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Opening Bell: 07.15.10

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JPMorgan's Earnings Surge 76% (MarketWatch)
The bank said Thursday that its second-quarter profit jumped 76% as results were boosted by a $1.5 billion reduction in the group's loan loss reserves. JPM posted earnings of $4.8 billion, or $1.09 cents a share for the quarter, compared to $2.7 billion, or 28 cents in the same period last year. "Although we are gratified to see consumer-lending net charge-offs and delinquencies decline, they remain at extremely high levels and therefore returns in our consumer-lending businesses are still unacceptable," said Jamie Dimon.

Dick Bové: JPMorgan Results 'Not a Good Number' (CNBC)
"On the whole this number [$25.6 billion in revenue] is not a good number… it's here because they've taken money out of reserves and put it into earnings," Bové said. "Trading was devastating," the analyst added

AIG Chairman Resigns After Dispute With CEO Benmosche Over Stalled Divestiture Of An Asia Division (Bloomberg)
Golub’s departure will increase Benmosche’s influence, said Gary Wolfer, senior vice president and chief economist at Univest Wealth Management & Trust Services. The resignation “clears the deck” for Benmosche, said Wolfer. “Having a clearer field, it’s going to be the Benmosche Show going forward.”

AIG's `Turnaround Kid' Miller Gets Challenge at Rescued Insurer (Bloomberg)
Miller was named AIG’s chairman yesterday. A restructuring specialist, he has overseen the bankruptcy of Delphi Corp., once the largest U.S. auto-parts supplier, and helped Chrysler Corp. return to profitability after taking government loans in 1980. He’s been chief executive officer at Waste Management Inc., Federal-Mogul Corp. and Bethlehem Steel Corp. (BTW, he gave himself that nickname, "The Turnaround Kid," which is against the rules.)

Goldman, SEC Discuss Catch-All Settlement
The two parties recently held discussions about a possible settlement to simultaneously resolve the fraud lawsuit against Goldman and some of the agency's lower-profile probes of the Wall Street firm's mortgage department.

“The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is unprecedented in scope and will usher in a new era of financial services regulation,” said Edward L. Yingling, ABA president and CEO. “Unfortunately, legislators took a ‘while-we’re-at-it’ approach during the bill’s journey, imposing unrelated new restrictions on traditional banks that were more victim than villain in the financial crisis.”

Deputy Doom: World At Risk Of Falling In On Itself (CNBC)
"If we slide into deflation - the likely fate of the developed market - a Japan-style outcome will become inevitable," Arun Motianey, director of fixed income strategy at Roubini Global Economics, said. "In Japan, the BoJ has lost the ability to create inflation and is condemned to deflation. Central banks may now need to talk about the necessity of inflation...before it is too late."

Banks Gain In Rules Debate (WSJ)
The new Basel rules, as they are called, would still be stiffer than existing standards. Industry officials fear the changes could shrink bank profit margins and make credit tighter and more costly for consumers and businesses. Alterations under discussion this week would ease key requirements that have been under discussion for months. Advocates for a tougher line have argued that excessive concessions could leave the financial system vulnerable to problems the entire process is intended to address.

Deutsche Bank Loses Option Trader Saiers to Hedge Fund Alphabet Management (Bloomberg)
Saiers joined New York-based Alphabet this week, according to Jason Adler, a managing member at the hedge fund that has about $170 million in assets. Saiers will lead a group that trades derivatives including options to bet that volatility levels for stocks and other assets worldwide are too high or low in relation to each other, Adler said.

Bernanke's 5-Year Plan
Don't die, and also some other stuff.