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Opening Bell: 10.27.10

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Buffett Says Todd Combs Is '100% Fit' With Berkshire Culture (WSJ)
Mr. Buffett says he and Mr. Munger were sold on Mr. Combs not only because of his ability and intelligence but also because they were convinced he would fit in to Berkshire's no-fuss culture. Mr. Combs, a Sarasota, Fla., native who is still partial to his alma mater Florida State Seminoles football team, struck a lasting impression, Mr. Buffett says. He and Mr. Munger arrived at the decision based on the same kind of "gut check" they make with acquisitions of companies. "He is a 100% fit for our culture," Mr. Buffett says. "I can define the culture while I am here, but we want a culture that is so embedded that it doesn't get tested when the founder of it isn't around. Todd is perfect in that respect." "He is smart, and he can adapt," says Sheryl Lucante, who was the maid of honor at his wedding to wife April.

Deutsche Bank posts net loss on Postbank charge (MarketWatch)
The bank lost 1.21 billion euros ($1.7 billion), or €1.75 a share. In the same period a year ago, it earned €1.38 billion, or €1.92 a share. The loss did not come as a surprise to investors, however, as Germany’s largest bank had warned in September that it would slip in the red in the third quarter because of a €2.3 billion Postbank charge.

Deutsche Bank Pays Investment Bankers More Than Goldman Sachs (Bloomberg)
If you look at how much they can pay, on average, which obviously means nothing for top performers but nice try!

Moody's: US Companies Hoarding Almost $1 Trillion In Cash (Reuters)
Nonfinancial U.S. companies are sitting on $943 billion of cash and short-term investments, as of mid-year 2010, compared with $775 billion at the end of 2008, Moody's said. This would be enough to cover a year's worth of capital spending and dividends and still have $121 billion left over, it said. However, "we believe companies are looking for greater certainty about the economy and signs of a permanent increase in sales before they let go of their cash hoards, which they suffered so much to build," Moody's said in a report.

Europe Moves To Ease Rules On Hedge Funds (NYT)
European Union finance ministers agreed Tuesday on rules to allow foreign hedge funds to do business across the 27-nation bloc — a deal that came as a relief to Britain, home of the European hedge fund industry. The agreement, which still needs final approval of the European Parliament, also came as a relief to senior E.U. officials, who were seeking a show of unity ahead of a meeting of finance ministers of the Group of 20 nations. Britain was opposed to an earlier version of the rules backed by France that could have forced foreign funds to register in each member state of the Union. That had raised fears that firms could leave London, diminishing its importance as a financial hub.

Paul Singer to reap $1.5B on Delphi auto stake (NYP)
Singer's fund, Elliott Management, and partner Silver Point Capital still hold an 18 percent stake in Delphi, which emerged from bankruptcy in October of last year. The firms acquired that stake as payment from other lenders for selling off their stakes in the business. That stake, which was worth $640 million at the time Delphi exited bankruptcy, has now more than doubled in value to $1.54 billion based on Delphi stock that is traded on secondary exchanges. Moreover, Elliott Management, which bought up Delphi debt for pennies on the dollar, reaped a windfall last year when it and Silver Point unloaded billions of Delphi loans by converting them into equity and selling them off to other investors.

US Seeks To Shield Goldman Secrets (WSJ)
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan this week asked a federal district judge to seal the courtroom at the forthcoming trial of former Goldman computer programmer Sergey Aleynikov, who is accused of stealing the firm's computer code.