Opening Bell: 11.05.13

Author:
Updated:
Original:

J.P. Morgan Talks With Justice Department Gain Momentum (WSJ)
Talks between J.P. Morgan Chase and the Justice Department are heating back up after several disagreements threatened to scuttle a landmark pact between the two last month, people close to the talks said. Comprehensive final terms haven't been reached, but several people said it was possible they could be agreed to this week. The $13 billion deal would resolve a number of probes into the bank's sale of mortgage bonds during the housing boom. Negotiators from J.P. Morgan and the Justice Department are working on final language that would resolve the differences that divided the two sides last week, including the question of whether J.P. Morgan can count $5.1 billion in recent settlements with mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac toward the $13 billion total.

Cohen’s Dream of Soros Status Dies as SAC Pleads Guilty (Bloomberg)
Cohen’s goal has always been to be acknowledged as something greater than a masterful trader, say the friends and colleagues, who asked not to be identified to avoid hurting their relationship with him. Rather, he wants to be included in the pantheon of world-class money managers such as Warren Buffett and George Soros, whose savvy investing history and prescient market calls draw a following on Wall Street, these people say.

Fed in no rush to cut bond buys, top policymakers say (Reuters)
The Federal Reserve should scale back its asset purchases only when the U.S. economy shows clearer signs of improvement and even then it should act slowly, one senior central banker said on Monday, while two others stressed there is no need to rush. The comments suggest the U.S. central bank will be propping up the economy and financial markets for some time to come, and they underscore Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's repeated promise that stimulus will not be reduced according to a set timeline but rather in response to economic developments.

Gross Loses World’s Largest Mutual Fund Title to Vanguard (Bloomberg)
Gross’s Pimco Total Return Fund has shrunk by $37.5 billion since the start of this year, ending last month with $247.9 billion in assets, according to data provided by Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California, and compiled by Bloomberg. The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund ended October with $251 billion, Vanguard Group Inc. spokesman John Woerth wrote in an e-mail, taking the top spot.

Book About Amazon Is Reviewed on Amazon, by Founder’s Wife (NYT)
In a scathing 922-word review posted on Monday, Ms. Bezos described the book, written by Brad Stone, as “a lopsided and misleading portrait of the people and culture at Amazon.'’ “I have firsthand knowledge of many of the events,” Ms. Bezos wrote, describing her time with Mr. Bezos through the early years of Amazon and 20 years of marriage, including “the basement warehouse closet, the barbecue-scented offices, the Christmas-rush distribution centers, and the door-desk filled conference rooms.'’ “The Everything Store” has received raves for its comprehensive and meticulously researched details about Amazon’s history and Mr. Bezos’s conception of the company. Mr. Stone is a senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek and a former reporter for The New York Times. In Ms. Bezos’s review, the only one-star review “The Everything Store” has received, she accused Mr. Stone of making factual errors and, noting that Mr. Bezos was “never interviewed for this book,” took issue with Mr. Stone’s use of the phrases “Bezos believed” and “Bezos felt.” Readers, she wrote, should “take note of how seldom these guesses about his feelings and motives are marked with a footnote indicating there is any other source to substantiate them.”

Justin Bieber walks off stage after being hit by water bottle (NYDN)
Bieber, 19, was singing when he was hit by a water bottle that was thrown from the audience...The "Bad Day" singer was obviously peeved by the gesture, as he looked visibly annoyed and walked off stage mid-song. He must have gotten over it quickly, as he later tweeted, "Love u Brazil."

China Buys Its Way Into Silicon Valley (WSJ)
The Chinese firms, which have little consumer business outside their home market, are unloading small fortunes on startups as they strive to understand and eventually gain a foothold in the elusive U.S. market. This week, Tencent Holdings Ltd., a social networking and gaming company, is vying to lead a fundraising round of $200 million in buzzy American messaging app Snapchat Inc., according to people briefed on the matter.

The One Thing People Still Really Like About BlackBerry (BusinessWeek)
...the company’s consumer brand seems irreversibly damaged—with one exception. Last month BlackBerry finally began offering BBM, the company’s instant messaging system, for iOS and Android. The company said that 20 million people downloaded the app in the first week of availability. People actually like using the service, it seems.

China's Central Banker Leads Push to Overhaul Economy (WSJ)
Mr. Zhou's reappointment signals that party leaders are likely to embrace at least some market-oriented reforms in an economic plan due to be released at a meeting of senior party officials scheduled to begin on Saturday. The central banker has long championed a more consumer-based economy in which ordinary people have more money to spend and more loans are available to private firms rather than state-owned behemoths. To that end, his priorities include creating deposit insurance for banks, making higher interest rates available to depositors, creating more privately owned banks and opening China more to foreign investors.

Burglar left cellphone in house; mom's call helped track him, deputies say (Sun Sentinel)
An investigator picked up the phone when it started ringing at the Lake Worth house and the word "Mom" appeared on the screen, according to a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office arrest report. He asked the woman on the other end who the phone belonged to, and she said her son, Derek Codd.

Related

(Getty Images)

Opening Bell: 6.23.17

Even in the clink, Bernie Madoff is still helping his clients; Burton Malkiel is taking a not-so-random-walk; politics is affecting our porn habits; and more.

deutsche-bank-logo-eyes

Opening Bell: 3.20.17

Deutsche Bank is getting more creative; apparently there was a Trump rally; gigantic swastikas brighten Phoenix's skyline; and more.

