Skip to main content

Opening Bell: 02.10.09

  • Author:
  • Updated:

UBS Posts $6.9B Quarter Loss (NYT)
We've seen a lot of posturing in the past couple of weeks out of UBS: the pre-announcement on behalf of the government; that they're not going to close their Investment Banking arm. It appears the effort was well justified:
"UBS, the Swiss banking giant that sought help from the nation's central bank last year, said Tuesday it lost 8.1 billion Swiss francs, or $6.9 billion, in the fourth quarter as it continued to write down the value of some debt assets and wealth management clients withdrew funds.
The loss, which was bigger than some analysts expected, compares with a not-gain of 13 billion francs in the fourth quarter of 2007 and a profit in the third quarter of last year."
GM To Cut Jobs (WSJ)
"General Motors will cut 10,000 jobs, or 14% of its salaried work force, this year as the auto maker struggles to cope with a steep drop in world-wide vehicle sales. The job cuts are part of the plan the company submitted to Congress in December to secure bailout funding from the federal government. Also, most salaried employees will see a 3% to 7% pay cut, while executives will get a 10% reduction."
This Morning Is A Game Of Sit And Wait (Reuters)
The full details are set to be dropped at 11:00 ET, but the MM outlets are calling for a $500B mix of public and private capital to pull the assets of the books of the banks. You have to look at this with skepticism: there needs to be a very real consideration that funds aren't going to seek to aid the President in his recovery plan, though I admit that the psychological impact of having the two forces united in this goal would be a strong indicator of resolve going forward.
"U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will lay out a bank-rescue plan on Tuesday that will rely on public and private funds to take $500 billion of bad assets off banks' books, sources said.
The plan would also extend a Federal Reserve program aimed at shoring up consumer lending to the troubled mortgage sector, allowing the U.S. central bank to extend up to $1 trillion in loans to holders of a wide variety of asset-backed securities, according to sources."
Kevin Bacon Lands New HBO Film (AP)
We were all worried when Mr. Hollywood lost his ass in the Madoff run; it's good to see he's back at the table making some money:
"The 50-year-old actor was in town for the D.C. premiere of his new HBO film "Taking Chance," at the Motion Picture Association of America. The film premieres Feb. 21 on HBO.

Russia Squirms (Bloomberg)
"Laine Santana, a spokeswoman at HSBC in Hong Kong, was unable to comment. A Deutsche Bank AG official in Singapore declined to comment. Deutsche Bank is among the foreign banks that indicated it would welcome Russian government involvement, Nikkei reported."
Goldman Moves Vegas Trip To Bay Area (CNBC)
Whereas Wells flat out cancelled its excursion, Goldman has decided to move theirs to San Francisco. The move apparently cost the company around $600k in relocation expenses, but it was probably well justified from the bank's perspective if it keeps the talking heads off of the television. Still though: you have to question to the quality of brass in the pants up there - for god's sake, the Griswalds went to Vegas. It is a family fun learning environment, people.


