Tag Archive | "chairman"

D: NFLX Prepares For Deep Spend

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D: All Things Digital, The Wall Street Journal technology conference, is in full swing in Southern California.

Netflix (NFLX) Chief Executive Reed Hastings led off the proceedings this morning talking about international expansion. The Internet movie outfit is going to launch in Toronto first, a “bold” move, going to Canada, he jested. Then, Netflix will open it’s doors in an undisclosed foreign market shortly thereafter.

The upshot: international expansion could hurt profits. “We tell investors that the better it goes, the more money we are going to lose because we are going to invest” more in expansion, Hastings says. He says it takes one to three years for Netflix to establish itself in a new country, which is relatively fast. Hastings, who is a Microsoft (MSFT) board member, would not comment about hedge fund manager David Einhorn’s call for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s ouster.

He was wiling to discuss his own open letter to short sellers to cover their negative bets, even calling short-selling “healthy” for markets.

“I’m not trying to have a battle with the shorts,” (but) if you have a friend on the short side and you think he’s losing money, and you think he’s wrong, then you want to tell him.”

The conference, now in its ninth year, got off to a rip roaring start last night when News Corp. “acting CEO” Jane Lynch, the star of the Fox Television hit Glee, recommended comic strips be added to the WSJ and other humorous mandates involving Sara Palin and talk show shock host, Glenn Beck.

Google (GOOG) Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt was the opening night keynote. The former CEO, who serves as an advisor to President Obama, says he has no intention to take a cabinet post or agency job, which had been rumored. But he will be active in the coming campaign just as he was during the President’s first election.

Note: For further ongoing coverage of D, see also former Tech Trader editor Eric Savitz’s blog at Forbes.com.

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

UBS Chairman Would Like A Little Credit For All The Investment Bank’s Legitimate Achievements

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As you may have heard, UBS has been going through a bit of a rough patch. Despite posting an annual profit (of 7.2 billion Swiss francs) for the first time since 2006, things just haven’t been the same since the crisis, and some have suggested it never will be, claiming that the bank “doesn’t have a chance” getting back to pre-crisis levels because “too much damage has been done.” Not helping things is the fact that there’s been very high turnover in the last couple months, which may have something to do with the fact that people would like to get paid. What you may not have heard is that the investment bank? Is kicking ass, according to Chairman Oswald Gruebel who is kind of confused as to why the media has chosen to ignore the division’s “steady progress” but wants employees to know he, for one, has not.

UBS Chief Sends Memo to I-Bankers [NetNet via BI]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 05.05.11

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Fed Presidents Signal Record Stimulus Won’t Be Removed Soon (Bloomberg)
Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and San Francisco’s John C. Williams followed the lead taken by Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, who signaled last week that policy makers will keep stimulus in place after ending large-scale bond purchases in June. “Right now we’re pretty far away from our targets, and right now we’re keeping monetary policy accommodative,” Rosengren, 53, said yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg News. “It’s very appropriate given how far we are from our targets.”

Traders Exit High-Speed Lane (WSJ)
Companies that use fast-trading, computer-driven strategies, which were painted by some as culprits of the collapse, have curtailed trading. So, too, have many long-term investors, for whom the trauma of that May 6 afternoon was the final straw after a decade of stock-market turmoil. In their absence, trading volume and volatility have plunged, further deterring high-frequency traders.

A Lack of Supply Feeds Rise in Munis (WSJ)
Yields on a benchmark of highly rated 10-year general-obligation bonds, backed by a government’s taxing authority, have fallen to 2.79% from 3.21% at the start of the year, according to Thomson Reuters. Meanwhile, the cost of insuring against default by some of the most financially troubled states also has dropped…A major driver of the dropping yields, which move opposite to price, is the lack of new supply, which hit an 11-year quarterly low in the first quarter. That slowdown has prompted many investors and bankers to caution it is too early to size up whether the market could absorb any significant uptick in bond issuance.

Claiming Fraud in A.I.G. Bailout, Whistle-Blower Lawsuit Names 3 Companies (NYT)
The lawsuit, filed by a pair of veteran political activists from the La Jolla area of San Diego, asserts that A.I.G. and two large banks engaged in a variety of fraudulent and speculative transactions, running up losses well into the billions of dollars. Then the three institutions persuaded the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to bail them out by giving A.I.G. two rescue loans, which were used to unwind hundreds of failed trades…The lawsuit names A.I.G., Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank as defendants, but not the Fed.

