Frontrunning: November 1
- Millions still lack power (WSJ); New York Region Transit Tracker (WSJ), Blackouts Remain for 6.1 Million as Power Repairs Begin (Bloomberg)
- U.S. regulator seeks $470 million from Barclays (Reuters)
- J.P. Morgan Sues Whale's Ex-Boss (WSJ)
- London Frets Future as Financial Hub Outside Bank Union (Bloomberg)
- SNB now selling EUR: Swiss Central Bank Pulls Off Euro Sleight of Hand (WSJ)
- United Said to Study Biggest Airbus A350 to Replace Jumbos (Bloomberg)
- Draghi expands role in fight to save euro (FT)
- Panasonic Plunges by Daily Limit on Loss Forecast, CDS Soars (BusinessWeek)
- Italy risks economic ‘vicious circle’ (FT)
- Starbucks's European tax bill disappears down $100 million hole (Reuters)
- Bernanke Depression Guru Seeks Roosevelt Well-Being (Bloomberg)
- China proposes new initiatives for Syria ceasefire (Reuters)
Overnight Media Digest
* Tens of millions of people in the Northeast U.S. braved traffic, gas lines and patchy public transit to return to work Wednesday after Sandy's destructive passage, while many others sought only to create a semblance of modern life without electricity, running water and hot showers.
* Several children's bodies were among recently discovered deaths in a toll that jumped to at least 72 across eight states hit by mammoth storm Sandy.
* Americans are increasingly asking their banks for mortgages but banks are wary of lending money to buy homes, a trend that could crimp the housing recovery. More than 90 percent of banks said their lending standards for "prime," or low-risk, mortgages were unchanged in the third quarter, according to the Federal Reserve's latest survey of senior bank-lending officers, released Wednesday.
* Powered by generators, surrounded by flooding and staffed at partial strength, the Big Board cranked back to life yesterday, opening for the first time since a monster storm swept across the East Coast.
* Brokerage firm Knight Capital Group, one of the largest handlers of individual investors' stock trades, told clients less than three hours after U.S. stock markets reopened Wednesday to send orders elsewhere. The firm was concerned about fuel supplies for its electrical generator, people familiar with the events at Knight said.
* JPMorgan Chase & Co sued a former supervisor of the trader known as the "London whale" for the supersize bets that backfired into more than $6 billion in losses for the largest U.S. bank.
* Barclays Plc faced a double-barreled assault from U.S. authorities, as the federal energy-market regulator sought a record $435 million in penalties for the bank's alleged manipulation of U.S. electricity markets, and the lender also disclosed that it was facing a U.S. anti-corruption investigation.
REBELS DEAL BLOW TO CAMERON OVER EU
British Prime Minister David Cameron came under pressure to act tough on the European Union budget after losing a parliamentary vote on Wednesday.
WALL STREET CONTINGENCY PLANS TAKE HEAT
Flawed back-up systems marred Wall Street's return to work on Wednesday, while some blamed a lack of disaster preparation for the extended break in trading.
COMET EDGES TOWARDS ADMINISTRATION
Comet is on the brink of going into administration as early as Thursday, putting 6,000 jobs at risk.
BARCLAYS FACES RECORD US FINE
Barclays' was dealt a fresh blow when it emerged that the bank faces a record $470 million fine over alleged energy market manipulation.
INVESTOR CONCERNS OVER BG REVISION
Investor confidence in BG Group was shaken on Wednesday after the FTSE 100 energy group cut its production forecast for this year and next.
POTASH IN TALKS TO BUY ISRAEL CHEMICALS
Potash Corp has approached the Israeli government for approval to buy rival Israel Chemicals (ICL ), which has a market value of $15 billion.
BOE DELAYS RESPONSE TO CRISIS REVIEWS
The Bank of England will not give a full response to internal reviews of its handling of the financial crisis until a new governor is chosen.
SANDY SET TO COST INSURERS AT LEAST $7 BLN
Predictions say Sandy will rank among the eight most costly hurricanes ever to hit the United States, with losses to the insurance industry of at least $7 billion.
NEW DEBT FORECASTS DASH GREECE HOPES
The size of Greece's fiscal challenge was painted in sharp relief as Athens unveiled new budget projections exceeding worst-case scenarios.
TELENOR SHIFTS STANCE ON VIMPELCOM STAKE
Telenor has opened the door to a potential sale of its $6.4 billion stake in VimpelCom, the world's sixth-largest telecom group by subscribers.
