Opening Bell: 01.08.09

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BoA Begins Layoffs (NYP)
The Post relays the news we told you yesterday: Bank of Amerillwide has begun it canning campaign. More details later this morning.
BOE Cuts Rate to Lowest Since Bank's Creation in 1694 (Bloomberg)
"The Monetary Policy Committee, led by Governor Mervyn King, trimmed the bank rate by a half point to 1.5 percent. The result matched the median forecast of 60 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The pound rose against the euro and the dollar.
"The availability of credit to both households and businesses has tightened further, pointing to the need for further measures to increase the flow of lending to the non- financial sector," the Bank of England said in a statement. "Output is likely to continue to fall sharply during the first part of this year."
SEC Reopens Pequot Insider Trading Probe (FINalternatives)
I can imagine that divorce sucks, but when your divorce proceedings bring to light the evidence needed for charges against your employer for insider trading: you've just fucked up.
"The resurrected probe comes following the revelation that Pequot or founder Arthur Samberg paid a former Microsoft employee who briefly worked for the hedge fund $1.4 million. The payments--two each of $700,000, with another due in April--came to light in financial statements filed by former analyst David Zilkha in divorce proceedings."
And by God, since the SEC is just a bunch of ingrates walking around banging their heads on doorknobs, let's get the Senate involved too: "Re-opening this case is overdue," Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement yesterday. "There are questions about why the SEC's investigation was shut down in the first place. I hope this isn't too little, too late."
Citi Meeting With Senators In Re: Mortgages (Reuters)
Citi is one of the most tragically defunct banks in all of history, so of course they should be the advising government. What's more: the US Senate appears to be listening as though Citi's advice and insight aren't what caused Citi to need enough money to float an island nation until the apocalypse.
If anyone on the Hill is reading: You screwed us with relative inaction last year, and now you're taking advice from the most unstable-yet-operating bank within your geographic boundaries. Do you really think you have a firm grasp on the situation?

Popular Internet Financial Pundit Arrested In South Korea
(DJ)

The Internet user, under the alias "Minerva," caused a stir in recent months with more than 200 postings about the country's financial crunch and the global economic crisis.
[...]
His writings irritated authorities with their sharp criticism of the government's economic policy and its intervention in the foreign exchange market.


ECB To World: It's A Secret. Also: You Suck (FT)
The ECB did its best to cause our oh-so-femme accent-having cousins in the old world to soil themselves in December with a gift of 75 bps which in turn led to 175bps down since October. But, as they meet to discuss possible cuts in the near future, there's no real sign that they might run for the pleasure-dome that is free money; of course there's no real sign they won't.
It's a waiting game, people, but I'm calling for 50bps.
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner (Reuters)
HSBC is calling for strength in US Equities in 2009. Notice my relative enthusiasm.
"U.S. stocks are expected to pick up following their plunge last year, as corporate profits were strong and companies were not in much debt, said Arjuna Mahendran, managing director and head of investment strategy at HSBC's private bank in Asia."
India vows to end fraud (Reuters)
Awesome! We'll be here, let us know when you're done.

--William Richards

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