Opening Bell: 01.16.09

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Citi To Split Into Bad Bank/Worse Bank (Reuters)
"Citigroup Inc unveiled a plan to break into two businesses as a way to shed troubled assets, and reported an $8.29 billion fourth-quarter loss, its fifth straight quarterly loss.
The company also said on Friday that it anticipated more departures from its board, which is losing Robert Rubin as a director later this year. Nevertheless, Citigroup shares rose 14.9 percent to $4.40 in premarket trading, in part because of hope about the bank's plans to restructure and separate its good assets from its bad ones."
Bank of America To Get $20B, $118B Guarantee (WSJ)
Apparently there's anger abound as BoA exec's feel like they've been duped because Merrill's balance sheet could reasonably be used to wipe one's ass. There's only two real ways this could go: either Bank of America comes out and says that they were caught off guard by the standing of Merrill's balance sheet, in which case you really have to ask whether or not everyone was at least sober during the valuation, or they say they knew.
They're calling the preliminary loss at Merrill at $15.41B, while the BAC 4Q numbers are in at $1.8B. Headline of press release from Bank of Amerillwide: "Bank of America Earns $4 Billion in 2008."
"A Miracle On the Hudson" (Bloomberg)
It's quite possible that's both the first and last time I'll ever quote Paterson, but it is what it is.
""It's somewhere between remarkable and miraculous; probably more miraculous," said Mann, of R.W. Mann & Co. in Port Washington, New York. "If you had choreographed this, you couldn't have done any better and couldn't have done it as quickly.""
For those of you wondering about Bankers on board the aircraft, it appears BoA had a large group on the plane, and Wells Fargo had three. Be sure to reach out to your colleagues today.
O'Bama Has Access To Remaining Tarp Money (WSJ)
It's quite possible that the expectations and optimism are far outshining the capabilities of the President Elect to perform. That said, it's also quite possible that those same expectations and optimistic views will create enough momentum to pull us out of this.
Wall Street Still Alive (WSJ)
"Though a number of the society's luminaries -- including former Bear Stearns Cos. Chief Executive James E. Cayne, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s Richard S. Fuld Jr. and ex-Merrill Lynch & Co. Chief Stanley O'Neal -- have faced rebuke and were conspicuously absent, members still standing haven't lost their sense of humor. This year's attendees gave a rare standing ovation to a rendition of Don McLean's "American Pie," rewritten to read: "Bye, bye to my piece of the pie.""

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