Opening Bell: 12.09.13

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Deutsche Bank creates new post to tighten controls (Reuters)
Deutsche Bank on Monday named 43-year-old Thomas Poppensieker as head of a new effort to tighten controls at Germany's flagship lender, reporting directly to co-Chief Executives Juergen Fitschen and Anshu Jain. The move comes as Deutsche Bank pursues an ambitious cultural transformation plan led by Fitschen and Jain, and as it works through a long list of scandals, investigations and fines that came in the wake of the financial crisis.

Paulson Extends Comeback With Merger Bets as Stocks Rally (Bloomberg)
After wrong-way bets on the U.S. recovery, the euro crisis and gold had helped cut assets by about half from the 2011 peak, his main hedge funds are posting double-digit returns. The New York-based firm’s Advantage strategy, which suffered record losses in 2011, is up 30 percent this year through November, and the Recovery fund surged 55 percent, according to two people briefed on the returns, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Big Investors Change U.S. Trading (WSJ)
Some of the world's biggest investors are changing the way they trade in U.S. markets in response to what they say are rising risks for institutions of their size. The strategies include conducting more "upstairs trades," in which deals are executed among big institutions, bypassing the broader market, as well as other sophisticated order-routing techniques designed to avoid pitfalls that have become increasingly apparent to investment managers. Investors say such measures are increasingly necessary because the proliferation of algorithmic trading and other structural issues, including thefragmentation of the market, are hurting their ability to get the best prices and execute large trades quickly.

My Interview With Madoff (WSJ0
The 75-year-old, dressed in beige polyester pants and shirt with a matching canvas belt, showed no signs of stress. He told the occasional joke and said he was lucky to be in Butner, as it had a reputation of being "very laid back" and is kind of like a "camp." "This is as good as it gets," said Mr. Madoff.

Domestic Battery Rap Dropped In Water Pistol Case (TSG)
Giovanna Borge was busted in September following a confrontation with her beau in a Port St. Lucie apartment. Borge told officers that her boyfriend “said something to her that she did not like,” so she “took a water pistol and squirted him with water.” Following the pistol dripping, the pair tussled, with Borge claiming that her boyfriend struck her with a pillow and dumped a container of water on her head. But since Port St. Lucie Police Department officers decided that Borge was the “primary aggressor” during the September 27 incident, she was collared for “squirting water” on the victim to “antagonize and agitate him against his wishes.”

Circuit Court records show that Florida prosecutors opted not to pursue the misdemeanor charge against Borge, who had been ordered to not come closer than 50 feet to her boyfriend, whom she had dated for a year.
Budget Deal in U.S. Would Reduce Automatic Spending Cuts (Bloomberg)
U.S. budget negotiators are nearing a deal to trim automatic spending cuts that might break a three-year cycle of failed fiscal talks in Washington...The deal being crafted doesn’t slow the growth of the national debt and doesn’t rein in the corporate tax breaks Democrats targeted for elimination. The accord also wouldn’t fully replace the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration.

Hedge Funds May Rebound and Spoil Buffett's Bet (WSJ)
Six years ago, Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., made a $1 million bet with hedge-fund manager Protégé Partners that a simple stock-index fund would beat their handpicked stable of five funds of hedge funds over a decade. Then 2008 happened and the funds, though they declined, lived up to their names and trounced the market. Having reached the halfway point at the end of 2012, though, Mr. Buffett had a substantial lead, with a total return of 8.69% to just 0.13% for the masters of the universe. That looks set to widen further in 2013: Through November, a weighted index maintained by Hedge Fund Research Inc. was up by just 8.31% compared with nearly 29% for the S&P 500...The upshot of all this is that the correlation pendulum eventually will swing back with a vengeance. Whereas today a rising tide of central-bank bond buying is lifting nearly all boats in the stock market, some of those vessels aren't particularly seaworthy. Index funds can't distinguish a rotten hull from a solid one. The Oracle of Omaha has a good lead, but hedge funds may yet give him a run for his money.

Watchdog warns of chaos in competing derivatives rules (Reuters)
Failure to thrash out a common supervision of the $640 trillion global financial derivatives industry will split markets and bump up costs for end users, a top regulator said on Monday. Banks who trade interest rate swaps, credit default swaps and other derivatives are looking to the United States and the European Union to harmonize their approach to new rules aimed at making markets more transparent. Banks worry that rule clashes and overlaps will create legal uncertainties and extra compliance costs. David Wright, secretary general of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), an umbrella group for regulators from across the world, warned it was a "recipe for chaos" that could get messy and anti-competitive.

Kirstie Alley rants against former Scientologist Leah Remini: 'You are my enemy' (NYDN)
Alley, 62, blasted Remini over the "King of Queens" actress' comments about Scientology. "First of all, I just want everyone to know I have hundreds of friends who have come into Scientology and left Scientology," Alley said on "The Howard Stern Show" Wednesday. "You're not shunned, you're not chased. All that stuff's bulls-t." "When you're generalizing and when your goal is to malign and to say things about an entire group…when you decide to blanket statement that Scientology is evil, you are my enemy," Alley continued. "I have blocked her on Twitter," Alley concluded.

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By Michael Vadon [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 9.27.16

Deutsche Bank haunts Merkel; Citi warns on gold/Trump; Perry Capital will shutter funds; Woman tells story of walking in on burglars having sex on her couch; and more.

