Opening Bell: 6.19.08

Author:
Publish date:

Prosecutors in Bear Case Focus In on Email (WSJ)
A good rule of thumb: never send email. It's just not worth it. Never write anything down at all if you can. Keep it all in your head, or if you must write it on pen and paper, so it's not easily searchable. That's our advice, anyway. The Journal sheds a little bit more light on the witch hunt investigation into the Bear Stearns hedge fund collapse. We already knew that supposedly there was a disconnect between the public statements of the managers and their private emails, but this goes into a bit more depth on what happened, and the timeline.. Anyway, you can judge whether you think this looks bad. It really doesn't look that ridiculous to us, but we're biased. Also, indictments might come today on this.
The Catch Phrase Is 'à La Carte' as Airlines Push Additional Fees (NYT)
Finally, the airlines are getting on message. Ever since the first airline announced its $15 per-bag fee, we've said they've been going about this all wrong. It's not about extra fees, it's about lower prices for those without bags, or it's about breaking down the airline experience into distinct things that the customer can buy, achieving a greater world of granularity (Wall St. analysts should like the granularity tip, too). Anyway, says the NYT, now they're trying to pitch it as a la carte pricing. Bravo. Charge 'em for bags. Charge 'em for paper tickets. Charge 'em for headphones and in-flight biscotti. It's all optional and a la carte once you've bought the flight.
Shell shuts down Nigerian oil field after attack (AP)
Just curious... is the most common news story over the past several years? A Nigerian oil field attack is kind of like news of a drought or a price war in memory chips. Basically a universal constant. Oh, and apparently oil rose on the attack. Of course.
Regional Shares Snap Winning Run On Credit Concerns and Oil's Rise (WSJ)
Rought night in Asia, China in particular. The Shanghai Index fell over 7 percent, while several others like Japan and Thailand fell 2-3 percent. Why? Who knows. The article says something about the fund raising at Fifth Third Bancorp. But to be totally honest, we'd be surprised if Asian traders really got that worked up about a bank in Ohio raising some fresh capital. Maybe though.


Huntsman's $6.5bn buyout in jeopardy (Reuters)
Another buyout deal on the skids. This time it's the old, boring chemical company Huntsman. Apollo, the buyer, says the financing isn't there. Apollo, via its Haxion Chemical subsidiary, filed suit yesterday trying to limit liability if it can't complete the deal.
Israel, Hamas Begin Truce With Both Sides Skeptical (Bloomberg)
It's a pretty bad sign for any truce or cease fire when the parties involved are predicting its failure, practically right form the beginning.
Tiger's bittersweet victory (Houston's Clear Thinkers)
It's a really good thing that Tiger won the US Open, in light of the news that he'll be missing the rest of the season. Had he lost, the five days he spent out on the course doing more damage to his knee would have been the worst-spent five days of his life. We've been wondering whether he actually added to his career majors by winning this tournament. It's at least possible that in light of everything, the events of this past weekend will wind up reducing the number of majors that he wins. Tom Kirkendall also points out something we hadn't realized before: "...what is perhaps most baffling about Woods' injury is that it is largely self-inflicted. He has unwisely for years included a frequent long-distance running regimen in his intense exercise protocol, which has almost certainly contributed to the injury in his left knee." Some of it might have to do with swing-related torque or what not, but it is weird that he's a long-distance runner. Why pound away on your joints and limbs like that. No doubt that has something to do with the injury.
WSOP Day 20: Scandi Ghosts, Degenadario, and the Tao of Deutschland (Tao of Poker)
Anyone who's followed poker closely knows that Scandinavians have come to dominate the game in recent years. Mainly it's a bunch of young internet kids that get started at the age of like 13 and then just crush it by the time they're older. But the WSOP is having a hard time getting them to come for a lot of the lesser, non-main events. Why? Withholding. Taxes. It's not worth their time to come and play when they can be engaging in more profitable action at home. Also, as the post notes, this is like the only nice time to be in Sweden. So the idea of spending hours and hours in a Vegas casino is only so appealing.

Related