Opening Bell: 09.12.13

Opening Bell: 09.12.13

Next crisis would be a ‘bad bellyache’: AIG chief (CNBC)
Five years later, Benmosche said believes that at some point there will be another financial crisis. “There’s always a possibility that there will be a ‘whale.’ On the other hand, we’ve got to make sure the ‘whales’ don’t sink the financial system.” He said he believes the Federal Reserve’s stress tests on financial institutions are an important tool in preventing that from happening. “The way risk assets are calculated … there’s very little chance that you’ll sink the financial system. But you can cause a pretty bad bellyache for some of the big financial companies.”

EU Dealt Setback On Short-Selling (WSJ)
ECJ advocate general Niilo Jääskinen said the court should annul emergency powers handed to the European Securities and Markets Authority that allow it to ban or curb short selling in several member states or the entire EU, even against the will of national authorities. These powers were given to ESMA after several member states unilaterally imposed restrictions on short selling in recent years.

Dell Shareholders Approve Founder’s Buyout Proposal (Bloomberg)
Dell shareholders approved a $ 24.9 billion buyout led by Chief Executive Officer Michael Dell, giving him free rein to attempt a turnaround of the struggling personal-computer maker as a private company.

Lehman Brothers Abyss Had Paulson Seeking Prayer Amid Crisis (Bloomberg)
That entire weekend was spent going from one meeting to the other while we talked with BofA and Barclays (BARC), hoping to get a transaction for Lehman Brothers. Sunday morning we came in expecting there to be a deal with Barclays, but we got signs that their U.K. regulator would reject the deal. That was just a terrible moment for me. Everyone was waiting for Tim and me to come down and report to them, and I wasn’t quite sure what to say. I was gripped with fear. I called Wendy and said, “Wendy, you know, I feel that the burden of the world is on me and that I failed and it’s going to be very bad, and I don’t know what to do, and I don’t know what to say. Please pray for me.” She went immediately to one of our favorite Bible verses in Second Timothy: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Immediately I felt a sense of peace and renewed confidence. I thanked her and went down to talk to the bankers. We were fortunate that Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch. If they had bought Lehman instead, I believe that Merrill would have failed. That would have been even more harmful.

Mark Zuckerberg Now An IPO Advocate (NYP)
The hoodie-clad CEO, who spoke at Wednesday’s TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference, said he has done a 180 since the time he used to be “afraid” of going public and advised others to stay private as long as possible. Now, he would tell companies like Twitter to embrace Wall Street. “I’m the person you want to ask last how to make a smooth IPO,” Zuckerberg said jokingly, referring to Face­book’s “turbulent” first year as a public company. Still, he said he now has great respect for the process, which actually made him rethink his entire company.

Bank of England’s Carney says stimulus working, wary of new “false dawn” (Reuters)
“The economy is picking up and the stimulus is working,” he said, adding that guidance made the BoE’s pre-existing policy stance more effective, rather than loosening or tightening it. But Carney said it was early days for the recovery and the bank stood by its forecast that it would take at least three years for unemployment to fall to 7 percent – the threshold for it to start to consider interest rate rises. Markets by contrast think a rate rise could come in little more than a year. “Our job is to make sure that (recovery is) not another false dawn that we saw earlier, a few years earlier, and to make sure that as soon as possible this economy reaches a form of sustained velocity,” Carney said.

CEO Pay More Closely Match Results (WSJ)
In most cases, CEOs have been clearing the hurdles erected by corporate directors: Nearly two-thirds of corporate chiefs met or exceeded performance goals attached to stock grants they were given between 2008 and 2010, according to a study by pay researcher Equilar Inc. and The Wall Street Journal. The goals most commonly are tied to a company’s financial results or stock-market returns over a three-year period.

Herpes Infected Monkeys Terrorize Florida (NYP)
Hundreds of rare wild monkeys — some carrying herpes — are on the loose in Florida after a tour guide brought the spunky critters to the state long ago. Wildlife officials said that three pairs of Rhesus monkeys were transported to a park near Ocala in the 1930s by tour operator Colonel Tooey after a “Tarzan” flick sparked a fascination with the creature. But the breed has since boomed and more than 1,000 of the monkeys now live in the state, wildlife officials say. State officials have caught more than 700 of the monkeys in the past decade — most of which tested positive for the herpes-B virus. Wildlife officials now consider the monkeys a public health hazard. Current Silver River tour operator Captain Tom O’Lenick, 65, defended transporting the animals, claiming people love them. “Everybody who comes on the river for a tour wants to see the monkeys,” O’Lenick said.



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