Opening Bell: 11.21.12

Germany Hints At More Financing (WSJ) Germany on Wednesday signaled its willingness to provide additional financing for the euro zone's bailout fund and accept lower interest on loans to Athens, in order to get the Greek rescue back on track and free the next tranche of about €44 billion ($56.40 billion) in loans for the euro zone's weakest member. Merkel Sees Chance For Greek Deal Monday (Reuters) "I believe there are chances, one doesn't know for sure, but there are chances to get a solution on Monday," Merkel told the Bundestag lower house of parliament in a debate on the German budget. But the longing for one act, one miracle solution, one truth that means all our problems are gone tomorrow...this will not be fulfilled. What was neglected over years, over decades, cannot be taken care of overnight and therefore we will need to continue to move step by step." H-P Says It Was Duped (WSJ) The technology giant said that an internal investigation had revealed "serious accounting improprieties" and "outright misrepresentations" in connection with U.K. software maker Autonomy, which H-P acquired for $11.1 billion in October 2011. "There appears to have been a willful sustained effort" to inflate Autonomy's revenue and profitability, said Chief Executive Meg Whitman. "This was designed to be hidden." Michael Lynch, Autonomy's founder and former CEO, fired back hours later, denying improper accounting and accusing H-P of trying to hide its mismanagement. "We completely reject the allegations," said Mr. Lynch, who left H-P earlier this year. "As soon as there is some flesh put on the bones we will show they are not true." Analysts Had Questioned Autonomy’s Accounting Years Ago (CNBC) Paul Morland, technology research analyst at broking and advisory house Peel Hunt, told CNBC that he had noticed three red flags in Autonomy’s accounts in the years leading up to the HP acquisition: poor cash conversion, an inflated organic growth rate, and the categorizing of hardware sales as software. London Bankers Become Landlords as Rents Hit Record (Bloomberg) Vivek Jeswani became a landlord by accident when Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) transferred him to New York two weeks after he moved into a new home in central London. Now back in the U.K., Jeswani views the apartment in Baker Street, the fictional home of Sherlock Holmes, as one of his best assets and is about to buy another home to expand his rental business. “There are no other investments as attractive and you’ve got some security if you’ve got an asset you can use yourself,” the 36-year-old risk officer at China Construction Bank Corp.’s U.K. unit said. “There’s a good yield over 5 percent and being in central London, you’ve got demand domestically and internationally.” Trading Charges Reach SAC (WSJ) The hedge funds reaped $276 million in profits and losses avoided based on that information, criminal and civil authorities said—far dwarfing that of any previous insider-trading case. The bulk of the trading profits generated by Mr. Martoma was paid to Mr. Cohen, a person close to the hedge fund said. Fed Still Trying To Push Down Rates (WSJ) Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested that the central bank will keep trying to push down long-term interest rates in 2013, as federal tax and spending policies become a more substantial headwind to the U.S. economy. "We will continue to do our best to add monetary-policy support to the recovery," Mr. Bernanke said at the New York Economic Club, answering a question about how the Federal Reserve would respond to impending spending cuts or tax increases that might restrain economic growth. 'Stiletto Surgery' alters pinky toe for better fit (Fox) These days, some women will do just about anything to fit into their favorite pair of high heels – including surgery. A growing number of women are paying thousands of dollars to surgically alter their feet just to make wearing heels a more comfortable experience. Surgical procedures such as shortening toes, receiving foot injections and even completely cutting off pinky toes are on the rise. “Unless you’ve been there, and you can’t find shoes, and you’re in pain, don’t judge,” said Susan Deming, a patient who recently underwent a toe-shortening procedure. Adoboli’s Fate Decided at Wine Bar as UBS Market Bets Unraveled (Bloomberg) On a cool late summer evening last year in London’s financial district, with the euro-zone crisis worsening and Greece tottering on the edge of default, Kweku Adoboli says he asked the three traders who worked with him at UBS AG’s exchange-traded funds desk to join him for a drink. Adoboli said in a post on his Facebook page that he needed “a miracle” as his bets on the market imploded. That night at a wine bar across the street from their office, Adoboli asked John Hughes, the senior trader on the ETF desk, and two junior traders, what to do. The others decided he should take the blame for billions of dollars in losses and an elaborate web of secret trades in what he called an umbrella account that once held $40 million in hidden profits. “I knew I was going to lose my job anyway, I had already resigned myself to that, so fair enough,” the 32-year-old Adoboli testified last month about the meeting, which the other traders deny took place. Jobless Claims in U.S. Decrease (Bloomberg) Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week as damage to the labor market caused by superstorm Sandy began to subside. Jobless claims decreased by 41,000 to 410,000 in the week ended Nov. 17, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The number of applications matched the median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Soros Buying Gold as Record Prices Seen on Stimulus (Bloomberg) The metal will rise every quarter next year and average $1,925 an ounce in the final three months, or 11 percent more than now, according to the median of 16 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Paulson & Co. has a $3.66 billion bet through the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest gold-backed exchange- traded product, and Soros Fund Management LLC increased its holdings by 49 percent in the third quarter, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings show. 'Cannibal Cop' Gilberto Valle planned to to cook up 'some girl meat' on Thanksgiving (NYDN) The "Cannibal Cop" had his own twist for a Thanksgiving dinner this year — cooking up “some girl meat,” prosecutors revealed Tuesday. Gilberto Valle, 28 — who allegedly kept a database of at least 100 women he plotted to rape, cook and eat — planned the freakish feast with one of his online conspirators earlier this year, prosecutors said. “I’m planning on getting me some girl meat,” he wrote to his pal on Feb. 9. “Really tell me more,” responded the friend. “It’s this November, for Thanksgiving. It’s a long way off but I’m getting the plan in motion now,” Valle wrote.