Facebook and Google mull Skype deals (Reuters)
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has been involved in internal discussions about buying Skype, according to one of the sources. Another source said Facebook had reached out to the Luxembourg-based company about forming a joint venture.Google has also held early talks for a joint venture with Skype, the second source said.

Mexican central bank buys 100 tonnes of gold (FT)
The purchase, reported in monthly data published by Mexico’s central bank, is the latest in a series of large gold buys by emerging market economies intent on diversifying reserves away from the faltering US dollar. China, Russia and India have acquired large amounts of gold in recent years, while Thailand, Sri Lanka and Bolivia have made smaller purchases…Mexico bought 93.3 tonnes of gold in February and March, according to the central bank, in a haul valued at $4.5bn at current prices and equivalent to 3.5 per cent of annual mined output.

Hero dog helped snare Osama (The Sun)
Heavily armoured hounds — equipped with infrared night-sight cameras — have been used in the past by the top-secret unit. The war dogs wear ballistic body armour that is said to withstand damage from single and double-edged knives, as well as protective gear which shields them from shrapnel and gunfire…Wearing oxygen masks, the pooches have been trained to jump from aircraft at 25,000ft, before seeking out insurgents in hostile environments.

GM Profit Triples (WSJ)
GM said net income rose to $3.2 billion, or $1.77 a share, from $865 million or $0.55 a share. Operating profit, reflecting the strength of its core automotive business, increased to $2 billion from $1.7 billion. Revenue increased 15%, to $36.2 billion, from $31.5 billion.

Government Joins Bowl-Game Brawl (WSJ)
The Justice Department sent a letter Tuesday to the National Collegiate Athletic Association stating that “serious questions continue to arise” over whether the Bowl Championship Series—the sport’s much-criticized method for choosing a champion—complies with antitrust laws. The letter also asks why major-college football doesn’t have a playoff, when so many other college sports do; what steps the NCAA has taken to create a playoff; and whether the NCAA has determined that aspects of the BCS system are unfair.

Bank of America to Triple Number of Mortgage Help Centers (NYT)
The bank, which will announce the plan on Thursday, will focus on regions hit especially hard by the rising tide of homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments. Seven locations will open in California and three in the Detroit area; other centers will be unveiled in St. Louis, Newark, Philadelphia and Tucson, among other cities…Additional centers may open later this year, the bank said. Counselors fluent in languages including Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese and Russian will be available for non-English speaking customers…Most of the counselors in the new centers will be transferred from other areas of the mortgage business, like sales and originations, which have slowed with the decline in mortgage demand.

Brazil Banks Beat Wall Street as Itau Shows JPMorgan Who Rules (Bloomberg)
Foreign firms pursuing investment-banking fees in Brazil, where an emerging middle class and rising commodity prices are propelling one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, face stiff competition. Local players have a greater capacity to finance deals, improved relationships with investors, experienced executives and the ability to provide services once offered only by large global banks.

Indian stocks suffer worst losing streak in 10 years (FT)
Mumbai’s BSE Sensex index fell for a ninth-consecutive session, its longest losing streak in a decade, on concerns over the impact of rising costs on corporate earnings. The BSE Sensex index fell 1.1 per cent to 18,266.79, taking its losses since Monday’s 50 basis point interest rate increase by the Reserve Bank of India to 4 per cent. Over the nine consecutive losing sessions, the index has fallen 6.8 per cent.

Charges, rising costs hit Societe Generale results (MarketWatch)
The group reported a profit of 916 million euros ($1.36 billion), compared to €1.06 billion a year earlier, driven by a €239 million accounting charge as improving spreads on the group’s own debt make it theoretically more expensive to buy back. The bottom line was below the €1.12 billion consensus forecast of analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.

Citi Hires UBS Banker (DealBook)
Kevin Cox, formerly head of Americas investment banking at UBS, is joining Citigroup as co-chairman of global industrials banking.  

Dalai Lama suggests Osama bin Laden’s death was justified (LA Times)
As a human being, Bin Laden may have deserved compassion and even forgiveness, the Dalai Lama said in answer to a question about the assassination of the Al Qaeda leader. But, he said, “Forgiveness doesn’t mean forget what happened. … If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures.”



