I mentioned in yesterday's morning note that I may have to, umm, tweak a few details in my resume, like that bit about working for Iron Maiden on their
Number of the Beast tour. A viewer responds: "Enjoyed your morning newsletter as always, and the bit about resumes. Thought you'd like to know that I was a
roady for Iron Maiden. Well, for Bruce, at least, when he was in a small band in the late 70's in East London. He and I went to the same university (Queen
Mary College, University of London). Ah, the stories of running around old London town in the Students Union van, dodging flying beer bottles, punks and
the cops …." Dude, you are officially invited for a tour of the newsroom and the local pub afterwards.
Trading, like comedy, it seems, is all about timing. JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s $2-billion trading loss was revealed last Thursday, just days
before the company's AGM and more importantly, only days before U.S. president Barack Obama was scheduled to appear on The View, America's home for
heavyweight political debate and discourse. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who has been the vocal, articulate and passionate voice arguing against the threat of
onerous financial industry reform, has now made himself his opponent's strongest argument. Appearing on The View later this morning, President Obama will
explain that JPMorgan's loss is "exactly why Wall Street reform is so important." Sandwiched between five women on a turquoise sofa, he turns to the one on
the end with the white dress and insists "think about it." Which she does. He then adds that "this is the best or one of the best managed banks. You could
have a bank that isn't as strong, isn't as profitable making those same bets and we might have had to step in." For the sake of brevity, the president
could have simply said "See? See?"
Later this morning, Dimon will face louder and perhaps more persuasive calls to give up the chairmanship of JPMorgan. Today's AGM in Florida will
be the first opportunity for many of JPMorgan's biggest shareholders to face Dimon since the disclosure of the loss. The California Public Employees'
Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest pension fund in the United States, will lead the charge to strip Dimon of the chairmanship. "CalPERS believes if
the chairman was independent the board may be able to exercise stronger oversight of management," the organization said in a note before the meeting.
CalPERS, which owns about half a billion dollars of JPMorgan stock, added that it would support the current executive compensation proposals but warned it
would "closely review" the impact of the trading losses when analyzing the 2013 Say-on-Pay vote. And CalPERS isn't alone. Other big pension funds in New
York, California and Florida, as well as the two leading proxy advisory firms -- ISS and Glass, Lewis -- are already backing the proposal calling for a
split of the jobs of chairman and CEO.
We'll talk today about Facebook after the company raised the price range for its IPO to $34 to $38 a share from $28 to $35. The new range would
mean the company will raise as much as $12.8 billion US in the offering, slapping Facebook with a total market cap of about $104 billion (someone's getting
a new hoodie!!). The new range will allow us again to take a closer look at valuations and ask whether Facebook merits an initial price at 26 times
trailing 12-month revenue. According to an AP/CNBC poll published this morning, half of Americans believe the IPO was overpriced at the previous range. The
poll did not disclose the percentage of respondents who knew what an IPO was in the first place.
There are some key retailer earnings today, including numbers from Home Depot, which reported lower-than-expected sales, driving the stock lower
in the premarket. J.C. Penney is also on deck today, as well as TJX. In Canada, Centerra Gold weighs in, as well as Boardwalk REIT.
French President Francois Hollande was sworn in this morning and will fly to Berlin later today where he will meet Angela Merkel and receive his
instructions. Congratulations, Francois.
Strategist Don Coxe asks in his note to BMO clients today, is it now -- finally -- time for stocks for the long run? In his analysis of gold and gold
stocks, the report points out that one of his analysts "recently did a calculation of how much gold one buys with $1,000 invested in the ETF compared with
a representative major, intermediate and junior operating gold mining company. Based on the prices that day, with the ETF, you could buy 62 percent of an
ounce; with Goldcorp nearly four ounces, with Eldorado, more than five, and with little Perseus Mining, nearly seven ounces." Don sits down with us at 5:30
Every morning Managing Editor Marty Cej writes a "chase note" to BNN's
editorial staff listing the stories and events that will be in the spotlight
that day. Click here to have it delivered to
your inbox before the trading day begins.