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Opening Bell: 03.11.09

Paulson Scores Big On Lloyds Failure (Bloomberg)
JP may have made as much as $428MM during his stint as an anti-Lloyds financial terrorist; a nice little gain to be sure.
"The firm took short positions in London-based Lloyds and HBOS that were valued at 367 million pounds in September, based on the holdings and share prices on the dates they were reported. The stake fell below the reporting threshold on March 9, regulatory filings show.
Paulson, which made $3 billion anticipating the U.S. housing market would collapse, profited as Lloyds, HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc sought bailouts from British taxpayers. Lloyds surrendered control to the government on March 7 in exchange for asset guarantees. Paulson made least 295 million pounds shorting RBS, bringing its
profit from betting U.K. banking stocks would drop to 606 million pounds, according to earlier disclosures."
Banks Tell Government To Get Bent (NYT)
We're starting to see more and more banks join the bandwagon in re: giving the government money back/refusing to take it - which isn't necessarily a good thing. That said, we're going to see two sides to this. On the one side, we're going to see the government regulators claim that the repayments refusals are proof that the plan is working, and that they've priced the government money (in incentives) such that
it's not taken unless absolutely needed by the banks. On the other side, we're going to see that banks don't give a shit, and they'd rather dry up liquidity all together than have to listen to the government tell them what to do.
"Other institutions like Johnson Bank of Racine, Wis., initially expressed interest in seeking bailout funds but have now changed their minds. Bank executives told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that one reason they rejected the government money was to avoid any disruption in the bank's role in the local community, including supporting the
zoo or opera company if they chose to."
UBS Restates 2008 Earnings (WSJ)
I'm not long UBS by any means, but I have to admit that the continual coverage of their fuck ups is getting annoying: they need to come up with some good news or GTFO. The only thing they have going for them at this point is that they stood up to the US, and they had a government mandate ordering them to do such after they failed miserably at showing any signs of testicles - so credit is short there.
Geithner On Charlie Rose (Reuters)
Flat out, Charlie Rose is where the money is. In re: Geither, we need to see him move away from being the President's lap dog, and move towards an independent objective opinion on the economy. As long as people think he's nothing more than a mouth for President Obama, no one's really going to give a shit what he thinks (no offense there,
Companies Kill Retirement Contributions (FT)
Companies are cutting their 401(k) contributions to employees.
Cue unions and sympathetic senators.
Redemptions Slowed In February (Bloomberg)
"Investors pulled out a total of $11 billion from hedge funds in February as stocks worldwide tumbled amid signs a global recession is deepening.
Redemptions were about a third of the value in January, after the industry lost about $400 billion from its June peak to December through market losses and withdrawals, a preliminary Eurekahedge Pte report showed. The February figures were based on 41 percent of funds that disclosed estimates by March 10 to the Singapore-based research