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 05.02.11

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Buffett Seeks To Limit Damage (WSJ)
In contrast to his March 30 remarks, when he said he thought Mr. Sokol’s actions weren’t “in any way unlawful,” Mr. Buffett on Saturday called Mr. Sokol’s actions “inexcusable” and said they violated the company’s insider-trading rules and code of ethics. He said Berkshire had turned over “some very damning evidence, in my view” about Mr. Sokol’s trades to the SEC. Mr. Sokol maintains he did nothing wrong, and his attorney late Saturday released a statement calling Mr. Buffett’s stance a “resort to transparent scapegoatism.”

Buffett Extols Berkshire’s CEO Candidates, Faults Sokol’s Trades (Bloomberg)
“There is no real chance the next CEO comes from outside of Berkshire,” the 80-year-old billionaire said yesterday at a press conference in Omaha, Nebraska, site of the company’s annual meeting. “If you picked the worst of the candidates we have, that person would be very, very good.”…Sokol’s stock deals, which Buffett called “inexplicable” considering his wealth, depleted Berkshire’s list of possible CEOs. Berkshire said in February that it had four candidates, without identifying them. “The leading candidate right now, I would lay a lot of money on him being straight as an arrow,” Buffett said at the April 30 meeting.

Buffett: Failure To Raise Debt Ceiling Is Asinine (Reuters)
Warren Buffett said he expects the Congress to raise the nation’s debt ceiling before it expires in mid-May, and said it would be that body’s “most asinine act” ever if it failed.

The Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting (Deal Journal)
A question about what Berkshire is doing to protect against the fall of the dollar. Buffett in the past has bet against the U.S. dollar, but said he’s lately been inactive in foreign exchange markets. “There’s no question the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar will decline over time. The only question is at what rate, Buffett said. But other currencies will decline too, and he said he doesn’t have strong feelings about which ones will decline faster or slower. Buffett ends by saying he’d rather be in the U.S. right now than any other place or any other time in history.

Osama Bin Laden Killed in Pakistan, Obama Says (Bloomberg)
Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan yesterday in a firefight with a team of U.S. operatives who raided the compound where he had been hiding, President Barack Obama said. “On nights like this one we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al-Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done,” Obama said in a late-night televised address from the White House.

Bin Laden Was Found At Luxurious Pakistan Compound (Reuters)
Few windows of the three-story home faced the outside of the compound, and a terrace had a seven-foot (2.1 meter) privacy wall, officials said. “It is also noteworthy that the property is valued at approximately $1 million but has no telephone or Internet service connected to it,” an administration official said. “The brothers had no explainable source of wealth.”

Buffett, Charlie Munger’s Share Thoughts On Trump (Reuters)
The biggest laughs of the day came from a question on Trump’s prospects for the White House. “Obviously, I think he’s a jerk,” Berkshire’s Vice Chairman Charlie Munger said, with Buffett adding in a more diplomatic way that he did not expect Trump to win the presidency.

Trump Says He’s Decided ‘In My Mind’ To Pursue Presidency (Bloomberg)
“In my mind, I have already decided,” Trump, 64, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “I am going to announce. But I can’t do anything until the show ends.”

Abu Dhabi, Hedge Funds to Back Glencore IPO (Reuters)
The listing, which could be London’s biggest ever, will be aided by strong support from cornerstones, who could buy nearly 30 percent of the shares sold — or some $3.6 billion worth, if the listing raises its maximum target of $12.1 billion.

Facebook Numbers Feed IPO Outlet (WSJ)
Lou Kerner…pegged Facebook’s profit margin—in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization—at about 50%. He said Ebitda should be $1.95 billion this year, and he estimated the company’s value in the public market would be $112.9 billion.

Greece Suggests EU/IMF Repayment Extension (Reuters)
In an interview with French daily Liberation published a day ahead of an inspection visit by the lenders, Papaconstantinou became the first Greek official to float the idea of a further easing of conditions on the 110 billion rescue.

