Opening Bell: 03.31.11

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Berkshire's David Sokol: I Did Nothing Wrong (CNBC)
"I don't believe I did anything wrong...I made the decision to buy the shares because I thought it was a good investment and I'd do it again tomorrow." Sokol says it didn't occur to him to sell the shares once Buffett showed interest in Lubrizol because he would have no influence over Berkshire's decision.

Buffett Jolted After Aide Quits (WSJ)
Mr. Sokol's interest in Lubrizol began after Citigroup bankers presented a list of "possible transactions" to him last fall, according to an SEC filing released Friday by Lubrizol. On Dec. 13, Mr. Sokol and the bankers met to discuss the list, and he expressed interest in Lubrizol, according to the filing. Mr. Sokol asked Citigroup to relay to Lubrizol CEO James Hambrick his interest in meeting to discuss Berkshire and Lubrizol. Mr. Sokol made his first personal purchase of Lubrizol shares the next day, buying 2,300 shares, according to Wednesday's statement. He sold the shares a week later, it said.

Galleon Calls Detail Goldman Insight (WSJ)
"I heard yesterday from somebody who's on the board of Goldman Sachs that they are going to lose $2 per share," Mr. Rajaratnam said on the tape. "The Street has them making $2.50." "Really," said David Lau, a Galleon portfolio manager in Singapore. "So what he was telling me was that uh, Goldman, the quarter's pretty bad. They have zero revenues because their trading revenues are offset by asset losses, and to date they have lost $2 per share," Mr. Rajaratnam says on the call. "I don't think that's built into Goldman Sachs' stock price."

Dimon Warns of Regulatory 'Nail' in Coffin (FT)
Regulators are negotiating international capital standards for the biggest banks but the chief executive of JP Morgan said setting the new requirements too high, or allowing overseas banks to calculate their asset base differently, could disadvantage US banks and was already stifling economic growth. “If you want to set it so high that no big bank ever goes bankrupt... I think that would greatly diminish growth,” he told a US Chamber of Commerce conference. Too large a disparity in capital requirements between Europe and the US would mean “you’re pretty much putting the nail in our coffin for big American banks,” he said.

Fed To Name Banks That Borrowed From The Discount Window (Bloomberg)
Can you hardly wait?

Insider Case Puts Focus On FDA Systems (WSJ)
"Darrts is a brilliant system," said a former FDA department head, but vulnerable because it allows anyone who knows the application number and has a password to get a full status report on any drug approval application.

Schapiro SEC Seen Ineffectual Amid Dodd-Frank Funding Curbs (Bloomberg)
On a stormy night in October 2009, Mary Schapiro, the newly appointed head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, returned to her alma mater, Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to be inducted into the hall of fame for student athletes. Receiving her award, she grasped the podium, confessed she was near tears and spoke of how she had never even seen a lacrosse game before attending college. “But I knew if I worked hard and persevered, I might ultimately play,” she said. She competed for four years and served as captain of the team in her senior year, when it went 7-4. Today, Schapiro, 55, faces challenges a good bit nastier than a muddy lacrosse game.

Ex-Goldman trader launching $1 billion-plus fund (Reuters)
Former Goldman Sachs trader Morgan Sze is set to launch his highly anticipated $1 billion-plus hedge fund, Azentus Capital, in Hong Kong on Friday.

Geithner: Biggest Problem Is 'Not Complicated' (Reuters)
While major currencies moved freely and most emerging economies were well along that path, there were still some with little exchange rate flexibility and extensive capital controls, he said. This asymmetry fueled inflation risks in the economies whose exchange rates are undervalued, magnified currency appreciation in others and also generated protectionist pressures, he added. "This is the most important problem to solve in the international monetary system today. But it is not a complicated problem to solve," he said, according to the prepared text of his remarks.

Geithner Calls For Rate Flexibility (WSJ)
Mr. Geithner didn't specifically name China's currency in remarks prepared for delivery at the Nanjing forum, but his comments were clearly aimed at least in part at Beijing, which closely manages the yuan's exchange rate. He characterized the mismatch between fixed and floating exchange rates as "the most important problem to solve in the international monetary system today," and he said flexible exchange rates can help countries better absorb shocks and better tailor monetary policies to their individual circumstances.

Will Barclays Turn Its Back On Britain? (WSJ)
The bank is undertaking detailed analysis of likely regulatory hurdles to switching its domicile to New York and has had preliminary conversations with U.S. regulatory officials, says a person involved in the process. It estimates the cost of a switch at "several hundreds of millions of pounds" in addition to the £30 million ($48 million) it expects to spend on preparatory work. No decision is expected until at least September, after the direction of U.K. financial regulation is clearer and key elements of the U.S. Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul bill have been clarified.

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