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  Wednesday, 17 Nov 2010 | 4:13 PM ET

Reid Pulls Plug on Pickens Plan

Posted By: Lori Ann LaRocco

C-Suite reported yesterday the Pickens Plan would not pass because it could not get the votes to pass. Today sources tell CNBC it was pulled by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid because he could not get enough votes for cloture.

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  Wednesday, 17 Nov 2010 | 3:20 PM ET

Cornell College Student Wants To Ban Goldman Sachs From Campus

Posted By: Cadie Thompson

Any Cornell grads who go work for Goldman Sachs are "a**holes" according to an editor at the Ivy League school's student newspaper, The Cornell Daily Sun . He wants to see Goldman Sachs banned from recruiting on campus.

Daniel Sparks, former partner and head of the Mortgages Department at the Goldman Sachs Group, Joshua Birnbaum, former managing director of the structured products group trading for The Goldman Sachs Group, Michael Swenson, managing director of structured products group trading for The Goldman Sachs Group and Fabrice Tourre, executive director of the structured products group trading for The Goldman Sachs Group are sworn in while testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Af
Getty Images
Daniel Sparks, former partner and head of the Mortgages Department at the Goldman Sachs Group, Joshua Birnbaum, former managing director of the structured products group trading for The Goldman Sachs Group, Michael Swenson, managing director of structured products group trading for The Goldman Sachs Group and Fabrice Tourre, executive director of the structured products group trading for The Goldman Sachs Group are sworn in while testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Af

Tony Manfred, the associate editor at the student newspaper, is obviously borrowing a bit from Matt Taibbi, who famously called Goldman a Vampire Squid.

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  Wednesday, 17 Nov 2010 | 2:49 PM ET

Lehman's $500 Million in Found Money

Posted By: Ash Bennington

It must have been a little like when you find a wadded up $20 Bill in the pocket of last year's winter coat: Judge James Peck ordered the sum of $500 million to be returnedto the now bankrupt Lehman Brothers. Which party, exactly, was ordered to return a half billion dollars to Lehman? Bank of America.

The money had been provided by Lehman Brothers to Bank of America as collateral for Lehman checks in August of 2008.

Judge Peck said of the matter: "It is difficult to understand how BofA could have thought that taking the money was the right thing to do without first seeking permission from the court," which is not exactly a very sympathetic reading of Bank of America's failure to return the funds.

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  Wednesday, 17 Nov 2010 | 2:08 PM ET

Partnership Day At Goldman Sachs!

Posted By: John Carney

Goldman Sachs named 110 new partners, according to an internal memo obtained by Financial News .

The Goldman Sachs booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Getty Images
The Goldman Sachs booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Goldman partners, who are officially called Partnership Managing Directors or PMDs, get an increased base salary, the opportunity to invest in Goldman deals, a discount on Goldman stock purchases and a share in the partner compensation pool, among other perks. These latest PMDs join the firm’s existing 375 partners. Goldman names new partners every two years.

Goldman partners typically take around 20 percent of the firm's total compensation pool. That money is divided up between partners according to a secretive "points" system. Basically, each of the partners is assigned a certain number of points by the head of his department. The more points you get, the more you get paid.

Here's how I described it last year :

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  Wednesday, 17 Nov 2010 | 1:17 PM ET

Politics, Populism, and Monetary Policy

Posted By: Ash Bennington

My colleague John Carney wrote a piece yesterday about the politics of American monetary policy.

Carney's basic assertion is this: A major sea change—if not an outright reversal—has occurred in the political alignment between left and right on basic issues of inflation, unemployment, and monetary intervention.

He's looking at the issue over a 40+ year time horizon:

"The critics [of tight money] have traditionally been Democrats—such as banking committee chairs Wright Patman in the late 1960s or Henry Gonzalez in the early 1990s."

Carney's piece takes what I believe to be a fascinating tack—and got me thinking about the issues involved in an even more expansive sense.

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  Wednesday, 17 Nov 2010 | 12:47 PM ET

A Conversation About Put-Backs

Posted By: John Carney

The vast windows of the room had a terrific view of Central Park at night. It hardly seemed like the time or place to discuss the mortgage repurchase exposure of Citigroup, Bank of America and JP MorganChase.

But somehow the conversation had wandered in that direction.

“Here’s a good number to ponder—$500 million,” the young hedge fund manager said.

“What about $500 million?” I said.

“That’s the amount that Goldman Sachs spent litigating the Abacus deal with the SEC. A single deal gone bad. $500 million to wrangle with the SEC, and another $500 million in fines to settle the case.”

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  Wednesday, 17 Nov 2010 | 12:22 PM ET

Hey, Sheila Bair, What's Wrong With Accounting Anarchy?

Posted By: John Carney

One thing that has long escaped me has been the point of battles over accounting standards. In particular, I don’t understand why regulators get into arguments with the accounting standards boards over mark-to-market accounting.

FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair on CNBC'c Power Lunch
CNBC.com
FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair on CNBC'c Power Lunch

This morning Sheila Bair, speaking at a SIFMA conference, outlined the objections regulators have to proposals to adopt mark to market—otherwise known as “fair value”—accounting standards for financial instruments. Here’s what Bair said:

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  Wednesday, 17 Nov 2010 | 11:29 AM ET

Kiwi Investment Banker Shares Cancer Struggle—and Hope—on His Blog

Posted By: Ash Bennington

A prominent investment banker in New Zealand, recently diagnosed with lung cancer, has started a blog to share his story.

Cancer Treatment
AP
Cancer Treatment

It begins with an opening paragraph that can make you look at life a little differently:

"I have been through an intense health evaluation over the past 3 weeks \(arising from an orthapedic specialist spotting an abnormality in the bone at the base of my thumb which had been giving me a bit of discomfort\). This resulted in my receiving a diagnosis on Friday 29 October that I have lung cancer that has metastasised to other parts of my body \(Stage 4—and there is no Stage5\). That is the bad news."

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  Wednesday, 17 Nov 2010 | 11:02 AM ET

Gregg: The Case Against Monetary Populism

Posted By: Lori Ann LaRocco

The lame duck session of Congress that began on Monday will be the last Capitol Hill performance of one long-time deficit hawk, said Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.

There will be plenty for Gregg to tackle in his last few weeks in the Senate: the battle over extending or ending the Bush tax cuts, a fight over earmarks, and attempts to reign in the Federal Reserve. We hit on all of this and more in our conversation.

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  Wednesday, 17 Nov 2010 | 8:47 AM ET

Government to Benefit for Oversubscription of GM IPO?

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Rising Tide of Anger at Germany over Bailout Obstructionism (Financial Times) No surprises in the first graf here: Everyone seems to agree on two things: 1) The Germans want bondholders to experience some pain; and 2) the official German explanation for why involves the language of 'systemic' concerns about sustainability: "German officials insist their campaign to get private bondholders to shoulder more bail-out costs is not just about domestic considerations. The government is more concerned that the current system—which condemns well-managed states to bailing out badly managed ones—is unsustainable." Straight forward enough. But graf two is very interesting: "But even some of those well-managed states have expressed anger at German tactics. Countries such as the Netherlands, Finland and Austria, all normally allies of Germany in economic governance issues, have raised questions about Berlin’s behaviour." How inscrutable indeed are those backroom discussions in Farnkfurt!

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    Lawrence Delevingne is the ‘Big Money’ enterprise reporter for CNBC.com and NetNet.

  • Stephanie Landsman is one of the producers of "Fast Money."

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