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Opening Bell: 10.07.14

Wall Street Moles Go to New York’s Top Cop, Spurning SEC Cash (Bloomberg)
A tip that helped spur New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s June lawsuit against Barclays Plc was first shopped to the SEC, as was another that triggered his investigation into a controversial trading practice at BlackRock Inc., said people with direct knowledge of the matter. By going to Schneiderman, informants risk hurting their chances of collecting as much money as possible from the SEC. The SEC, responding to its failures to police Wall Street before the 2008 credit crunch, tried to improve its bounty program with input from the Internal Revenue Service and other government agencies that have long paid whistle-blowers. While the overhaul benefited from congressional approval to offer bigger rewards in a wider swath of cases, informants say they’re frustrated by the SEC’s slow process.

U.S. Prosecutor Masterminded $37 Billion Bank Penalty Win (Bloomberg)
Geoffrey Graber, the 41-year-old Justice Department attorney tasked with holding Wall Street accountable for the financial crisis, has a message for his prosecutors: Always be closing. In the past year, Graber has won almost $37 billion in penalties from some of the world’s largest banks, a record haul for prosecutors. To colleagues, he compares his job to that of Blake, the notorious motivational speaker played by Alec Baldwin in David Mamet’s 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross, who chastises real estate salesmen for failing to lock in deals. “My role was to identify the most promising cases and accelerate those,” Graber said in an interview. “We’ve done our best to put a short fuse on this.”

Pimco's outflow headaches only just beginning (Reuters)
Pimco hasn't said how much money has been withdrawn since fund manager Bill Gross quit on Sept. 26 to join Janus Capital. Pimco said its Total Return fund, which Gross had personally managed for 27 years, saw $23.5 billion in withdrawals in September. Morningstar, which analyzes mutual funds and other investments, estimated net outflow from Total Return at $17.9 billion in September, part of $25.5 billion of net outflows across all of Pimco's U.S. open-ended funds in September...Outflows "will tend to be elevated over the next few months" said Jeff Tjornehoj, head of Americas research at Lipper, a Thomson Reuters company, who said Gross's exit is "the last straw" for some institutional investors. Those "investors are going from the wait-and-see when Bill was there to 'let's accelerate this'" outflow, he said.

What, Me Retire? Bill Gross Speaks on Life After Pimco (BusinessWeek)
Bill Gross, co-founder of Pacific Investment Management Co., didn’t consider retirement a serious option, even after he realized recently that he’d be leaving the company he spent decades building. That’s what Gross, 70, told InvestmentNews, a trade magazine for financial advisers, in an interview published on Monday morning. “You know those adages about smelling the roses and chasing butterflies?” he said. “The markets are my butterflies and my roses. When I go to work Monday, I’ll be smelling the roses.”

Hot air balloon dips into Pacific Ocean, 3 rescued (AP)
KNSD-TV reports a man was proposing to his girlfriend during their sunset ride Sunday when the balloon drifted off course and hovered over the water off Cardiff by the Sea. Many people watched as the balloon drifted toward the beach in northern San Diego county and dipped into the water. Eric Barretto told the station he and his fiancee threw a rope to the water below and several surfers pulled the balloon back to shore. A witness told U-T San Diego the pilot stayed with the balloon and kept it inflated while it was tugged onto the beach.

Hank Paulson: AIG bailout terms were warranted (NYP)
The US government imposed harsh terms for a bailout of AIG during the 2008 financial crisis in order to prevent the “moral hazard” of other companies seeking taxpayer-backed loans, former Treasury Secretary Henry “Hank” Paulson said on Monday. Shareholders, led by former AIG chief executive officer Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, are seeking as much as $40 billion from the government in a trial here, arguing that their bailout had conditions that were too onerous, and that the firm was singled out for a government takeover.

J.P. Morgan Hackers Attempted to Infiltrate Other Financial Institutions (WSJ)
Federal officials asked a group of large banks and other financial institutions last month to check if they had seen indicators associated with the cyberattack that resulted in the theft of account information for millions of J.P. Morgan customers this summer, these people said. A number of financial institutions responded that they had seen traffic from the suspect computer addresses linked to the hackers, but that they didn’t believe they had been breached, the people said. Rather, the hackers, whose identity remains unknown, appeared to be “probing,” or searching for weaknesses on the firms’ digital perimeters.

IMF Cuts 2015 Global Growth Forecast to 3.8% (WSJ)
The IMF said it expects the global economy to grow by 3.8% next year, down from its July forecast of 4%, though still better than this year’s estimated pace of 3.3%. The IMF marked down prospects in the eurozone’s three largest economies, Germany, France and Italy, which the fund says is headed into its third consecutive year of recession. It also sees disappointing output in Japan and a lower growth trajectory for several major developing economies, including Brazil and Russia. Those setbacks more than offset signs of a strengthening recovery in the U.S., the world’s largest economy, as well as small gains in Spain, Canada and Mexico.

Former FTC big jumps on board Herbalife (NYP)
Pamela Jones Harbour, an FTC commissioner from 2003 to 2010, joined Herbalife Monday in a newly created role of senior vice president, global member compliance and privacy.

Cops Mistake Okra For Marijuana, Send The Big Guns To Man's House (AP)
A Georgia man says drug suppression officers mistook his okra plants for marijuana. Dwayne Perry of Cartersville tells WSB-TV that he was awakened by a helicopter flying low over his house Wednesday and then some heavily-armed deputies and a K-9 unit showed up at his door. They were from the Governor's Task Force for drug suppression and they were out looking for marijuana plants. What they had seen, apparently, were Perry's okra plants and a shrub at the end of his house. Perry says the officers ended up apologizing to him. Patrol Capt. Kermit Stokes says the plants did have characteristics similar to marijuana.

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