Opening Bell: 6.18.08

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RBS issues global stock and credit crash alert (Telegraph)
Let it not be said that the only folks who peddle crazy rumors and end of the world fear and bloggers and hedge funds. Apparently some analyst at RBS is advising clients to brace for a major global crash in the next three months. Inflation meanwhile will paralyze central banks. Of course, this is a report from Telegraph's Ambrose Evans Pritchard, who's pretty fond of peddling these stories himself, so we can't vouch for certain that he's characterizing the RBS report completely accurately. But evidently the report did use the phrase: "all the chickens come home to roost." Speaking of Pritchard, one of Europe's most prominent Clinton haters back in the day, he must be pretty upset that Hillary is out. (via FT Alphaville)
Spielberg, India Firm Near Deal to Ally With DreamWorks (WSJ)
Steven Spielberg is going to sidle up next to Indian conglomerate Reliance for some film financing. Apparently Dreamworks and the company will launch some new venture, replacing the company's past relationship with Viacom. Hopefully this means larger casts for Spielberg movies, more dancing and more music, though we're not sure that Reliance will have any creative input.
Bill Promotes Universal College Loans (NYT)
The hangover from dreams of universal homeownership came on pretty fast. How long before we experience the same thing when it comes to college education. We were actually pretty enthused that lenders might start limiting what colleges they give loans for. It sounded like the market at work. But a new law from two Democratic Senators would put the kibosh on this, demanding that any student loan lender participating in a federal system would have to give out loans, regardless of which school was chosen. There goes the market at work.
LinkedIn Gets $53 Million Infusion (WSJ)
If you're not in a "serious" line of work, you might not get much value out of business networking site LinkedIn. We, for example, fall into that category. But apparently if you do real work it has some value. Anyway, the company raised raised a cool $53 million in a late round lead by Bain, along with some others. It values the company at $1 billion, which is pretty sweet. Management claims that it's doing $100 million in revenue and that's already profitable. The big question: IPO? Not yet. Expect to see some more growth and acquisitions before then. But really, if there's one "social networking" company that could probably do an IPO in the next year or so, LInkedIn would probably be it.


Hedge star Paulson says credit crisis not over (Reuters)
John Paulson, the hedge fund manager who made $3.7 shorting subprime is still short credit and financial stocks. It was widely believed that Paulson had moved out of his short trade, perhaps hoping to ride credit back up the way he rode it into the trough of the crunch (to mix already inapt metaphors). Not so. Paulson says we still have a long way to go.
Kicking off Firefox 3 Download Day with a Boom! (Mozilla Blog)
This might be on the geekier side of things, but it's actually important... yesterday Mozilla, maker of the popular Firefox browser released its much-awaited version 3, and it cracked a goal of 5 million downloads, even though servers went down and were slow, apparently. Why do you give a damn? Because the enthusiasm over a browser was kinda crazy, redolent of the old days, when people would go into convulsions at the release of Windows95. Granted, it's still not at the same scale, but watch what people are flipping out over. It ain't the next version of Windows anymore.
Buffett's Berkshire May Get $600 Million If InBev Buys Anheuser (Bloomberg)
You know this all-American guy isn't freaking out over the "loss" of a great business brand... Warren Buffett stands to reap a $600 million profit if InBev buys Anheuser-Busch at the current offering price. As it stood at the end of March, Berkshire was actually down $100 million in its $1.7 billion investment. That investment would swell to $2.3 billion. He hasn't commented yet on the offer though he did say, via assistant, that he's good friends with Jorge Paulo Lemann, the billionaire head of InBev.
WSOP Live Blog - Day 19 (Tao of Poker)
Still wishing we were out in Vegas for the WSOP, which would be way more pleasant than this misery, but we're not, so we're still reading this. In case you haven't picked up on it from the various reports: this is the year of the Pro. For whatever reason (and we'll be on the lookout for interesting theories), the all-in-all-the-time internet kids aren't dominating the final tables, while the seasoned high-stakes players are. Something to chew on. All that being said, we've been playing online a lot more since the tourney started, so from a bank account perspective, that's bad news.

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