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Opening Bell: 01.24.11

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Chase Coleman's Tiger Global Said to Put New Private-Equity Fund Into Facebook (Bloomberg)
Tiger Global has $1 billion in commitments and plans to line up an additional $250 million by next month, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Coleman, 35, has steered about $80 million from the new pool into Facebook, whose more than 600 million users make it the top social-networking site.

Treasury Announces Citigroup's Warrant Auction (AP)
The government says it will sell 465.1 million warrants it holds from Citigroup in an auction on Tuesday. It is the latest effort to recoup costs from the $700 billion financial bailout.

Morgan Stanley Banker Drawn Into Galleon Probe (WSJ)
Kamal Ahmed, 42 years old, is the first Wall Street banker publicly drawn into the Galleon investigation. The government is preparing for Mr. Rajaratnam's trial late in February. Mr. Ahmed wasn't named in the filing but people close to the situation say he is the banker referred to anonymously by the government. Mr. Ahmed was put on leave on Friday in connection to the filing. He hasn't been accused of wrongdoing and it isn't clear if he will be charged in the case. The government filing on Friday said that the unnamed Morgan Stanley banker informed another person that ATI Technologies Inc. was going to be acquired by AMD. The other person, whose name was also redacted from the filing, told Mr. Rajaratnam about the acquisition, the filing says.

Obama's Address Previews 2012 Race (WSJ)
The speech and the Republican response are likely to frame contrasting philosophies that will drive political discourse for the next two years. Mr. Obama has chosen "competitiveness" and "investment" as terms to guide discussion over how to create jobs, daring Republicans to resist his push for new spending in areas that he will call vital to the nation's future. He will seek to wall off education, infrastructure, science and energy from cuts, in effect making them the ground on which the 2012 campaign is to be fought.

Mortgage Giants Leave Legals Bills To Taxpayers (NYT)
Taxpayers have paid $24.2 million to law firms defending three of Fannie’s former top executives: Franklin D. Raines, its former chief executive; Timothy Howard, its former chief financial officer; and Leanne Spencer, the former controller.

US Treasury's Toxic Asset Fund Gains 27% (Reuters)
Since the funds were established in 2009, they have used about $5.2 billion of Treasury's equity investment to buy toxic assets. As of the end of 2010, the funds have gained $1.1 billion to about $6.3 billion, according to the data.

Metals Traders Worth $3 Million at Wall Street Banks (Bloomberg)
Metals traders probably earned as much as 20 percent more last year than in 2009, with the most-profitable getting $2 million to $3 million, said Peter Henry, head of front-office search at Commodity Search Partners Ltd. The figure, confirmed by three other recruiters who declined to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly, compares with no change to a drop of 10 percent in pay across commodities personnel. “Metals traders are an exception when there’s pressure on banks to cut remuneration,” New York-based Henry said. They “are making more money than other parts of the banks and the bonuses reflect that to some extent,” he said.

Woman Dies in Driveway as Cold Hits Northeast (AP)
An arctic blast from Canada is responsible for some of the frigid temperatures in the northern U.S. and some of the coldest air to hit the Northeast in two years. The cold was linked to at least two deaths in the Northeast, including that of a woman whose frozen body was found in a driveway.

Groupon Less Than `100% Committed' to IPO, Chief Executive Mason Says (Bloomberg)
“An IPO is something we are considering, but we’re just trying to learn more about the option at this point and understand the benefits and drawbacks," Mason said.

Goldman's Long Bond Shows Inflation Concerns Are Waning (Bloomberg)
The bank received $9 billion in orders for its $2.5 billion of notes sold on Jan. 21, according to Mizuho Securities USA. The 6.25 percent senior bonds yield 170 basis points more than similar-maturity Treasuries, at the low end of a 5-basis-point range marketed by the New York-based firm, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

JC Penney To Name William Ackman To Board (WSJ)
The company agreed to name the activist investor and chairman of Vornado Realty Trust, Steven Roth, to its board as the department-store operator also outlined plans to close underperforming locations, wind down its catalogue and outlet operations and consolidate its call centers.

More Hiring Is Expected (WSJ)
The fourth-quarter poll of 84 companies by the National Association for Business Economics found 42% expected to increase jobs in the next six months. That is up from 29% in the first quarter of 2010. Only 7% of companies in the latest survey predict they will shed jobs in the coming six months, down from 23% at the start of last year.

Steve Eisman On Losing Streak (NYP)
Eisman's FrontPoint Financial Services, which launched in 2004, was down 8.3 percent through Dec. 31, and FrontPoint Financial Horizons Fund slipped 7.7 percent. In 2010, the two funds were the firm's worst performers, according to reports sent to clients.


