Skip to main content

Opening Bell: 08.16.10

  • Author:
  • Updated:

BofA May Pare Its BlackRock Stake (WSJ)
The bank has concluded that its 34% share of BlackRock Inc. isn't a core asset and is weighing a possible reduction of its holdings in the asset manager, said people familiar with the situation. No talks have been held about when or how this might happen, and Bank of America still could decide to keep the 64.7 million common and preferred shares of BlackRock that it owns. But BlackRock executives expect the nation's largest bank by assets to sell down its stake, said people close to the company.

Goldman Undercuts Rivals in GM IPO as It Loses Top Role (Bloomberg)
Wall Street banks led by JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley stand to make a combined $120 million on General Motors Co.’s initial public offering. If it weren’t for Goldman Sachs, they could have made four times as much. In a pitch to the U.S. Treasury in May, Goldman Sachs offered to accept a fee of 0.75 percent, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. That’s a fraction of the 3 percent banks typically charge on the largest IPOs and well below the 2 percent offered by Bank of America and other banks that presented to Treasury, said the people, speaking anonymously because the matter is private.

Goldman CEO, Others Get Millions From Options (Reuters)
Blankfein exercised 90,681 stock options at a strike price of $82.875, and obtained a $6.09 million gross profit by selling the resulting shares on Wednesday at prices between $148.97 to $152.00. In similar options exercises and sales, President Gary Cohn exercised 73,653 options and had a $4.95 million profit, Chief Financial Officer David Viniar exercised 67,326 options and had a $4.52 million profit, and General Counsel Gregory Palm exercised 47,895 options and had a $3.22 million profit.

'Cruz Missile' Takes Off With New Fund (WSJ)
Cruz, who has been fund-raising for nine months, has raised $200 million in total for Voras, according to people close to the firm, and has established two separate funds. One of the funds, a global macro strategy, is run by Cruz herself, and the other, a credit opportunities fund, is managed by Ellen Brunsberg, who previously ran Morgan Stanley's European securitised products group. The firm has set up offices in New York and Hong Kong, and is waiting for approval from the Financial Services Authority for a London office that Brunsberg will run. Voras Capital Management was incorporated in the U.K. in January this year. Voras--the Greek word for "north" --is the name of a mountainous area near the town in Greece where Cruz was born. Cruz has hired a number of former Morgan Stanley staff, including Philip Newcomb, who was co-head of interest rates and currencies. He is chief operating officer at Voras in New York.

HP Board Said to Turn Against Hurd After Surprise Settlement (Bloomberg)
Hurd surprised the board by settling a sexual-harassment claim before directors could learn more about the incident, a final breach of trust that contributed to his ouster as chief executive officer, two people familiar with the decision said.

Maxim Group Is Granting Wishes (NYP)
Financial services firm Maxim Group has money to give away and is scouting for applicants -- not for jobs, but for charity. If you have a compelling story, the Lexington Ave. investment firm might fund your dream vacation or a reunion with an estranged relative. "Let's say someone wants to go to England to meet their long-lost aunt," said Ed Rose about the kinds of wishes Maxim might fulfill. Rose said interested applicants should e-mail him at or call him at 212-895-3689.

New Crime Trend Is Truly Below The Belt (WSJ)
A memo circulated to all members of the New York Police Department, and viewed by The Wall Street Journal, warns officers to be aware that "drug dealers are using underwear with secret pockets sold in stores from several different companies to hold drugs and small weapons." Instead of the standard light pat-downs around suspects' waistbands, the knowledge that this secret underwear exists is going to cause police to have to undertake more thorough searches of some suspects, said Capt. Vincent Patti.

Laid-Off Chinese Bank Workers Refuse To Go Quietly (NYT)
During the past two years, these unlikely agitators — conservatively attired but fiercely determined — have staged public protests in Beijing and provincial cities. They have stormed branch offices to mount sit-ins. A few of the more foolhardy have met at Tiananmen Square to distribute fliers before plainclothes police officers snatched them away. “They tossed us out like garbage,” Ms. Wu, 44, said before a recent protest, scanning fellow restaurant patrons for potential eavesdroppers. “All we’re asking for is justice and maybe to serve as a model for others who have been wronged.”

Lehman Creditors May Get $16 Million as Hirst, Freud Auctioned (Bloomberg)
About 1,000 lots from the collection of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, including works by Damien Hirst, Lucian Freud, Andreas Gursky and Gary Hume, will be auctioned by Sotheby’s in New York, Christie’s International in London and Freeman’s of Philadelphia in the fall. The lots also include a metal sign from outside Lehman’s U.K. Canary Wharf office, valued at as much as 3,000 pounds ($4,680), as well as boardroom cigar humidors and tea caddies starting at 600 pounds.

Bear cub stuck with head in a jar for 10 days is freed (NYDN)
"Although the story appears to have a happy ending," the the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wrote, "it truly illustrates one of the worst things that can happen when wildlife gets into garbage."


"Christ, Janet!" Photo: Steve Jurvetson, via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 7.14.16

JP Morgan beats estimates; Larry Fink doesn't trust equities rally; Craigslist users offer 'Pokemon Go' chauffeur service for players; and more.