Opening Bell: 08.17.10

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2 Zombies To Tolerate For A While (NYT)
Andrew Ross Sorkin: "Representative Barney Frank was furious. The Massachusetts Democrat had been watching a morning news program that had me on, and soon afterward he was calling my cellphone to fume about that morning’s discussion. The topic? Why it has taken the government so long to address the fate of the zombie mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. His response was counterintuitive — and as unsatisfying as it may sound, he’s right. 'There is no urgency,' he told me. "

Geithner: No Going Back for Fannie and Freddie (Reuters)
"We will not support returning Fannie and Freddie to the role they played before conservatorship, where they took market share from private competitors while enjoying the perception of government support," Geithner said. "We will not support a return to the system where private gains are subsidized by taxpayer losses."

Jain May Be Lost in Translation as Deutsche Bank Seeks Chief (Bloomberg)
After earning a Master of Finance degree in 1985, he started out as an analyst at Kidder Peabody & Co., before moving to Merrill Lynch three years later. These days Jain, trim and greying, projects the poise and confidence of a seasoned investment banker, and his speech, direct and precise, still carries a faint Indian accent. A cricket player and golfer, colleagues say he’s competitive in both work and sport, and relishes opportunities to prove his doubters wrong. He held a stake in the Mumbai Indians, a cricket team, until selling it last year. Failing to offer Jain the top job risks driving out the “best candidate” and disappointing analysts and investors, said Peter Thorne, a London-based analyst at Helvea Ltd. “If the German powers-that-be can’t see he’s the best man for the job, that’d be a sad day for Deutsche Bank and the German finance industry as a whole,” Thorne said. “I couldn’t conceive of anyone who wouldn’t want Jain to be CEO.”

Barclays Settles US Charges (WSJ)
The bank agreed to pay $298 million to settle charges by U.S. and New York prosecutors that the U.K. bank altered financial records for more than a decade to hide hundreds of millions of dollars in payments flowing into the U.S. from Cuba, Libya, Iran and other sanctioned countries.

Mindich’s Eton Park Leads Hedge Funds Joining Paulson Gold Bet (Bloomberg)
Eton Park bought 6.58 million shares of SPDR Gold Shares in the second quarter, according to a regulatory filing yesterday. The investment was valued at $800.3 million as of June 30, making it the hedge fund’s biggest holding.

JetBlue attendant Steven Slater parties hard (NYP)
The JetBlue flight attendant who cursed out a planeload of passengers before he slid down the chute enjoyed bottles of Budweiser and shouted, "Fly United!"

Carl Levin Hit In Face With Pie In Big Rapids (Detroit News)
In a statement, Levin said he wasn't hurt in the pie-throwing incident and welcomes civil discourse with constituents.

SEC is zeroing in on Lehman's top execs (NYP)
The SEC in recent weeks has been calling in former Lehman officials for a fresh round of interviews to discuss the period leading up to the historic collapse of the 158-year-old investment bank on Sept. 15, 2008. Investigators are coordinating sit-downs with former Lehman staffers and are setting up meetings between now and mid-September, said one source close to the Lehman probe.

SAC Capital Added to BP, Exxon Mobil Holdings in Second Quarter (Bloomberg)
The fund added 2.3 million shares of Exxon Mobil, more than doubling its stake to 3.64 million shares valued at $207.9 million and bought 2.93 million BP American depositary receipts, lifting its holding to about 2.94 million shares worth $84.4 million as of June 30.

Harvard Sells Off Its Investments In Israel (ML)
“This is pure economics and I don’t think it was because of the Arab boycott,” Dr. Gil Feiler, founder of Info-Prod Research (Middle East) Ltd and director of the Middle East Business and Economic Research Institute at Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya told The Media Line. “They didn’t eliminate their investments in Israeli stocks,” he claimed. “They still have tens of millions of dollars invested, and if you are going to boycott Israel you sell all your stocks.”

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