Opening Bell: 03.08.11

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Galleon Judge Speaks Softly, Carries A Big Rep (WSJ)
"He has good control over the courtroom—not because he's loud or aggressive, but because he has this quiet quality," says Gerald Shargel, a friend and defense lawyer who has represented mob figures. "Holwell won't be bullied." The 64-year-old Judge Holwell—a former White & Case LLP litigator with a thick white mustache—won't let Mr. Rajaratnam's high profile, or the attention his case has drawn, influence a trial that is expected to last at least six weeks, according to a dozen lawyers who have tried cases before him or know him socially.

Berkowitz Victory Becomes Challenge as St. Joe ’Under Attack’ (Bloomberg)
“The company’s basically under attack,” said Berkowitz, who was named chairman of the Watersound, Florida-based company on March 4 and whose Fairholme Capital Management LLC is its largest shareholder. “There are plenty of people out there who’d like to see the company go down the tubes. That’s sort of by definition anybody who’s shorting the stock.”

Morgan Stanley Moves To Say Bye To Smith Barney (WSJ)
Morgan Stanley is considering dropping the 73-year-old Smith Barney name from its roughly 18,000-member brokerage force, according to people familiar with the situation.

Barclays Reveals Executive Pay Deals (FT)
Some 231 senior employees – known as “code staff” – took home £554 million between them, an average of about £2.4 million per executive.

S&P Warns On Asian Inflation (WSJ)
"China is getting embroiled in such a tussle, and the implications for the rest of Asia have been a major worry for some time," it said, noting that high U.S. unemployment and the approaching mid-term congressional elections sharpen this risk. Any action seriously affecting trade between the world's two largest economies could have important implications elsewhere, although China's recent steps to allow the yuan to gradually appreciate could reduce that possibility, it added.

Woman Caught With $170,000 In Underwear At JFK (NYDN)
A Queens woman nabbed at Kennedy Airport with nearly $170,000 hidden in her underwear was trying to avoid paying taxes on the sale of property in Sudan, the feds said Monday. Claire Abdeldaim's real estate booty consisted of 1,699 $100 bills, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer George Wolynski testified Monday in Brooklyn Federal Court. "We got a big one," Wolynski told his supervisor after seizing the cash last June. Abdeldaim, 64, had sewn the bills into her bloomers to get the money out of Sudan, where she had sold a tract of land owned by her late husband.

Martin Scorsese slapped with $2.85M back-tax bill (NYP)
The Oscar-winning director was slapped with the whopping past-due notice on Feb. 14, The Post has learned. The St. Valentine's Day back-tax massacre, recorded by the city Finance Department on Feb. 25, states what the IRS believes the "GoodFellas" helmer owed in taxes and related interest and penalties and gives the Internal Revenue Service dibs on any sales of his real estate. Sources said the "Taxi Driver" director's latest tussle with the taxman -- he's had a series of big liens since 2002 -- might stem from his prior business relationship with convicted fraudster Kenneth Starr, a financial adviser who mismanaged and stole money from a slew of celebrity clients.

Top Hedge Funds Bet On Plastics (Reuters)
A wave of managers snapped up shares of LyondellBasell Industries, which makes chemicals like propylene and polyethylene, the stuff that goes into plastics. The popularity of plastics and raw materials signals that hedge funds are diversifying commodity bets beyond gold, the darling of 2010 returning 30 percent, as inflationary pressures seep into food and energy.

Goldman's Pariah Status Fades as Broadbent Joins BOE MPC (Bloomberg)
The Bank of England’s appointment of Goldman Sachs Senior European Economist Ben Broadbent to its Monetary Policy Committee shows governments are again looking to the firm for top decision makers, less than a year after it settled U.S. fraud claims.

214 Arrested For Urinating In Rio's Carnival Streets (AP)
More than 200 people have been arrested during Rio's Carnival that is under way for relieving themselves in the street, underlining authorities' determination to clean up the city that will be host to the 2016 Olympic Games. "Two hundred and fourteen people have been arrested over the weekend.... We are going to constantly fight those urinating in the street. Such a lack of respect for the city and its citizens in unacceptable," the municipal official in charge public order, Alex Costa, told the G1 news website Monday. In tandem with their "Zero Tolerance for Pissing," as the campaign is called, they have established portable toilets in many of the most popular areas.

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Opening Bell: 9.7.16

Buffett is back; Blackrock warns on climate change; Short-sellers look for targets of hack attacks; Man arrested for driving car with frying pan instead of steering wheel; and more.