Opening Bell: 02.17.10

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Ex-banker Steven Mandala steals $780,000 from Merrill Lynch, buys Ferrari (NYDN)
Oh no he di'int! "The money went into his parents' checking account to purchase the sports car," Korenstein said. "He purchased the Ferrari, drove the Ferrari, but it's registered to his father's name."
Fox Business lures Gasparino away from CNBC (WaPo)
"I always wanted to work for Fox," Gasparino says. "I don't take chances with stories. I do take entrepreneurial chances with my career." Gasparino denies that tensions at CNBC were a factor in his decision, saying "newsrooms are generally seething places" and he tends to "wear my heart on my sleeve." But he did issue a warning to his former employer: "My job is to rip the lungs out of the competition for Fox Business Network."
Busy Buffett Ends An Annual Meeting Tradition (Reuters)
Citing "escalating attendance and time constraints," Berkshire Hathaway said on Tuesday Buffett will discontinue a traditional "meet and greet" session with shareholders from outside the United States and Canada.
Citigroup Stock Proving Irresistible to Hedge Funds Led by Paulson, Soros (Bloomberg)
Everyone wants a piece of that Vikram.
Elders Of Wall Street Favor More Regulation (NYT)
The Olds: "While the younger generation, very visibly led by Lloyd C. Blankfein, lobbies Congress against such regulation, their spiritual elders support the reform proposed by Paul A. Volcker and, surprisingly, even more restrictions. "I am a believer that the system has gone badly awry and needs massive reform," said John Bogle, the 80-year-old founder and for many years chief executive of the Vanguard Group, the huge mutual fund company."


Goldman Sachs, Greece Didn't Disclose Swap, Investors 'Fooled' (Bloomberg)
The swaps used by Greece to manage debt were "at the time legal," Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said on Feb. 15. The government doesn't use the swaps now, he said.
Case Is Said to Link HSBC to U.S. Tax Evasion Inquiry (NYT)
Just an FYI, if UBS isn't treating you like it used to, vis-a-vis helping to evade taxes, hop on over to HSBC. They'll do you up right.
Ex-Fed chair Volcker marries long-time assistant (Reuters)
The lucky lady is Anke Dening, PV's assistant of 20 years.

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