Opening Bell: 09.28.11

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Obama Jobs Plan May Prevent 2012 Recession (Bloomberg)
The legislation, submitted to Congress this month, would increase gross domestic product by 0.6 percent next year and add or keep 275,000 workers on payrolls, the median estimates in the survey of 34 economists showed. The program would also lower the jobless rate by 0.2 percentage point in 2012, economists said...Some 13,000 jobs would be created in 2013, bringing the total to 288,000 over two years, according to the survey. Employers in the U.S. added 1.26 million workers in the past 12 months, Labor Department data show.

Rivals Scout Paulson's Assets (WSJ)
Rival hedge funds, brokers and other firms are combing through Paulson & Co.'s investments, trying to anticipate what Mr. Paulson might sell if he needs to return cash to investors. According to traders, some firms have been selling investments they have in common with Mr. Paulson, worrying he will have to sell some holdings if clients withdraw cash. Meanwhile, other firms are approaching Mr. Paulson with lowball offers. For example, at least one firm recently offered a below-market price for some of the bonds his firm owns in Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., according to people close to the matter.

Man Group Assets Shrink By $6 Billion (WSJ)
Man Group said its assets fell by $6 billion, to $65 billion, after clients redeemed a net $2.6 billion. Negative fund performance wiped off a further $1.5 billion, and a strengthened dollar against funds denominated in euros and Australian dollars took $1.9 billion.

Fed Officials Hit Road To Defend Latest Push (WSJ)
Speaking Monday, Fed governor Sarah Bloom Raskin called Fed actions "completely appropriate" given the central bank's legal mandate to pursue both stable prices and maximum sustainable employment.

A $50 Billion Claim of Havoc Looms for Bank of America (NYT)
A lawsuit seeking about $50 billion was brought by some of the largest class-action law firms and is quietly advancing in the Federal District Court in Manhattan. The plaintiffs contend that Bank of America engaged in a deliberate effort to deceive the bank’s shareholders.

Jamie Dimon Strays (NYP)
Dimon, a lifelong Democrat who was rumored to be on Obama’s short list for treasury secretary before he settled on Tim Geithner, met privately with Romney on Tuesday morning before a fund-raiser at Brasserie 8¹/2 hosted by Highbridge Capital, a JPMorgan-owned hedge fund.

Euro Crisis Makes Fed Lender Of Only Resort (Bloomberg)
The failure of regulators worldwide to address European banks’ fragile dependence on short-term funding is “putting the Fed in a really awkward position,” said Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner at Federal Financial Analytics, a Washington regulatory research firm whose clients include the biggest U.S. banks. The swaps with Europe “are an extremely advantageous political football” for critics of the Fed, she said.

KKR Weighs Offer For Axa's Private Equity Unit (Bloomberg)
Axa is selling the unit, which manages about $28 billion, to focus on insurance, people with knowledge of the discussions said on Sept. 23. The operation may be valued at about 500 million euros ($680 million), they said.

France Deepens Cuts To Tackle Deficit (WSJ)
The French government Wednesday presented its 2012 budget to cut the deficit to 4.5% of gross domestic product from 5.7% this year, opting for a combination of spending cuts and tax increases as growth has faltered more than expected.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Goes Hunting For Bison (Fortune)
Mark Zuckerberg has upped the ante in his dietary adventure. As reported last May by Fortune, the Facebook CEO pledged that this year "the only meat I'm eating is from animals I've killed myself." He started out by slaughtering a pig, goat and chicken. Now the Silicon Valley billionaire has expanded his menu. Zuckerberg has learned to hunt, according to people close to him. He got a hunting license and recently shot and killed a bison...last Thursday at F8, the company's developers conference...as he gave his keynote speech, Zuckerberg's Facebook page loomed on a big screen behind him. On the left side of the page: a photo of a juicy-looking sandwich and two words: "Bison Burgers."

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