Opening Bell: 09.16.10

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Goldman Sachs Fund of Ex-Prop Traders Said to Return 3% in 2010 (Bloomberg)
Goldman Sachs proprietary traders who created a hedge fund within the firm in 2007 have generated a return of about 3 percent this year, beating the industry average, people briefed on the gain said. Goldman Sachs Investment Partners, composed of former employees of the principal-strategies team led by Raanan Agus and Kenneth Eberts, manages more than $7 billion. The fund gained about 26 percent last year after losing more than 18 percent in 2008, the people said.

'Bought And Paid For': Charlie Gasparino Book Claims Obama Has 'Unholy Alliance' With Wall Street (HuffPo)
Goldman COO Gary Cohn once cornered Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at a fundraiser at Goldman's headquarters in Manhattan: "Who do you think you are, coming here asking for money while you trash us?" Reid sat back and took the abuse, even as Cohn shouted, "We're getting sick of the bullshit!" Despite the anger, Reid went home with $40,000 in donations that night, writes Gasparino.

Citi Hires UBS Energy Investment Banking Team Headed By Trauber (Bloomberg)
Like we said. Also: “At the end of the day, this was not about the quantity of money, it’s about the assurance of money,” said Trauber, who will remain based in Houston. UBS made it “attractive” to stay, Trauber said. “It wasn’t a money issue for me,” he said. “It was a certainty of the team to be able to get paid.” Trauber said he has “no hard feelings” in leaving UBS. “We understand that by leaving, that hurts the firm, but that was not the intent,” he said. Trauber had been with UBS since 2003 and said he plans to take his team to his vacation home in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to relax and play golf for a few days. “The most attractive part of this is a couple months off,” he said. “I haven’t had a couple months off since college.”

Regulators To Target 'Window Dressing' (WSJ)
The SEC is expected to propose rules requiring greater disclosure from banks and other companies about their short-term borrowings. The agency's staff has been considering whether banks should be required to provide more frequent disclosure of their average borrowings, which would give a better picture of their debt throughout a quarterly period than do period-end figures.

US Adopts Tougher Stance On China (NYT)
“We are concerned, as are many of China’s trading partners, that the pace of appreciation has been too slow and the extent of appreciation too limited,” Mr. Geithner plans to say, according to excerpts of his statement released on Wednesday night by the Treasury Department.

Soros To Get Day In Court Over Insider Trading Case (NYT)
Europe’s highest human rights court said Wednesday that it would accept a complaint by the international financier George Soros that his rights were impinged on by French courts in convicting him in an insider trading case dating back more than two decades. The case involves the purchase of shares in the French bank Société Générale in 1988, after the bank had been privatized. Mr. Soros was later convicted of buying the shares based on insider information. The European court judged a complaint from Mr. Soros as “receivable,” under Article 7 of the European convention on human rights, which states that no person may be punished for an act that was not a criminal offence at the time that it was committed.

Young, male, testosterone-fuelled CEOs more likely to start or drop deals: UBC study (PA)
The study by Sauder Finance Professors Maurice Levi and Kai Li, and PhD student Feng Zhang, titled “Deal or No Deal: Hormones and the Mergers and Acquisitions Game,” shows that testosterone – a hormone associated with male dominance-seeking in competitive situations – can be a negative factor in high-stakes decision-making. “We find a strong association between male CEOs being young and their withdrawal rate of initiated mergers and acquisition,” says Prof. Levi, whose research relies on the established correlation between relative youth and increased levels of testosterone. “For instance, young CEOs, who have higher levels of testosterone, tend to reject offers even when this is against their interest.”

Betty White Has Some Thoughts On The Economy (CNBC)

Foreclosures Rise; Repossessions Set Record (CNBC)
Bank repossessions, often the final step in the foreclosure process after a home fails to sell at auction, increased about 3 percent from the month before to 95,364, a record high. At the same time the number of properties that received default notices—the first step in the foreclosure process—decreased 1 percent from a month ago and fell 30 percent from a year ago, a sign that lenders are focusing on their backlog of foreclosure inventory before tackling new distressed loans, according to foreclosure listing website RealtyTrac, which released the report.

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