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Frontrunning: April 10

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  • With a 2 Year delay, both FT and WSJ start covering the shadow banking system. For our ongoing coverage for the past 2.5 years see here.
  • Trouble in shipping turns ocean into scrapheap (Telegraph)
  • First-Quarter Home Prices Down 20.7% in Capital (China Daily)
  • Bernanke Says Banks Need Bigger Capital Buffer (Reuters)
  • Monti’s Overhaul Can’t Stop Pain From Spain: Euro Credit (Bloomberg)
  • Spain Confronts Crisis Threat as Rajoy Seeks Deficit Cuts (Bloomberg)
  • Japan’s Noda Announces Anti-Deflation Talks as BOJ Sets Policy (Bloomberg)
  • White House makes case for Buffett Rule (CNN)
  • Cameron to Make Historic Myanmar Trip (FT)
  • 'Time for Closer Ties' With India (China Daily)

Overnight Media Summary

WSJ

* The nation's major wireless providers have agreed to a deal with the U.S. government to build a central database of stolen cellphones -- part of a broad effort to tame an explosion of thefts nationwide.

* President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats plan to press Republicans this week to support a minimum tax on millionaires-known as the "Buffett Rule."

* AOL struck a $1.1 billion deal to sell and license hundreds of patents to Microsoft, spotlighting an escalating arms race among tech titans.

* The banks and other firms that collect payments from mortgage borrowers and handle their defaults are drawing scrutiny from a new U.S. regulator, following widespread abuses in foreclosures during the housing crisis.

* More regulatory action may be needed to safeguard the money-market mutual fund industry, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a speech Monday night.

* Donald Layton, the former chief executive of online brokerage firm E*Trade Financial Corp has emerged as the front-runner for the top job at Freddie Mac, the government-controlled mortgage-finance giant, according to people familiar with the matter.

FT

FACEBOOK TO BUY INSTAGRAM FOR $1 BILLION

Facebook is paying $1 billion to buy Instagram, a fast-growing online photo-sharing site, in its largest acquisition to date.

SPECTRUM SALE IN UK FANS 4G HOPES

Everything Everywhere, the UK's largest mobile operator by customer numbers, has appointed Morgan Stanley to sell spectrum that could be used to roll out 4G mobile broadband services in the UK ahead of other operators.

LOAN BOOKS EASE AT RBS AND LLOYDS

Senior executives at partially nationalised UK banks RBS and Lloyds say their distressed loan books are showing signs of improvement despite a dismal economic backdrop and government austerity measures.

CME GROUP EYES LONDON FOR EUROPEAN BRIDGEHEAD

CME Group is considering opening a futures exchange in London as a way for the U.S. operator of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to expand in Europe.

LONDON COUNCILS IN PENSION SHAKE-UP

London's councils are in talks to establish a pooled pension fund for the capital in an attempt to reduce administrative costs and divert more than 2 billion pounds ($3.2 billion)towards local infrastructure projects.

COMPANIES RISK FINES OVER NEW DATA RULES

Most British companies have failed to prepare for new data protection rules due to come into force next month amid fears the measures will make it much harder for websites to secure commercially valuable information about their users.

SANY GROUP TO INVEST IN PUTZMEISTER

One of China's fastest-growing manufacturing companies has promised to invest 300 million euros to expand its new German offshoot, in an illustration of the interest by Chinese production businesses in establishing a stronger international presence.

SONY TO CUT GLOBAL WORKFORCE BY 10,000

Sony is preparing to cut its workforce by 10,000, or 6 percent of its global headcount, as part of a restructuring that has seen the Japanese electronics and entertainment group sell two divisions and drastically scale back its television production plans.

NYT

* Facebook said it would make its largest acquisition yet, buying Instagram, a social network built around photography and an out-of-nowhere Internet hit.

* The lofty price Microsoft paid AOL for 800 patents - $1.3 million each - reflects the crucial role patents are playing in the business and legal strategies of technology companies.

* The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, or $15,080 a year for a person working full time at a minimum wage job, leading some to call for increasing it.

* Jim Yong Kim, now the president of Dartmouth, says there is no one résumé that is sufficient to address the wide human problems addressed by the World Bank.

* Major carriers and the Federal Communications Commission are working to render phones useless once they're reported stolen.

* Following the firing of John Galliano last year, the French label Dior switches to a low-key personality.

* In hiring Sherilyn S. McCoy after an extensive search, Avon appears to be making the case that it can turn around the company on its own, without help.

* The surplus is likely to bring renewed calls in the United States and elsewhere for China to allow further appreciation of its currency, the renminbi.

* Unlike in Europe and the United States, where inflation is subdued, China and other emerging economies have seen that prices have been pushed up by robust growth and rising costs.

* The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday said that the widely used herbicide 2,4-D would remain on the market, denying a petition from an environmental group that sought to revoke the chemical's approval.

