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This Says Our Favorite Biotech Is Off to the Races

Shares of a promising biotech we recommended back in February 2013 – jumped as much as 27% to a three-month high of $14.20 yesterday after the company said a new cancer drug met its main goal in a midstage clinical trial.

Its shares backtracked a bit as the day progressed but still closed 17.6% higher for the session. These shares have advanced 361% since we first told you about them. The stock has generated a peak gain of 456%, making it one of the 31 recommendations we’ve made to you that have doubled or better since we launched Private Briefing in August 2011. (More on that later…)

  • Featured Story

    Here's What Really Happened to Citigroup's (NYSE:C) Vikram Pandit

    The only big deal about Vikram Pandit "stepping down" as Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) CEO and his removal from the board is that it didn't happen sooner.

    The truth is he didn't leave voluntarily. He was given an ultimatum by the "new" board of directors: resign or be fired.

    Poor old Vikram. This was a setup from the start.

    He ended up at Citigroup when the mega-bank bought his Old Lane hedge fund for more than $800 million.

    Poor old Vik pocketed about $165 million in the sale and continued to run the fund, some say into the ground, until Citi shut it down.

    In 2007, my favorite Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) ex-CEO Robert Rubin (who after pandering to all the big banks in the country as Secretary of the Treasury in Bill Clinton's administration, then pimped himself to Citigroup after allowing Citibank to merge with Sandy Weill's Travelers insurance conglomerate (that owned Salomon Smith Barney) in an illegal deal that required Congress to kill prudent banking laws (Glass-Steagall) to make it legal actually handpicked Vikram to run the bank.

    Super rich-boy Bob Rubin, of course, had nothing to do with running Citibank after making it the mega-bank it became as a result of the merger; he was merely a special consultant to the board, or some B.S. like that.

    But here's what really happened...

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  • Vikram Pandit

  • Why Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit Was Forced Out (NYSE: C) Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit announced today (Tuesday) he has made an abrupt departure from the troubled bank, the day after it reported third-quarter earnings that beat estimates.

    The story became more interesting as the day wore on after it was announced he was forced out by the board.

    The theories as to why Pandit would be asked to leave got juicier as the Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) CEO's exit was paired with the co-resignation of Citi COO John Havens, a long-time associate of Pandit.

    Mike Holland, chairman of New York-based Holland & Co, which oversees more than $4 billion of assets told Reuters, "It's not a shock that [Pandit] is no longer there, but the surprise is this is all happening very quickly. Why is he leaving so quickly? I'm not a Citi shareholder, but if I were I'd be disappointed that Havens is gone, in some ways more than Pandit."

    The timing hinted the two exits were not simply a natural transition, but instead related to some skeletons lurking in the bank's boardroom.

    Just as quick and startling was the immediate removal of Pandit's name and photo from Citigroup's Website.

    The swift announcement that Michael Corbat, previously chief executive for Europe, Middle East and Africa, would replace Pandit as Citi's CEO and board member also raised some eyebrows.

    So what could've caused this sudden changing of the guard?

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  • Just Another Summer on Wall Street Another week slipped by on Wall Street, and it was a quiet one. For summer, that is.

    And thank goodness. All the scandals, all the negative news, all the time, always something. I'm getting tired of writing so much.

    It's my summer too, you know.

    So, when my extraordinary good fortune led me into the company of a spectacular woman this past week, I escaped the Street reality, enjoyed the beach, the Hamptons... and did I mention a spectacular woman?

    But just because I was out of touch (from reality) last week doesn't mean the surreal wasn't spilling out all over the Street.

    Okay, so it was little stuff, but it's still stuff. And it's still surreal...

    Like finding out that Vikram Pandit, CEO of that little banking outfit Citigroup, got paid more last year than the bank paid in taxes.

    That's news you ask? No. Granted, we know that all those poor banks that suffered deep losses on account of a lot of sore-loser homebuyers who got the Street mantra wrong (it's "buy high, sell low," right?) won't have big tax bills for a while because they saddled the good-guy banks with huge tax loss carry-forwards.

    Besides, Vik (can I call you that?) deserves it.

    Can you imagine all the negative press he gets? He deserves more; I say give it to him and the other banksters who have to work so hard to keep their jobs while their firms don't have to work nearly as hard to not pay taxes.

    And then I heard that Jon Corzine was thinking about yet another career move.

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  • What I Learned From My Lunch with Vikram Pandit I've long been bearish on bank stocks and financials - but something happened last week that made me rethink my position.

    I was having lunch with Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit, and he had some interesting points.

    According to Mr. Pandit, providing money and financial services to business is still a pretty attractive undertaking on a global scale.

    Of course, he was also quick to mention that top quality risk controls and much higher liquidity are absolute necessities.

    "Banks need to realize they are in a new reality," he said.

    He couldn't be more right.

    I warned you back in August that bank stocks were headed for a "catastrophic decline," and that proved to be true.

    Since that article's Aug. 17 publication, Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) has tumbled 12.7%, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) fell 9.9%, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is down 5.5%, and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is down 2.1%.

    In fact, the MSCI US Investable Financials index is down 12.6% on the year and has achieved a less-than-stellar return of -12.6% per annum over the last five years.

    And it's not hard to see why.

    Third-quarter bank earnings were mediocre at best, and some of the special protections offered to banks are being wound down. Additionally, banks are in popular odium and demonstrations against them are erupting in every major U.S. city. And the effects of increased regulation are yet to come fully into view.

    Still, for the first time since the stock price "bounce" of 2009, bank stocks are beginning to look somewhat attractive and the time to start bottom fishing may be at hand.

    Banks Worth Buying

    For those few banks with genuine global networks, international banking remains on a growth curve as globalization intensifies and more emerging market companies diversify outside their own country and region. Domestically, retail banking remains a good business. Credit card losses are beginning to decline while spreads remain at record levels.

    Consequently, there are very good bargain-buying opportunities at large.

    Remember, though, that any investment should be made gradually over time, because while the chances of a repeat of 2008 are remote -- at least in the United States -- there is still a great deal of risk and uncertainty in the banking sector.

    You should avoid banks with large exposures to problems of the past. That means staying away from Bank of America and Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC). Both of these banks remain heavily exposed to West Coast real estate, and in BofA's case, to the mortgage-backed securities disaster, as well.

    However, the following financial firms are worth looking at:

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