Opening Bell: 08.03.10


JPMorgan's Masters Urges No `Panic' as Commodities Unit Slips (Bloomberg)
“Don’t panic,” she said in summing up the 35-minute call, a recording of which was obtained by Bloomberg News. “No one’s going to get screwed. We’re not going to do crazy things on compensation at the end of the year.” She hopes the second quarter “proves to be a record bad quarter for us in that there’s nothing but upside from here,” she said. “The outcome was both significantly below plan, significantly below last quarter and significantly below the year-ago linked quarter,” she said. The unit would have been in position to meet goals for the first half except for $83 million in revenue that the company deferred booking during the first six months “for a variety of sensible reasons.”

Tim Geithner: Welcome To The Recovery (NYT)
And also the jungle.

Marc Faber: Fed Printing May Create 'Final' Crisis (CNBC)
"Investors should have listened to me already six months ago when I wrote that the Fed will continue to monetize … they will print and print and print until the final crisis wipes out the whole system," Faber said.

SEC Probes BP Potential Insider Trading (Reuters)
The SEC probe is one of a number of investigations of the company and others tied to the spill. Congressional committees and a presidentially appointed panel are probing various aspects of the spill. The Justice Department is looking at potential civil and criminal violations of federal environmental laws.

Fed Mulls Symbolic Shift in Bond Strategy (WSJ)
The issue: Whether to use cash the Fed receives when its mortgage-bond holdings mature to buy new mortgage or Treasury bonds, instead of allowing its portfolio to shrink gradually, as it is expected to do in the months ahead. Any change—only four months after the Fed ended its massive bond-buying program—would signal deepening concern about the economic outlook. If the Fed's forecast deteriorates significantly, it could also be a precursor to bigger efforts to pump money into the economy.

Political Ads Off Limits, Goldman Promises (NYT)
Goldman Sachs has pledged not to spend any of its vast corporate reserves on political advertising. The move was an unexpected sign of restraint after a major Supreme Court ruling this year that gave corporations the power to devote unlimited amounts to electing or defeating candidates for federal office. The investment bank quietly revised its statement on political activities on its Web site last week, adding a sentence addressing the powers that were granted under the Supreme Court decision in January, known as Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. “Goldman Sachs also does not spend corporate funds directly on electioneering communications,” the firm said in its statement. Those communications are generally interpreted to mean advertisements on radio and television broadcasts in the run-up to an election.

The Warren Commission (Portfolio)
As head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at the Fed, Elizabeth Warren would give bankers agita. Here are a few alternatives who would give them the heart attack they need: Joe Borg, Eric Dinallo, Jim Chanos or Eliot Spitzer.