Opening Bell: 11.03.10 - Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 11.03.10

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Billionaire Ken Fisher Sees 16% S&P 500 Rally After Elections (Bloomberg)
“Right now, every politician is chirping and burping and carrying on," said Fisher. "It’s been in the interest of the Republicans running for office to talk down the economy. That goes away immediately after the election. Come June, you’ll see how quiet the political landscape will be -- very little legislation and a lot of baby kissing...Next year is the sweet spot. Most political risk aversion occurs in the first year when the president has the most relative power to the opposition party he will ever have. He tries to get through whatever his toughest bills would be, and that freaks people out.”

Mohamed El-Erian: We've voted. What's next for the economy? (WaPo)
Simply put, these realities make it necessary for Washington to resist two years of gridlock and policy paralysis. Democrats and Republicans must meet in the middle to implement policies to deal with debt overhangs and structural rigidities. The economy needs political courage that transcends expediency in favor of long-term solutions on issues including housing reform, medium-term budget rules, pro-growth tax reforms, investments in physical and technological infrastructure, job retraining, greater support for education and scientific research, and better nets to protect the most vulnerable segments of society.

California Voters Reject Legalization of Marijuana (AP)
Burn.

Morgan Stanley Slowly Rebuilds Fixed Income (NYT)
"We think management has a credible plan to rebuild the trading franchise," wrote Schorr, after meeting with Morgan Stanley executives. But he added that the plan will take time and returns are likely to remain sluggish in the near term so Nomura remains neutral on the stock.

Freddie Mac Reports $2.5 Billion Loss (WSJ)
Freddie Mac reported a third-quarter net loss of $2.5 billion and asked the U.S. Treasury to provide a $100 million infusion, raising the government's tab for its rescue of the mortgage-finance company to $63.2 billion. The third-quarter loss, the 12th in the last 13 quarters, compared with a year-earlier net loss of $5.4 billion.

GM Could Be Free Of Taxes For Years (WSJ)
According to documents filed with federal regulators, the revamping left the car maker with another boost as it prepares to return to the stock market. It won't have to pay $45.4 billion in taxes on future profits.

Harry Potter Blamed For India's Owl Crisis (AP)
Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has blamed fans of Harry Potter for the demise of wild owls in the country as children seek to emulate the boy wizard by taking the birds as pets. The hit books and films, which are popular in India, feature a snowy owl called Hedwig who is a feathered sidekick for the Potter character and used to deliver mail. "Following Harry Potter, there seems to be a strange fascination even among the urban middle classes for presenting their children with owls," Ramesh said Wednesday, according to comments reported by the BBC. His remarks came as wildlife group Traffic presented a report called "Imperilled Custodians of the Night" which warned about the declining owl population in India. Researchers found that a growing number of owls were being trapped, traded or killed in black magic rituals.

Dream Choice Can't Resist Lloyds Challenge (FT)
António Horta-Osório was always going to be a dream choice for Lloyds to draft in as its next chief executive. Having turned a clutch of troubled UK lenders – Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and the relatively healthy half of Bradford & Bingley – into a big profit engine for the Santander group, who better could Lloyds chairman Sir Win Bischoff find to return Britain’s biggest high-street bank to health? The 46-year-old Portuguese-born banker has spent the best part of two decades at Santander. He has held three big jobs and in each case has built businesses from a position of weakness – first in Brazil, then in Portugal, and finally in the UK. And he had been widely seen, both inside and outside Santander, as the heir apparent to the chief executive, currently held by Alfredo Saenz. “It definitely would have happened. It was just a matter of time,” confided one colleague. “But the immediate challenge of Lloyds was just too good an opportunity to pass up.”

Proprietary Trader First New York Securities Said to Plan First Hedge Fund (Bloomberg)
First New York is seeking outside money after returning an annual average of about 20 percent in the past five years, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The firm may hire as many as 40 traders in the next six months, the person said.

Business Looks to Republicans to Block Obama on Rules, Taxes (Bloomberg)
“You’d have to say job one is get this tax situation at least stabilized, let’s decide what we’re doing on the tax-cut extensions, let’s not be raising taxes while we still got 9.6 percent unemployment,” John Engler, NAM’s president and former Michigan governor, said today on CNBC.

SEC Mulls Ban on Unfettered Access to Markets (Reuters)
The SEC will meet later on Wednesday to decide whether to require brokerages to have rules in place to protect against potential mishaps from unlicensed traders when brokerages rent out their access to the markets. The SEC is also expected to propose a controversial plan that would allow it to reward whistle-blowers if the information leads to a successful enforcement case.

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