Opening Bell: 09.15.10

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Lehman Brothers Defies Bankruptcy to Become a Business Again (Bloomberg)
The defunct New York-based investment bank, being run by Bryan Marsal, has almost $20 billion in cash and a monthly payroll of up to $45 million for managers and advisers. Hard-to- sell investments are being managed by 400 employees, and the firm is spending tens of millions of dollars on litigation set to stretch to at least 2012.

PIMCO Makes $8.1 Billion Bet Against 'Lost Decade' Of Deflation (Bloomberg)
“We think the possibility that the U.S. goes 10 years with stagnant or falling prices is remote,” Mihir Worah, the head of Pimco’s real return portfolio management team, said in an e- mailed response to questions. “The options were priced at rich levels to the underlying” risk, added Worah, whose funds invest in Treasury inflation protected securities.

Real IRA Says It Will Target UK Bankers (Guardian)
In an attempt to tap into the intense hostility towards the banks on both sides of the Irish border the group branded bankers as "criminals" and said: "We have a track record of attacking high-profile economic targets and financial institutions such as the City of London. The role of bankers and the institutions they serve in financing Britain's colonial and capitalist system has not gone unnoticed.

Wilbur Ross, Carlyle To Buy Troubled Irish Bank (CNBC)
"Ireland has been a real miracle … then everybody there got too crazy with real estate speculation," Ross said. But the Irish government shows "dedication to get their act together," he added. "They're getting their deficits under control, so eventually they'll reduce their debts," he said.

Berkshire Hathaway #2 Charlie Munger: US Economic Pain Not Over (CNBC)
Munger, Berkshire's vice chairman, said the job market is likely to stay "lousy" for an extended period, and that he doesn't see anything that would prompt employers to hire in the immediate future. Munger also warned that the pain is not over in many sectors, citing timber and commercial real estate as two sectors where there is "more pain to come."

Money Never Sleeps: Wall Street, Stoned (NYO)
"We didn't make it too complex," Oliver Stone said last week. "It's just so fucking difficult." In the same interview, Mr. Stone claimed that Eliot Spitzer was the one who told him that Goldman Sachs was betting against the housing market at the same time it was creating mortgage deals. "This was before it made the news!" he said. "That woke me up, and I said, 'My God, that's some story.'"

Europe Proposes Rules To Help Steady Markets (NYT)
Michel Barnier, the commissioner for the European Union’s internal market, said clear rules were needed in the area of short selling to defend vulnerable economies and to reassure markets that Europe was operating under a single rulebook. Regulators would “gain clear powers to restrict or ban short selling in exceptional situations,” said Mr. Barnier. The measures were “a further step towards greater financial stability in Europe.”

How A Street Watchdog Got Its Bite (WSJ)
Pennsylvania State University Prof. John Liechty last week gave an exam to his marketing class. Far from campus, another of his projects faces a much bigger test—and all of Wall Street is watching. Mr. Liechty, 44 years old, has helped design an electronic safety net to assess systemic financial risk in a bid to prevent another banking calamity. The project—formalized as a new federal office in the financial-regulation act—is called the Office of Financial Research. Supporters compare the scientific challenge to the Manhattan Project, the Apollo space program or hurricane-warning systems. The OFR will have the ability to vacuum up and analyze Wall Street's most confidential trading and lending data in a bid to broadly warn of financial risks.

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