Opening Bell: 10.07.11

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Job Creation Posts Jump But Rate Still Steady at 9.1% (CNBC)
The US jobs picture beat tepid expectations, with the economy creating a significantly better than expected 103,000 mew jobs in September that nonetheless was not enough to cut the unemployment rate from 9.1 percent. Economists had been looking for 60,000 total new nonfarm jobs, a month after the shock that the US had created a net of zero new jobs.

The Multibillion-Dollar Leak (WSJ)
The latest frenzy erupted late Wednesday when a website posted a 205-page draft of a memo, dated Sept. 30, that laid out critical elements of the proposed Volcker rule. The leak left regulators fuming and opened a new front in Wall Street's battle to soften the blow of the proposed rule. The draft gave banking industry lobbyists several days to discuss it before Tuesday, when the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is scheduled to consider issuing a version for public comment...Talk spread that the leak could prompt regulators to move more quickly to release an official version. A lobbyist for a large Wall Street bank assigned a staffer to continuously monitor the website of the Federal Reserve, which is helping draft the rule.

Romney Signing Up Wall Street Donors (NYT)
One of Mr. Romney’s latest and most high-profile recruits is James B. Lee Jr., vice chairman of the JPMorgan Chase and a Christie fan, according to two people with knowledge of Mr. Lee’s discussions with the Romney campaign...Mr. Romney has also picked up the support of two financiers who once supported President Obama: Daniel Loeb and Clifford Asness. Another top recruit is Paul Singer, a hedge fund billionaire who is one of the Republican Party’s most sought-after donors and supporters. Kenneth Griffin, a Chicago hedge fund manager who Mr. Romney has courted, remains undecided, a person close to him said on Thursday.

Geithner: Banks OK (NYP)
FYI: Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said the nation’s financial firms have strengthened and there is “absolutely” no chance of another collapsing like Lehman Brothers in 2008.

Wall Street Protesters Gorge on ‘Occupie’ Pizza (Bloomberg)
Liberatos Pizza, a few blocks south, has been taking orders from supporters around the world to have its $15 “Occupie” delivered to the protesters. Owner Telly Liberatos said he’s sold hundreds of the 18-inch pies since Sept. 18. “I have nothing to do with the protest,” Liberatos said. “I don’t take sides. It was a very slow summer. I’m trying to run my business.”

Occupy Wall Street costing taxpayers $2 million in police overtime - and counting - NYPD says (NYDN)
The NYPD said Thursday that three weeks of anti-Wall Street demonstrations have cost the city $2 million in police overtime and defended the use of pepper spray and batons to control rowdy crowds...The group posted a YouTube video of a cop a block from the Stock Exchange saying Wednesday evening that he just couldn't wait to beat up demonstrators. "My little nightstick's gonna get a workout tonight," the burly officer whose badge reads 'Rodriguez' says gleefully to a fellow cop as they wait by a metal barricade on Broad Street.

Germany, France Split On Bank Aid Before Summit (Reuters)
A German source said Paris wanted to tap the euro zone's 440 billion rescue fund to recapitalize its own banks, which have the largest exposure to peripheral euro zone debt, while Berlin insisted the fund should be used only as a last resort when no national funds are available.

Berlusconi quips on new party name (AP)
"We will change the name of the People of Freedom party, because people no longer carry it in their hearts," the 75-year-old told lawmakers from his ruling coalition on the sidelines of a series of meetings in parliament, Italian news media reported. "We will examine any suggestions," he added. Berlusconi then joked: "I'm told the name that would have the biggest success is 'Go Pussy!'"

Unsavvy People (NYT)
Paul Krugman: "There will, of course, be the usual attempts to dismiss the whole [OccupyWallStreet] thing based on trivialities. Look at the oddly dressed people acting out! So? Is it better when exquisitely tailored bankers whose gambles brought the world economy to its knees — and who were bailed out by taxpayers — whine that President Obama is saying slightly mean things about them? [...] So, good for the protesters. And if the Obama people have any sense of self-preservation, they’ll try to mend fences with the people they have disappointed so badly."

World facing worst financial crisis in history, Bank of England Governor says (Telegraph)
Sir Mervyn said the Bank had been driven by growing signs of a global economic disaster. “This is the most serious financial crisis we’ve seen, at least since the 1930s, if not ever. We’re having to deal with very unusual circumstances, but to act calmly to this and to do the right thing.”

Dimon's Wealth Offensive (NYP)
At a time when stock markets are whip-sawing investors, the JPMorgan Chase chief is aiming to build out the bank’s wealth management arm in a bid to cater to rich investors. Dimon is betting that the business could generate as much as $1 billion in pre-tax profits. “It’s one of Jamie’s most important goals,” said Barry Sommers, who is heading the initiative. Sommers told The Post that JPMorgan’s game plan is to hire thousands of wealth managers and support staff over the course of the next several years.

Moody's Cuts 12 UK Lenders (WSJ)
Moody's cut Royal Bank of Scotland PLC and Nationwide Building Society two notches to A2, from Aa3. Lloyds TSB Bank PLC and Santander UK PLC were cut one notch, to A1 from Aa3. Co-Operative Bank PLC was also cut one notch, to A3 from A2. Seven smaller building societies were cut by between one and five notches.

Goldman Is Sued Over Office Deal (WSJ)
A real-estate fund run by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has walked away from a $1.26 billion deal with Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. to buy a portfolio of 10 office buildings in a suburb of Washington, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday. Lehman is seeking $100 million in damages from the Goldman-run U.S. Real Estate Opportunities fund, alleging the fund's "unjustified" termination of the deal just two days before the sale was to close.

