Opening Bell: 11.30.09


Bernanke Starts Fed Debate Early (WSJ)
Ben Bernanke would prefer the Federal Reserve not be stripped of its power. Senator Bernie Sanders would prefer the Beard be stripped of his job: "If he's the smartest guy in the world, why didn't he do anything to prevent us from sinking into this disaster that Wall Street caused and which he was a part of?" Mr. Sanders said on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." Mr. Sanders was referring to Foreign Policy Magazine's list of the "Top 100 Global Thinkers," which ranked Mr. Bernanke as No. 1. While Mr. Bernanke is expected to win confirmation, Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, said Sunday that he would oppose him.
UBS Threatens To Move HQ From Switzerland (Reuters)
If Switzerland dares to lay too many regulations on the tax evaders' asses, they are so out of there, CEO Oswald Gruebel apparently threatened over the weekend.
U.A.E. Central Bank Says It `Stands Behind' Lenders, Offers Loan Facility (Bloomberg)
"This is a timely pre-emptive move from the central bank," Ahmet Akarli, an economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in London, said in a note. The central bank is "ensuring that local markets are operational" and banks "have access to ample liquidity."
Bank of America Trims Salary for 2 Top Executives (WSJ)
Bank of America said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it has cut the salaries of Chief Financial Officer Joe Price, along with it mortgage unit president Barbara Desoer, from $800,000 per year to $500,000.
Ari Kiev, a Psychiatrist, Dies at 75 (NYT)
The former SAC Capital shrink in-residence-- he left SAC in January to start Kiev Consulting-- passed away on November 18 due to complications related to cancer.
U.A.E. Blocks Sunday Times Over Coverage of Dubai Debt Crisis (Bloomberg)
The Sunday Times is awaiting further instructions from the authorities, the office said in a statement. Meanwhile, Vikram would like to know if he can arrange to block the sale of any New York-based papers talking smack about Citi.
Forget Fleece? Wool Makes A Comeback (WSJ)
Thirty financial groups on systemic risk list (FT)
Thirty global financial institutions make up a list that regulators are earmarking for "cross-border supervision exercises." They are:
* Bank of America Merrill Lynch
* Citigroup
* Goldman Sachs
* JPMorgan Chase
* Morgan Stanley
* Royal Bank of Canada
* Barclays
* Royal Bank of Scotland

* Standard Chartered
* Credit Suisse
* BNP Paribas
* Société Générale
* Santander
* Mitsubishi UFJ
* Mizuho
* Nomura
* Sumitomo Mitsui
* Banca Intesa
* UniCredit
* Deutsche Bank
* Aegon
* Allianz
* Aviva
* Axa
* Swiss Re
* Zurich


Opening Bell: 03.21.12

Hartford Bows to Paulson Wish to Exit Annuity Business (WSJ, earlier) Bowing to pressure from hedge-fund titan John Paulson, Hartford Financial Services Group said Wednesday it would exit its annuity business and weigh a sale of a large portion of its life-insurance operation. The move will allow Hartford to focus on its property-casualty unit, where the company got its start more than 200 years ago, as well as its group benefits business and its "high return" mutual fund operation, Chief Executive Liam McGee said in a statement. The announcement marks a substantial change of strategy for Hartford, which has long resisted calls to separate its life insurer from its property-casualty arm. Mr. Paulson, whose hedge fund is Hartford's largest shareholder, became the latest to push for such a move when he took to the company's fourth-quarter-earnings call in February to criticize management and urge them to "do something drastic" to boost the share price. Bernanke As Professor Tries To Buff Fed's Image (NYT) Mr. Bernanke, one of the most powerful men in Washington, has agreed to moonlight as a college professor, delivering four lectures on central banking over the next two weeks. He also will read some student papers...“It always surprises you to realize that this guy actually exists and he’s not just on TV,” said Max Sanders, a 19-year-old from New York. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear lectures from him,” said Noah Wiviott, 21, of New Jersey. “He clearly knows what he’s talking about.” Not everyone, however, found him convincing. Yuqi Wu, a 20-year-old student from China, said she did not agree with Mr. Bernanke’s criticism of her government’s monetary policy. “I definitely support the Chinese government’s position,” she said. Buffett Seizes Lead in Bet on Stocks Beating Hedge Funds (Bloomberg) Warren Buffett made a friendly bet four years ago that funds that invest in hedge funds for their clients couldn’t beat the stock market over a decade. So far he’s winning. The wager that began on Jan. 1, 2008, pits the Omaha, Nebraska, billionaire against Protégé Partners LLC, a New York fund of hedge funds co-founded by Ted Seides and Jeffrey Tarrant. Protégé built an index of five funds that invest in hedge funds to compete against a Vanguard mutual fund that tracks the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The winner’s charity of choice gets $1 million when the bet ends on Dec. 31, 2017. Banks Seek Delay On Volcker Rule (WSJ) The Volcker rule, which restricts banks' ability to trade with their own money, is set to take effect July 21, whether or not regulators have a final rule in place, according to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said last month that regulators likely wouldn't have a rule in time. A group representing banks and others involved in bundling and selling loans is warning that deals worth hundreds of billions of dollars may need to be shut down because of wording in the law requiring compliance with a rule that doesn't yet exist. Cops arrest Occupy Wall Street protesters in Union Square (NYP) Cops shut down Union Square and kicked out a large crowd of Occupy Wall Street protesters last night, arresting nine demonstrators last night and this morning, just days after larger clashes at the group's former encampment downtown. I love lava lamp (Politico) Another amusing exchange as Mitt Romney walked past a Chicago Google employee with a big blue lava lamp (turned off) on his desk: "That's a big lava lamp, congratulations," Romney said. Wilbur Ross: Long-Term Bond Bubble Getting Ready To Burst (CNBC) "I think the greatest bubble that is about to burst is the 10-year and longer Treasury, because the idea that inflation is gone forever and for all time, and therefore these artificially low rates can last, is silly," the president of W.H. Ross & Co. said in an interview. Bernanke: Fed Is Ready To Act If Europe Falters (Reuters) "In the past few months, financial stresses in Europe have lessened, which has contributed to an improved tone of financial markets around the world, including in the United States," Bernanke said in testimony prepared for a House hearing Wednesday. Bernanke stresses, however, that a full resolution of the crisis "will require a further strengthening of the European banking system; a significant expansion of financial backstops, or “firewalls,” to guard against contagion in sovereign debt markets." Greece Names New Finance Minister (WSJ) Greek Deputy Finance Minister Philippos Sachinidis will be the country's new finance minister, replacing Evangelos Venizelos, the prime minister's office said Wednesday.

Opening Bell: 3.16.15

Germans want Greece to GTFO; Father/daughter financial advisers/cheerleaders exit Merrill Lynch; "The man drives through the mall, nearly hitting several bystanders, while being chased by the police"; AND MORE.

Opening Bell: 5.29.15

Dick Fuld tells conference attendee to "bite" him, says mother still loves him; Moody's upgrades banks; "Wall Street’s Young Guns Brace for First Big Test"; Paul Singer says bet against bonds; "Woman Stabbed In BBQ Argument Over Last Rib"; and more.