Opening Bell: 08.12.2009

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Atticus Closes Flagship Fund (FT)
Atticus Capital's Barakett is stepping down from his role as Manager of the fund, which has roughly 3.5B in assets. FT says his decision was "purely personal" and had nothing to do with the fact that the fund was off its high water mark.
DiPascali Admits To Madoff Fraud, Judge Denies Bail (NYT)
Frank DiPascali, the Queens kid, pled guilty to 10 counts of fraud and admitted to knowing the whole thing was a sham from the beginning. He detailed for the judge how he and the big M created wire transfers from the London to the NY office to make it look like they were earning commissions, and how they created fake account statements. Judge Sullivan ended up pulling the plug on DiPascali's bail though, claiming that the cash involved vs. the 125 years he was facing amounted to little more than an honor system.
Ackman Easing Interest In Target (NYPost)
Shortly after Ackman's attempt to upend Target's board it looks like the Manager may have started dumping his positions; his exposure has dropped from 7.8% to 4.4%.
JP Morgan Looking To sell 23 Office Properties (WSJ)
On the list: One Chase Manhattan Plaza, and Four New York Plaza, as well as the former WaMu headquarters in downtown Seattle. All in all it will include 7.1MM square feet of space.
HSBC Lays Off 90 in UAE (B24-7.ae)
This is dangerous for several reasons, not the least of which is the debtor's prison the UAE still boasts. Hopefully the company got word to the employees in ample time, if not, Godspeed.
FSA Rules To Reign In Bonuses (Bloomberg)
The FSA has moved to kill banking in the U.K. as the combination of higher taxes and death to bonuses will surely send top talent off shore.
ING Profitable After Three Quarters (NYT)
Looking to show up their Swiss three letter counterpart, the Dutch bank posted a profit of $100MM. Sure, it was down a couple of billion from the year before, and still missed analyst estimates by some two hundred million, but they beat UBS, damnit. That counts for something.
China Arrests Rio Employees (FT)
"Chinese prosecutors have formally arrested four Rio Tinto employees on suspicion of obtaining trade secrets and commercial bribery, making it more likely the highly-politicised case will be brought to trial."

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