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Opening Bell: 08.10.10

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Indian Billionaires Step Into Spotlight (WSJ)
Over the past few decades, the Ruia brothers (Ravi and Shashi) have built Essar Group from a small construction firm into an industrial force, with $15 billion in annual revenue from steel, shipping and telecommunications. That's put them in the rarified league of families whose conglomerates dominate Indian industry, including the Ambanis, whose interests range from oil to financial services; the Birlas, with a portfolio spanning cement to mobile phones; and the steel- and auto-making Tatas. Ravi and Shashi Ruia even share superstitions. They believe 13 is their lucky number because the conglomerate's fast growth began when its headquarters was on the 13th floor of a Mumbai office tower.

Ellison Says HP Ouster of Hurd Like Apple Firing Jobs (HP)
In a letter to the New York Times, Ellison said, “The HP board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago.”

Merrill’s Risk Disclosure Dodges Are Unearthed (NYT)
Barely visible to any but a few inside Merrill, Pyxis was created at the height of the mortgage mania as a sink for subprime securities. Intended for one purpose and operated off the books, this entity and others like it at Merrill helped the bank obscure the outsize risks it was taking...“It’s like the parable of the blind man and the elephant: you had some people feeling the trunk and some the legs, and there was nobody putting it all together,” Gary Witt, a former managing director at Moody’s Investors Service who now teaches at Temple University, said of the situation at Merrill and other banks.

Where Will Hurd Go Next? (Fortune)
Open to ideas on this one.

Waters' Ethics Charges Cite Role of Waters's Grandson (WSJ)
At issue is whether Ms. Waters (D., Calif.) violated congressional ethics rules by urging the Treasury Department in October 2008 to give $12 million in government bailout funds to a minority-owned bank in which her husband owned stock. Documents released Monday by the House ethics committee showed Ms. Waters had few personal contacts with the bank, Boston-based OneUnited Bank. Ms. Waters personally arranged for a meeting with officials from the Treasury Department and bank executives. But subsequently, Mikael Moore, her chief of staff and grandson, handled most of the communications in the fall of 2008 between Ms. Waters's office and bank officials.

'Breaking the Buck' Was Close for Many Money Funds (WSJ)
From August 2007 to December 2009, at least 20 firms that manage such funds in the U.S. and Europe pumped more than $12 billion combined into their funds, according to the Moody's Corp. unit. The lifelines included purchases of troubled securities and capital contributions.

Footage of new DB obsession/prospective AQR employee (please?) Steven Slater being arrested (clip after the jump).

I mean... (NBCNY)
"Police sources said that when authorities found Slater he seemed to be in the midst having sexual relations."

For BP, a $3 billion start as end is in sight (WaPo)
A relief well being drilled by BP is on track to start a definitive "bottom kill" shutdown of the crippled Gulf of Mexico well this week, unless an approaching weather system disrupts the timing, the top U.S oil spill response official said.

KKR Pulls Plan to Sell Shares as Second-Quarter Profit Falls (Bloomberg)
Economic net income fell to $433.1 million in the second quarter from $613.5 million a year earlier on a pro forma basis, KKR said Monday. Fee-related earnings climbed to $63.3 million from $53.3 million.