Opening Bell: 11.21.12

Germany Hints At More Financing (WSJ) Germany on Wednesday signaled its willingness to provide additional financing for the euro zone's bailout fund and accept lower interest on loans to Athens, in order to get the Greek rescue back on track and free the next tranche of about €44 billion ($56.40 billion) in loans for the euro zone's weakest member. Merkel Sees Chance For Greek Deal Monday (Reuters) "I believe there are chances, one doesn't know for sure, but there are chances to get a solution on Monday," Merkel told the Bundestag lower house of parliament in a debate on the German budget. But the longing for one act, one miracle solution, one truth that means all our problems are gone tomorrow...this will not be fulfilled. What was neglected over years, over decades, cannot be taken care of overnight and therefore we will need to continue to move step by step." H-P Says It Was Duped (WSJ) The technology giant said that an internal investigation had revealed "serious accounting improprieties" and "outright misrepresentations" in connection with U.K. software maker Autonomy, which H-P acquired for $11.1 billion in October 2011. "There appears to have been a willful sustained effort" to inflate Autonomy's revenue and profitability, said Chief Executive Meg Whitman. "This was designed to be hidden." Michael Lynch, Autonomy's founder and former CEO, fired back hours later, denying improper accounting and accusing H-P of trying to hide its mismanagement. "We completely reject the allegations," said Mr. Lynch, who left H-P earlier this year. "As soon as there is some flesh put on the bones we will show they are not true." Analysts Had Questioned Autonomy’s Accounting Years Ago (CNBC) Paul Morland, technology research analyst at broking and advisory house Peel Hunt, told CNBC that he had noticed three red flags in Autonomy’s accounts in the years leading up to the HP acquisition: poor cash conversion, an inflated organic growth rate, and the categorizing of hardware sales as software. London Bankers Become Landlords as Rents Hit Record (Bloomberg) Vivek Jeswani became a landlord by accident when Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) transferred him to New York two weeks after he moved into a new home in central London. Now back in the U.K., Jeswani views the apartment in Baker Street, the fictional home of Sherlock Holmes, as one of his best assets and is about to buy another home to expand his rental business. “There are no other investments as attractive and you’ve got some security if you’ve got an asset you can use yourself,” the 36-year-old risk officer at China Construction Bank Corp.’s U.K. unit said. “There’s a good yield over 5 percent and being in central London, you’ve got demand domestically and internationally.” Trading Charges Reach SAC (WSJ) The hedge funds reaped $276 million in profits and losses avoided based on that information, criminal and civil authorities said—far dwarfing that of any previous insider-trading case. The bulk of the trading profits generated by Mr. Martoma was paid to Mr. Cohen, a person close to the hedge fund said. Fed Still Trying To Push Down Rates (WSJ) Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested that the central bank will keep trying to push down long-term interest rates in 2013, as federal tax and spending policies become a more substantial headwind to the U.S. economy. "We will continue to do our best to add monetary-policy support to the recovery," Mr. Bernanke said at the New York Economic Club, answering a question about how the Federal Reserve would respond to impending spending cuts or tax increases that might restrain economic growth. 'Stiletto Surgery' alters pinky toe for better fit (Fox) These days, some women will do just about anything to fit into their favorite pair of high heels – including surgery. A growing number of women are paying thousands of dollars to surgically alter their feet just to make wearing heels a more comfortable experience. Surgical procedures such as shortening toes, receiving foot injections and even completely cutting off pinky toes are on the rise. “Unless you’ve been there, and you can’t find shoes, and you’re in pain, don’t judge,” said Susan Deming, a patient who recently underwent a toe-shortening procedure. Adoboli’s Fate Decided at Wine Bar as UBS Market Bets Unraveled (Bloomberg) On a cool late summer evening last year in London’s financial district, with the euro-zone crisis worsening and Greece tottering on the edge of default, Kweku Adoboli says he asked the three traders who worked with him at UBS AG’s exchange-traded funds desk to join him for a drink. Adoboli said in a post on his Facebook page that he needed “a miracle” as his bets on the market imploded. That night at a wine bar across the street from their office, Adoboli asked John Hughes, the senior trader on the ETF desk, and two junior traders, what to do. The others decided he should take the blame for billions of dollars in losses and an elaborate web of secret trades in what he called an umbrella account that once held $40 million in hidden profits. “I knew I was going to lose my job anyway, I had already resigned myself to that, so fair enough,” the 32-year-old Adoboli testified last month about the meeting, which the other traders deny took place. Jobless Claims in U.S. Decrease (Bloomberg) Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week as damage to the labor market caused by superstorm Sandy began to subside. Jobless claims decreased by 41,000 to 410,000 in the week ended Nov. 17, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The number of applications matched the median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Soros Buying Gold as Record Prices Seen on Stimulus (Bloomberg) The metal will rise every quarter next year and average $1,925 an ounce in the final three months, or 11 percent more than now, according to the median of 16 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Paulson & Co. has a $3.66 billion bet through the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest gold-backed exchange- traded product, and Soros Fund Management LLC increased its holdings by 49 percent in the third quarter, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings show. 'Cannibal Cop' Gilberto Valle planned to to cook up 'some girl meat' on Thanksgiving (NYDN) The "Cannibal Cop" had his own twist for a Thanksgiving dinner this year — cooking up “some girl meat,” prosecutors revealed Tuesday. Gilberto Valle, 28 — who allegedly kept a database of at least 100 women he plotted to rape, cook and eat — planned the freakish feast with one of his online conspirators earlier this year, prosecutors said. “I’m planning on getting me some girl meat,” he wrote to his pal on Feb. 9. “Really tell me more,” responded the friend. “It’s this November, for Thanksgiving. It’s a long way off but I’m getting the plan in motion now,” Valle wrote.

"Christ, Janet!" Photo: Steve Jurvetson, via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 7.14.16

JP Morgan beats estimates; Larry Fink doesn't trust equities rally; Craigslist users offer 'Pokemon Go' chauffeur service for players; and more.