Opening Bell: 09.28.10

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JPMorgan Targets WaMu Funds (WSJ)
In a series of previously undisclosed letters sent to the FDIC, the nation's second-largest bank by assets warned it could seek billions in legal protection from the FDIC receivership that liquidated the Seattle-based thrift two years ago, people familiar with the situation said. To the FDIC, the J.P. Morgan letters amount to more than $6 billion in claims, which would dwarf the $1.88 billion J.P. Morgan paid the receiver in September 2008, according to people familiar with the situation.

Ken Fisher Dubs New Normal `Idiotic,' Sees `Great' Decade Ahead (Bloomberg)
The next decade will be as good for investors as the 1990s, said Ken Fisher, the billionaire chief executive officer of Fisher Investments Inc., dismissing notions that developed economies face below-average growth. Fisher said the concept of a “new normal” is “idiotic,” pitting him against money managers including Mohamed El-Erian, the CEO of PIMCO. “We are chimpanzees with no memory,” Fisher said at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Sydney. “The next 10 years are going to be just as good as the 1990s. The problems in this current environment we think are so different, and so new and so unique. It’s the same stupid old normal we’ve always had. We’ve got a great future.”

Bank Regulators Delay "Too Big To Fail" Reform (Reuters)
They just need a little more time.

Man Group Sees Pre-Tax Profit Down 55% (MarketWatch)
The UK hedge fund manager estimated that its fiscal first-half pretax profit fell 55% to $135 million due to lower management fees and higher one-off costs. The firm said funds under management at the end of September stood at $39.5 billion, compared to $38.5 billion at the end of June, as gains on investments and a boost from foreign exchange rates more than offset $600 million of net withdrawals during the period. "The last six months have seen further mixed macro signals across global economies and continued uncertainty in markets," said CEO Peter Clarke.

Moelis Said to Plan Acquisition of Gracie Credit to Add First Hedge Fund (Bloomberg)
The $2 billion Gracie, headed by founder Daniel Nir, will operate independently of Moelis. The deal price wasn’t known.

Brazil In "International Currency War," Says Prime Minister (FT)
“We’re in the midst of an international currency war, a general weakening of currency. This threatens us because it takes away our competitiveness,” Mr Mantega said.

Genius Gets Its Own Reward (WSJ)
A honey-bee breeder, a jellyfish scholar, a stone carver and an Emmy-winning screenwriter were among 23 people awarded $500,000 "genius" grants Tuesday by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. While most aren't well known outside their fields, this year's crop includes David Simon, the Baltimore author and screenwriter responsible for such popular shows as the Emmy-winning HBO television series "The Corner," as well as HBO dramas "The Wire" and "Treme."

HSBC Picks Boxer Turned Risk-Manager Gulliver as CEO (Bloomberg)
Gulliver, named chief executive officer last week, worked his way up over 30 years from treasury department roles in London and Asia, where he learned to manage funding, liquidity and interest-rate holdings. That training in risk helped him steer HSBC’s traders through the Asian financial crisis of the 1990s and allowed the securities unit he oversees to survive the subprime bubble with smaller losses than competitors including Barclays Capital. “You should not expect a significant change,” Gulliver, 51, told reporters on a conference call last week. “It’s important to take away from this that the processes that Mike has started and Stephen has started I will continue.” Staying still may not be enough. Gulliver, a boxer at Oxford University, faces calls from investors to boost revenue from Asia, where it lags behind competitor Standard Chartered Plc.

Depression up 25 percent on Gulf after oil (AP)
Good job, BP.

Bronx art teacher Melissa Petro blabs about exploits as stripper, hooker (NYDN)
At open-mic events.

Charlie Gasparino Thinks Barney Frank Is Making Excuses (NYP)
"Rep. Barney Frank & Co. are getting set for yet another hearing this week on the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-controlled mortgage lenders. Once again, they're not after the truth -- they're looking to conceal it. The House Financial Services Committee chairman and his brethren on the left want you to believe they're making a good-faith effort to figure out what went wrong with Fannie and Freddie -- what mistakes led to their failure and takeover by the government during the 2008 financial collapse, and how to fix both institutions for the future. In fact, what they'll deliver is more hot air from so-called "housing advocates" obscuring just how much Fannie and Freddie contributed to the housing bubble, the 2008 financial collapse and the Great Recession. It's all meant to give lawmakers an excuse not to do what's necessary and prudent -- namely, kill Fannie and Freddie before they come back to do it all again."

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