Opening Bell: 09.22.10

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Summers' Stature Means Obama Faces Tough Task Replacing Him (Bloomberg)
First off, Big Lar is irreplaceable. Having said that: among those whose names have been discussed is Anne Mulcahy, the former chief executive officer of Xerox Corp., two people familiar with administration discussions said. Other potential candidates include David Cote, CEO of Honeywell International Inc., and Richard Parsons, chairman of Citigroup Inc., according to one of the people.

UBS Americas Backs Infrastructure Bank Funded By U.S. (Reuters)
"Creating a national infrastructure bank is an idea whose time has come," Robert Wolf, chief executive of UBS Americas, told at a Senate Banking Committee hearing called to explore alternatives for financing infrastructure projects. Wolf said Congress should establish a national grant and lending institution that would leverage private investment to finance transportation and other big-ticket projects like rail, road, water, broadband or airport upgrades. But, he said, it should not have private shareholders. Rather, Wolf said, it should be capitalized through the U.S. Treasury Department to avoid the problems experienced by hybrids Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that were held by private shareholders but benefited from government sponsorship.

Head Of Basel Defends Proposed Bank Rules (NYT)
The new rules are “extremely demanding” and “radically transform the regulatory capital framework,” Nout Wellink, chairman of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and president of the Bank of the Netherlands, said at a meeting in Singapore of officials who regulate the financial industry. “If, prior to the crisis, banks had the levels of capital we are asking for, we likely would not have experienced such a deep crisis,” Mr. Wellink said, according to the text of his speech.

Phibro's Hedge Fund Has A Tough Start
(MarketWatch)
The Astenbeck Offshore Commodities Fund II lost 2.74% in August, leaving it down 11.94% so far this year, two hedge fund investors said on condition of anonymity.

Deconstructing the emotive language being used to justify a new tax on bonuses (eF)
They say "ludicrously high" and "unjustified" like those are bad things.

Waaaah Street (NYO)
"We've been ostracized. I went to jury duty about a year ago, and when I said I'm in investment banking, the people in the jury room were making ugh sounds, and I'm like, fuck you. I'm proud of what I do. And I think this firm did a lot to get the recovery going. Somewhere ranked below a pimp and well operator is not right."

Los Angeles Mayor: We Will Not Go Bankrupt (CNBC)
FYI.

HSBC Chief Threatens To Quit (FT)
Michael Geoghegan, chief executive of HSBC, has threatened to resign from his job if he is not elevated to the chairman’s role, according to two people familiar with the bank’s succession planning. At a meeting last week Mr Geoghegan reacted badly to the suggestion that he might be passed over, one of the people said. “He was told the board was not ready to give him the chairmanship and he was not happy.”

Guys Crash Road Races For Women (WSJ)
Jonathan Mederos set a personal record in Disney's Princess Half Marathon last year, winning first place with a time of 1:16:17. The reception he got was far from his personal best, though. "When I crossed the finish line, the announcers were silent, and I got downcast looks from the crowd," says Mr. Mederos, a 25-year-old high-school philosophy teacher in Miami.Other men see a target-rich environment. "If you want to meet fit young women, it's hard to beat," says Maj. Christopher Sopko, a 31-year-old pilot in the Ohio Air National Guard.

