Opening Bell: 12.09.08

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Wall Street Is No More (Bloomberg)
""There's no more Wall Street," Greenberg, 81, said last night in an interview on Bloomberg's "Money & Politics" television program. "That model just doesn't work because it's at the mercy of rumors.""
This is how cultures of fear are run: rumors are news because the worst is thought to be the only thing that can happen. Fear permeates everything from our love lives to corporate transactions these days - you can't move but for being straddled with it. So, not only is trust completely out the window - but so is the idea that anything good could be borne of taking an outside chance, which is in effect us believing in each other as human beings. So we've lost that.
And while one common enemy is responsible at both fronts it's fought differently depending on where you stand. In money if you want to fight fear you pull a Triple O: you saddle the fuck up, buy the best values in town, and smile gently while everyone calls you insane.
Saying Good-bye To Our Friends In Boston (TVSeriesFinale)
Allen married Denny, and it was beautiful. Thanks for the bat-shit crazy ideas, outstanding quotes, and shootings - you'll be missed.
Copper River To Liquidate (WSJ)
It looks like "Copper River was unable to cash out derivative contracts in which Lehman was the counterparty before the Wall Street company filed for bankruptcy protection" and as PBs started to raise margins, Copper was screwed.
AIG Puts Japanese Life Insurance Co.'s On Block (Reuters)
In an effort to raise capital, AIG has put two Life Insurance companies in Japan on the block. I'm impressed but they're selling off all their shit, but this ends in one of two ways: either the government forgives the loans, or AIG goes out of business.
Russia's Credit Rating Downgraded By S&P (FT)
Russia's Ruble faltered, so S&P kicked it in the sack - with the flight from the currency being more pronounced than less, it appears as though the ratings company didn't feel safe with Russia's long term ability to pay debt.
S&Ps model obviously doesn't account for exports such as hookers, illegal caviar, and weapons to Iran, which is really just sad S&P. I think you need to spend some more time thinking about this.


Potential New Plan For Credit Unions (WSJ)
This is $41B going to corporate Credit Unions, with the hopes of a trickle down effect to mortgage owners resulting in a couple hundred bps off their mortgage.
Australian Westpac Raises Capital (Reuters)
Westpac raised an impressive $1.7B in capital through bond offerings recently, in attempts to bolster its balance sheet. I don't understand: why didn't they just get their government to buy half the bank?
Cramer Calls The Bottom (CNBC)
See above: fear, and disregard.

--William Richards

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