Opening Bell: 02.13.12

Société Générale to Restructure (WSJ) Société Générale said Wednesday it will roll out a restructuring plan to cut costs and boost revenue, as the French bank posted a larger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss and painted a stark picture of the outlook for retail banking in France against the backdrop of a stagnant economy...The Paris-based lender, France's second-largest publicly listed bank by market capitalization, reported a €476 million net loss ($640 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with €100 million net profit last year, well below analysts' expectations. Apple's Cook Calls Einhorn Lawsuit 'Silly Sideshow', Says Company's Not Tight-Fisted (CNBC) Wading into a controversy that was bought to a head last week by fund manager David Einhorn, Cook touted his company's investment in product development and research. The CEO rejected the basis of a lawsuit filed by Einhorn that the fund manager asserts will restrict Apple's ability to distribute its excess cash to its investors. "Frankly I find it bizarre that we would find ourselves being sued for doing something that's good for shareholders," Cook told the Goldman Sachs' Technology and Internet Conference. Apple checkmate: Another big investor backs company vs. Einhorn (NYP) The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, a $157.8 billion pension fund that owns 1.6 million Apple shares, told The Post they are siding with Apple against Einhorn. CalSTRS supports the proposal because “blank check” preferred stock “can be used as anti-takeover defenses and entrench a board,” said Anne Sheehan, the director of corporate governance. SAC Probe Said to Be Hampered by Auto-Deleted E-Mails (Bloomberg) The federal investigation of insider trading by SAC Capital Advisors LP and its founder, Steven A. Cohen, has been hampered by a lack of extensive e-mail evidence. One reason: During the period of time at the heart of the probe, July 2008, SAC automatically deleted its e-mails. Unluckily for the U.S. government, SAC changed its policy just months later, requiring preservation of electronic communications. By then, most messages relevant to the $700 million in alleged illegal trades had been erased, according to a person familiar with the matter. Until the fall of 2008, SAC e-mails were deleted from employee electronic mailboxes every 30 or 60 days, according to SAC General Counsel Peter Nussbaum. Comcast Buys Rest Of NBC's Parent (WSJ) Comcast Corp, in a bullish bet on traditional entertainment, is buying General Electric Co.'s stake in NBCUniversal for $16.7 billion, giving the cable operator full ownership of the film and television giant much sooner than expected. Kate Upton on Antarctic shoot for SI: 'My body was shutting down' (NBC) The theme of this year’s issue, which hit newsstands Tuesday, put models in exotic settings on all seven continents. Upton was sent to the most forbidding one of them all, Antarctica, to endure with frigid temperatures in skimpy outfits, including the parka top and bikini bottom she is wearing on the magazine's cover. “I was very surprised by the news that that’s where my shoot was going to be located,’’ she said on TODAY Tuesday in her first interview since making the cover. “It was freezing. I’m from Florida, so it wasn’t great for me. When I came back I was losing hearing and eyesight because my body was shutting down, it was working so hard to keep warm. I was thinking warm thoughts." Eurozone Worries Intensify (WSJ) Industrial production in the euro zone fell at its sharpest quarterly rate in more than three years at the end of last year, despite rising in December, stoking fears of a third consecutive quarterly economic contraction. But data released on Wednesday suggested the euro-zone economy reached a low point in November and could be showing early signs of recovery, as production in Germany, the currency bloc's biggest single economy, rose in December after falling for four consecutive months. Russia Says It Is Moving Away From Currency Manipulation (CNBC) FYI. ING To Cut 2,400 More Jobs (WSJ) The Netherlands' biggest bank by assets, which had about 85,000 employees world-wide at the end of the fourth quarter, is cutting costs in response to the weak European economy and tougher regulations for banks. As US Gasoline Prices Soar, Hedge Fund Oil Bets Near Record (Reuters) U.S. motorists searching for someone to blame for the highest gasoline prices ever at this time of year have an easy target: hedge funds who have been quietly amassing winning bets on hundreds of millions of barrels of oil. At a filling station in Midtown New York last week, several people were prepared to blame traders on Wall Street as they paid more than $4 per gallon to fill up their cars. "It really is not supply and demand. It's definitely speculation," said John Keegan, an exterminator with pest control company Terminate Control, who was filling up his van. A cab driver said he was convinced the price would be just $1 a gallon if the government "stopped Wall Street trading oil." No Ordinary Affenpinscher, Banana Joe Is Named Best in Show (NYT) Banana Joe, a black dog with a monkeylike face, became the first affenpinscher to win Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday night. He defeated six dogs, one a Portuguese water dog on the same night that Bo, who is the same breed, watched his master, President Obama, deliver the State of the Union address. “He’s won a lot of big, big shows, but none like this one,” said his handler, Ernesto Lara, who held onto Joey, as he calls him, during a postshow news conference. Joey sat calmly, as if he could have gone back onto the floor of Madison Square Garden and taken on his challengers again. He stuck his tongue out as Lara answered questions. He didn’t appear to need any celebratory drinks or snacks. “I don’t think he has anything to prove,” Lara said. “I’m not bragging, this is just the way he is. The best thing is that I was in cue with him.” He added: “This isn’t a breed you train. He’s like a human. You befriend him.”

Opening Bell: 4.22.15

Flash Crash trader fighting extradition; Greece is good on cash 'til June; BNY profit rises; "An enraged Colorado man shot his computer multiple times for failing to work properly"; and more.

Opening Bell: 10.8.15

Goldman, Morgan Stanley win back hedge fund business; BlackRock says shut.it.down; Clinton will propose tax on high frequency trading; "Student reportedly expelled from UConn for mac and cheese tantrum"; and more.

Opening Bell: 2.6.15

RadioShack brought to its knees by "a series of missed financial targets and strategic confusion that handed power to bare-knuckled lenders"; Rich Brazilians are getting the fuck out; Swiss National Banc still curbing that franc; Jobs report did pretty okay for itself; "You need to focus again on the attractive benefits of our funds and stop this nonsense that there are no products available – because if there are no products, go home, get a new job!"; Marijuana Lovahs; AND MORE.