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Opening Bell: 08.05.11

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Job Creation Inches Higher; Unemployment Slips To 9.1 Percent (AP)
The Labor Department says employers added 117,000 jobs last month. That's an improvement from the past two months...Still, the economy needs twice as many net jobs per month to rapidly reduce unemployment. The rate has topped 9 percent in every month except two since the recession officially ended in June 2009.

RBS Slides to Loss as Greek Writedown Adds to Burden of Insurance Redress (Bloomberg)
“Greece was the only significant sovereign exposure that we had inherited from ABN Amro among the countries first in the firing line,” said Hester, 50. “In Ireland and Portugal, the other two, although we have commercial positions inside those countries, our sovereign debt position is negligible.” RBS’s first-half net loss compared with a profit of 9 million pounds in the year-earlier-period and analyst estimates of a 571 million-pound loss, according to the median estimate of five surveyed by Bloomberg. The loss widened to 897 million pounds in the second quarter from a 528 million-pound loss in the first three months of the year.

Merkel, Sarkozy to Discuss Euro-Zone Situation (WSJ)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will talk Friday to French President Nicolas Sarkozy over the telephone, with the "current situation in the euro zone" among the issues to be discussed, a Merkel spokesman said Friday. The spokesman had no further information, but the office of the French presidency confirmed the conversation will take place Friday afternoon. On Friday expectations surrounding the Merkel-Sarkozy talk were high. "Given the tornado that's hitting markets, it would be judicious for policy makers to send a strong signal and bring a bit of calm and reason to investors who have lost their compass," Fabrice Couste, head of CMC Markets France, said.

Marc Faber: Brace For A 'Global Reboot' And A War (CNBC)
"You have a computer. Occasionally the computer will crash and you have to reboot it. That will happen to the global economy. Before this happens there will be much more money printing because basically the central banks are willing to do that," he said. "By printing money, problems are not solved, but they can be postponed, and they become larger. It's like the recession in 2001. Had there not been massive money printing, it would have been steeper than what we had, but equally, we would have avoided probably the financial crash in 2008...The next time we have a global economic crisis, it will be much worse than 2008. Before this happens there will be money printing and there will be war. The whole system will collapse," he said. "That's why I'm advising people that they have to think it through. In a total collapse you don't want to own government bonds and cash."

Asian Leaders Vow To Respond If Needed (WSJ)
Asia-Pacific policy makers Friday voiced concern about the darkening of the global outlook and declared themselves ready to respond, potentially complicating the fight against inflation that many in the fast-growing region are waging.

Rent Is Too Damn High Candidate Facing Eviction From Rent Controlled Apartment (NYP)
Jimmy McMillan says he pays $872.96 for a rent-controlled ground-floor apartment on St. Marks Place in the East Village -- which he's had since the late-1970s, when the rent was around $275. But the man who founded the tenants-rights party says his landlords are giving him the boot so they can pull in way more dough. "I've been here since 1977, and they want more money!" McMillan says. "It's about 'My Rent is Too Damn Low.' "

Allegations Against Italy Analysts 'Entirely Founded' (CNBC)
As under-fire Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi prepared to address his parliament about the state of the nation's economy on Wednesday, Italian police raided the Milan offices of Moody's and Standard & Poor's. The raid came as both agencies pondered a further downgrade of Italy's sovereign debt after concerns about the country's debt-to-GDP ratio, the second highest in the euro zone after Greece. It is in increasing danger of being lumped in with Greece, Spain, Ireland and the other euro zone economies perceived as vulnerable. Italian market regulator Consob has been asked to provide documents relating to the credit agencies' Italian registration. S&P said it believed the probe was "groundless" in a statement. "We strongly defend our work, our reputation and that of our analysts," it added. Rival Moody's said it "takes its responsibilities surrounding the dissemination of market sensitive information very seriously and is cooperating with the authorities."

Recession Fears Hit Commodities (WSJ)
Commodities are sliding steadily Friday in the worst pan-asset class selloff since October 2008, as fear of another severe downturn tightens its grip on the financial markets.

Robber Returns Cash, Leaves Apology (WMUR)
Surveillance video shows a man walking to another area of the store, where he appears to search through the purse, pulling out items and stuffing them into his pockets. Police said that when an image from the surveillance video was released to the media, the victim got a knock at her door. Investigators said a man was standing at her door with the victim's GPS, a new cord for the device, the $90 in cash that was stolen, plus an extra $10. Police said he also gave the woman a note before he ran away. The note said, among other things, that he didn't stalk or follow the woman and didn't go to the store with the intent of committing a crime. It also said, "I am sorry a million times over," and closes with, "Sorry & Thank You." The note is signed at the bottom, "Stupid."


Opening Bell: 3.24.15

Deutsche Bank may cut 20% of investment bank; Greek blackmail; The latest NYC hotspot if you like to be monetarily "taken advantage of"; Women execs = $$$; "Real life Human Torch runs 645 feet while on fire"; and more.

