Facebook Trades Said To Be Halted For Three Days (Bloomberg)
Shareholders of Facebook Inc., the Internet site preparing an initial public offering, are facing a three-day suspension of trading on secondary markets this week, people with knowledge of the matter said. While buy and sell orders can be made, transactions won’t be processed by Facebook’s attorneys at Fenwick & West LLC from Jan. 25 to Jan. 27, said the people, who declined to be named because details on secondary transactions are kept private. The halt pertains to trading of Facebook shares only, one of the people said. Facebook, the largest social-networking site, is considering raising about $10 billion in an IPO that would value the company at more than $100 billion, a person with knowledge of the situation said in November.
Morgan Stanley Sets Sights On Facebook IPO (WSJ)
For the past year, Morgan Stanley and rival Goldman Sachs Group Inc. have been viewed as leading contenders for the coveted "lead left" spot in Facebook's IPO prospectus, which goes to the bank with the most responsibility for the offering. Goldman was presumed to have an upper hand after arranging a private offering of Facebook shares last year, though its odds were seen as declining amid a flub in that process that led the bank to limit the deal to non-U.S. investors. After that, executives at the social-networking company became less enamored with the bank, according to people familiar with the matter...Clients say one plus for Morgan Stanley's team, based in Menlo Park, Calif., is that it has been largely unchanged since the mid-1990s, after veteran deal-maker Frank Quattrone left for a rival shop in 1996, taking with him a team of bankers. The 45-year-old Mr. Grimes, who had joined a year earlier, helped rebuild Morgan Stanley's tech team through the dotcom boom and bust. In 2005, Mr. Grimes was appointed a co-head of global tech banking, along with Paul Chamberlain, 48, another veteran of the bank. "They've been in the same jobs, not leaving for other firms, not moving to New York, they've decades of experience and seen every tech cycle… that carries a lot of weight with clients," said Egon Durban, a managing partner at private equity firm Silver Lake Partners.
Obama Speech Makes Pitch for Economic Fairness (NYT)
“We will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt and phony financial profits,” Mr. Obama said. Though his advisers have vowed a campaign against Congress, he expressed a willingness to “work with anyone in this chamber” and said he would “oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place.”
Obama Calls For Higher Taxes On Wealthy (Bloomberg)
Invoking a tax idea named for billionaire Warren Buffett, Obama said the law should make sure million-dollar earners pay at least 30 percent in taxes. “We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by,” Obama said in his televised address to a joint session of Congress. “Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules...You can call this class warfare all you want,” Obama said, referring to Republican criticism of his proposals. “But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.” He also called for incentives for companies to return jobs to the U.S., development of domestic natural gas reserves and alternative energy sources, and providing American workers with better training.
Romney Rethinks Key Income-Tax Break (WSJ)
If elected president, Mitt Romney might consider ending a tax break that helped the former Massachusetts governor accumulate his fortune, an aide suggested Tuesday. The comments came as the Romney campaign made available more than 500 pages of tax-return data for 2010 and 2011 amid signs the issue was hurting him with some voters. Later in the day, in a signal of how the tax issue is roiling the GOP campaign, the Romney camp tried to step back from the aide's remarks, underscoring that the former Massachusetts governor didn't want to raise anyone's taxes. The back-and-forth Tuesday about Mr. Romney's approach to one particular tax break began when Lanhee Chen, the candidate's policy director, indicated in a call with reporters the candidate might be willing to reconsider a tax break known as "carried interest" as part of a comprehensive tax overhaul. The break gives private-equity and venture-capital executives a relatively low 15% tax rate on much of their income.
IMF: Europe Poses Global Recession Threat (Reuters)
You heard it here first.
Cop: Circumcision proves I didn't flash woman (NYP)
A cop says he got the shaft when he was booted from the NYPD for exposing himself to a female prisoner in a holding cell, because the penis she described couldn't have been his. The woman told cops and testified at an administrative NYPD hearing that "she unequivocally and clearly saw petitioner's penis and that it was uncircumcised." Owen Hopper says he definitely is circumcised, but the NYPD hearing officer ignored his smoking gun evidence and found him guilty anyway. Hopper "submitted uncontested medical evidence and proof that his penis was circumcised and had been so since petitioner's childhood," his court papers complain. He was canned this past September, and is now suing to get his job back.
