Opening Bell: 5.12.08

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Cablevision Offer Baffles Wall Street (Again) (NYT)
So shareholders refused to take management's cash when it was offered to them. And now, since management was snubbed, they're rubbing it in shareholders' face, going out and buying any which asset. First it was the Sundance Channel, and now it's LI paper Newsday, in a bid to turn itself into a Long Island media monopoly. Besides the geography part, it's hard to see how a cable company and a newspaper fit together, but really, who wouldn't want to own the conversation on Long Island?
WHAT A DISASTER! 'Speed Racer' $20M Weekend Half What Warner Bros Hoped (Deadline Hollywood Daily)
The uber-kitsch Speed Racer brought in a mere $20 million in its opening weekend, a big disappointment to its studio Warner Bros. Every time something like this happens -- and it pretty much happens every weekend -- that old maxim about nobody knowing anything in the film business gets more and more credible. It might've done better had Iron Man not maintained its pole position, but again, that's the tournament. Everyone agrees to the same rules, and in fact the most interesting weekends are the ones that clearly pit one film against another. Racer even came in behind What Happens In Vegas... but there the crossover seems a bit limited.
Facebook’s CTO D’Angelo to Leave (AllThingsD)
Some interesting stuff going on at Facebook... the young company is losing its very young CTO Adam D'Angelo (he's 23). No official reason for him to jump, other than that he wants to take a vacation (not real surprising... he's gotta be pretty whiped), though there have been rumors of tension at the top ranks. Lately the company has been bringing in more mature talent, many from Google, so there seems to be a out-with-the-young in-with-the-seasoned trend afoot.
China's Inflation Accelerates; Bank Reserve Requirement Rises (Bloomberg)
China is like a kid who's parents let them sit in the driver seat, wildly turning the steering wheel back and forth when only subtle pushes are needed. The latest, another bank reserve increase, done in a bid to fight inflation. Of course, the country has tried all kinds of things to stem both inflation and the once-soaring stock market, usually not doing much good. Well, the stock market curbs worked a little too well, which is why in other areas, the government has gone back to a pro-up stance when it comes to the market. Just not in banking reservers, apparently.


Taking stock of the dollar’s global role (Brad Setser)
Because really, you can never get too much of Brad Setser debating the dollar.
Studio Is Prize in Takeover Duel (WSJ)
Microsoft-Yahoo may be dead (for now!) but EA's offer for Take-Two is still out there. Take-Two, of course, is behind this seasons' wildly successful GTA IV, which some have called the greatest video game of all time. And of course, it's the "geniuses" behind the game that EA most lusts after. But the brilliant and volatile (the article enumerates some of the game's creator's eccentricities) don't thrive in the corporate environment particularly well. EA is a mature, staid company, so even if it gets Take-Two, actually getting the soul of Take-Two will be tough.
The Players trumps the Masters (Houston's Clear Thinkers)
Did ya catch the TPC at Sawgrass this weekend? A nice overtime win for Sergio Garcia, and a nice win for the tournament itself. And is argued here, it's clearly one of the best tournaments on the tour, even better than the much ballyhooed Masters. Tournaments like the Masters and the US Open have come to be snoozers -- so long and difficult that the only play is to hit it solid and straight. Whereas interesting courses that aren't just about length and strength encourage more exciting, creative play. Hence the popularity of the TPC.
MBIA Posts Loss of $2.4 Billion as CDO Slump Deepens (Bloomberg)
Lots of pain, a loss of over $13 per share. But we've come to expect this, so you can't really be shocked or anything.

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