- Merkel Adviser: Unlimited ECB Bond Purchases Would Violate Mandate (Dow Jones)
- Illinois' credit rating downgraded after pension reform failure (Chicago Tribune)
- Correspondence and collusion between the New York Times and the CIA (Guardian)
- ECB action prospects underpin Italian bond auction (Reuters)
- Ryan puts down calculator, picks up bullhorn (Reuters)
- Barclays Names New CEO (WSJ)
- Barclays’s New CEO: Analysts React (WSJ)
- September Offers 15 Days to Cement Crisis Solutions (Bloomberg)
- Iran's Nuclear-Arms Guru Resurfaces (WSJ)
- Rocket blasts off to put NASA radiation belt probes into orbit (Reuters)
- Citi to Settle Suit for $590 Million (WSJ)
- Swiss-Style Latvian Banking Hub Thrives on Ex-Soviet Cash (Boomberg)
Overnight Media Digest
* Tropical storm Isaac dumped more than a foot of rain on parts of the Gulf Coast, leaving some residents stranded and hundreds of thousands of homes without power.
* Mitt Romney vowed Wednesday to expand employment and tuition assistance for veterans, taking a quick detour from the Republican National Convention to unveil new policy details in a speech here.
* Volkswagen signed an agreement to invest in the Chinese city Tianjin as part of a broad package of economic cooperation deals tied to Merkel's visit in China.
* In one of the largest settlements of suits tied to the financial crisis, Citigroup Inc agreed to pay $590 million over claims that it deceived investors by hiding the extent of its dealings in toxic subprime debt.
* WellPoint shares rose 7.7 percent in the wake of CEO Angela Braly's announced departure, signaling the extent of the dissatisfaction among investors about the company's performance.
* Mark Adelson, who pushed for tough rating criteria, including those that led to the unprecedented downgrade of U.S. debt last year, left Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Monday.
* Bank of America Corp got off to a slow start in carrying out changes required by a landmark foreclosure settlement.
* European Union antitrust authorities plan to conduct an in-depth probe into Ryanair Holdings Plc's bid to buy the shares it doesn't already own in Aer Lingus Group PLC, the budget airline's third attempt to take over its Irish rival.
* Massachusetts Senate candidates Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren vie for Boston Mayor Thomas Menino's coveted endorsement.
* Statoil said it is leasing more than 1,000 railroad cars to carry crude oil from fields in North Dakota to refiners across North America, in a bid to overcome pipeline bottlenecks that plague the booming oil-producing region.
* The GOP convention is providing super PACs access to a new group of potential donors to fund TV ads this fall attacking President Barack Obama and supporting Mitt Romney.
* Standard & Poor's Ratings Services cut its credit rating for Illinois amid continuing failure by elected officials to plug an $83 billion pension gap.
* The Texas Highway Patrol Museum was supposed to honor the memory of state troopers, but the Texas Attorney General's Office claimed it misspent millions of dollars in contributions it received.
* Housing authorities in Galveston, Texas, presented state officials with a plan to replace 569 units of public housing destroyed in a 2008 hurricane, the first step toward resolving a dispute with the federal government.
* Mangoes contaminated with salmonella have sickened 103 people in 16 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The majority of victims are in California, the CDC said.
CITIGROUP IN $590 MLN LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT
Citigroup agreed to pay $590 million to settle a shareholder lawsuit accusing it of hiding tens of billions of dollars of toxic mortgage assets.
VIRGIN REAPS WEST COAST PROFITS
Virgin Rail has reaped higher profit margins on the west coast main line than most UK rail franchises since privatisation.
DRAGHI REBUFFS GERMANS OVER EURO PLANS
Mario Draghi rebuffed German criticism of his attempts to stem the euro zone debt crisis.
BARCLAYS FACES FRESH CRIMINAL PROBE
Britain's Serious Fraud Office has launched a second criminal investigation into Barclays.
GAZPROM SHELVES SHTOKMAN PROJECT
Gazprom is to shelve one of the energy industry's most ambitious ventures in Russia's Barents Sea because of surging costs.
ASIA HITS OUT AT US SWAPS REFORM PLANS
Asian financial regulators have warned the U.S. that plans to revamp global derivatives markets threaten to create systemic risks.
BT SET TO REDUCE STAKE IN TECH MAHINDRA
BT is preparing to sell the majority of its 23 percent stake in Tech Mahindra.
OSBORNE REJECTS CLEGG WEALTH TAX PLEA
British finance minister George Osborne has rejected Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's call for an emergency tax on the wealth of Britons.
SEC TO REVIEW HEDGE FUND AD BAN
Hedge funds moved one step closer to gaining permission to publicly solicit and advertise for business, under a rule change proposed by U.S. regulators.
DREAMWORKS IN EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION DEAL
20th Century Fox movie studio will distribute animated feature films from Dreamworks Animation for the next five years.
FORMER S&P CHIEF CREDIT OFFICER DEPARTS
Mark Adelson, a former Standard & Poor's chief credit officer has left the ratings agency months after he was demoted.
* Global Silicon Valley, a closed-end mutual fund that offers ordinary investors a chance to own stakes in privately held companies, has been hit particularly hard by Facebook's troubles.
* Prosecutors say they have unearthed evidence in recent international money-transfer investigations that Chinese banks may have flouted United States sanctions against Iran.
* The Commerce Department raised its estimate of growth in the second quarter slightly, but the economy remained weak by historical standards.
* More than 130,000 people have benefited - mostly through short sales - in the first stage of relief promised by five banks in settling allegations of foreclosure abuses.
* As Japan moves to cut back on nuclear power after the disaster in Fukushima, it is finding that the cost of abandoning its reactors may be too high for some big utilities to shoulder.
* Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Mario Monti sought to present a united front after meeting on Wednesday, but could not hide their divisions.
* A new proposal outlined on Wednesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission would remove a longtime restriction barring hedge funds from marketing themselves in public.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
* Quebec's business community is holding its breath ahead of Tuesday's election, with the prospect of a Parti Quebecois victory and perhaps another referendum adding to the uncertainty that faces the province's already-suffering economy.
* A small but growing faction of angry teachers will withdraw voluntary services - from club supervision to coaching and directing plays - casting a cloud of uncertainty over the coming school year in Ontario. The move is not a directive from unions, but a decision by individual teachers who feel betrayed by the Ontario government. Educators are up in arms over legislation being pushed through at Queen's Park this week that dictates the terms of their next contract.
Reports in the business section:
* CNOOC Ltd applied for Investment Canada approval for its proposed C$15.1 billion acquisition of Calgary-based Nexen Inc on Wednesday, setting the clock ticking on a key decision for the federal government in its relations with China.
* Russel Metals Inc, making another move to strengthen its position in the energy sector in Western Canada and the U.S. Southwest, will purchase Apex Distribution Inc, a Calgary-based oilfield supply company.
* Mayor Rob Ford dismissed allegations that he breached the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act as "all politics" and vowed, if he is dismissed from office as a result of the court case, to run again.
* Police divers scoured a swamp area in Caledon on Wednesday, based on a tip in connection with the unsolved murder of 42-year-old Sonia Varaschin two years ago. The search centred on the area of Beechgrove Sideroad, near where Varachin's body was discovered on Sept 5, 2010, police said.
* Bank of Nova Scotia on Wednesday said it has agreed to buy ING Bank of Canada, popularly known as ING Direct, for $3.1-billion in cash.
* Canadian home prices rose in July from June to hit a record high for a third consecutive month, but the slower pace of gains and falling prices in Vancouver added to recent evidence the market is cooling