Opening Bell: 08.14.09

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Madoff Man Dodges Drug, Gun Charges (NYP)
Attention to anyone intimately involved in the Madoff scam yet to confess-- do it and the feds will promise not to go after you on stuff like ""use of controlled substances" and possessing illegal firearms. Frank DiPascali knows what we're talking about.
Merrill Ramps Up Recruitment Program (FT)
Industry recruiters and people within the company say Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management is offering signing bonuses of 140 percent of the previous 12 months' "production" to lure top advisers, and another 200 per cent over the next five years if the advisers hit aggressive growth targets. "That's more than they've ever offered," said one recruiter. "It's huge."
Blackstone's Schwarzman Tops Best-Paid Chiefs With $702 Million (Bloomberg)
The package for Schwarzman included $2.3 million of compensation and almost $699.8 million from the vesting of one- quarter of the equity granted as he took the firm public at $31 a share in 2007.
Pimco's Bill Gross Pays $23 Million in California (WSJ)
The bayfront Newport Beach manse, which had been listed for $26 million, includes a 1979 Georgian home of 11,000 square feet with nine bedrooms and 12 baths all of which Billiam plans to tear down.
Krawcheck Buys $1 Million Bank Of America Stock (Reuters)
Another round for everyone, says Ken Lewis, still down at the bar celebrating Paulson getting on board this bitch.
Airlines to Require More Passenger Data (WSJ)
Please have your sperm samples ready before boarding.
Dollar Dominatrix Acquires Broker-Dealer (Reuters)
Meredith Whitney: "We are excited to complete the acquisition of the broker-dealer in such a timely manner. This acquisition will broaden the scope of our services and capabilities to our clients greatly and we look forward to this new addition to the platform." Now, administer the testicle clamps!
Tax-Cheat Showdown: Fess Up or Stay Quiet? (WSJ)
Would you come clean on your own or risk being exposed by the authorities and having to sully TurboTax's good name on CSPAN, as a for instance?

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