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Opening Bell: 08.09.10

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Woman In Mark Hurd Case Regrets Dismissal (WSJ)
The woman at the center of the ethics scandal that cost Mark Hurd the top job at Hewlett-Packard Co. identified herself Sunday as Jodie Fisher, a 50-year-old sometime actress whose film credits include "Intimate Obsession" and "Body of Influence 2," plus reality show "Age Of Love" Ms. Fisher, whose June 29 letter accusing Mr. Hurd of sexual harassment triggered a board investigation, said through her lawyer that she was "surprised and saddened that Mark Hurd lost his job over this. That was never my intention."

Goldman Sachs Lost Money On Ten Days In Second Quarter (Bloomberg)
Losses on Goldman Sachs’s trading desks exceeded $100 million on three days during the period that ended on June 30, according to a filing today by the New York-based company with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Today’s filing also shows that the firm’s traders generated more than $100 million on 17 days during the quarter. Of the 65 days in the quarter, Goldman Sachs traders made money on 55 days, or 85 percent of the time.

US to pay big sums for Wall St tip-offs (FT)
New US whistleblowing incentives within the Dodd-Frank financial reform act – that could net informants multimillion dollar pay-outs – are likely to generate a surge in allegations against US-listed companies and Wall Street banks, lawyers say. The SEC is expecting a sharp increase in tip-offs from senior employees and third parties prompted by potential seven-figure bounties. “The scale of the awards reflects the high quality of whistleblower we hope to get – people within a company, broker or other regulated firm that we might not have heard from before,” Stephen Cohen, an SEC official, told the Financial Times. “We’re expecting a tremendous response.”

AIG Faces Fed Scrutiny as Buffett's Bets Spared by Dodd Law (Bloomberg)
The Dodd-Frank Act could “materially and adversely affect AIG’s businesses” and hurt cash flows and credit ratings, the New York-based firm said Aug. 6 in a filing. The Federal Reserve may be the bailed-out insurer’s regulator if a new risk watchdog determines that an AIG failure could threaten U.S. economic stability, the firm said.

Freddie Mac Asking For More Help After Big Loss (AP)
Freddie Mac says it lost $6 billion, or $1.85 per share, in the April-to-June period. That takes into account $1.3 billion in dividends paid to the Treasury Department. It compares with a loss of $840 million, or 26 cents a share, in the second quarter a year ago. The company is asking for $1.8 billion in additional federal aid.

Investment Banks to Deepen Japan Staff Cuts, Hire in China, Recruiter Says (Bloomberg)
“Foreign banks will freeze their hiring and launch another round of restructuring in Japan,” Katsunobu Komizo, the chief executive officer of Executive Search, said in an interview today, without naming companies. “My worry and warning is that they regard Japan as a county where it’s not worth taking risks; that they will pass on this country and invest in Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai.”

Bob Rubin Argues Against 'Major' Stimulus And For Deficit Reduction
"I wouldn't do a major second stimulus because I think...we run a risk that it could be counterproductive in creating a lot of additional uncertainty and undermining confidence," Rubin said on CNN. "But at the same time -- and what I'm about to say is easy to say and very hard to do -- at the same time I would try over the next six months to put in place a very serious beginning of deficit reduction that would take effect at some specified time in the future. And I would guess something like two years. So it wouldn't take effect right now, when the economy is still so vulnerable, but if you could do it and it was credible and people believed it and it was real, I think that could do a lot for confidence. The problem is that's very easy to say and very hard to do."