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Opening Bell: 01.02.09

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Ponzi Pal Pimps Out House (Page Six)
Victory for the Noels! The Fairfield Greenwich family has finally recouped some of its $7.5 billion losses. It'll spread pretty thinly over the firm's many, many now-destitute investors but what can you do? We're just happy to see Greenwich's finest finally catch a break, and hope it's a sign of things to come. The Post reports that after weeks of attempting to rent out their shack on the island of Mustique, the Noel's were able to find a couple willing to shell out $55,000 a week for the opportunity to have a good laugh. For those of you unable to afford the comedic relief (Walter, Monica), JO&C to what you're missing here.
Bank of America, Wells close mergers as banking transforms (Reuters)
Bank of AmerrillWide was made official yesterday. A Mount Rushmore-esque erection but with the faces of Ken Lewis, Stan O'Neal and Angelo Mozilo will be on display in the BoA lobby starting Monday.
GMAC, GM to Amend Financing Agreement (WSJ)

GMAC LLC said Friday that it agreed to amend its financing-services agreement with General Motors Corp., allowing GM the option to offer auto financing incentives through a third-party financing source for two years under some circumstances.
Under the original 2006 agreement, whenever GM offers financing incentives such as lower interest rates than market rates, it was obliged to do so through GMAC. GM received an annual fee from GMAC for granting the exclusive right to provide that financing, which was effective through November 2016. GM and GMAC agreed to finalize the amendment by March 29.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, GMAC said that after the two-year period, GM can offer any such incentive programs on a graduated basis through third parties on a non-exclusive, side-by-side basis with GMAC.

Performance for the Kensington segment of our favorite Midwestern hedge fund (okay, top five), supposedly:

Through 12/24/08:
MTD: -9.35%
YTD: -57.5%
And don't forget, ladies!