* Toyota Motor Corp is revamping its development system to allow its engineers and designers to take more risks.

* M&T Bank Corp, a regional lender based in Buffalo, has redeemed $700 million of the government's preferred shares, but it still owes taxpayers $382 million.

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

- Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird personally took to the phones last year to try to swing countries to oppose Palestinian efforts to be recognized as a state by the United Nations, according to newly released documents that for the first time reveal in detail how intensely Canada worked behind the scenes to block the statehood resolution.

- Canada's terrorism assessment centre kept close watch on Occupy protests throughout the country last year, monitoring potential economic disruption and support from hacker group Anonymous.

Reports in the business section:

- Paul Strachan, the president of Air Canada's pilots association, has been reprimanded by the airline for making allegedly "reckless" remarks about plane safety.

- Ontario's securities watchdog has moved closer to laying out its case against Sino-Forest Corp and six former and current executives by sending enforcement notices that allege the Chinese forestry company misled investors.

NATIONAL POST

- The Canadian government may have left about $10-billion out of its public estimates of the cost of the F-35 deal. But that doesn't mean it wasn't on the public record somewhere.

- Albertans would be able to recall members of the legislative assembly and initiate referendums, and politicians would be barred from setting their own salaries under a Wildrose government, party leader Danielle Smith pledged on Monday.

Reports in the business section:

- Investment managers turned bullish on U.S. equities but apprehensive about Canadian stocks as the S&P/TSX composite index faltered in March and has since lost almost all of its gains in 2012.

- It hasn't been long since Caterpillar Inc looked like the typical resident of the Rust Belt. Having misjudged how deep the U.S. economy would decline, the world's largest maker of construction machinery reduced its workforce by 33,000 people worldwide in 2009, closed plants and posted lower profits.

European Economic Update:

  • Eurozone Sentix Investor Confidence -14.7 – lower than expected. Consensus -9.1. Previous -8.2.
  • UK Lloyds Employment Confidence -58. Previous -69.
  • UK RICS House Price Balance -10% - higher than expected. Consensus -13%.  Previous -13%.
  • Switzerland Unemployment Rate 3.2% 3.1% s.a. – lower than expected. Consensus 3.3% 3.1% s.a. Previous 3.4% 3.1% s.a.
  • Sweden Industrial Production -5.2% s.a. m/m -7.1% n.s.a. y/y – lower than expected. Consensus -0.3% s.a. m/m 0.5% n.s.a. y/y. Pervious 3.6% s.a. m/m 2.1% n.s.a. Revised 3.3% s.a. m/m 1.7% n.s.a. y/y.
  • Sweden Industrial Orders -5.5% s.a. m/m -8.3% n.s.a. y/y – lower than expected. Previous -0.1% s.a. m/m -1.2% n.s.a. y/y. Revised  -3.0% s.a. m/m -2.0% n.s.a. y/y.
  • Sweden Budget Balance 9.5B. Previous 32.5B.
  • Spain House Transactions -31.8% y/y. Previous -26.3% y/y.
  • Norway CPI -0.1% m/m 0.8% y/y – lower than expected. Consensus 0.1% m/m 0.9% y/y. Previous 1.0% m/m 1.2% y/y.
  • Netherlands Industrial Production -0.7% s.a. m/m -3.3% n.s.a. y/y. Previous -3.9% s.a. m/m -1.7% n.s.a. y/y. Revised -2.8% s.a. m/m -1.4% n.s.a. y/y.
  • Netherlands Industrial Sales 1.5% y/y. Previous 8.1%. Revised 8.3%.
  • Germany Exports s.a. 1.6% m/m – higher than expected. Consensus -1.2% m/m. Previous 2.3%. Revised 3.4%.
  • Germany Imports s.a. 3.9% m/m – higher than expected. Consensus 1.3% m/m. Previous 2.4% m/m.
  • Germany Current Account (euro)  11.1B – lower than expected. Consensus 12.0B. Previous 8.0B. Revised 9.5B.
  • Bank of France Business Sentiment 95 – lower than expected. Consensus 96. Previous 95.
  • France Industrial Production 0.3% m/m -1.9% y/y – lower than expected. Consensus 0.3% m/m -1.2% y/y. Previous 0.3% m/m -1.5% y/y. Revised 0.2% m/m -1.9% y/y.
  • France Manufacturing Production -1.2% m/m -3.7% y/y – lower than expected. Consensus 0.0% m/m -1.7% y/y. Previous 0.2% m/m -1.2% y/y. Revised -0.1% m/m -1.7% y/y.
  • Czech Republic CPI 0.2% m/m 3.8% y/y – lower than expected. Consensus 0.3% m/m 3.8% y/y. Previous 0.2% m/m 3.7% y/y.
  • Czech Republic Unemployment Rate 8.9% - lower than expected. Consensus 9.0%. Previous 9.2%.
 

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