Frontrunning: February 7
- Please - we beg you, help us - IMF Urges Beijing to Prepare Stimulus (WSJ)
- Stalemate in talks on Greek austerity measures (Telegraph)
- U.S. Sets Money-Market Plan (WSJ)
- Forty States Sign On to Foreclosure ‘Robo’ Settlement (Diana Olick)
- Greece bail-out funds could be split (FT)
- Japan Adopts Stealth Intervention as Yen Gains Hurts Growth (Bloomberg)
- Papademos to Meet Greek Party Chiefs as ‘Great Sacrifices’ Loom (Bloomberg)
- Glencore-Xstrata deal meets shareholder opposition (Reuters)
- Romney campaign takes aim at rival Santorum (Reuters)
Overnight Press Digest
* The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is finalizing a proposal to shore up the money-market fund industry, more than three years after Lehman's collapse sparked a panic.
* Eugene Isenberg agreed to waive his right to a $100 million termination payment that was triggered when oil driller Nabors Industries replaced him as chief executive.
* Five Wall Street banks have been invited by the New York Fed to bid for a multibillion-dollar bundle of risky mortgage bonds it owns as a result of its 2008 rescue of AIG.
* Investigators in a world-wide probe of how crucial interest rates are set are focusing on a small number of traders suspected of trying to influence other bank employees to manipulate the rates.
* Greece has agreed to lay off 15,000 public-sector workers by the end of 2012, as international pressure mounts on Athens to agree on austerity measures needed to secure major new debt agreements.
* A state-appointed financial custodian released a recovery plan for Harrisburg on Monday, moving Pennsylvania's capital closer to resolving its financial crisis.
* A bankruptcy trustee investigating MF Global said he faces huge challenges getting back an estimated $1.2 billion in customer funds drained from the securities firm before it collapsed.
* With Glencore International AG and Xstrata set to unveil their long-awaited tie-up, a big question is whether Xstrata shareholders will support the deal - not a given in light of U.K. investors' recent history of flexing their muscles.
* Wal-Mart Stores Inc tapped a new China chief as it looks to regain its footing after several missteps in one of its most important growth markets. The U.S. retail giant named Greg Foran president and chief executive of Wal-Mart China. He succeeds Ed Chan, who resigned in October for what the company has said were personal reasons.
EU CORPORATE DEFAULTS SET TO RISE
European corporate defaults are widely expected to climb sharply this
year despite the recent improvement in credit market sentiment as bank
lending cuts and a deteriorating economic backdrop put many smaller or
indebted companies under pressure. http://link.reuters.com/taw46s
BAE CONSIDERS REDUCING PRICE OF TYPHOON JETS
BAE Systems, Europe's largest defence contractor, has signalled its
willingness to reduce the price of the Eurofighter Typhoon to win back a
$20 billion Indian tender from France's Dassault.
GREECE BAILOUT FUNDS COULD BE SPLIT
European officials are insisting any new Greek bailout programme
specifically earmark funds to pay off remaining holders of Greek debt,
giving lenders the freedom to withhold aid to Athens without risking a
messy default that could reignite panic in financial markets.
UK FINANCIAL REGULATOR SAYS SECTOR MUST CHANGE
Britain's banks, insurers and brokers must change their attitude if the
UK's shift to a "twin peaks" model of two "proactive, judgment-led"
regulators is to take effect smoothly and efficiently, the chief
executive of the Financial Services Authority has warned.
ITALY'S FERRAGAMO SETS UK RETAIL RENT RECORD
A record for the most expensive shop rent in the UK has been set with
Italian fashion brand Salvatore Ferragamo agreeing to pay nearly 1,000
pounds ($1,600) a square foot a year for part of its space on Bond
Street in a sign of rising demand for a presence on London's most
prestigious shopping thoroughfare. http://link.reuters.com/zaw46s
TCI LOSES ANOTHER STAR TO RIVAL HEDGE FUND
The Children's Investment Fund has lost another of its stars to rival
hedge fund Theleme Partners in a sign of tensions among top managers at
the activist investor. http://link.reuters.com/bew46s
FUND AIMS TO LINK HOLLYWOOD FILMS WITH CHINA
Bruno Wu, the Chinese media entrepreneur, and Harvest Fund Management,
an investment group backed by Deutsche Bank and China Credit Trust, have
set up a new private equity fund aimed at pouring up to $800 million
into Hollywood films. http://link.reuters.com/cew46s
* DocX, a unit of Lender Processing Services Inc that provided home foreclosure services to lenders across the nation, has been indicted on forgery charges by a Missouri grand jury - one of the few criminal actions to follow reports of widespread improprieties against homeowners.
* Greece said it would cut 15,000 state jobs this year as part of new austerity measures it intends to adopt to secure new debt agreements. Athens is racing to push through economic changes that will persuade its private sector creditors to grant easier debt repayment terms and prompt Europe to release 130 billion euros, or $171 billion, in the next round of bailout money it needs to avoid defaulting on bond payments due in March.
* The European Commission said it would continue charging airlines for their greenhouse gas emissions, despite an announcement from China that its carriers would be forbidden to pay without its permission. The EU program, which began on Jan. 1, requires airlines to account for all emissions on flights using European airports.
* MF Global first misused customer money on Oct. 26, five days before filing for bankruptcy, investigators said on Monday, shedding new light on the extent of potential wrongdoing at the brokerage firm and the chaos that prompted the breach.
European Economic News
- France Trade Balance for December -€4993M – higher than expected. Consensus -€5350M. Previous -€4412M.
- Norway Industrial Production s.a. for December -2.2% m/m. Previous 1.2% m/m.
- Norway Industrial Production w.d.a.j. for December -4.9% y/y. Previous -1.2% y/y.
- Norway Industrial Production Manufacturing s.a. for December -0.3% m/m - lower than expected. Consensus 0.0% m/m. Previous 0.2% m/m.
- Norway Industrial Production Manufacturing w.d.a. for December 0.6% y/y – higher than expected. Consensus 0.3% y/y. Previous 0.4% y/y.
- Sweden Budget Balance for January -14.6B. Previous -90.8B.