Opening Bell: 07.07.11

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Treasury secretly weighs options to avert default (Reuters)
Senior officials, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, have repeatedly said there are no contingency plans if lawmakers do not give the U.S. government the authority to borrow more money. But behind the scenes, top Treasury officials have been exploring ways to prevent a financial meltdown that would be triggered if the government were unable to pay its bills on time, sources told Reuters.

President Looks for Broader Deal on Deficit Cuts (NYT)
Mr. Obama, who is to meet at the White House with the bipartisan leadership of Congress in an effort to work out an agreement to raise the federal debt limit, wants to move well beyond the $2 trillion in savings sought in earlier negotiations and seek perhaps twice as much over the next decade, Democratic officials briefed on the negotiations said Wednesday.

Hedge Funds Move Past Greece With Bets on Wider Debt Crisis (Bloomberg)
Hedge funds that trade bonds and loans are increasing bets that Europe’s sovereign debt crisis will spread to Portugal, Spain and Italy, even after Greece won a temporary reprieve with 12 billion euros in aid.

UK interest rates remain on hold at 0.5% (BBC)
Economists had expected no move in rates as the latest data has shown the UK economic recovery remains weak. The committee's decision comes despite the annual rate of inflation remaining at 4.5% in May, well above the Bank's 2% target.

Goldman: Tight Supply to Push Up Oil Prices (WSJ)
Oil supply will be "critically tight" in 2012 and prices are likely to surpass their recent highs as spare production capacity and inventories are "effectively exhausted," analysts at Goldman Sachs said in a research note Thursday. Goldman also reiterated a recommendation that its clients buy some forward oil contracts now, before prices move higher later.

SEC in China audit deal push (FT)
US regulators will next week push for a deal that would allow them to inspect auditors based in China in an effort to ease rising investor concerns over the accounting of many Chinese companies…Negotiations over auditor inspections has been going on since 2007. China has traditionally denied US authorities access, citing sovereign issues.

Falcone spoiling for fight (NYP)
Philip Falcone wants to meet with Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) after the lawmaker left "an inappropriate impression" about the hedge-fund billionaire by referring in a letter to serial violators of securities laws.

No deal on Mets just yet (NYP)
David Einhorn's exclusive negotiating period with the Mets has expired, The Post has learned, although the two sides remain locked in talks and determined to hammer out the last few "gritty details" over the sale of a minority stake in the money-losing team.

Morgan Stanley Yoga-Troubadour-Crossword-Math Pro Muller Flees (Bloomberg Markets Magazine)
Muller is the founder of Morgan Stanley (MS)’s Process Driven Trading group, or PDT, a 70-person band of Ph.D.s and computer jockeys. They use algorithm-rich programs to bet Morgan Stanley’s money on pricing discrepancies in global markets. Muller, who has had no outside investors to please, has kept the strategies and performance of PDT under wraps, stoking the curiosity and envy of rivals. “They say: ‘I know him. He made a boatload of money for Morgan Stanley,’” says Arjun Divecha, chairman of Boston-based GMO LLC, who manages about $18 billion using quantitative techniques. “They don’t know how he’s done it.” Muller makes no apologies for his obsessive secrecy. “I want my competitors to know absolutely nothing about what we do,” Muller says.

Jobs market: Men, hit hardest in recession, are getting work faster than women (WaPo)
The recession was hard on men, who saw construction and manufacturing jobs dry up, but the recovery is proving much kinder. In a rare turnabout, men are outpacing women in getting jobs as the economy struggles back to life — and they’re doing it partly by taking work in fields long dominated by women.

Citigroup Aims to Boost China Outlets by 50% in 2011 (WSJ)
Citigroup Inc. plans to increase its number of outlets in China by 50% this year, as the U.S. bank looks to capitalize on the opportunities presented by China's growing middle class.

Strong Man numbers lift financial stocks (FT)
Man Group moved toward the top of a rising FTSE 100 on Thursday after the hedge fund reported stronger than forecast inflows of cash following the launch of its flagship fund in Japan. Total funds under management reached $71bn by the end of June, with the AHL Japan fund reaching $2.3bn in cash under management.

Accuser seeks special prosecutor for Strauss-Kahn (Reuters)
In a letter to District Attorney Cyrus Vance, the lawyers accused a prosecutor in Vance's office of leaking damaging information about Strauss-Kahn's accuser…"District Attorney Vance, we ask in earnest that your office voluntarily recuse itself from the Strauss-Kahn case and that you appoint a special prosecutor," Kenneth Thompson, the lawyer for the 32-year-old hotel maid from Guinea, wrote in a letter dated Wednesday.

Former Dresdner trader appeals over penalty (FT)
The FSA argues that Mr Geddis, a trader with 20 years’ experience, committed market abuse on the LME in 2008 through trading lead futures contracts. Mr Geddis admits that market manipulation took place but says it was not deliberate. He argues that public censure is sufficient punishment.

Deutsche in Talks With Kleinwort to Sell BHF (DealBook)
Deutsche Bank said Thursday that it had entered exclusive talks with Kleinwort Benson to sell BHF Bank, which it acquired with the purchase of Sal. Oppenheim in 2009…Terms for the potential deal with Kleinwort were not disclosed, although a person with knowledge of the matter said that BHF could go for 500 million euros ($715 million), lower than BHF’s estimated book value of 600 million euros, but higher than LGT’s reported bid of 350 million euros for parts of the company.

A Wave of Chinese Money Gives a Lift to Companies Struggling in Tough Times (NYT)
Chinese investment in American companies rose to $5 billion in 2010, but that may be only the beginning of a tidal wave of direct Chinese investment in American businesses, according to a recent report that envisions another $1 trillion to $2 trillion of Chinese overseas investment this decade.

Aston Martin may list shares in Hong Kong (Telegraph)
Aston Martin bosses said the company will float "when the time is right" but opened the prospect of listing in Hong Kong…David Richards, the former Formula 1 team boss and now Aston Martin chairman, was the figurehead for the bid and has previously said the company could float with a value of more than £1bn. Management have now confirmed this is a realistic prospect.

Roubini: 'Perfect Storm' Coming for Global Economy (CNBC)
"My prediction for the perfect storm is not this year or next year but 2013, because everybody is kicking the can down the road," Roubini said in an interview. "We now have a problem in the US after the election if we don't resolve our fiscal problems. China is overheating...eventually it's going to have a hard landing."

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