Seth Meyers’ White House Correspondent’s Dinner Speech (TRB)

After Roasting, Trump Responds In Character (NYT)
“Seth Meyers has no talent,” Mr. Trump said in an interview on Sunday. “He fell totally flat. In fact, I thought Seth’s delivery was so bad that he hurt himself.”



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

The Most Important Aspect Of The Bernanke Press Conference: His Chair

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As you may know, we’re less than 20 minutes away from Ben Bernanke’s historic (!!!!!) press conference and it’s all people can do not to give themselves strokes over the whole deal. CNBC has rebranded itself the Bernanke Channel and spent the last 6 hours analyzing the event from every angle imaginable. Such as the Fed Chairman sitting versus standing, which Erin Burnett and Melissa Lee speculate is pretty significant.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 04.21.11

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Morgan Stanley Profit Drops, Beats Estimates as Trading Revenue Jumps (Bloomberg)
Net income fell 45 percent to $968 million, or 50 cents a share, from $1.78 billion, or 99 cents, a year earlier, the bank said today in a statement. Earnings from continuing operations, excluding a 26-cent loss tied to a Japanese joint venture and a 30-cent tax gain, were 46 cents a share. That compared with the 40-cent average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Ex-Goldman Sachs Banker Starts Hedge Fund Analyzing Japanese Blog Traffic (Bloomberg)
Former Goldman Sachs Group banker Hideki Furusho and a University of Tokyo professor have teamed up to create a hedge fund that invests in Nikkei 225 futures based on a computer model that analyzes Japanese blogs.

At Facebook Townhall, Obama Goes On Offensive (WSJ)
“The Republican budget that was put forward I would say is fairly radical. I wouldn’t call it particularly courageous,” Mr. Obama said. Mr. Obama offered a dire description of the budget drafted by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. He said it would reduce taxes for corporations and the wealthy by cutting funds to clean energy programs and transportation. “I guess you could call that bold. I would call it shortsighted,” Mr. Obama said to applause from an audience of mostly young people. “I do think Mr. Ryan is serious,” Mr. Obama added. “He’s a patriot.”

BlackRock First Quarter Profit Gets Boost From Popular ETFs (Reuters)
The New York-based firm earned $819 million, or $2.96 per share, excluding some expenses, compared with $727 million, or $2.40 per share, a year earlier, BlackRock said on Thursday.

Weil: Geithner Downgrades His Own Credibility To Junk (BusinessWeek)
Fox Business reporter Peter Barnes began his televised interview with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner two days ago with this question: “Is there a risk that the United States could lose its AAA credit rating? Yes or no?” Geithner’s response: “No risk of that.” “No risk?” Barnes asked. “No risk,” Geithner said.

GE Profit, Revenue Beat Street View (Reuters)
The world’s biggest maker of jet engines and electric turbines said earnings attributable to common shareholders came to $3.36 billion, or 31 cents per share, up from $1.87 billion, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 6 percent to $38.45 billion.

Bernanke Plans To Make Voice Heard (WSJ)
Next Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will do something no Fed chief has done before: Stand before a room full of journalists after officials conclude a policy meeting and answer questions about the central bank’s decisions…”You can argue that the chairman of the Fed is more important than the president of the United States, but very few Americans understand what the Fed does,” says Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who successfully pushed for the Fed to disclose more about its secretive bank lending. Addressing the press, Mr. Sanders says, will be “a step forward.”

Greece Seeks Probe Into Debt Restructuring Rumor (Reuters)
Greek bank stocks fell 4.58 percent on Wednesday and the broader Athens bourse index lost 2.62 percent, underperforming pan-European indices on what traders said where rumors, spread by email, that the country would soon restructure its debt…”The ministry urgently requested the prosecutor’s office to launch a criminal investigation regarding the move in the Athens Stock Exchange and the bond market,” the ministry said in a statement.

Taco Bell Demands Apology After Lawsuit Is Withdrawn (CT)
On Wednesday, the fast-food chain decided to trumpet that good news with full-page ads in 10 major U.S. newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, demanding an apology. The company pegged the ads at a total cost of between $3 million and $4 million. “Would it kill you to say you’re sorry?” the ad exclaimed. “Sure, they could have just asked us if our recipe uses real beef. Even easier, they could have gone to our Web site where the ingredients in every one of our products are listed for everyone to see,” the ad read. “But that’s not what they chose to do.

