Opening Bell: 01.11.11

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Goldman Opens Up To Mollify Its Critics (WSJ)
In a 63-page report set to be released Tuesday, Goldman says that for the first time in its 142-year-history, it will start disclosing how much revenue comes from the firm's own trading and investing, according to a copy of the report reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The reporting change will begin with Goldman's fourth-quarter results later this month...Other changes include procedures to make sure the firm doesn't take advantage of clients, even accidentally. Thousands of Goldman clients will be put into a "matrix" that defines each client's level of "sophistication." That process will determine which types of transactions are most "suitable" for the client. Those wanting to breach those limits will need special approval from Goldman.

Morgan Stanley Model Gets Little Respect as Gorman Defies Slide (Bloomberg)
Morgan Stanley, which reports fourth-quarter results next week, lagged behind Goldman Sachs Group Inc.. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. in fixed-income trading in the first nine months, the second year it has done so. The New York-based firm, the sixth- largest U.S. bank by assets with more than 62,000 employees, backed off its profit-margin goals for the brokerage in July, blaming the May 6 market crash that briefly wiped out $862 billion in equity market value for scaring away retail investors.

Get Ready For 8-12 More Inches
(NYP)
Everybody flip out: Two powerful storms bearing down on the city will join forces tonight to dump up to a foot of snow here, forecasters say. The miserable mix of snow and 35-mph wind gusts will be gone by tomorrow night -- but don't expect much melting until daytime highs go above 32 degrees over the weekend.

Big Snow Returns To Big Apple, Elsewhere (Metropolis)
Here’s something else to look forward to during the wee hours on Wednesday morning: the possible return of the thundersnow! A super intense jetstream roaring high above our rooftops at more than 150 mph could give this storm just enough energy to create some lightning

Harbinger Investment Officer To Launch Own Hedge Fund (WSJ)
Lawrence M. Clark Jr., who resigned Friday, was a senior analyst who reported directly to Harbinger founder Philip Falcone and had been a Harbinger partner since 2005. He joined Harbinger in 2002. "This is the right time for me. I'm very comfortable with taking on the risk. This is entirely about what's right for me and reflects in no way on Phil or Harbinger," Mr. Clark said in an interview Monday afternoon.

Short the Rumor Pays 14% on Takeovers That Don't Happen (Bloomberg)
Electronic news services, brokerages and newspapers reported at least 1,875 rumors about potential buyouts of 717 companies between 2005 and 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A total of 104, or 14.5 percent, were acquired, the data show. While stocks that were the subject of takeover speculation initially jumped 2.9 percent, betting on declines yielded average profits of 1.2 percent in the next month, an annualized gain of 14 percent.

Portugal: We Don't Need Aid (WSJ)
Portugal "won't ask for any financial help because it's not necessary," Prime Minister Socrates told reporters. He noted that Portugal has the means to deal with its own problems, citing its better-than-expected progress in reducing its budget deficit and higher-than-expected economic growth.

Cave Drops Hints To Earliest Glass Of Red (NYT)
Scientists have reported finding the oldest known winemaking operation, about 6,100 years old, complete with a vat for fermenting, a press, storage jars, a clay bowl and a drinking cup made from an animal horn.

Greek Minister: Crisis Is 'Systemic' For Europe (CNBC)
Greek Finance Minister George Papanconstantinou sought to reassure investors over the country’s debt burden on Tuesday, saying spreads between Greek and German bonds were high because of broader market turbulence rather than a real threat of default.

Could The Federal Reserve Become Insolvent? (Reuters)
Varadarajan Chari, an economics professor at the University of Minnesota and a consultant to the Minneapolis Fed, says that at some point during its exit from easy monetary policies, the Fed actually may go broke - at least on paper. "The most obvious exit strategy is, when inflation starts to pick up, to stop and reverse asset purchases," he said. "That's likely to include requiring the Fed in an accounting sense to see a significant accounting loss."

Judges Berate Lawyers In Foreclosures (NYT)
In numerous opinions, judges have accused lawyers of processing shoddy or even fabricated paperwork in foreclosure actions when representing the banks. Judge Arthur M. Schack of New York State Supreme Court in Brooklyn has taken aim at an upstate lawyer, Steven J. Baum, referring to one filing as “incredible, outrageous, ludicrous and disingenuous.”

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