Opening Bell: 03.29.11


Brother In Alleged Galleon Coverup (WSJ)
In the hours after the 2009 arrest of the Galleon Group founder, Rengan Rajaratnam participated in an alleged coverup by removing notebooks with handwritten notes about stocks from Raj Rajaratnam's office, according to filings in a Manhattan federal court.

BP Managers Said to Face U.S. Manslaughter Charges Review (Bloomberg)
Federal prosecutors are considering whether to pursue manslaughter charges against BP Plc managers for decisions made before the Gulf of Mexico oil well explosion last year that killed 11 workers and caused the biggest offshore spill in U.S. history, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Warren Faces Dimon, Hostile Chamber Agency (NYP)
Warren says regulation will bring clarity to financial services. Although she won't be speaking at the same time as Bachus or Dimon, the US Chamber of Commerce's fifth annual summit, entitled "Ensuring Competitiveness in a Post-Regulatory Reform Environment," will give Warren a chance to make her strongest case yet in support of the new agency that she helped birth.

Not 'joking' with Rajaratnam says Rajiv Goel, former Intel exec (ET)
Former Intel executive and key government witness Rajiv Goel has said that he was not joking with Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam when telling him about the dealings of his company. The defence previously asked Goel whether he thought Rajaratnam was kidding about giving BMW cars to two women in Intel's sales department who leaked information to him. The prosecution today went over several parts of secretly recorded phone. "Were you joking... was this idle chit chat?" asked Reed Brodsky, citing the line, "But yesterday, our board approved this deal." "No", said Goel, who has already pleaded guilty to telling Rajaratnam that Intel was planning to make a USD 1 billion investment in a new joint venture with Clearwire and Sprint to develop an ultra-fast wireless Internet service.

Cash-Paying Vultures Feast on U.S. Housing as Mortgages Dry Up (Bloomberg)
Delavaco Properties LP plans to spend as much as $30 million this year and $40 million in 2012 to buy bank-owned houses and condominiums in foreclosure-ridden South Florida. The private-equity fund will pay cash. “If there weren’t vultures out there, you’d have a city of dead carcasses,” Robert Theocles, an independent consultant for Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Delavaco, said in a telephone interview. “It’s like the circle of life.”

Private Exchange Wants To Challenge NYSE, Nasdaq (Reuters)
BATS Global Markets plans to list U.S. public stocks by year end, opening the door for companies to float shares somewhere other than the Big Board or Nasdaq for the first time in years.

Man Group Doubles Managed Funds (WSJ)
The firm said it continued to refocus itself as a more-diversified business following its acquisition of GLG Partners and the sale of its stake in BlueCrest as it reported that funds under management of $69 billion, almost double the level last year. Man Group also announced Tuesday the acquisition of the remaining 50% stake in Ore Hill that it didn't already own, which it would integrate into GLG. Ore Hill manages a series of hedge funds with total assets under management of $800 million and focused on U.S. credit markets.

Time for a Sequel to AOL-Time Warner? (WSJ)
This isn't a joke.

'Spiderman' Alain Robert scales Burj Khalifa in Dubai (BBC)
It took him six hours to ascend the 828-m (2,717-ft) tower in the United Arab Emirates city, including the tapered spire above the top floors. Unusually, he used a rope and harness, to comply with safety requirements.

GE: Pay Anything (CC)

Japan Finds Plutonium at Stricken Nuclear Plant (Reuters)
TEPCO said the radioactive material — a by-product of atomic reactions and also used in nuclear bombs — had been found in soil in five places at the plant, hit by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

Worries Grow Over Supplies Of Japanese Cars (WSJ)
The deep impact of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami on the supply of made-in-Japan vehicles is just starting to become clear on the lots of Main Street car dealers and on Wall Street earnings outlooks for the big auto makers. Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. all have U.S. plants still churning out vehicles, but rely on Japanese production for about a quarter to a third of the new cars they sell in America. On Monday, Deutsche Bank cut its estimate of Toyota's profit in the fiscal year beginning April 1 by 84%. It also cut its forecast for Honda's fiscal 2012 profit by 50%, and Nissan's by 79%.

Dying Banks Kept Alive Among Secrets Fed Data Will Reveal (Bloomberg)
U.S. regulators closed Chicago- based Park National Bank in October 2009 when it owed $345 million to one of the lowest-cost lenders in town: the Federal Reserve’s discount window. Park National had been a constant customer at the window for more than 18 months before it failed, records show. Without identifying them as of yet, Fed officials say all the discount window loans made during the worst financial crisis since the 1930s have been repaid with interest.