New Swiss Tax Rules Signal Big Changes for Private Banks (NYT)
Switzerland aims to sign new treaties by the summer with Germany and Britain under which their citizens would pay taxes on more of their undeclared assets in Swiss banks. France and Italy are expected to follow suit.

Business Group Vows Support for U.S. Lawmakers to Cut Deficits (Bloomberg)
“The business community strongly supports a comprehensive deficit-reduction plan and will support members of Congress who help get it enacted,” according to a statement from the Committee for Economic Development released today in Washington. “Serious deficit reduction cannot be painless, and no one should expect or demand that the spending and revenue provisions they care most about will not be touched.”

Regulators Serve Up Alphabet Soup (WSJ)
Banks that decide they don’t want to belong to this exclusive, heavily regulated club should beware the “Hotel California.” This provision of Dodd-Frank, named in homage to the Eagles lyric that “you can check out any time you like but you can never leave,” ensures a taxpayer-aided bank can’t “de-SIFI” simply by shrinking its assets. Jargon purists, who prefer acronyms to Eagles songs, can find particularly rich pickings in the dozens of new rules affecting swaps, futures and options. A round-table event held by regulators last fall invited the public—”seating on a first-come, first-served basis”—to discuss DCOs, DCMs, SDs, MSPs, SEFs and SB SEFs. Such acronyms “remain strictly for the Dodd-Frank cognoscenti,” says Margaret Tahyar, a partner at law firm Davis Polk. Some of these terms will remain obscure. But some will enter the corporate lexicon, perhaps graduating to be the SECs and FDICs of their day.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 04.14.11

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Senator Levin: Goldman Sachs Misled Congress After Duping Clients (Bloomberg)
Goldman Sachs misled clients and Congress about the firm’s bets on securities tied to the housing market, the chairman of the U.S. Senate panel that investigated the causes of the financial crisis said. Senator Carl Levin, releasing the findings of a two-year inquiry yesterday, said he wants the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission to examine whether Goldman Sachs violated the law by misleading clients who bought the complex securities known as collateralized debt obligations without knowing the firm would benefit if they fell in value….Much of the blame for the 2008 market collapse belongs to banks that earned billions of dollars in profits creating and selling financial products that imploded along with the housing market, according to the report. The Levin-Coburn panel levied its harshest criticism at investment banks, in particular accusing Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank AG of peddling collateralized debt obligations backed by risky loans that the banks’ own traders believed were likely to lose value.

Senate Report Lays Bare Mortgage Mess (WSJ)
“I think I found white elephant, flying pig and unicorn all at once.” –Goldman Sachs email describing an Australian client that invested in a souring mortgage structure 4/26/2007

Moody’s, S&P Caved to Goldman, UBS Mortgage Pressure, Levin Says (Bloomberg)
“Investment bankers who complained about rating methodologies, criteria, or decisions were often able to obtain exceptions or other favorable treatment,” according to the Levin report. The decisions appeared to be “concessions made to prevent the loss of business.”

US Probes Libor Dealings (WSJ)
For the past year, law-enforcement officials have been investigating whether the U.S. and European banks understated their own borrowing costs, which are used to calculate the London interbank offered rate, or Libor. The investigators are now looking into whether the banks effectively formed a global cartel and coordinated how to report borrowing costs between 2006 and 2008.

Geithner: We Must Raise Taxes (PBS)
Appearing on the PBS NewsHour Wednesday evening, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said there is “no plausible way” to cut the deficit without raising taxes. “Unless you’re going to cut deeply into commitments we have made to seniors and to the disabled and to the poor, or ask the country to go borrow the money, you can’t solve this,” he said.

Raj Keeps Chin Up (NYP)
One reason Rajaratnam has to smile might be the ebullient praise he received yesterday from prominent educator and social activist Geoffrey Canada. Canada, who was called as a character witness, called Rajaratnam a “dear friend” with “a genuine concern for children.”
“Raj and I hit it off right away,” said Canada, the CEO of charitable group the Harlem Children’s Zone. Canada said he approached Rajaratnam earlier this decade to donate to the group and found him eager to help “level the playing field for kids.” “I never had to convince Raj” to be a donor, Canada said when asked to respond to the prosecution’s allegations that Rajaratnam committed his alleged crimes out of greed. “He’s a very generous person,” he added.

