Opening Bell: 6.20.08

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Yahoo Plans Revamp Amid Losses (WSJ)
The rats have been fleeing the ship. Sorry if that comes of bad, it's just the cheapest metaphor we could think of. This is an unusual moment in corporate history, something we don't see very often. High profile Yahoo executives are fleeing the company in droves. It seems to be on the order of three or four per day, and word is that the company has a "sweeping reorg" in the works. Btw: Try Googling "Yahoo" and "sweeping reorg" (42,900) and see how many hits you get. One thing to consider though. At most companies, these sub C-level executives just aren't that well known, so even if they leave, they leave kind of anonymously. At Yahoo, where every tech blogger worth their salt has the company org chart committed to memory, all this turmoil gets an unual amount of play.
Schwarzman's `Perfectly Timed' IPO Means Long Wait for Holders (Bloomberg)
Kind of hard to believe how the world has changed since Blackstone came public last year. No need to rehash, and no need to remind that the company's stock is, well, down since it's IPO price. But man, if there were ever a single situation in which (in retrospect) the public looks like fools for buying that the smart money are selling, this would be it. of course, that's just a device for historians, but still, that will be the narrative.
Russian Billionaire Part of Record Deal For Trump Mansion (WSJ)
You know we hate to use the B-word, but sorry, this totally calls for an ag bubble alert. What more symbolism could we need than a Russian fertilizer billionaire paying $100 million for a Palm Beach mansion owned by US real estate billionaire (?) Donal Trump. Seriously.
EU to lift sanctions on Cuba (AP)
To be honest, we're surprise that the EU ever had diplomatic sanctions against Cuba. For one thing, the EUs love to flout the US' desires, so this was always an obvious way to tell us to shove it. And beyond that, the sanctions are kind of dumb and ineffective, so it makes pefect sense to drop them, even without an ulterior motive. Evidently though, the diplomatic (which doesn't appear to be the same thing as trade sanctions) sanctions weren't really enforced, and we more symbolic to begin with. Still.
Fugitive's Girlfriend Is Charged (NYT)
Oh, so he's not dead? The girlfriend of Samuel Israel III has been arrested on charges of helping the ex-hedge fund manager escape justice. That's got to be a tough spot for her. Cause realistically, we'd probably help out someone too that was about to be incarcerated for two decades. Now she faces up to 10 years in prison. Imagine if they just get her, and not him. That'd suck. Oh, and her occupation is "decorator".
Busting Phil Hellmuth -- Day 2, continued (World Series of Poker Blog)
Courtesy of Paul Kedrosky, I've been reading this blog, written by a trader and hedge fund guy, as part of my World Series of Poker reading. It's pretty enjoyable sharp, well written, funny, and from the perspective one of those faces you occasionally see on an ESPN broadcast, but about whom the commentators know little. Anyway, here's a very cool anecdote about busting Phil Hellmuth out of a tournament.

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