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Opening Bell: 06.30.10

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Goldman's Cohn Is Next On Hot Seat (WSJ)
Goldman's No. 2 executive, a longtime confidant of Mr. Blankfein, is testifying Wednesday before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. Mr. Cohn is well-known for being direct, even by Wall Street standards. During the credit crisis, he spotted ex-Goldman executives John Thain and Peter Kraus having dinner at San Pietro restaurant in New York. Mr. Thain now is chief executive of CIT Group Inc., while Mr. Kraus leads AllianceBernstein Holding LP. "They are a pair of Goldman retreads," Mr. Cohn remarked to his dinner companion, according to people familiar with the conversation.

Foxes Of Finance (Daily Intel)
If you're looking for some (male) tail.

European Union To Limit Bonuses Paid To Bankers (Reuters)
The new program, which goes further than American rules agreed on last week, would be the first cap on how bankers are paid. It would also be a victory for European Union lawmakers who have otherwise become bogged down in efforts to regulate banking. “The bankers have shown that despite the crisis, they are not able to show self-restraint. This law will do it for them,” said Arlene McCarthy, a lawmaker for the Labour Party of Britain, who helped negotiate the new rules. “This will transform the bonus culture,” she said after concluding nine hours of talks to reach a compromise. “It is the first cap on how bankers are paid worldwide.”

Derivatives Laws Could Cost Companies $1 Trillion (Reuters)
"The margining requirements for corporate end-users as currently drafted in the bill runs the risk of imposing a significant cost on U.S. companies and could impede their ability to manage their business and financial risks," Conrad Voldstad, Chief Executive Officer at the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, said in a release.

Volcker Said to Be Disappointed With Final Version of His Rule (Bloomberg)
As first envisioned, the Volcker rule would have banned banks from running private-equity and hedge funds, an attempt to curb risk-taking that fueled the financial crisis. Last-minute congressional negotiations aimed at winning Republican support led to a compromise that allows banks to invest up to 3 percent of their capital in such funds. Volcker, the 82-year-old former Federal Reserve chairman, didn’t expect the proposal to be diluted so much, said a person with knowledge of his views. He’s content with language that bans banks from trading with their own capital, the person said.

UBS Investors Push For Civil Charges (WSJ)
Two shareholder activists joined up Wednesday to rally investors in pushing for UBS AG to pursue the Swiss bank's former bosses for their role in more than $50 billion of write-downs on illiquid securities. "In a first phase, we would like to bring interested shareholders together and urge UBS's current board one last time to pursue the former managers," Switzerland's Actares and Brussels-based Deminor said in a statement.

Fund Managers’ Profits Are Ripe for a New Tax (NYT)
“It could be one more reason to move,” said Richard S. Zarin, a tax lawyer at the firm Morgan, Lewis who represents a number of investment fund organizers. “Having my office in New York versus Greenwich is now costing the partners who live in Connecticut more money than it used to.”

In Bailout of AIG, Forgiveness For Big Banks (NYT)
On Nov. 6, 2008, for instance, after a New York Fed official spoke with Lloyd C. Blankfein, Goldman’s chief executive, about the Fed’s A.I.G. plans, the official noted in an e-mail message to Mr. Blankfein that he appreciated the Wall Street titan’s patience. “Thanks for understanding,” the regulator said.

Feinberg: BP Deserves Credit for Starting Fund (CNBC)