Opening Bell: 12.27.10

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New York Hit Hard As Winter Storm Slams Northeast (Reuters)
In a sign of the severity of the storm, an NFL football game scheduled Sunday in Philadelphia was postponed, forcing the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings to reschedule the contest for Tuesday. The move sparked criticism, especially as the sport loves to glorify great games in snow. "It's an absolute joke," Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, a big Eagles fan, told Fox. "I was looking forward to this. It would have been a real experience. This is what football is all about. We're becoming a nation of wussies," Rendell said.

NYC Airports Closed (WSJ)
Not sure if you knew this but there's a lot of snow outside. If you were thinking of flying back to make it to work, think again! "Hundreds of passengers are stuck at New York City's area airports. JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports remain closed due to blizzard conditions. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Steve Coleman says passengers are being provided blankets and cots. Coleman says the airports are expected to reopen sometime late Monday afternoon."

New Battleground For Ex-Citi Rivals (WSJ)
Let the awesomeness of these words/visuals wash over you: "When they were top executives at Citigroup Inc., Sallie Krawcheck and Todd Thomson had a well-known rivalry. Mr. Thomson, Citigroup's swaggering young chief financial officer, would regularly challenge Ms. Krawcheck's performance numbers during her presentations to the management committee, according to Citigroup executives. Ms. Krawcheck, the high-profile head of the Smith Barney unit, would visibly roll her eyes during Mr. Thomson's flashy speeches, in which he would sometimes wear a leather jacket and blare rock music."

Citadel delivers 10% gain on 20th anniversary (CBB)
The Chicago-based firm’s flagship Kensington and Wellington funds climbed about 10 percent, according to a letter to investors. “We will be more judicious in our use of leverage and restrained in our trading of less liquid or highly complex instruments,” Griffin said in the letter. “We were overly confident that we could weather any financial storm,” he wrote about the 2008 financial crisis. “Now we are firmly grounded in the understanding that even the best run firms — with the strongest balance sheet and industry leading risk-management tools — can face almost unimaginable market forces,” Griffin said.

Bailed Out Banks Slip Toward Failure (WSJ)
Breathe easy, Vikram: "Most of the troubled TARP recipients are small, plagued by wayward lending programs from which they might not recover. The median size of the 98 banks was $439 million in assets as of Sept. 30. The median TARP infusion for each was $10 million, federal filings show."

WikiLeaks' Assange Sells Memoir (NPR)
Assange said he received an advance of more than $1 million, which is good, 'cause he's got legal bills to pay and Bank of American domains to buy. Now all he needs is a title-- suggestions welcome at this time.

Diddy to pay bill for Miyoki Jones to fix hair after it was set on fire at his album release party (NYDN)
The startling accident, which was caught on video, showed model Miyoki Jones with flames shooting out of her hair after she got too close to a candle at the party for Diddy's latest album release.

Joe Montana's Modern Bank Hires Citigroup's Kozlowski as CEO (Bloomberg)
“My job is to put the right strategy and team in place, to make sure that the bank ongoing is profitable and can grow,” Kozlowski, 46, said of being charged with turning things around for the place after almost $30 million of losses in five years.

Man Quits Job, Makes Living Suing Email Spammers (ABC)
Yes: "Eight years ago, Dan Balsam was working as a marketer when he received one too many e-mail pitches to enlarge his breasts. Enraged, he launched a Web site called Danhatesspam.com, quit a career in marketing to go to law school and is making a decent living suing companies who flood his e-mail inboxes with offers of cheap drugs, free sex and unbelievable vacations. "I feel like I'm doing a little bit of good cleaning up the Internet," Balsam said."

Message To CEO: Do More To Keep Your Employees (WSJ)
Want to keep that rainmaker happy? Coupons for free fluffing and/or babysitting services, performed by you, wouldn't hurt.

A Mortgage Nightmare's Happy Ending (NYT)
For the Ahlemans, at least, their flirtation with financial disaster — and the modification that helped them survive — has made them appreciate life more. “We’re just really, really happy all the time,” says Ms. Ahleman. “I used to say to myself, ‘When I wake up in the morning, I just want to feel how people who are comfortable in life feel.’ And now we have the ability to do that. It can be done.”

James Franco's Grandmother Has A Message For You (FoD)

Obama Likely to Name Lawrence Summers's Successor in January, Gibbs Says (Bloomberg)
Roger Altman, founder of Evercore Partners Inc.; Gene Sperling, an adviser to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; Yale University President Richard Levin; and Gary Busey, life coach, include the possible candidates to succeed Summers.

Pre-Nup Negotiation Advice For 24 Year-Old Playmate Crystal Harris (Forbes)
...who is now engaged to 84 year-old Hugh Hefner.

Programming Note: We’re on an abbreviated vacation-esque schedule ’til Monday (opening/closing wraps and limited updates whenever the urge to reach out and touch you moves us). We still want to hear from you, though, so if someone gets nailed for insider trading, Lloyd announces he's quitting to join the Blue Man Group in 2011, or anything else happens that you think might tickle our fancy, do not hesitate to let us know.

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