Beyond Pot Brownies (Gourmet)
In wine country, pot-infused wines are the open secrets that present themselves in unmarked bottles at the end of winemaker dinners and very VIP tours (it bears mentioning that most winemakers are cagey enough to keep the manufacture of such wines far from winery grounds). The wines range in style and intensity as broadly as “normal” wines and winemakers do. Some practitioners of the fruit-forward, higher-alcohol, New World style take a similarly aggressive approach to infusing wine. “I know a winemaker that takes a couple of barrels a year and puts a ton of weed in it and lets it steep, and that wine is just superpotent,” says a James Beard Award–winning chef, who also asked not to be named. Henry, though, makes more classically styled wines, and with that reserve comes a more subtle hand with the cannabis. Adjusted for volume, “special” wines can range from under a pound of marijuana per 59-gallon barrel to over 4 pounds per barrel. The result is a spectrum ranging from a gentle, almost absinthe-like effect to something verging on oenological anesthetic.

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Opening Bell: 04.08.13

Portugal Seeks Budget Options (WSJ) Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said he would look for fresh spending cuts to keep Portugal's €78 billion ($101 billion) international bailout program on track following a Constitutional Court decision that threw his government into crisis by striking down some of its planned austerity measures. Hedge Fund Star Gets A Hip-Check (WSJ) Jeffrey Vinik's Tampa Bay Lightning are struggling, but the performance of his National Hockey League team isn't the only worry for the veteran stock-picker. Investors have asked to pull around $1.5 billion from his hedge-fund firm after a period of poor performance, according to people briefed on the matter. The withdrawal requests amount to around 18% of the roughly $8 billion that was run by Vinik Asset Management. The redemption requests have come as Mr. Vinik, who rose to fame in the 1990s as the manager of Fidelity Investments' Magellan fund, has added a new investment team and moved from Boston to Tampa to be closer to the Lightning, the franchise he owns. The moves have raised concerns in some quarters that Mr. Vinik, 54 years old, may have become less focused on investing, according to people familiar with the firm. Lew To Press For Policy Changes (NYT) Jacob J. Lew began his first trip to Europe as Treasury secretary on Sunday, a four-city tour in which he is expected to try to persuade finance ministers to pursue a little more growth and a little less austerity to improve the economic fortunes of the Continent and the world. Rogue Trader Leeson to Advise Irish Borrowers on Bank Debts (Bloomberg) Nick Leeson, the trader whose wrong- way bets on Japanese stocks ruined Barings Plc, is joining a mediation firm to advise Irish borrowers looking to renegotiate debts in the wake of the real estate collapse. Leeson, 46, who has lived in Ireland for more than 10 years, will join GDP Partnership as a principal as it expands into Dublin, the company said in a statement posted on Twitter by Leeson. There is “a lot of fear and stress currently in the country with debt the root of the problem,” it said. Greek Bank Merger Halted (WSJ) Greece's two largest lenders are heading for state control after their merger was halted by the government over the weekend. The unexpected move came after National Bank of Greece and Eurobank came up short in their plans to raise capital and amid fears by the country's international lenders that the combined entity could become too big to be bailed out by the government. Putin Faces Down Topless Protest In Germany (Reuters) Russia urged Germany to punish a group of women who staged a bare-breasted protest against President Vladimir Putin on Monday during a visit to a trade fair in Hanover with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Three members of the women's rights group Femen, which has staged protests against Russia's detention of the feminist punk band P*ssy Riot around Europe, disrupted a visit by Putin and Merkel to an industry fair focusing on Russian business. They stripped off to the waist and shouted slogans calling the Russian leader a "dictator" before being covered up and bundled away by security men. "This is ordinary hooliganism and unfortunately it happens all over the world, in any city. One needs to punish (them)," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Investors Bankroll Lawsuits (WSJ) A new generation of investors is plunging into "litigation finance," putting up millions of dollars to fund lawsuits in hopes of collecting when verdicts come down. Established financiers are expanding into new areas, including loans to law firms, and finding clients among the biggest American companies. Meredith Whitney Blasts Critics In Debut Book (NYP) Prominent bank analyst Meredith Whitney comes out swinging at critics in her debut book, “Fate of the States.” The Wall Street financial analyst, who made headlines with her accurate 2007 prediction that Citigroup would cut its dividend amid the unfurling financial crisis, says she was “pilloried in the financial press” after she warned of looming state- and city-bond defaults resulting from budget shortfalls. Whitney, who made her forecasts on CBS’s “60 Minutes” back in December 2009, blasted critics who claim her prediction of municipal-bond defaults suggested they would all happen at once: “For the record, I never said those 50 to 100 defaults would all happen in 2011.” Hedge Funds Cut Bets Most Since ’08 as Prices Slump: Commodities (Bloomberg) Hedge funds reduced bets on a commodity rally by the most since 2008 as rising supplies of everything from copper to sugar and slowing U.S. growth drove prices to the biggest slump in six months. General Electric to Buy Lufkin Industries for $3.38 Billion Cash (Reuters) Lufkin, which sells and services oilfield pumping units and power transmission products, has operations in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the Middle East, and Europe. Man shot with arrow at gentleman's club (KN) The incident occurred around 3:30 a.m. Sunday at The Ball Gentleman’s Club at 3005 Alcoa Highway. Police responded to a E-911 call that someone had been shot, but upon arrival they discovered it wasn’t with a gun. A member of The Ball Gentleman’s Club security personnel appeared to have been shot with an arrow Powell said. Officers conducted an immediate search of the area, but were unable to locate the suspect. The victim was treated on scene.