Opening Bell: 11.21.12

Germany Hints At More Financing (WSJ) Germany on Wednesday signaled its willingness to provide additional financing for the euro zone's bailout fund and accept lower interest on loans to Athens, in order to get the Greek rescue back on track and free the next tranche of about €44 billion ($56.40 billion) in loans for the euro zone's weakest member. Merkel Sees Chance For Greek Deal Monday (Reuters) "I believe there are chances, one doesn't know for sure, but there are chances to get a solution on Monday," Merkel told the Bundestag lower house of parliament in a debate on the German budget. But the longing for one act, one miracle solution, one truth that means all our problems are gone tomorrow...this will not be fulfilled. What was neglected over years, over decades, cannot be taken care of overnight and therefore we will need to continue to move step by step." H-P Says It Was Duped (WSJ) The technology giant said that an internal investigation had revealed "serious accounting improprieties" and "outright misrepresentations" in connection with U.K. software maker Autonomy, which H-P acquired for $11.1 billion in October 2011. "There appears to have been a willful sustained effort" to inflate Autonomy's revenue and profitability, said Chief Executive Meg Whitman. "This was designed to be hidden." Michael Lynch, Autonomy's founder and former CEO, fired back hours later, denying improper accounting and accusing H-P of trying to hide its mismanagement. "We completely reject the allegations," said Mr. Lynch, who left H-P earlier this year. "As soon as there is some flesh put on the bones we will show they are not true." Analysts Had Questioned Autonomy’s Accounting Years Ago (CNBC) Paul Morland, technology research analyst at broking and advisory house Peel Hunt, told CNBC that he had noticed three red flags in Autonomy’s accounts in the years leading up to the HP acquisition: poor cash conversion, an inflated organic growth rate, and the categorizing of hardware sales as software. London Bankers Become Landlords as Rents Hit Record (Bloomberg) Vivek Jeswani became a landlord by accident when Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) transferred him to New York two weeks after he moved into a new home in central London. Now back in the U.K., Jeswani views the apartment in Baker Street, the fictional home of Sherlock Holmes, as one of his best assets and is about to buy another home to expand his rental business. “There are no other investments as attractive and you’ve got some security if you’ve got an asset you can use yourself,” the 36-year-old risk officer at China Construction Bank Corp.’s U.K. unit said. “There’s a good yield over 5 percent and being in central London, you’ve got demand domestically and internationally.” Trading Charges Reach SAC (WSJ) The hedge funds reaped $276 million in profits and losses avoided based on that information, criminal and civil authorities said—far dwarfing that of any previous insider-trading case. The bulk of the trading profits generated by Mr. Martoma was paid to Mr. Cohen, a person close to the hedge fund said. Fed Still Trying To Push Down Rates (WSJ) Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested that the central bank will keep trying to push down long-term interest rates in 2013, as federal tax and spending policies become a more substantial headwind to the U.S. economy. "We will continue to do our best to add monetary-policy support to the recovery," Mr. Bernanke said at the New York Economic Club, answering a question about how the Federal Reserve would respond to impending spending cuts or tax increases that might restrain economic growth. 'Stiletto Surgery' alters pinky toe for better fit (Fox) These days, some women will do just about anything to fit into their favorite pair of high heels – including surgery. A growing number of women are paying thousands of dollars to surgically alter their feet just to make wearing heels a more comfortable experience. Surgical procedures such as shortening toes, receiving foot injections and even completely cutting off pinky toes are on the rise. “Unless you’ve been there, and you can’t find shoes, and you’re in pain, don’t judge,” said Susan Deming, a patient who recently underwent a toe-shortening procedure. Adoboli’s Fate Decided at Wine Bar as UBS Market Bets Unraveled (Bloomberg) On a cool late summer evening last year in London’s financial district, with the euro-zone crisis worsening and Greece tottering on the edge of default, Kweku Adoboli says he asked the three traders who worked with him at UBS AG’s exchange-traded funds desk to join him for a drink. Adoboli said in a post on his Facebook page that he needed “a miracle” as his bets on the market imploded. That night at a wine bar across the street from their office, Adoboli asked John Hughes, the senior trader on the ETF desk, and two junior traders, what to do. The others decided he should take the blame for billions of dollars in losses and an elaborate web of secret trades in what he called an umbrella account that once held $40 million in hidden profits. “I knew I was going to lose my job anyway, I had already resigned myself to that, so fair enough,” the 32-year-old Adoboli testified last month about the meeting, which the other traders deny took place. Jobless Claims in U.S. Decrease (Bloomberg) Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week as damage to the labor market caused by superstorm Sandy began to subside. Jobless claims decreased by 41,000 to 410,000 in the week ended Nov. 17, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The number of applications matched the median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Soros Buying Gold as Record Prices Seen on Stimulus (Bloomberg) The metal will rise every quarter next year and average $1,925 an ounce in the final three months, or 11 percent more than now, according to the median of 16 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Paulson & Co. has a $3.66 billion bet through the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest gold-backed exchange- traded product, and Soros Fund Management LLC increased its holdings by 49 percent in the third quarter, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings show. 'Cannibal Cop' Gilberto Valle planned to to cook up 'some girl meat' on Thanksgiving (NYDN) The "Cannibal Cop" had his own twist for a Thanksgiving dinner this year — cooking up “some girl meat,” prosecutors revealed Tuesday. Gilberto Valle, 28 — who allegedly kept a database of at least 100 women he plotted to rape, cook and eat — planned the freakish feast with one of his online conspirators earlier this year, prosecutors said. “I’m planning on getting me some girl meat,” he wrote to his pal on Feb. 9. “Really tell me more,” responded the friend. “It’s this November, for Thanksgiving. It’s a long way off but I’m getting the plan in motion now,” Valle wrote.