Opening Bell: 01.04.11 - Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 01.04.11

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Moynihan Fights Fire At Bank Of America Amid Book Value Doubts (Bloomberg)
“Brian’s got his hands totally full dealing with the internal issues and the external focus on some of the problems of the company,” Stephen A. Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone Group LP, the world’s biggest buyout firm, said in an interview. “He is in firefighter mode, dealing with fires that will be contained but need attention.”

Illinois Has Days To Plus A $13 Billion Deficit That Took Years To Build (Bloomberg)
Anyone have any tips?

Blackbirds Died Of Blunt Trauma Mid-Air (KUAR)
Keith Stephens of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says between 4,000 and 5,000 of the birds are now believed to have rained on New Year’s Eve. “There was a lot of trauma in the breast tissue, blood clots in the body cavity and internal bleeding,” Stephens says. “So, it looks like maybe they got startled, they may have flown into each other, flown into a house, flown into a tree. They don’t have very good night vision,” he says, “and maybe they ran into each other, fell to the ground and died.”

Buffett Locks In Rates on New Bonds Amid Rising Yields (Bloomberg)
A unit of Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based holding company issued $750 million of 4.25 percent, 10-year notes yesterday priced to yield 95 basis points more than similar-maturity Treasuries, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It also sold $375 million of three-year, 1.5 percent notes and the same amount of floating-rate debt yielding 33 basis points more than the three-month London interbank offered rate, the data show. “The market scrutinizes Buffett’s moves very closely and this would indicate he’s thinking interest rates in the longer term may go up,” Vijay Chander, Hong Kong-based head of credit strategy at Standard Chartered Plc, said in a phone interview.

Cash Keeps Facebook's Status Private (WSJ)
Who's excited for the days/weeks/months of headlines incorporating Facebook terms?

Goldman Investment in Facebook May Draw SEC Scrutiny (Bloomberg)
Goldman Sachs invested $450 million in Facebook and is planning to create a special purpose vehicle for its clients to make additional investments worth as much as $1.5 billion. Some private companies avoid crossing the disclosure threshold when investors’ funds are channeled through a single entity, such as a private equity firm or hedge fund. “The real question is, what are the details of this special purpose vehicle?” said James Angel, a finance professor at Georgetown University’s business school in Washington. If the investment is designed to circumvent the rule, “the SEC should be looking very closely at it.”

Facebook May Not Be The Next Google (FT)
Oh, he went there.

US to Detail Pentagon Savings, Cuts (Reuters)
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to announce as early as Thursday about $100 billion in savings for the Pentagon and cuts to some weapons programs

Bankruptcy Filings Leapt 9 Percent (WSJ)
Personal bankruptcies rose to 1.53 million, up 9% from 2009, the highest level since a revamp of the law took effect in 2005, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute, an association of attorneys and other bankruptcy professionals, and the National Bankruptcy Research Center.

