Opening Bell: 02.23.11 - Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 02.23.11

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Deutsche Bank Receives Six-Month Ban on Derivatives Trading in South Korea (Bloomberg)
Deutsche Bank AG was banned from proprietary stock and derivatives trading for six months in South Korea after regulators blamed the firm for triggering a stocks rout that wiped out $26 billion in market value. The Financial Services Commission will ask prosecutors to investigate five Deutsche Bank employees, Choi Kyu Yun, standing commissioner of the regulator, told reporters in Seoul today. Deutsche Bank is “disappointed” by the recommendations, and will cooperate with Korean authorities, it said in an e-mailed statement. The ban starts in April.

Blankfein Fought Raising Base Salaries Before His Tripled (Bloomberg)
“Salary is another form of guarantee, so we would like low salaries and high contingent comp,” Blankfein said in the interview. “We think the world is going in a poor direction. We think having high fixed salaries for people, or guarantees for people and lower contingent comp actually is worse behavior.”

Libya Evacuation Largest in Turkish History, Davutoglu Says (BusinessWeek)
Turkey evacuated 5,099 people in the last 72 hours, using only the airport in Tripoli, the capital, because the rest of Libya’s airports are closed, Davutoglu said in a televised press conference in Ankara today. Libya rejected Turkish requests for extra evacuation flights, he said. Turkey activated a “Plan B” to run ferries between Turkey and Libya to evacuate some of the 25,000 Turks working in the country, he said.

Wall Street Often Slow To Disclose Brokers' Sins (Dealbook)
Like those of this guy.

SEC Probes Private-Share Trade (WSJ)
The SEC is investigating potential conflicts of interest in the fast-growing market for buying and selling shares of private companies such as Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. The move is part of a broadening probe by the U.S. agency, still at an early stage, of the thriving bazaar that has sprung up largely beyond the reach of regulators and traditional securities firms. Trades handled by SecondMarket Inc., SharesPost Inc. and other market makers specializing in privately held shares are conveying eye-popping valuations on some companies while disclosing little about their financial results.

Nasdaq Weighs Own NYSE Bid (WSJ)
The New York company, under Chief Executive Robert Greifeld, is assessing whether it can compete against Deutsche Börse to buy the NYSE, people familiar with the matter said. If it decides it can't mount a strong rival bid, Nasdaq is looking to buy another exchange or sell itself to avoid marginalization in the wake of the tie-up between the NYSE and its German suitors, these people said.

Boutiques Set to Capitalize on Del Monte `Slap' at Wall Street (Bloomberg)
Barclays, which represented the fruit-juice and pet-food company on its $5.3 billion sale to a KKR & Co.-led group, deceived its client by failing to disclose until late in the process plans to provide financing for the purchaser, Chancery Court Judge J. Travis Laster said in a Feb. 14 opinion. Del Monte would probably have hired another bank if it knew Barclays, the U.K.’s third-largest bank, planned to “double- dip” for fees by working for the buyers, he wrote.

Harry Reid Calls For Ban On Nevada Brothels (WSJ)
"If we want to attract businesses to Nevada that puts people back to work, the time has come for us to outlaw prostitution," Mr. Reid told the Nevada state legislature in Carson City.

Apple Vote To Test Waters On Investors' Rights (FT)
Apple elects directors under a “plurality” voting system, which allows directors in unopposed elections to be elected by a single “yes” vote. It is fighting the proposal, arguing that a quirk of California law means it would lose discretionary powers to ignore a vote where a director has shareholder support, but does not gather enough votes to hit the required quorum level—just over 25 percent of a company’s shares. Apple shareholders “have always had the ability to remove directors with or without cause for any reason, including to express dissatisfaction with a particular director”, said the company in its proxy statement sent to investors.

Barclays Beats Lehman in $11 Billion 'Windfall' Suit (Reuters)
Lehman Brothers' hurried sale of much of its U.S. operations to Barclays at the height of the financial crisis was fair, and its bankruptcy estate is not entitled to recover an $11 billion "windfall," a federal judge ruled.

