Opening Bell: 10.01.10

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Crisis In Ireland Shakes Europe (WSJ)
The Irish government said Thursday that the total cost of fixing its banks, battered by an epic housing bust, could in the worst case total as much as €50 billion ($68 billion), or about a third of the country's economic output last year. That's much higher than the government's previous commitment of a total of €33 billion for the bailout. As a result of its bank rescues, Ireland's budget deficit will rise to 32% of its economic output this year—roughly 10 times the European Union limit and the biggest in the euro zone's 11-year history.

Nassim Taleb: Don't Listen to Geithner or Krugman (The Atlantic)
Taleb explained his simple metric for judging whose economic opinions are worth his time: "Did someone predict the crisis before it happened? ... If the answer is no, I don't want to hear what the person says. If the person saw the crisis coming, then I want to hear what they have to say." Other unlucky economic figures who failed Taleb's test included writers Paul Krugman and Thomas Friedman.

Greeks Rush Through Law Giving Tax Amnesties (FT)
The legislation has provoked sharp criticism, including from members of the governing Socialist party, which pledged when it came to power a year ago to avoid a long-standing practice by governments of agreeing across-the-board tax amnesties every three to four years. “The fines [in the legislation] are so small they effectively reward tax evasion...So owners of small businesses and self-employed professionals will go on disputing tax claims, hoping for another amnesty,” said George Florides, a Socialist former deputy minister.

Hedgies Nip And Tuck Fees To Please Clients
(NYP)
Renaissance Technologies reduced fees for one of its funds amid recent dips in performance. Citadel has also been talking with large investors about possibly cutting some fees, although a person close to the firm said it has yet to make a decision. Balyasny Asset Management also moved to cut its fees to 2 and 30.

Carly Fiorina Wants More Transparency For Hedge Fund Holdings, Trades (Bloomberg)
“Hedge funds should be subject to transparency, I think we’ve got to see what’s going on in those capital flows,” said Fiorina, 56. The Dodd-Frank Act “punishes hedge funds, but it’s not clear to me we’ve created transparency in hedge funds.”

Carlyle's Rubenstein Says Buyout Fees Are Declining (BW)
“I’m not sure anybody really gets 2 and 20 anymore,” said Rubenstein. Large buyout funds now probably charge management fees of 1 percent to 1.25 percent, he said. Deal and transaction monitoring fees that buyout firms had charged to the companies they acquired are “largely” going away.

Bayrock's Arif Detained by Police in Turkish Prostitution Raid on Yacht (Bloomberg)
The Turkish military policeman who led the helicopter raid on the Savarona told Milliyet that the team found all the yacht’s guests in bed when they landed around lunchtime. The official, who declined to be identified according to the newspaper, said they found dozens of condoms in each room, and didn’t initially find any drugs, illegal weapons or video equipment that could be used for blackmail.

New BP Chief Seeks A 'Fast Evolution' (NYT)
“BP is a company that is coming back from a near-death experience,” Mr. Dudley said in a telephone interview, one of several he gave on Thursday to introduce himself and describe his vision for the company. “We are not going to run away from risk. We are going to make sure we are among the best in the world at managing risk going forward.”

Microsoft CEO Bonus Curbed for Kin, Tablet Failures (Reuters)
Ballmer, 54, received a cash bonus of $670,000 for the fiscal year ended June 30, equal to his salary, but only half of the maximum bonus payout, according to a filing with securities regulators on Thursday.

Ratings Firms Face Fines, Tougher EU Rules on Sovereign Debt (Bloomberg)
European Union finance ministers and central bank heads are discussing whether government debt ratings “are necessary” as well as possible fines for rating agencies at a meeting in Brussels today.

Top SEC attorney pleads no contest to charge of resisting arrest (Telegram via Heidi Moore)
Public intoxication, resisting arrest and...jaywalking.

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