Opening Bell: 05.01.09

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Directors Lend Full Support To Lewis (WSJ)
The deposed Chairman is still apparently still being treated every-bit-like a gentlemen by his peers. Regarding him being fired, BAC is going with complete avoidance of the topic.
"A person familiar with the deliberations said the 18-member board isn't considering pushing out or easing aside the 62-year-old Mr. Lewis following Wednesday's shareholder vote to strip the CEO of his duties as chairman. The subject of succession didn't come up during a board meeting Wednesday or in recent discussions with regulators."
Senate Has Moment Of Sanity, Won't Let Judges Alter Mortgages (NYT)
It looks like mortgages are safe for the time being, though the article does bring up an interesting notes on the populist driving force behind the Credit Card changes being sought:
"The House of Representatives, meanwhile, overwhelmingly approved a bill backed by the Obama administration that would limit the ability of credit card companies to charge high fees and penalties. The bill, approved 357 to 70, still faces obstacles in the Senate, where -- as the action on Thursday illustrated -- the industry has more clout, particularly among Republicans and moderate Democrats. In recent days the White House, partly in response to polls showing the significant public outrage over high fees charged by credit card companies, has begun to work for its passage."
Switzerland Asks US Court To Halt UBS Tax Case (Reuters)
The Swiss are claiming that if the US continues, and is successful in its request, that they'll effectively circumvent Swiss sovereignty and violate international law.
"Switzerland, which is trying to defend its jealousy guarded tradition of bank secrecy, asked the United States last weekend to drop the case against UBS in return for a new tax accord with Washington."
Brits Blame Bankers For Financial System Woes (CNBC)
""The culture within parts of British banking has increasingly been one of risk-taking leading to the meltdown that we have witnessed," a cross-party committee of politicians said in a damning 121-page report into the collapse of the banking sector.
The Treasury Select Committee made a series of recommendations and said the possible split of retail and investment banking arms remained a "live issue which requires further debate".
Citi Sells Japanese Securities Unit (Bloomberg)
Depending on where you found it, you'll either see that it sold for $5.5B at Bloomberg, or $7.9B at Financial Times.
AIG, Committee Agree On Date For Testimony (WSJ)
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform wants to see Liddy, but it looks like the feeling isn't mutual (one can't imagine why after the lovely reception he got last time). While the stated topic is what AIG is doing to protect Americans, earnings will be released the week before suggesting this could be much more fun.

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