Related

Opening Bell: 04.13.12

JPMorgan Profit Slips (WSJ) J.P. Morgan reported a profit of $5.38 billion, down from $5.56 billion a year earlier. On a per-share basis, earnings were $1.31, up from $1.28 as the share count outstanding declined. The latest quarter included a net 8-cent per-share loss tied to litigation expenses and changes in the value of the bank's debt. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a per-share profit of $1.18, excluding debt-related charges. Revenue rose 6.3% to $27.42 billion. Analysts were looking for $24.68 billion. Wells Fargo reports higher first-quarter profit (Reuters) Wells Fargo, the nation's fourth-biggest U.S. bank, said net income was $4.25 billion, or 75 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $3.76 billion, or 67 cents, a share in the same period a year earlier. The average estimate from analysts was 73 cents per share. JPMorgan Said to Transform Treasury to Prop Trading (Bloomberg) Achilles Macris, hired in 2006 as the CIO’s top executive in London, led an expansion into corporate and mortgage-debt investments with a mandate to generate profits for the New York- based bank, three of the former employees said. Dimon, 56, closely supervised the shift from the CIO’s previous focus on protecting JPMorgan from risks inherent in its banking business, such as interest-rate and currency movements, they said. Some of Macris’s bets are now so large that JPMorgan probably can’t unwind them without losing money or roiling financial markets, the former executives said, based on knowledge gleaned from people inside the bank and dealers at other firms. Bank Bonus That Tops Salary May Be Banned by EU Lawmakers (Bloomberg) Governments and lawmakers in the 27-nation EU are considering rules for lenders that would go far beyond international agreements approved by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Denmark, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, has proposed empowering nations to set surcharges of up to 3 percent across their banking systems. Karas yesterday suggested adding language to the legislation that would ban banker bonuses that exceed fixed pay, following calls from other lawmakers to rein in excessive compensation. IMF Lifts Growth Forecast, Cautiously (WSJ) Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said the world economy is marked by "a high degree of instability" even though prospects for global growth are better than they were a few months ago. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Ms. Lagarde said the IMF, which marked down its 2012 forecast for global growth in January to 3.3%, has now marked it up to reflect improving conditions in the world economy. But she said the new forecast, to be released next week, remains more pessimistic than the one it made last September, which predicted 4% growth. Europe remains the biggest single risk to the global economy, the former French finance minister said. Hedge Fund Driver Guns DownArmed Robber (NYP) A retired NYPD lieutenant blew away a drugstore bandit yesterday as the suspect tried to gun down three police officers during a foot pursuit, sources said. Thomas Barnes, Barnes — a driver for hedge fund manager Philippe Laffont, was filling his tank at the BP station on East 119th Street and First Avenue at around 11 a.m. when he saw gunman Rudolph Wyatt running from the store, and sprang into action. He crouched behind his hedge-fund boss’ Mercedes SUV and squeezed off three shots, killing Wyatt, 23. The trigger-happy thug — wanted on warrants for two other shootings — lay dead in a pool of blood on the sidewalk wearing a black stocking mask with a wad of stolen cash spilling out of his pocket, witnesses said. “Part of the back of his head was missing. He had a large head wound and there was tons of blood,” said witness John Brecevich, 59, owner of the Original Patsy’s restaurant nearby. “It was a scene straight out of NYPD Blue.” Trustees Aim For MF Execs (NYP) The trustee tasked with clawing back money for burned customers of MF Global is training his sights on the brokerage firm’s executives — a list that likely includes former CEO Jon Corzine. In a statement yesterday, trustee James Giddens said he is considering pursuing claims against “certain responsible individuals” who worked for MF at the time customers’ trading accounts were improperly tapped. Kent Jarrell, a spokesman for Giddens, declined to name names but said the trustee is considering civil suits against “officers, directors or other employees” of both the brokerage firm and the holding company. Fed Officials Differ on Need to Keep Rates Low to 2014 (Bloomberg) William C. Dudley, president of the New York Fed, and Vice Chairman Janet Yellen said the 2014 time-frame is needed to lower unemployment from 8.2 percent. Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota said rising inflation may prompt an interest-rate increase as early as this year, while Philadelphia’s Charles Plosser said policy should hinge on economic performance, not a calendar commitment. Newark Mayor Cory Booker: Race into home fire was a "come to Jesus moment" (CBS) Booker arrived home last night to discover his next-door neighbor's house on fire, and rescued a young woman trapped upstairs by carrying here through the flames, suffering second-degree burns in the process. The mayor's security team discovered the fire and pounded on the door to alert residents, when an elderly woman said that her daughter was trapped upstairs. At first, Newark Police Detective Alex Rodriguez would not let Booker into the burning house. "He basically told me, 'This woman is going to die if we don't help her,' and what can I say to that?," Rodriguez said. "I let him go and without thinking twice, he just ran into the flames and rescued this young lady." Booker said that as he jumped through the kitchen on the second floor, "I actually wasn't thinking. When I got there and couldn't find her in all the smoke, looked behind me and saw the kitchen really erupting with flames all over the ceiling, that's when I had very clear thoughts that I'm not going to get out of this place alive and got ... very religious. He admitted he was "not gentle" with her - "I just sort of threw her over my shoulder and dragged her through the kitchen."