmers Spurn Conservation (NYT)
Pretty straightforward: if there's a lot more money to be made in growing than not growing, than growing is the way to go. It still boggles the mind that a field full of corn and soybeans is such a gold mine, but hey, we're at least glad someone is getting theirs. They key line: "Environmental and hunting groups are warning that years of progress could soon be lost, particularly with the native prairie in the Upper Midwest. But a broad coalition of baking, poultry, snack food, ethanol and livestock groups say bigger harvests are a more important priority than habitats for waterfowl and other wildlife." Snack food. That really trivializes it all.
Fabulous Fazekas (Wages of Wins)
Yesterday we mentioned the guy who did a pretty bang-up job picking his tournament bracket using a monte carlo sim. Anyway, some more form the same on analyzing rookies. Some good stuff in there.
Morgan Stanley Chairman Wins Re-election (NYT)
He wouldn't care, but we'd still like to extend a hearty Opening Bell congratulations to Morgan Stanley Chairman John Mack for surviving re-election, against a whithering campaign to unseat. Ok, not so whithering. Such campaigns don't ever work, and they're never nothing to fear. Still. Speaking to shareholders, Mack said he took full responsibility for the company's $9.4 billion in subprime losses. Full responsibility for throwing $9.4 billion down the drain? Full responsibility? In that case, maybe he shouldn't have been re-elected.
Legg Mason Wades Into the Yahoo Fray (WSJ)
Some guy named Bill Miller, he has a fund that hasn't done so hot these past few years after years and years of S&P outperformance, decided to speak up on this whole Yahoo thing, seeing as he's a shareholder. Basically, he doesn't want to accept a lower bid from Microsoft if that could be avoided. And he doesn't think Yahoo could resist a higher bid. Basically, he sounds like any investor on this one.