Frontrunning: August 21
- German central bank warns country’s financial health not a given (WaPo)
- Secret Libor Committee Clings to Anonymity After Rigging Scandal (Bloomberg)
- Peru Declares State of Emergency to Quell Violent Mining Protests (Dow Jones)
- Euro-Area Economic Adjustment Only Half Complete, Moody’s Says (Bloomberg)
- Wall Street Leaderless in Rules Fight as Dimon Diminished (Bloomberg)
- China Swaps Drop From Three-Month High as PBOC Adds Record Cash (Bloomberg)
- China invest $1 billion in U.S. Cheniere's LNG plant, Blackstone to act as intermediary buffer (FT, Reuters)
- Romney Offers Lukewarm Support for Fed Audit - Hilsenrath (WSJ)
- U.K. Unexpectedly Posts Deficit as Corporation Taxes Plunge (Bloomberg)
- Obama issues military threat to Syria (FT)
- Merkel Allies Signal Concessions on Greece Before Samaras Visit (Bloomberg)
- Chinese banks warned of foreign exchange risks (China Daily)
- 'Big four' banks accelerate new loans (China Daily)
- Beijing Plans to Levy Congestion Charges to Ease Traffic Jams (Bloomberg)
Overnight Media Digest:
* The unusual weather patterns that have caused heat waves, droughts and wildfires this summer also have brought some good news: a record low number of tornadoes.
* Rising gasoline futures are paving the way for more pain at the pump. Gasoline futures have soared 19 percent over the past two months, setting in motion an increase in retail prices, which are up 7.2 percent over the same period, according to AAA Fuel Gauge Report.
* Apple Inc surpassed Microsoft Corp Monday as the largest U.S. company ever, measured by stock-market value.
* Tony Scott, director of such Hollywood hits as "Top Gun," "Days of Thunder" and "Beverly Hills Cop II," died after jumping from a bridge spanning Los Angeles harbor and leaving behind several notes.
* A federal judge threw out Lance Armstrong's lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, opening the door to an arbitration hearing that could strip the former cyclist of his seven Tour de France titles.
* Salmonella-contaminated cantaloupes have killed two people and sickened more than a hundred in 20 U.S. states, according to the CDC.
* The famous golf club that has long faced criticism because of its all-male membership, invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and financier Darla Moore to become the first women in green jackets.
* A Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into New York Rep. Michael Grimm and his supporters led investigators to learn details of an incident on a 2011 congressional trip to Israel in which a different lawmaker went skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee, according to a person familiar with the matter.
* President Barack Obama threatened military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if his forces attempt to use chemical or biological weapons, the strongest indication yet Obama would consider intervening in the grinding conflict.
* The U.S.'s top general on Monday discussed new measures to help combat attacks on international troops by their Afghan colleagues, amid a rise in so-called green-on-blue killings.
* U.S. officials have seized $150 million in connection with a scheme they say illegally laundered hundreds of millions of dollars through the U.S. using financial institutions with links to Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based Shiite militant group.
* China's Commerce Ministry said six renewable-energy projects in five U.S. states have violated global trade rules, though it stopped short of announcing any penalties.
* Nike Inc is kicking up the prices of its sneakers, counting on the cachet of its trendy footwear to keep customers coming even as many shoppers scrounge for discounts.
GU KAILAI JAILED FOR BRITONS MURDER
Chinese court sentenced, Gu Kailai, the wife of disgraced Politburo member Bo Xilai to death on Monday but suspended her execution.
ASIL NADIR FOUND GUILTY OF THEFT
Asil Nadir, who built one of the most successful businesses in Britain in the 1980s was found guilty of theft on Monday.
CITI CHIEF REJECTS CALLS FOR BANK SPLITS
Citigroup's chief executive Vikram Pandit has as knocked back the idea of big banks being split up.
BEST BUY SHARES HIT AS TALKS BREAK DOWN
Best Buy shares fell more than 10 percent on Monday as talks over a takeover broke down.
GODREJ SET TO DEEPEN PAKISTAN TRADE TIES
Godrej, the Indian consumer goods group, plans to establish operations in Pakistan and Myanmar.
APPLE MARKET CAP MILESTONE
Apple became the world's most valuable company in history during intraday trading on Monday.
EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE IN SPECTRUM TALKS
Everything Everywhere is in advanced discussions to sell part of its crucial spectrum holdings capable of carrying next generation 4G mobile services to Three.
CME CONFIRMS EXPANSION DRIVE IN EUROPE
CME Group confirmed on Monday that it would file an application for a London-based derivatives bourse, its first outside the U.S.
AETNA BUYS COVENTRY HEALTH FOR $5.7 BLN
Health insurer Aetna Inc said on Monday that it would buy rival Coventry Health Care Inc for $5.6 billion.
BAA GIVES UP FIGHT TO RETAIN STANSTED
BAA will proceed with the sale of London's Stansted airport after three years of battling a Competition Commission order for its disposal.
* Despite public support for Mitt Romney, many businessmen and investors are wagering more than rhetoric on the incumbent.
* On Monday Apple Inc became the most highly valued public company ever, but Microsoft Corp still holds the record when its 1999 value is adjusted for inflation.
* The challenge for Facebook Inc, which is worth just over half of what it was three months ago, is to convince Wall Street that it has a real plan for making money.
* The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board said that it had found deficiencies in every audit of brokerage firms that it had reviewed.
* In Spain, the time-honored tradition of the caja as a baronial community institution came into conflict with a modern, euro-based banking economy.
* The European Central Bank actively sought to discourage reports that it might act far more aggressively to contain borrowing costs for countries like Spain.
* Leading bookstore chain Barnes & Noble Inc said it would announce partnerships with "leading retailers" in Britain at a later time.
* DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc said on Monday that it had hired 20th Century Fox to distribute its big-budget cartoons, a move that leaves Paramount Pictures with a hole in its pipeline.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
* The British Columbia government plans to seek an injunction to stop a Vancouver private clinic from extra billing patients for services covered by the province's health plan.
Reports in the business section:
* Royal Bank of Canada is raising two of its mortgage rates by one-fifth of a point each, starting Tuesday. RBC's posted rate for a three-year, fixed-rate mortgage will go up 0.2 percentage points to 4.05 percent.
* The issue of student strikes, which had fallen off the radar during the Quebec election campaign after captivating the province for months, made a brief return as an election issue Monday.
* Canadian banks will come under increased pressure as revenues from key businesses such as consumer lending and capital markets start to decline over coming quarters, Fitch Ratings warned.
European economic summary:
- Switzerland M3 y/y 9.8%. Previous 7.4%.
- UK Public Finances (PSNCR) -22.9B. Previous 3.0B.
- UK PSNB ex Interventions 0.6B – higher than expected. Consensus -2.2B. Previous 14.4B.
- UK Public Sector Net Borrowing -1.8B – higher than expected. Consensus -3.2B. Previous 12.1B.