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Opening Bell: 07.29.09

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Phibro Mum After White House Slams Reported $100 Million Payday (Reuters)
'Cause there's nothing to say. Just give Andrew Hall his bag of money, and nobody gets hurt.
Bernie: SEC Was Asleep (NYP)
Ponzi Boy cannot stress enough just how easy it was to pull this thing off.
Goldman Disputes 'Evil' Tag (NYP)
Here's what the delightfully British Lucas van Praag had to say about this article: "garbled nonsense," "shoddy journalism," and "The mistakes are so egregious that one has to question Mr. Hagan's motives."
UBS Sued over 77-Year-Old Lady's $26 Million Loss (AP)
Awkward: "Chan Wai-yee, who was born in mainland China, filed a lawsuit Tuesday saying UBS bankers never spelled out the risk and potential losses of investing in leveraged derivative products, known as accumulators, that bet on Hong Kong stocks.
Chan also says the bank led her to sign several documents in English -- including one that made her a "professional investor" under local securities regulations -- even though she doesn't speak the language and never finished primary school."
Inquiry Widens as UBS Client Pleads Guilty (NYT)
This is the thanks the Swiss get for such hard work and creativity? "Mr. Chernick's private banker and a Swiss lawyer would dress as tourists when meeting Mr. Chernick at New York hotels, with the executive lying to customs officials by saying he was there to visit his brother. They mailed, rather than hand-carried, Mr. Chernick's bank statements, for fear that customs officials would seize hard copies. They also cut out Mr. Chernick's name and address from printed statements."
A Comprehensive View On Bank Profits (WSJ)
The "secret" to Wells Fargo's success: FASB.
Michael Milken's New Business Advice Site (Bits)
Bizmore is only backed, and not edited, by Milken but that doesn't mean he can't pop in every now and then to dispense pearls of wisdom re: doing time.
Should You Invest In Mortgage-Backed Securities? (WSJ)
The BlackRock Legacy Securities Public-Private Trust says yes.


Opening Bell: 03.23.12

Credit Suisse Chief Takes Sharp Pay Cut (WSJ) Mr. Dougan's compensation more than halved to 5.8 million Swiss francs ($6.3 million) from 12.8 million francs a year earlier. Like all of Credit Suisse's top managers, he didn't get a cash bonus. While Mr. Dougan's base salary remained unchanged, his bonus, awarded in the form of deferred stocks, fell 69% to reflect the sharp drop in profits last year and the 41% drop in Credit Suisse's share price in 2011. SEC Probes Rapid Trading (WSJ) Federal securities regulators are examining whether some sophisticated, rapid-fire trading firms have used their close links to computerized stock exchanges to gain an unfair advantage over other investors, people familiar with the matter say. The wide-ranging probe, being handled by the enforcement staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is focusing on the computer-driven trading platforms of exchanges, including BATS Global Markets Inc., the people said. Fed’s Bullard Sees Price Threat From G-7 Delaying Tighter Policy (Bloomberg) U.S. monetary policy may be at a “turning point” and the Fed’s first interest-rate increase since the global financial crisis could come as soon as late 2013, Bullard said in a speech earlier today. That view contrasts with a debate among Fed policy makers on whether more stimulus is needed even after the U.S. economy accelerated and the unemployment rate fell. Bales Had Troubled Broker Career Before Allegations (Bloomberg) Robert Bales, the U.S. soldier suspected of shooting Afghan civilians, started selling community-bank stocks in 1996 as a 23-year-old driving a Chevy Cavalier. That may have been the peak of his financial career. Before Bales enlisted in the Army in 2001 after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he worked at five firms in five years. After he left the industry, he was hit with a $1.5 million settlement for his role in swindling a couple out of more than $600,000 from their retirement account. “He wanted to be an investment adviser, and he had a plan as to how he was going to accomplish that,” said Robert K. Cargin, who hired Bales in September 2000 at Quantum Securities Corp. in Westerville, Ohio. “It just didn’t work out.” BofA Tests An Option To Foreclosure (WSJ) Borrowers would agree to a what is known as a "deed-in-lieu" of foreclosure, where they essentially sign over ownership of the property to the lender. This is less costly to the bank and also does less damage to a borrower's credit than a foreclosure. In exchange, former owners would be offered one-year leases with options to renew the leases in each of the following two years at rents that the bank determines are at or below the current market price. Borrowers would have to demonstrate an ability to pay the market rent. ‘Linsanity’ pot nipped in bud (NYP) The Knicks’ new superstar point guard’s legal eagles threw cease-and-desist orders at three California medical-marijuana dispensaries that were offering customers “Linsanity” weed...Two of the dispensaries discontinued the names and the other simply rebranded its grass “Insanity.” Skowron plans to appeal court’s ruling on $10.2M (NYP) Joseph “Chip” Skowron, the former FrontPoint fund manager now jailed for insider trading, plans to fight a judge’s ruling that he pay $10.2 million to his former employer, Morgan Stanley. Skowron’s attorney intends to appeal the ruling handed down Tuesday by Manhattan federal judge Denise Cote, Skowron’s spokesman, Montieth Illingworth, said. Illingworth also blasted Morgan Stanley’s plans to pursue another $33 million, which Cote denied in her decision. The bank, which owned FrontPoint when the scandal hit and clients fled, wanted a total of $45 million in victim’s compensation. UBS Sees ‘Earlier’ Fed Move; Barclays Sees Rates on Hold (Bloomberg) “We regard the trend toward higher yields as a healthy development,” Andrew Cates in Singapore and Larry Hatheway and Christine Li in London wrote in a UBS report yesterday. “It reflects a healing process in the U.S. economy and recognition that the Fed will be able to normalize monetary policy earlier than many envisage.” Investors should buy two-year Treasuries, Ajay Rajadhyaksha and Dean Maki, New York-based analysts at Barclays, wrote in a report yesterday. “We consider the recent rise in Fed hike expectations premature,” they wrote Obama To Tap Kim For World Bank Post (AP) President Barack Obama will nominate Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim to head the World Bank, a surprise pick for the international financial institution's top job, senior administration officials said.