Opening Bell: 05.04.11

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U.S. May Pursue More Lenders After Suing Deutsche Bank on Loans (Bloomberg)
“We go where the evidence takes us, and if it takes us to the larger players on Wall Street, so be it,” Kanovsky said. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said it wouldn’t be a “fantastical stretch” for prosecutors to scrutinize other lenders.

Steep Drop Tarnishes Big Bets On Silver (WSJ)
George Soros's big hedge fund, a firm operated by high-profile investor John Burbank and some other leading firms have been selling gold and silver, according to people close to the matter, after furiously accumulating precious metals for much of the past two years…Some others with stellar records—including Mr. Burbank, of Passport Capital, and Alan Fournier, of Pennant Capital—also have been passionate about precious metals, giving encouragement to individual investors to follow. Now they are selling, in each case for distinct reasons…[John] Paulson told investors Tuesday morning that gold prices could go as high as $4,000 an ounce over the next three to five years, as the U.S. and U.K. flood the money supply…Andrew Hall, a former star trader at Citigroup who runs hedge fund Astenbeck Capital Management LLC and trades for Phibro, a unit of Occidental Petroleum Corp., told his clients last month that gold and silver will continue to "march higher" unless evidence emerges of "an imminent rise" in interest rates.

Official: Portugal bailout to be $115 billion‎ (BusinessWeek)
"The government got a good deal, one that safeguards Portugal," Prime Minister Jose Socrates said in a televised address to the nation. He did not take questions.

Portugal aid terms likely to spark 2-year recession (Reuters)
An official source told Reuters the austerity measures to be included in the deal, such as higher taxes, point to a "contraction of 2 percent in gross domestic product in 2011 and in 2012". That will make it yet more challenging for the heavily indebted country, which has had some of the lowest growth rates in Europe for a decade, to ride out its crisis and return to financial health. The source told Reuters taxes will rise on cars and property and there will be cuts in deductions on health, education and housing.

US Becomes Net Exporter of Fuel (FT)
The US has become a net exporter of fuel for the first time for nearly 20 years as drivers struggle with high petrol prices.

4 Billionaires at Glencore (BBC)
When Glencore publishes its full flotation prospectus later this morning, it will show that there are four billionaires working for the world's leading commodities, minerals and energy trader. These are led by the chief executive Ivan Glasenberg, who will be shown to be worth around $10bn. But it is the quartet of billionaires, plus many others worth more than $100m each, and hundreds who are millionaires, that makes Glencore quite extraordinary.

U.S. Regulators Face Budget Pinch as Mandates Widen (NYT)
On a recent trip to New York to tour a trading floor, a group of employees from the commodities watchdog rode Mega Bus both ways, arriving late to their meeting despite a 5:30 a.m. departure. The bus, which cost $30 a person round trip, saved the agency roughly $1,000 over Amtrak…The money squeeze comes as Wall Street regulators take on added responsibilities in the wake of the financial crisis, including monitoring hedge funds, overseeing the $600 trillion derivatives market and other tasks mandated by the Dodd-Frank law.

Euro Approaches 18-Month High Versus Dollar Before ECB Decision (Bloomberg)
The 17-member common currency strengthened against all but one of its most actively traded peers as a report showed European services and manufacturing growth accelerated in April. The Dollar Index declined toward the lowest level since July 2008. New Zealand’s dollar dropped to a two-week low after a government report showed the nation had the biggest net outflow of residents in more than 10 years. The pound slumped to the weakest in more than a year against the euro.

Foreign Banks Get Scrutiny in Britain (WSJ)
The Financial Services Authority's goal is to prevent certain companies from exploiting European rules to set up banking and brokerage operations that the agency views as potentially risky because they use a structure that doesn't face tough local supervision. But the move by the FSA is controversial. Some observers said the pressure conflicts with Europe's "passporting" rules, under which financial institutions from anywhere in the 30-country European Economic Area are allowed to open outposts in other member countries. Those "branches," which can house a range of business activities, face limited oversight by local regulators. Instead, they primarily are the responsibility of regulators in their home countries.

KKR and TPG look to move into Brazil (FT)
KKR and TPG are hunting for a senior figure to lead their offices in Brazil, who will then recruit start- up teams, people in the industry said.

At Nasdaq, a Pitch and Woo (WSJ)
Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. has rolled out the red carpet to hedge funds, racing to persuade them to buy up shares of NYSE Euronext to derail the Big Board's planned tie-up with Deutsche Börse AG…Some merger arbitragers and hedge-fund investors have met with Nasdaq Chief Executive Robert Greifeld three times in the last few weeks, people familiar with the matter said. They also are being offered private meetings with Mr. Greifeld and special tours of Nasdaq headquarters, these people said.

Southampton's Former Goldman Sachs Party Pad Sells for $4.1M (Curbed)
In 2009, the New York Post caught wind that Goldman Sachs exec Richard Kimball Jr. was in hot water with the Southampton Police. Turns out Kimball, the ex-husband of Holly Peterson, was throwing pretty rowdy pool parties at his Southampton rental. But while Kimball was partying, the rental was trying to find itself a more permanent buyer.

Wall Street's Cult Calculator Turns 30 (WSJ)
Thirty years after the launch of the 12c, it's still commonplace for financial analysts filing into a conference room to set down their calculators next to their papers and cellphones. Indeed, the 12c, which costs $70 on H-P's website, is H-P's best-selling calculator of all time, though the company won't reveal how many units it has sold over the years. (A standard calculator costs about $10.) Its chief competitor is Texas Instruments' $28 BA II Plus, which is the only other calculator test-takers are permitted to use on the official CFA exam.

Florida woman, Gloria Esther Perez, busted for hiding knife in her 'private area' (NYDN via Daily Intel)
Perez was searched and found to be hiding dozens of prescription pills, police said. Perez then "became ill," the police report states, and was taken to a hospital. Once there, it was discovered she was concealing two knives. One was tucked within the folds of her fat while the other was "hidden in her vagina."

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