Skip to main content

Opening Bell: 7.21.08

Roche offers to buy rest of Genentech for (Telegraph)
Over years and years, Roche has had a hard time deciding what it wants with Genentech. First it bought a stake in the company back in the 90s, with an option to buy the whole thing (it did). Then it spun the company back out. And now it wants it all back again. Roche may be look a trader that has one stock down cold. They may not be able to play the whole market, but when it comes to trading the QQQQs or something like that, they time it perfectly. So now they're offering nearly $44 billion for the company to get it all back. The $89 or so per share is above the $81 they closed at on Friday.
FDIC Faces Mortgage Mess After Running Failed Bank (WSJ)
Here's a fun story: The FDIC, after it took over a failed back in 2001, continued to aggressively offer subprime and "predatory" loans. Of course, at the time, nobody thought this lending would be anything but wildly profitable, so the FDIC probably (reasonably) assumed that continuing to engage in the profitable aspects of the bank was simply the responsible thing to do. The lesson here is pretty straightforward, so we won't insult your intelligence by spelling it out.
Eight years after collapsed, a founder returns to the game (VentureBeat)
More and more, we keep seeing the founders of former .com high flyers get back into the game, which is pretty cool. The other day it was a founder, back with a new startup. Not it's the founder of once-hot makeup retailer Our wish, per usual: that that guys would try their hand at a social networking startup. One more time please.
China Aviation Industry's First-Half Profit Falls 23% (Bloomberg)
The US isn't the only place where the quickest route to becoming a millionaire is to start with a billion and invest in an airline. The industry is taking it on the chin in China too, due to rising fuel prices and slowing demand. The first is no surprise. The second is more of a bad sign. But it's basically like here: inflation is no good.

Banker Leaves Goldman Sachs To Aid Paulson (WSJ)
The committee to save the world just got another member, courtesy of Goldman. Top banker Ken Wilson is leaving the company -- just on a temporary basis -- to help is hold boss Hang Paulson fix the country. Or, fix the country's mortgage mess. At Goldman, Wilson's been involved in bank reorgs, so that comes in handy. The plan is for him to serve without pay 'til January (what about healthcare?). Evidently George W. Bush himself called up Wilson to ask him to take the job.
Feng Shui and Investment Management Don't Mix (The Stalwart)
Written by a fund manager currently investing and working in Asia... an interesting discussion about whether you should ever trust your money to someone that believes in mystical forces. Stuff like Feng Shui. Evidently it's a pretty important question in the region.
S3 Outage Highlights Fragility of Web Services (GigaOM)
Amazon S3, the retailer's hot web-based storage system, collapsed yesterday for several hours. It probably won't be enough to discourage users, or stop startups from using it. In fact it's a testament of its popularity that it was fairly noticeable across several major sites. Anyway, Om Malik, who recently put on a conference about infrastructure and cloud computing, etc. offers up some thoughts.