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Opening Bell: 05.04.12

BofA Sees $5 Billion Collateral Need in Credit Downgrade (Bloomberg) A two-level downgrade of long-term senior debt ratings would have prompted the bank to post about $5.1 billion of collateral tied to derivatives contracts and other trading agreements as of March 31, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based firm said yesterday in a regulatory filing. It would have had to post an additional $1.1 billion of collateral if trading partners opted to tear up contracts in a two-level cut. RBS claims 'pleasing progress' though loss triples (AP) RBS, 82-percent owned by the British government after a massive bailout in the global the financial crisis, posted a 2011 first quarter net loss of £528 million. The lender said losses soared owing to an increase in the value of its outstanding debt to £2.46 billion. "As RBS's credit spreads tightened during the quarter, a charge of £2,456 million was booked for (our) own credit adjustments," RBS said in a statement. But the bank's underlying performance was brighter, with RBS posting a first quarter operating profit of £1.18 billion. RBS also confirmed that it would repay the last of emergency state loans totalling £163 billion but the British government will still own almost all of the bank after a £45.5 billion bailout following the 2008 financial crisis. "The start of 2012 has shown pleasing progress at RBS within the context of a flat economic environment," chief executive Stephen Hester said in the statement. Employers in U.S. Added Fewer Jobs Than Forecast in April (Bloomberg) Payrolls climbed 115,000, the smallest gain in six months, after a revised 154,000 gain in March that was larger than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 160,000 advance. The jobless rate fell to a three-year low of 8.1 percent, and earnings stagnated. Facebook Targets $96 Billion Value (WSJ) With the pricing, Facebook is anticipated to raise as much as $13.6 billion, above earlier expectations of $10 billion. In a regulatory filing, Facebook said the company would seek to sell 337.4 million shares, with about half of those being sold by founders, employees and investors. The only U.S. issuers that have raised more money in an IPO were Visa Inc. at $19.7 billion in 2008 and General Motors Co. at $18.1 billion in 2010. Zuckerberg Facebook IPO to Make Him Richer Than Ballmer (Bloomberg) So that's exciting. Warren Buffett Has 'No Plans To Invest In Facebook IPO' (CNBC) When asked whether the current attention surrounding Internet IPOs reminded him of the tech stock bubble of the late 1990s, the Oracle of Omaha said, “It is not a bubble ... this is not what we were seeing in late 1999 all the way into 2001. We aren’t in any bubble phase of anything.” Inmates Dance, Deputy Fired (OBJ) Some inmates did the worm, others chose the old school robot. Each dance was performed to the beat of hip-hop artist Usher on command from a now-fired Summit County deputy. The inmate prize: use of a jail microwave. The charges are revealed in an internal affairs report released Wednesday. Deputy Dominic Martucci, 35, was fired for violating the department’s policies, including a mandate that inmates be treated humanely. Martucci is accused of ordering five inmates dance to Usher’s Yeah! song and then inviting other deputies to watch during an early evening shift on April 11. The inmates danced their way to regaining use of a microwave that they had lost earlier that day. Fitch CEO: US Downgrade Not Likely Before Election (CNBC) "We currently have the U.S. on a negative outlook, which actually suggests we think there is the potential for a downgrade," Taylor said in an interview. "It's too early to tell whether that will turn into an actual downgrade or not,” he said. “We think we still need to see what's going to happen through the elections and what actions are put in place subsequent to the elections. I think it's very clear that the U.S. does need to do something to deal with the debt problems built up since the financial crisis," he added. New Ripples For Gupta Case (WSJ) Mr. Gupta's criminal trial for securities fraud and conspiracy is scheduled to begin May 21 and expected to last about three weeks. Mr. Gupta has pleaded not guilty. His lawyer, Gary Naftalis, declined to comment for this article but previously has called the accusations "totally baseless." The Manhattan U.S. attorney's office also declined to comment. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have taken note of the spike in trading in Goldman, which began as the firm's board concluded a special meeting to approve the deal that afternoon, according to people familiar with the matter. Galleon traders also noticed the climbing stock, conversations recorded on government wiretaps show. "Someone had this before us, someone, whatever went on, something happened," Galleon trader Ian Horowitz told Mr. Rajaratnam in a phone call the next morning, caught on tape by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Goldman Readies Low-Cost Bond PLatform (WSJ) Goldman is preparing to roll out a bond-trading platform on which it will charge lower fees than on typical bond trades, according to people familiar with the matter, a move that could help retain customers tempted by rival trading venues being set up by BlackRock Inc. and others. AIG Invests $7.4 Billion at 5.3% to Boost Returns, Adds RMBS (Bloomberg) “We continue to be opportunistic with our investments in structured securities in order to improve yields, increase net investment income and offset the impact of a lower interest rate environment,” Wintrob said. BofA Talks Deal On Ex-Broker Pay (WSJ) The former Merrill brokers left the firm after the 2009 takeover by Bank of America and claim they are owed deferred compensation as a result of the deal. They were emboldened last month by an arbitration ruling ordering the Charlotte, N.C., company to pay more than $11 million to two former brokers with related complaints.

Photo: Michael Vadon [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 6.14.16

Citi, Barclays traders devise Trump hedge; FanDuel, DraftKings may merge; Rancher lassos alleged bicycle thief; and more.