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Opening Bell: 07.27.09

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Citi In $100 Million Pay Clash (WSJ)
Andrew Hall, the top Phibro trader who (sometimes) lives in a castle (it's his vacation home in Germany) is still fighting hard to get the hundred mill owed to him for heading up the bank's energy trading unit which "occasionally accounts for a disproportionate chunk of Citigroup income." This obviously puts Vikram and Co in an awkward position, in the face of the whole being owned by the government situation, though it's not even like it's really up to them anyway. Comp Cop Feinberg will ultimately decide whether or not the ballet practicing Hall gets his money.
US Pay Czar To Rework Contracts Deemed High (WSJ)
Speaking of! Technically, Feinberg can't rip up anyone's contract, but he can apply pressure to their employer to do so, and, if that doesn't work, can do stuff like subtract whatever they're getting for a bonus from their base pay and/or next year's pay.

High-Frequency Trading Faces Challenge as Schumer Presses SEC
Chucky wants it banned: "This kind of unfair access seriously compromises the integrity of our markets and creates a two-tiered system, where a privileged group of insiders receives preferential treatment," Schumer wrote. "If allowed to continue, these practices will undermine the confidence of ordinary investors, and drive them away from our capital markets."
The Great Preventer, by Nouriel Roubini (NYT)
Dr. Doom endorses The Beard: "Mr. Bernanke deserves to be reappointed so that he can manage the Fed's exit from its most radical economic intervention since its creation in 1913."

Ryanair Stock Drops on Outlook for Fares, Earnings
Sounds like it's time to implement O'Leary's revolutionary idea.
Kuwait Financier Facing U.S. Fraud Suit Found Dead (Reuters)
Hazem Al-Braikan, chief executive of Al Raya Investment, believed to have shot himself.
Citi 'milestone' as Washington takes 34% stake (FT)
Vikram is apparently super excited about the bank's newfound "financial strength."
Citi Shares May Rebound, Could Double By 2012 (Reuters)
Don't get too excited: "the bank will be 'hard-pressed' to approach $10 in coming years," but beggars can't be choosers and over five bucks would be nice!
Is Goldman Sachs Evil? (NYM)
Or just that damn good?