Opening Bell: 05.12.09

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BAC Raises $7.3B In CCB Stake (FT)
BofA is well on it's way to fulfilling it's needed capital a-la stress tests as it's completed selling it's stake in CCB for $7.3B. Shares were sold at a 14.3% discount to close, and the sum leaves BAC with $26.6B to raise.
AIG CEO Liddy Aims to Quell Congressional Criticism (WSJ)
"Rampant, unwarranted criticism of AIG serves only to diminish the value of our businesses around the world," he will tell a U.S. House oversight committee while pleading for a better partnership with the government -- owner of 80% of the company.
Full text of his statement here.
Economists Obviously Out Of Touch With Market Dynamics (Bloomberg)
In what could be a swift kick to the groin of the happy-go-lucky optimistic feeling spreading of recent, a poll of economists has the unemployment rate going to 9.6% next year, and exceeding 8% through 2011. As pointed out in the article, a weak recovery will probably push the Administration to do more stupid things to buoy satisfaction; one can only hope nationalization never makes its way to strip clubs.
Citi Grows A Heart, Tin Man Pissed, Vows Revenge (NYT)
"Citigroup said its committee overseeing the use of taxpayer money approved $44.75 billion in lending initiatives as of March 31. That is up from the $36.5 billion in lending initiatives announced in February, and now includes $5 billion in loans to municipalities.
The loans being offered by Citigroup to state and local governments, municipal agencies, universities and non-profit hospitals would not likely have been made had the bank not received money from the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP."
Pay To Play Probe Ensnares Another (WSJ)
"The New York attorney general is expected to announce soon that an associate of Hank Morris, the indicted political adviser at the center of New York's "pay to play" pension probe, has pleaded guilty to securities fraud and is cooperating with the investigation, according to people familiar with the matter.
Julio Ramirez, age 48, has pleaded guilty to a criminal misdemeanor charge, according to people familiar with the matter. The Securities and Exchange Commission, conducting a parallel investigation, is expected to announce civil charges against Mr. Ramirez."
Trapped Into Living With The Ex (BBC)
"Couples who have split up and want to go their separate ways are increasingly being forced to live apart under the same roof by a lack of movement in the housing market."
Jean-Claude Trichet Wants You To Know Shit's Getting Better (FT)
"Jean-Claude Trichet signalled on Monday that the global downturn had bottomed out with some large economies already able to put the recession behind them and look forward to renewed growth.
The European Central Bank president's comments on Monday in Basel, Switzerland, had added weight because he was speaking on behalf of the world's leading central bankers, not just for the eurozone."
GMAC Could Be Next (WSJ)
Complete with circle charts, the article proffers that we (taxpayers) may have to drop as much as $20B into GMAC.
"Instead, GMAC must be saved, the argument goes, to revive the auto industry and consumer economy. The details of that approach are strikingly scarce. In fact, nearly everything about GMAC -- its mission, board, and future ties to government -- is unknown. As Winston Churchill might put it, GMAC is a financial black hole stuffed into a governance black box."

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