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Opening Bell: 05.15.09

Simons Questioned by Investors: Disparity Is Seen in Running of Two Renaissance Funds
Yes. Weknow!

My Personal Credit Crisis
"If there was anybody who should have avoided the mortgage catastrophe, it was I. As an economics reporter for The New York Times, I have been the paper's chief eyes and ears on the Federal Reserve for the past six years. I watched Alan Greenspan and his successor, Ben S. Bernanke, at close range. I wrote several early-warning articles in 2004 about the spike in go-go mortgages. Before that, I had a hand in covering the Asian financial crisis of 1997, the Russia meltdown in 1998 and the dot-com collapse in 2000. I know a lot about the curveballs that the economy can throw at us."
Barclays Global Investors For Sale (Reuters)
They're looking for $10B in the sale of the company; rumor has it Blackrock is interested and Bloomberg seems to think BNY Mellon might be willing to put up the cash.
Six Insurers Named To Get Government Capital (NYT)
"The department said the Hartford Financial Services Group, Prudential Financial, Lincoln National, Allstate, Ameriprise and Principal Financial Group have all received approval for capital infusions, subject to terms still to be negotiated."
Obama Still Pushing Against Credit Cards (NYT)
"As the Senate deliberated on legislation, Mr. Obama convened a town-hall-style meeting here led off by a woman who complained of being gouged by her credit card company. The president cited her story to make the case that banks and credit card companies have been taking advantage of loose rules to make money at the expense of hard-working Americans."
GMAC Considering Name Change (WSJ)
I did this when I got out of prison, totally works.
"The company's executives hope that the rebranding of GMAC Bank will spur retail deposit growth, a key funding source for GMAC amid the continuing credit squeeze. Aside from federal help, GMAC LLC, the lender affiliated with General Motors Corp., has few avenues to raise capital."

Thoughts On Transparent Derivatives Trades (WSJ)
"Under the proposed reforms,standard derivative products such as credit default swaps (CDS) -- in which one party sells insurance to another party against the possibility of default by a firm or country -- will be traded on open, centralized exchanges. Trades will thus be recorded on a timely basis and regulators will gain unfettered access to information on prices, volumes and the risk exposures of all parties to these contracts. It has not yet been recommended that all such information be made available fully to the public. It should be.
Certain other financial derivatives -- such as collateralized debt and loan obligations (CDOs and CLOs), in which pools of bonds and loans are put together and their cash flows sliced up -- are not amenable to trading on a public exchange because of their nonstandard nature. But they too pose a systemic risk and need to meet minimum levels of transparency."