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Opening Bell: 01.10.11

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Big Consultant Pay Hints Insider Probe Will Widen (WSJ)
Large sums of money paid to some consultants charged in the government's insider-trading case indicate they may have talked with dozens of hedge funds, suggesting the scope of the investigation could widen significantly, people familiar with the expert-network industry say.

Goldman Sachs Proprietary Traders Roskis, Benatoff Said to Plan Hedge Fund (Bloomberg)
Ariel Roskis and Daniele Benatoff, who work for New York- based Goldman Sachs’s principal strategies desk in London, plan to start the fund in the second quarter, said the person, who declined to be identified before the plans are announced. The pair have secured a $300 million investment from Brummer & Partners, the largest Scandinavian hedge fund, the person said.

Florida Kicks Off Bank Failures For 2011 (AB)
The honor goes to Orlando-based First Commercial Bank Of Florida.

Citi: Smokes Could Be Gone In 30 To 50 Years (NYP)
A Citigroup analysis of the tobacco industry indicates there may be zero puffers in 30 to 50 years' time. The research was based on declining smoking rates in Britain. Currently, only one in five Americans lights up, down from almost one in four a decade ago. Even though the decline among American smokers is at a standstill now, "it is quite possible that there will be no smokers left in Britain or many other developed countries in about 30-50 years," the report states.

Paulson Group Said to Seize CNL Hotels From Morgan Stanley Funds (Bloomberg)
A lender group including Paulson & Co., the New York-based hedge fund run by John Paulson, seized control of former CNL Hotels & Resorts Inc. properties from Morgan Stanley’s real estate funds through a $600 million debt restructuring, said two people with knowledge of the deal.

A Cupcake IPO (NPR)
Crumbs Bake Shop will go public through a $66 million merger with the 57th Street General Acquisition Corporation.

Playboy Agrees to Hefner's Offer to Go Private at $6.15 a Share (Bloomberg)
The company said it agreed to be taken private by founder Hugh M. Hefner for $6.15 per share.

Analysts Prove Perilous as Contrarian Stocks Rise 165% (Bloomberg)
Companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index that analysts loved the most rose 73 percent on average since the benchmark for U.S. equity started to recover in March 2009, while those with the fewest “buy” recommendations gained 165 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

1,000 turtle doves falling dead in Italy (DM)
The most likely cause are discarded sunflower seeds that were found on an industrial estate close to where the bodies of the turtle doves were found. In essence the birds were greedy, ate too many of the seeds - which we have found inside them during autopsies - and this brought on the indigestion that led to their death.


Opening Bell: 1.26.16

Paulson props up his own firm; AIG plans to slim down; Dimon and Blankfein go from billionaires to millionaires; Puerto Rican man 'plays poker' at his own wake; and more.