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Opening Bell: 04.13.12

JPMorgan Profit Slips (WSJ) J.P. Morgan reported a profit of $5.38 billion, down from $5.56 billion a year earlier. On a per-share basis, earnings were $1.31, up from $1.28 as the share count outstanding declined. The latest quarter included a net 8-cent per-share loss tied to litigation expenses and changes in the value of the bank's debt. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a per-share profit of $1.18, excluding debt-related charges. Revenue rose 6.3% to $27.42 billion. Analysts were looking for $24.68 billion. Wells Fargo reports higher first-quarter profit (Reuters) Wells Fargo, the nation's fourth-biggest U.S. bank, said net income was $4.25 billion, or 75 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $3.76 billion, or 67 cents, a share in the same period a year earlier. The average estimate from analysts was 73 cents per share. JPMorgan Said to Transform Treasury to Prop Trading (Bloomberg) Achilles Macris, hired in 2006 as the CIO’s top executive in London, led an expansion into corporate and mortgage-debt investments with a mandate to generate profits for the New York- based bank, three of the former employees said. Dimon, 56, closely supervised the shift from the CIO’s previous focus on protecting JPMorgan from risks inherent in its banking business, such as interest-rate and currency movements, they said. Some of Macris’s bets are now so large that JPMorgan probably can’t unwind them without losing money or roiling financial markets, the former executives said, based on knowledge gleaned from people inside the bank and dealers at other firms. Bank Bonus That Tops Salary May Be Banned by EU Lawmakers (Bloomberg) Governments and lawmakers in the 27-nation EU are considering rules for lenders that would go far beyond international agreements approved by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Denmark, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, has proposed empowering nations to set surcharges of up to 3 percent across their banking systems. Karas yesterday suggested adding language to the legislation that would ban banker bonuses that exceed fixed pay, following calls from other lawmakers to rein in excessive compensation. IMF Lifts Growth Forecast, Cautiously (WSJ) Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said the world economy is marked by "a high degree of instability" even though prospects for global growth are better than they were a few months ago. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Ms. Lagarde said the IMF, which marked down its 2012 forecast for global growth in January to 3.3%, has now marked it up to reflect improving conditions in the world economy. But she said the new forecast, to be released next week, remains more pessimistic than the one it made last September, which predicted 4% growth. Europe remains the biggest single risk to the global economy, the former French finance minister said. Hedge Fund Driver Guns DownArmed Robber (NYP) A retired NYPD lieutenant blew away a drugstore bandit yesterday as the suspect tried to gun down three police officers during a foot pursuit, sources said. Thomas Barnes, Barnes — a driver for hedge fund manager Philippe Laffont, was filling his tank at the BP station on East 119th Street and First Avenue at around 11 a.m. when he saw gunman Rudolph Wyatt running from the store, and sprang into action. He crouched behind his hedge-fund boss’ Mercedes SUV and squeezed off three shots, killing Wyatt, 23. The trigger-happy thug — wanted on warrants for two other shootings — lay dead in a pool of blood on the sidewalk wearing a black stocking mask with a wad of stolen cash spilling out of his pocket, witnesses said. “Part of the back of his head was missing. He had a large head wound and there was tons of blood,” said witness John Brecevich, 59, owner of the Original Patsy’s restaurant nearby. “It was a scene straight out of NYPD Blue.” Trustees Aim For MF Execs (NYP) The trustee tasked with clawing back money for burned customers of MF Global is training his sights on the brokerage firm’s executives — a list that likely includes former CEO Jon Corzine. In a statement yesterday, trustee James Giddens said he is considering pursuing claims against “certain responsible individuals” who worked for MF at the time customers’ trading accounts were improperly tapped. Kent Jarrell, a spokesman for Giddens, declined to name names but said the trustee is considering civil suits against “officers, directors or other employees” of both the brokerage firm and the holding company. Fed Officials Differ on Need to Keep Rates Low to 2014 (Bloomberg) William C. Dudley, president of the New York Fed, and Vice Chairman Janet Yellen said the 2014 time-frame is needed to lower unemployment from 8.2 percent. Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota said rising inflation may prompt an interest-rate increase as early as this year, while Philadelphia’s Charles Plosser said policy should hinge on economic performance, not a calendar commitment. Newark Mayor Cory Booker: Race into home fire was a "come to Jesus moment" (CBS) Booker arrived home last night to discover his next-door neighbor's house on fire, and rescued a young woman trapped upstairs by carrying here through the flames, suffering second-degree burns in the process. The mayor's security team discovered the fire and pounded on the door to alert residents, when an elderly woman said that her daughter was trapped upstairs. At first, Newark Police Detective Alex Rodriguez would not let Booker into the burning house. "He basically told me, 'This woman is going to die if we don't help her,' and what can I say to that?," Rodriguez said. "I let him go and without thinking twice, he just ran into the flames and rescued this young lady." Booker said that as he jumped through the kitchen on the second floor, "I actually wasn't thinking. When I got there and couldn't find her in all the smoke, looked behind me and saw the kitchen really erupting with flames all over the ceiling, that's when I had very clear thoughts that I'm not going to get out of this place alive and got ... very religious. He admitted he was "not gentle" with her - "I just sort of threw her over my shoulder and dragged her through the kitchen."