* New Jersey was reeling on Wednesday from the impact of Hurricane Sandy, which has caused catastrophic flooding in Hoboken and in other New York City suburbs, destroyed entire neighborhoods across the state and wiped out iconic boardwalks in shore towns that had enchanted generations of vacationgoers.
* Investors apprehensive about the reopening of the New York Stock Exchange after Hurricane Sandy were pleasantly surprised at the resilience of American markets.
* Potash Corp confirmed on Wednesday that it has approached the government of Israel about increasing its stake in Israel Chemicals, another fertilizer maker.
* Knight Capital Group suffered a power disruption at its headquarters in Jersey City on Wednesday and told clients to route their orders elsewhere, a spokeswoman for the trading firm confirmed.
* JPMorgan Chase & Co, is suing Javier Martin-Artajo, a former executive in its chief investment office, a once little-known unit at the center of the bungled trades. Martin-Artajo directly supervised Bruno Iksil, the so-called London Whale, according to a lawsuit made public on Wednesday.
* Billionaire investor Carl Icahn announced late Wednesday that his hedge fund, Icahn Capital, had acquired a roughly 10 percent stake in Netflix Inc
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
* While tens of thousands of children are putting the final touches on Halloween costumes and masks, the House of Commons has approved a bill banning people from hiding their faces during riots.
The private member's legislation, Bill C-309, is the brainchild of Alberta Conservative backbencher Blake Richards.
* The Parti Québécois government is proposing a new law to break the "scourge" of corruption and is promising tighter management of the public purse in the cash strapped province.Reports in the business section:
* Athabasca Oil Corp faces new obstacles in completing a long promised multibillion dollar joint venture with partners from Kuwait and Spain, months after it said such a deal was imminent.
* The National Energy Board has launched a major audit of TransCanada Corp, after a whistle blower's revelations about problems in the pipeline company's operating practices.
* An Ontario judge has issued a restraining order against Iran's property in Canada -- including its embassy in Ottawa and a former cultural centre in Toronto -- as the family of an American woman killed in a terrorist attack tries to collect a C$13 million ($13 million) judgment by a U.S. court from a wrongful death claim against Iran's security agency.
* New Democratic Party MP Thomas Mulcair was labelled an anti-trade, anti-business extremist Wednesday for threatening to rip up a controversial investment treaty with China.
But the NDP leader did not back down. Indeed, he ratcheted up the rhetoric against the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act, vowing that an NDP government would not be bound to honour a treaty ratified by the Harper government.
* Research In Motion Ltd drew one step closer to launching its long awaited next generation of BlackBerry smartphones on Wednesday, when the Waterloo, Ontario-based company announced carriers around the world have begun testing early versions of its new devices.
* Astral Media Inc executives are still eyeing a successful sale to telecom and broadcast giant BCE Inc despite the deal being spiked by regulators.
"We are still committed to see if there's a way to complete this transaction," Ian Greenberg, the television, radio and advertising company's chief executive said on an earnings call Wednesday.
SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
-- Hong Kong is expected to face an acute shortage of 4,200 international primary school places by 2016 despite a planned expansion in the next five years, Secretary for Education Eddie Ng said.
-- China's Guangzhou plans to set up 30,000-strong auxiliary police force to replace its local security squads, quoted mainland media reports. The plan is awaiting approval from the city government and is expected to be enacted next year.
-- Hong Kong has been named the world's top financial centre for the second year running by the World Economic Forum, while the mainland slips to 23rd out of 62 countries.
HONG KONG ECONOMIC JOURNAL
-- People's Insurance Company (Group) of China, which plans to raise up to $3 billion in its initial public offering in Hong Kong, may start receiving the declaration of shares subscription by mid-November.
HONG KONG ECONOMIC TIMES
-- Casual wear retailer Giordano International Ltd said net profit for the third quarter dropped 5 percent to HK$1.27 billion ($163.9 million) from a year earlier due to weak consumer demand.
-- Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang said the government does not rule out imposing further curbs on the home market, commercial property and even car-park slots.
-- The auditor of Birmingham International, BDO Limited, quit as the firm failed to provide consistent, reliable and complete audit evidence. Trading in the company's shares has been suspended since June 2011.
-- Macau government raises the minimum age of people who can enter casinos in the former enclave to 21 from 18. The new law comes into effect on Thursday.
MING PAO DAILY NEWS
-- Sino Land Co Ltd Chairman Robert Ng said the company will not slow down apartment sales and land purchases despite the latest cooling measures on property market.