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Opening Bell: 01.25.11

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Wall Street Partying In Davos As Bankers Overcome Crisis (Bloomberg)
Dimon, Pandit, Moynihan, Diamond-- the gangs all here (except for Blankfein, who is sending Gary Cohn).

Bank Of America's Countrywide Accused In Suit Of 'Massive Fraud' (Bloomberg)
The investors claim they bought hundreds of millions of dollars of Countrywide mortgage-backed securities from 2005 to 2007 because they wanted conservative, low-risk investments. They said they relied on term sheets, prospectuses and other materials provided by the firm that were recklessly or knowingly false.

At Santander, Succession In The Spotlight (WSJ)
Alfredo Sáenz, who has been chief executive of the bank since 2002, is expected to be banned from running banks in coming weeks by Spain's Supreme Court after he was found guilty of making false criminal accusations in a 17-year-old case during his tenure at the helm of Banco Español de Crédito SA, known as Banesto...One possible takeover candidate is Ana Patricia Botín, 50, daughter of the bank's chairman, Emilio Botín. The 76-year-old Mr. Botín, credited with transforming Santander from a sleepy domestic bank into one of the largest in the world, is expected to eventually be succeeded by his daughter, said people close to the bank, perhaps after she does a stint as CEO. At Santander, the chairman, not the CEO, has traditionally held the most power and influence.

Price Drop Points To Likely Double Dip In Housing Market (Reuters)
"Everything in this report is unfortunately still sagging and still pointing downward," David Blitzer, S&P 500 Index Committee chairman, said in a CNBC interview just after the report was released. "The recent news across the board on housing except for existing home sales has been very, very disappointing. We still seem to be at best scraping along the bottom."

Mendev Blames Airport Lapses For Bombing (WSJ)
"What happened demonstrates that there were clear security breaches," Mr. Medvedev said Tuesday in televised remarks. "Someone had to try very hard to carry or bring through such a vast amount of explosives. "Everyone linked to the company that makes decisions there, and the management of the airport itself, has to answer for everything," the president added.

Fed Likely To Press On With QE Even As Business Lending Rises (Bloomberg)
“The Fed is not ready to let up on its accelerator,” said Gramley, senior economic adviser for Potomac Research Group in Washington. “They are going to be impressed with the fact the economy has gained some momentum, but there are still strong headwinds to growth, and bank lending is quite modest.”

UK couple causes 27K worth of damage to church after following GPS directions (Herald Sun)
The couple, who cannot be named under German data protection laws, were traveling Friday from Austria to France guided by their GPS system. The 76-year-old husband, who was driving, followed instructions to "turn right" but ended up hitting the chapel near Freundpolz, Bavaria.

UK Economy May Be Headed For A Double-Dip (CNBC)
Britain's "awful" gross domestic product figure for the fourth quarter is pushing the country closer to a double-dip and limits the central bank's ability to fight rising inflation, analysts and business leaders said Tuesday.

BlackRock Profit More Than Doubles (WSJ)
BlackRock reported a profit of $657 million, or $3.35 a share, up from $256 million, or $1.62 a share, a year earlier. Excluding transactions costs and other items, earnings rose to $3.42 from $2.39. Revenue surged 61% to $2.49 billion.

Investors Weigh In On For-Profit College Regulation (WSJ)
"Hello, my name is Steven Eisman," began an email to an Education Department official in May. "I wanted to bring to your attention many of the unsaid or unknown aspects of this industry."

Apple Plans Service That Lets Users Pay With iPhone (Bloomberg)
The services are based on “Near-Field Communication,” a technology that can beam and receive information at a distance of up to 4 inches, due to be embedded in the next iteration of the iPhone for AT&T Inc. and the iPad 2.