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Opening Bell: 02.13.09

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Congress Set To Pass Stimulus Plan (Reuters)
"The U.S. Congress on Friday is expected to pass a $789 billion economic stimulus package that is aimed at unleashing large spending and tax cuts to help dig the economy out of a 14-month recession.
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and Senate are expected to approve the emergency package, giving President Barack Obama a political victory but falling short of his goal of broad Republican backing."
France Calls For Hedge Fund Crackdown (FT)
France, in its infinite wisdom, is essentially calling for the United States and Britain to do a better job of regulating hedge funds, because, well, that's where the majority of them are. No one in France has taken notice though that the lack of fund activity in their country could be attributed to the fact that they often don't have a clue what they're talking about.
Starbucks To Sell Instant Coffee (NYT)
It's really too bad this didn't hit the street about six years ago: I can see hordes of analysts picking up twelve packs of this crap and mixing it at double/triple strength to pull 20 hour shifts.
Merkel Looks To Nationalize Hypo (Bloomberg)
It looks like talks with J.C. Flowers are going south: they're looking for €10/share where as the German Government wasn't willing to explore anything much over market value. The shareholders have obtained council but it doesn't look like ze Germans are going to be willing to budge much on this one: they've all ready put $131B into the company and socialism isn't a word they overly fear.
Geithner Will Be Under Pressure At G7 (NYT)
With banks and investment institutions of vary degrees being nationalized around the world to shore their solvency, Geithner and the American policy (thus far) of private enterprise is facing its critics. He's going to have a shit show on his hands, such that if American banks continue to fail there's going to be downward pressure on the whole system which now includes many foreign governments.
Morgan Stanley Suspends Global Head Of Real Estate For Bribery (FT)
"Morgan Stanley has suspended its global head of real estate investing after revealing that actions by an employee believed to be the former China property head "appear to have violated" the foreign corrupt practices act, a US law that prohibits corporate bribery.
People close to Morgan Stanley said the bank had put Sonny Kalsi, a high-profile banker who leads its big real estate division, on administrative leave effective immediately."

Lone Star and Goldman Among Bidders For New City Real Estate Investment Corp (Reuters)
"Lone Star LS.UL, the Development Bank of Japan DBKJP.UL and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) are among the final bidders for failed Japanese real estate investment trust New City Residence Investment Corp, two people familiar with the transaction said.
The state-owned Development Bank of Japan is teaming up with Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T) and Genkai Capital Management Co to bid in the sale worth about 100 billion yen ($1.1 billion), they said, asking not to be identified as the information is not public."
LSE Names Ex Lehman Broker CEO (Reuters)
"The London Stock Exchange has appointed Xavier Rolet as its new chief executive, putting the equities trading veteran at its helm at a time when it faces increasingly fierce competition.
Rolet, the former head of Lehman Brothers in France, will take over as chief executive on May 20, the LSE said on Friday, taking over from Clara Furse, the first woman to lead the centuries-old stock exchange."