Opening Bell: 02.01.13

Barclays CEO Gives Up Bonus For 2012 (WSJ) Mr. Jenkins, who was named Barclays CEO last year, said in a statement that it was "only right" he give up his pay in light of the various problems that have beset the U.K. bank in recent months. Mr. Jenkins's predecessor, Robert Diamond, quit the bank following allegations that the bank tried to rig interbank lending rates. Barclays is wrestling with other industrywide issues, including the misselling of payment-protection insurance and interest-rate hedging products. "I have concluded that it would be wrong for me to receive a bonus for 2012 given those circumstances," Mr. Jenkins said. Worst Not Over for Spain Banks After Big Writedowns (CNBC) "The problems for Spanish banking are far from over," Ashok Shah, chief investment officer at wealth management firm London & Capital, told CNBC on Friday. "The underlying real estate market is only half-corrected,so when it fully corrects over the next year of two, the non-performing loans are going to keep spiking up which will keep eating into the tier-one capital so the need to raise more equity is going to be enormous and very, very pressing indeed." 'London Whale' Sounded an Alarm on Risky Bets (WSJ) In one instance, Mr. Iksil told another trader that the size of his bets was getting "scary," according to emails in a Jan. 16 report by J.P. Morgan and to the people familiar with the emails. Mr. Iksil's emails, according to people familiar with them, show there was concern within J.P. Morgan's chief investment office before Chief Executive James Dimon dismissed as a "tempest in a teapot" reports on the whale trades, including an April 6 article in The Wall Street Journal. The New York company first disclosed the trading losses in May, and Mr. Dimon subsequently said he was wrong to have played down concerns raised by the news report. $3.8 Million Bonus For Gorman (NYP) Morgan Stanley reduced pay by 7.1 percent for Chairman and CEO James Gorman, giving him a $9.75 million package that included a $3.75 million long-term incentive award. The bank almost doubled Gorman’s base salary to $1.5 million from $800,000, according to a regulatory filing yesterday. Edward Koch, Brash New York Mayor in 1980s Boom, Dies at 88 (Bloomberg) Serving from 1978 through 1989, Koch presided over the Wall Street-fueled economic boom of the 1980s, turning a $1 billion budget deficit into a $500 million surplus in five years. He restored the city’s credit, doubled the annual budget to $26 billion and oversaw $19 billion in capital improvements. His subsidized housing plan produced more than 156,000 new and renovated units. “Through his tough, determined leadership and responsible fiscal stewardship, Ed helped lift the city out of its darkest days and set it on course for an incredible comeback,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said today in a statement. He called Koch “an irrepressible icon, our most charismatic cheerleader and champion.” Koch’s in-your-face style, straight talk and catchphrase “How’m I doing?” endeared him to New Yorkers wracked by the lingering fiscal crisis, the Son of Sam serial killings and the arson and looting that erupted after a blackout in July 1977. Geraldo Rivera considering run for U.S. Senate (NYDN) "Fasten your seatbelt," the mustachioed Fox News host said on his radio show Thursday. "I've been in touch with some people in the Republican Party in New Jersey. I am truly contemplating running." The Brooklyn native is eyeing a 2014 bid for the seat currently held by aging Democrat Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who may not seek reelection. Newark’s Democrat mayor, Cory Booker, is exploring a run. Stifel Stalks Faltering Firms as Wall Street Retrenches (Bloomberg) Stifel Financial Chief Executive Officer Ron Kruszewski paused in mid-sentence and asked an employee for the list, a chart showing in red which of the St. Louis-based firm’s rivals have closed or sold out. “There’s this huge consolidation,” Kruszewski, 54, said in an interview in his office, referring to the once crowded field of U.S. regional and local brokerages that vied to serve mid-size companies. “What’s left is very few firms that ever were in the middle market. We’re one of them.” About a dozen golf putters lean against a table. Nine floors down, the lobby is being remodeled with glass and white stone, while a bronze bull and bear statue is planned for outside. The way Kruszewski views it, St. Louis is now the No. 2 U.S. brokerage hub after New York... Economy Adds 157,000 Jobs (WSJ) Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expected nonfarm payrolls to rise by 166,000 and that the unemployment rate would hold steady at 7.8%. U.S. Sues to Block Big Beer Merger (WSJ) The surprise lawsuit seeks to block Bud Light maker Anheuser-Busch InBev NV's deal with the Mexican company that owns the Corona brand, and comes just a day after concession talks with the government broke down. U.S. authorities said they want to prevent any overcharging by the global giants that dominate mass-market brews. Burger King admits it has been selling beef burgers and Whoppers containing horsemeat (DM) The fast food chain, which has more than 500 UKoutlets, had earlier given a series of ‘absolute assurances’ that its products were not involved. However, new tests have revealed these guarantees were incorrect in a revelation that threatens to destroy the trust of customers. The contamination has been going on since at least last May and potentially for up to one year, according to evidence presented earlier this week. Tonight Burger King abandoned its earlier denials, saying: ‘Four samples recently taken from the Silvercrest plant have shown the presence of very small trace levels of equine DNA. Burger King vice president, Diego Beamonte, said: ‘We are deeply troubled by the findings of our investigation and apologise to our guests, who trust us to source only the highest quality 100per cent beef burgers. Our supplier has failed us and in turn we have failed you. We are committed to ensuring that this does not happen again.' He added: ‘We will dedicate ourselves to determining what lessons can be learned and what additional measures, including DNA testing and enhanced traceability controls, can be taken to ensure that we continue to provide you with the quality products you expect from us.'