Opening Bell 07.29.10

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FSA To Expand Bonus Rules (WSJ)
The U.K.'s financial regulator said on Thursday that it plans to change remuneration rules for the financial-services industry, which could include imposing the changes on all banks, asset managers and hedge funds. The FSA said that while the current rules apply to the largest banks, building societies and broker dealers, the new ones should include over 2,500 firms. Among the changes, the FSA said it will force companies to defer at least 40% of bonuses over at least three years, raising the level to 60% when the bonus is over £500,000 ($779,250). It also said at least 50% of any variable remuneration components must be made in shares, share-linked instruments or other equivalent noncash instruments.

Banks plan for loss of eurozone member (FT)
Just, you know, hypothetically.

Morgan Stanley: Fear Cheap Money, Not A Double Dip (CNBC)
"The gobal economy has momentum," Joachim Fels, the co-head of economics at Morgan Stanley. told CBNC Thursday. "Global growth is at 5 percent over the last 12 months but real global interest rates remain negative. Fears of a double-dip recession are overdone and the risks are now to the upside," he said. Fels said he believes the Fed needs to end its very loose monetary stance sooner rather than later, as it will push up inflationary pressures across the world, given many emerging nations are importing US monetary policy in a bid keep their exports to America competitive. "Inflation is rising," he said. "In India we are seeing signs of rising prices and inflation is now the major risk. Policy in many major economies is behind the curve."

Singapore's New Hedge-Fund Regulation Puts City `Back on Map' (Bloomberg)
Seven new hedge funds set up in May and June, after the Monetary Authority of Singapore said in April that small funds can keep operating without a license as part of its review. The number of new funds last year fell 13 percent to 26, the lowest since 2003, as uncertainty over pending rule changes kept managers away, according to data from the Singapore-based industry researcher. “Singapore did not shoot itself in the foot by putting up proposals that will kill off the business,” said Kher Sheng Lee, a senior associate in the financial services group at Philadelphia-based law firm Dechert LLP in Hong Kong.

Trial 'Bugs' On Wall Street (NYP)
FYI: Yesterday, a federal judge in Manhattan listened to arguments about whether to allow thousands of recorded phone conversations as evidence in the upcoming criminal trial of Raj Rajaratnam, the Galleon Group hedge fund founder accused of illegal trading. If the judge rules in favor of federal prosecutors, who want the wiretap evidence heard, it could lead to a lot more bugged phones on Wall Street.

Buffett's Dairy Queen Chilly on Frozen Yogurt Lawsuit (Reuters)
Warren Buffett will stop at nothing to defend the brand: Dairy Queen has asked a court to stop a southern California rival from selling a frozen yogurt with a name similar to Blizzard, its biggest-selling menu item. Yogubliz Inc had on May 17 filed a lawsuit seeking an order that would "eliminate any doubt" its sale of Blizzberry and Blizz Frozen Yogurt products did not infringe any Dairy Queen trademark and was not likely to confuse customers. But in a 30-page response filed Monday in Los Angeles federal court, Dairy Queen said Yogubliz was causing confusion with the Blizzard, a soft-serve ice cream also blended with candy, cookie pieces and other mix-ins.

FinReg's SEC provision raises Big Brother alarms (NYP)
A provision buried in the week-old law allows the Securities and Exchange Commission to deny any public request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.The SEC said it aims "to provide more sophisticated and effective Wall Street oversight," and the "success of these efforts depends on our ability to obtain documents and other information from brokers, investment advisers and other registrants.

Gov. Schwarzenegger reinstates worker furloughs (MarketWatch)
The new furloughs call for state employees to take three unpaid days off a month, starting Aug. 1, until the state can enact a new budget or the state has enough cash on hand for the fiscal year."Our cash situation leaves me no choice but to once again furlough state workers until the legislature produces a budget I can sign," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

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