Merkel Masters Markets With Austerity (Bloomberg)
Delivering the opening speech today at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, she’ll be addressing critics who say her conversion may be too late to stop woes from splintering the 17-nation euro. “She’s starting a little bit to employ and massage markets, as a politician should do,” Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Joh. Berenberg Gossler & Co in London, said in an interview. “You cannot control markets, but you can work with the markets and harness the power of markets your way if you do it well.”
Billionaires Occupy Davos as 0.01% Bemoan Economic Inequalities (BusinessWeek)
“Many who will be in Davos are the people being blamed for economic inequalities,” Oberoi, 42, chairman of Oberoi Realty Ltd., India’s second-biggest real estate developer by market value, said in an interview earlier this month by mobile phone from his car in Mumbai. “I hope it’s not just about glamour and people having a big party.”
Apple Sets New Bar For Industry (WSJ)
The Cupertino, Calif., technology maker posted one of the most profitable quarters for a U.S. corporation, pulling in $13.1 billion on sales of $46.3 billion. Apple's profit is more than three times what General Electric Co. earned in its most recent quarter. ExxonMobil Corp. had a profit of $14.8 billion in the third quarter of 2008 but it needed nearly $140 billion in revenue to generate that income. Apple's executives said the numbers could have been even higher if the company had been able to manufacture enough iPhones to meet demand. Sales rose 73% during the quarter ended in December, up from $26.7 billion a year earlier. Profits more than doubled to $13.87 per share, up from $6.43 a share a year ago. The figures blew away analysts' projections, which estimated quarterly profits to hit around $9.6 billion.
Asian Bosses See Europe Crisis as Opportunity (Reuters)
Over three-quarters of Asian executives said they saw potential to invest in European businesses and 45 percent were making plans to do so in 2012, the survey of 800 business leaders in North America, Asia and the Middle East showed. North American executives are less optimistic about Europe's future and only 7 percent have made such plans. In the Middle East, 14 percent of executives had fixed investment plans for Europe.
Senator Corker Not So Sure About The Volcker Rule (Bloomberg)
U.S. Senator Bob Corker said he has “serious doubts” about whether the Dodd-Frank Act’s ban on proprietary trading by banks will work.
Dartmouth Student Who Gave Bridgewater A Piece Of His Mind Returns With Slightly Darker Op-Ed (DartBlog, related)
"Among my many experiences as a fraternity pledge, I was: forced to swim in a kiddie pool full of vomit, urine, fecal matter, semen, and rotten food products; forced to eat an omelet made of vomit; forced to chug cups of vinegar until I was afraid that I would vomit blood like one of my fellow pledges did; forced to inhale nitrous oxide; degraded psychologically on a daily basis; forced to drink beers poured down a fellow pledge’s ass crack; vomited on regularly, and encouraged to vomit on others...The administration is fully aware of what goes in in our basements; I know this because I have had frank conversations with several high-level administrators."
Cohen Among More Than 10 Bidders For Dodgers (FINalternatives)
Also making a play for the Dodgers are private equity honchos Leo Hindery and Marc Utay, who, like Cohen, were stymied last year in their effort to buy a piece of the New York Mets (Utay and Hindery also tried, and failed, to buy the Chicago Cubs). Members of the Disney family and the head of their hedge fund Shamrock Holdings, Stanley Gold, also submitted a bid. Guggenheim Partners CEO Mark Walter is part of a group headed by former Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson and former baseball executive Stan Kasten. Private equity mogul Ron Burkle is said to be interested, and Colony Capital's Thomas Barrack may join one of the competing groups.
Dentist who used paper clip in patients’ root canals pleads guilty in Mass. court (NYDN)
Is that not standard procedure?