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Opening Bell: 09.03.08

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Copper Kills Tiger Cub, Ospraie's Flagship Fund to Shutter (1440 Wall Street)
So what killed Ospraie? The word that Ospraie was shutting down its flagship fund is being blamed for yesterday's turnaround in the markets, where the Dow flipped from up over 200 to down for the day. CNBC's Charlie Gasparino was the first to report the story that was obviously already a trading desk rumor. The boys at 1440 Wall Street say it was copper that dealt the killing blow. The questions now are what other positions they will have to unwind. Also, Lehman still can't catch a break: it owns 20% of Ospraie.
HSBC, China bank also interested in Lehman: report (Reuters)
Is the SEC investigating these bullish rumors? It seems that we're learning of new potential buyers for Lehman Brothers or its asset management business every few days. The latest report that HSBC and a China bank are interested in Lehman comes from an unidentified source in a Korean newspaper. There's no details on pricing, of course, which has reportedly been the sticking point for the private equity firms bidding for Neuberger Berman and for the Korean Development Bank. Color us skeptical on HSBCL Brothers.

How To Ask Stevie Cohen for a Job
Portfolio has some fun with the idea that so many folks who worked for failed hedge funds land lucrative jobs at other funds. The hires are often defended by the idea that the guys coming from the collapse have the experience of seeing a collapse first hand. So if one failure is a boost, how about two? What if you worked for all the recently failed funds? That should be the best resume ever, right?

Murdoch yearns to buy New York Times - Vanity Fair
(Reuters via Guardian)
Vanity Fair's October issue will contain Michael Wolff's report that Rupert Murdoch yearned to buy the New York Times and mulled buying a sizable minority stake in Bloomberg News. In the future all your news belongs to Rupert.

Foreign Funds Agree to Set Of Guiding Principles
"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices," early free market theorist Adam Smith once wrote. So when the world's largest sovereign-wealth funds agree follow principles for commercial investment, we can't help but wonder cui bono?

Korea military fund may back Lehman bid
(Financial Times)
More bullish Lehman rumors. This one seems designed to counter-balance the news that other Korean banks were balking at participating in a deal to buy Lehman. Now the word is that the KDB may get backing for a pension fund for the Korean military. Do you really think that a foreign state owned bank and a foreign military pension fund is going to be permitted to buy a bank that has access to the primary broker discount window? We don't either.