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Opening Bell: 01.31.14

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Wall Street Pays $70 Million Tab for Super Bowl in Its Backyard (Bloomberg)
The National Football League’s championship is a home game for the shapers of the nation’s economy, with 11 of 29 host sponsors coming from the financial services industry. The event is costing $70 million to stage, as much as five times last year’s in New Orleans, and companies with revenue of $339 billion last year are paying a big part of the bill.

BofA’s $8.5 Billion Mortgage Bond Pact Approved by Judge (Bloomberg)
For Bank of America, the settlement is part of Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan’s efforts to resolve liabilities tied to faulty mortgages that have cost the company at least $50 billion in legal claims since the financial crisis, most inherited from its 2008 purchase of Countrywide Financial Corp.

Microsoft Nears End To Its CEO Search (WSJ)
Veteran Microsoft Corp. executive Satya Nadella has emerged as the leading candidate to be the software company's next chief executive, as Microsoft directors wrestle with the role of co-founder and Chairman Bill Gates, according to people familiar with the matter.

Obama administration response to Justin Bieber deportation petition forthcoming (PR)
A petition created seven days ago asking the United States federal government to deport pop singer Justin Bieber back to his native Canada will now see an official response from the Obama administration, in accordance with its policies stating that any such petition filed on will be replied to if its digital signatures reach six figures. The petition, originally filed by an individual who identifies himself only as “J.A.” from Detroit, Michigan, has already received more than two hundred thousand signatures, twice the number required for a response.

EBA Outlines This Year's Stress Test for EU's Biggest Banks (WSJ)
To "pass" the test, banks will have to show a ratio of 8% in core Tier 1 capital relative to their risk-adjusted assets in the baseline scenario, and 5.5% in the adverse scenario. The exercise will take as its definition of capital the EU's latest Capital Requirements Directive, which came into force at the start of this year. That directive is the EU's implementation of the globally agreed "Basel III" accords on banking capital and liquidity. One of its characteristics is that some capital instruments common to European banks are being phased out in a transitional period that runs through 2018. As such, banks will have to show in the test that they are migrating to newer, more recognized forms of capital at the desired speed.

Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank continue merger dance (NYP)
Men’s Wearhouse said Thursday it would consider sweetening its $1.61 billion takeover bid for Jos. A. Bank, urging independent directors for its arch-rival to allow it a peek at its books. Jos. A. Bank — whose chairman, Bob Wildrick, put both companies in play last September when he made an initial overture to Men’s Wearhouse valued at $2.3 billion — declined to comment.

Yellen to deliver second day of testimony on February 13 (Reuters)
Incoming Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will testify on the economy before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on February 13, an aide for the panel said on Friday...It will be Yellen's second day of testimony on the Fed's semiannual monetary policy report. She is scheduled to testify before a House panel on February 11.

What’s in a Name? Woman Changing Hers to ‘Sexy’ (Fox8)
Sheila Crabtree has gone by her middle name, Ranea, since she was a teenager. She said she’s hated her first name, for no particular reason, nearly her entire life. “It’s an ugly name I was cursed with,” she said. “My mom chose my middle name, Ranea, which I love. And my dad chose the ugly name.” Crabtree said she quietly decided to fix the problem, and petitioned to have it legally changed to Sexy in court. “My husband sometimes calls me sexy,” she said. “I just decided on that just because it’s fun. I wasn’t expecting anyone to find out. I didn’t even tell my husband I was going through with it.” But part of the application process requires running a notice in the newspaper. That’s when her plan became public. “It was in real small print,” she said. “Then a couple of weeks later, I started getting calls and was contacted by everyone. I’m sure if I’d changed it to something ordinary, no one would have even known.” For the past week, Crabtree said she’s been interviewed by websites, radio stations and TV stations from all over the country. Some of the attention has been negative, with criticism about her choice of Sexy as a new name. “I’m not doing it for attention,” she said. “I’m just doing it for me. This is what I want in my life. I just wanted to get rid of that name entirely so I could be completely happy. I’m perfectly happy with everything else in my life right now.” She said her two teenage daughters think the change is a little silly, but they’re both fine with it. “I like to have a lot of fun,” said Crabtree. “I’m not a real serious person.”