Opening Bell: 09.23.10

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Bill Gates Tops Forbes Ranking Of 400 Wealthiest Americans (Bloomberg)
With estimated assets of $54 billion. Warren Buffett ranks second in the U.S. with $45 billion, according to the list published yesterday. The number of list members whose wealth declined this year is 85 compared with 314 in 2009, while wealth increased for 217 members. The total worth of the 400 rose by 8 percent to $1.37 trillion, still below the 2008 total of $1.57 trillion.

Warren Buffett: We're Still In A Recession (CNBC)
Warren Buffett tells CNBC that by his own "common sense" definition, the United States is "still in a recession. In a taped interview with Becky Quick, Buffett says, "I think we're in a recession until real per capita GDP gets back to where it was before." While Buffett continues to believe the U.S. will eventually emerge from its economic downturn, "We're not gonna be out of it for awhile."

SEC Blasted On Goldman Probe (WSJ)
At a Senate Banking Committee hearing Wednesday, Mr. Kotz was questioned about the timing of the Goldman suit. He responded: "It would strain credulity to think it was coincidental." He added: "I can't give you a conclusion right now, but it was suspicious."

Boehner's Business Ties Cut Both Ways (WSJ)
Mr. Boehner, a sharp dresser with a two-pack-a-day habit, sometimes gets referred to around Capitol Hill as Don Draper. "I'm still who I am. I'm a businessman. I can't be something I'm not. No apologies. Zero," Mr. Boehner said in the recent interview, smoothing his hair before heading to a political event...Addressing a perennial source of jokes, Mr. Boehner says his dark complexion is natural, similar to that of his mother and four (of 12) siblings. "I have never been in a tanning bed or used a tanning product," Mr. Boehner said. His staff showed a high-school group photo where he has the darkest face in Moeller High's all-male class.

Jack Welch: Obama Administration Is "Anti-Business" (CNBC)
The government should make it easier for companies to invest and expand but instead they are hampering business, according to Welch. "I still maintain that the economy's been terrible and they have not done things to move the economy forward," he said. "He's there a month and he vilifies Las Vegas… he kills the hotel business," Welch said.

Elizabeth Warren: No More "Fooling" People For Credit Firms (CNBC)
The intent of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is not to make life tougher for banks but rather better for their customers, the organization's czar, Elizabeth Warren, told CNBC. "The truth is I don't care about the title. I want to get to work trying to get this agency going because that's what middle class families need. We've got a broken market," she said. "It's a political assessment that I just have to say I don't know and I don't think much about it. The part I care about is getting the agency started."

Katy Perry Kicked Off The Street (NYP)
On Monday, a clip from the November 3 episode of "Sesame Street" featuring Katy Perry singing a very vanilla version of her song "Hot N' Cold" went viral and people went berserk.It seems that Katy's cans were way too prominent for some parents. And now, TMZ is reporting that because of the influx of complaints (such as "my kid wants milk now") "Sesame Street" producers have decided not to air the segment.

Lehman Sees Bankruptcy Plan Confirmation In Q1 (Reuters)
They're "optimistic."

Banks Value Social Responsibility More After Crisis (Reuters)
"The change is good on the financial side. The change that's more important is on the cultural side," Bob Diamond told the Clinton Global Initiative.

Friended For $100 Million (WSJ)
Mark Zuckerberg plans to announce a donation of up to $100 million to the Newark schools this week.