Deutsche Bank Sold Mortgage-Linked ‘Pigs’ as Market Buckled, Lawmakers Say (Bloomberg)
“Keep your fingers crossed but I think we will price this just before the market falls off a cliff,” Michael Lamont, the group’s co-head, said in a Feb. 8, 2007, e-mail about Deutsche Bank’s Gemstone CDO VII Ltd., according to a report released yesterday by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The Frankfurt-based firm sold $700 million of the instruments, which lost most of their value within 17 months.

IMF: Banks Face $3.6 Trillion ‘Wall’ of Maturing Debt (Reuters)
Many European banks need bigger capital cushions to restore market confidence and assure they can borrow, and some weak players will need to be closed, the International Monetary Fund said in its Global Financial Stability Report.

Obama Challenges Republicans With Deadline For Deficit Deal (Bloomberg)
The timeline Obama proposed for coming up with an agreement — beginning talks in early May and completing them by late June — sets up a negotiation over the nation’s long-term fiscal challenges in parallel with a congressional debate over raising the $14.29 trillion legal debt limit.

Glenore Aims For $8.8 Billion In IPO (WSJ)
The company said it plans to list a 15% to 20% stake, through an offer to raise around $6.8 billion to $8.8 billion in new capital and up to $2.2 billion in existing shares. At the upper level, that would make it London’s largest-ever initial public offering, topping Rosneft’s $10.6 billion offer in July 2006.

London Retains Lure For Hedge Funds As Banks Demure (Reuters)
Throgmorton’s Rubio points to the “Harvey Nicks effect” — referring to upmarket London department store Harvey Nichols, a magnet for big spenders — and said he had seen one manager relocate to Barcelona, only to move back to London.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Write-Offs: 04.12.11

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$$$ George Soros: What if the world isn’t worth saving? [MarketPlace]

$$$ Citigroup Loses Municipal Bond Case [WSJ]

$$$ Meet My Departed Grandma, Fledgling Facebook Investor [WSJ]

$$$ JPMorgan Ex-Structured Product CDO Head Llodra May Face SEC Suit [Bloomberg]

$$$ Deutsche Bank Maneuvers Around Capital Rules [WSJ]

$$$ Japan valuations “are getting very attractive,” said Templeton Emerging Markets Executive Chairman Mark Mobius, so much so that the country is beginning to resemble an emerging market. [CNBC]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger Stayed Out Of Talks Involving A Company He Owned Shares Of, Unlike *Some People*

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Don’t try and drag him into this one, pipsqueak.

Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charles Munger said his family was invested in BYD Co. “for years” before his company took a stake in the Chinese automaker and that he disclosed the financial interest to his business partner Warren Buffett. “I certainly suggested that Berkshire look at investing in something that the Mungers were already invested in, but we’d been in it for years,” he said today in a telephone interview. The Munger investment was cited last week by former Berkshire manager David Sokol in a CNBC interview as precedent for his purchase of Lubrizol Corp. shares before recommending the company as a takeover target to Buffett. Sokol, whose resignation from Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire was announced by Buffett on March 30, said there was nothing unethical about purchasing about 96,000 Lubrizol shares in January.

“I don’t believe I did anything wrong,” Sokol said, according to a transcript on CNBC’s website. “Mr. Munger owned a significant piece of BYD before he mentioned it to me to go look at it.”

“I had Dave look at it, because I knew I couldn’t talk Warren into buying into the damn thing by myself,” Munger said. “It’s a new technology-type investment. But David went over there, and he made the deal for Berkshire.” Buffett is Berkshire’s chairman and chief executive officer.

Munger Says He Told Buffett Of BYD Stake, Stayed Out Of Talks [Bloomberg]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Warren Buffett Still Not On Board With This iPad Business

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“We held very few [electronics makers such as Apple] in the past and we’re likely to hold very few in the future,” the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway said in Daegu, South Korea, today. Coca-Cola, based in Atlanta, is “very easy for me to come to a conclusion as to what it will look like economically in five or 10 years, and it’s not easy for me to come to a conclusion about Apple,” he said. “Even though Apple may have the most wonderful future in the world, I’m not capable of bringing any drink to that particular party and evaluating that future,” Buffett said.[Bloomberg]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker