Frontrunning: May 9

Tyler Durden's picture
  • Borrowers Face Big Delays in Refinancing Mortgages (WSJ)
  • Greek left attacks ‘barbarous’ austerity (FT)
  • Would-be suicide bomber was U.S. informant (Reuters)
  • Cameron says Euro needs single government: report (Reuters)
  • Demonstrators targeting BofA annual meeting (Reuters)
  • Moody’s Bank Downgrades Risk Choking European Recovery (Bloomberg)
  • Lehman E-Mails Show Wall Street Arrogance Led to the Fall (Bloomberg)
  • What Hollande must tell Germany (Martin Wolf) (FT)
  • Why France Has So Many 49-Employee Companies (BusinessWeek)
  • Hollande at odds with key partners on structural reform (FT)
  • Sinn Féin joins Ireland’s austerity backlash (FT)

Overnight press digest:


* The supposed bomber in a foiled plot by al Qaeda's Yemeni branch to bring down a U.S. jet was actually a double agent for U.S. and Arab intelligence agencies.

* JPMorgan Chase said it will start selling prepaid debit cards in its 5,541 branches this summer, accelerating the banking industry's push to generate revenue with new fee-based consumer products.

* The chief executive of British insurance group Aviva resigned, becoming the latest U.K. CEO to leave amid investor anger over pay.

* Carlos Slim offered $3.4 billion to increase his stake in ailing Dutch telecom Royal KPN, sparking speculation that the world's richest man could start to snap up beaten-down European assets.

* The 26 percent decline in prices over the past nine months has frustrated traders, farmers and meat processors, who have long anticipated a rebound.

* Rajat Gupta's lawyers have made another attempt to keep some secretly recorded telephone conversations out of his insider-trading trial later this month, saying the calls didn't include any discussion of tips by the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc director.

* Social-networking website Myspace settled allegations by the Federal Trade Commission that it deceived millions of its users by sharing their personal data with advertising companies, a practice reported on two years ago by The Wall Street Journal.

* Saudi Arabia reiterated Tuesday it is very well-equipped to fill any gap between global supply and demand thanks both to its ample spare crude-oil output capacity and oil stocks, but suggested that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries could potentially discuss a change to the group members' output when ministers meet next month.




Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecoms billionaire has signalled his intention to expand into Europe with a 3.2 billion euro ($4.16 billion) offer for a stake in KPN, the struggling Dutch telecoms operator.


A sophisticated cyber attack intended to gain access to U.S. natural gas pipelines has been under way for several months, the Department of Homeland Security has warned, raising fresh concerns about the possibility that vital infrastructure could be vulnerable to computer hackers.


Marubeni, the Japanese trading company, is in advanced talks to buy U.S.-based grain trader Gavilon in the latest sign of consolidation in the agribusiness industry, only weeks after Glencore purchased Canadian grain trader Viterra.


A sharp rise in fraudulent claims has pushed UK mobile phone network 3 to stop selling insurance, an unusual move underscoring the scale of customer deception facing mobile operators.


U.S. mobile network operators are seeking to differentiate themselves from rivals by emphasising the digital services they offer on top of their high-speed data networks - rather than the speed of the networks.


The chief financial officer of Thomas Cook is set to announce his departure as early as this week, even as shares in the debt-laden tour operator rose up to 18 percent following news that it had agreed a new financing package with its lenders.



* Yahoo Inc sought to contain the turmoil surrounding its Chief Executive, Scott Thompsons' embellished academic record on Tuesday, as the director who led the search for the executive said that she would not stand for re-election to the board.

* Continuing its crackdown on Internet privacy violations, the Federal Trade Commission charged Myspace on Tuesday with violating federal law by breaching its promise not to share users' personal information, including their Web browsing habits, with advertising companies.

* A growing number of Republican lawmakers are pressing Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint an independent counsel to investigate the collapse of MF Global and the firm's misuse of customer money.

* Green Mountain Coffee Roasters founder, Robert Stiller, lost his post as the chairman of the board on Tuesday after he sold five million shares, worth around $125.5 million, to pay off loans he had taken out against his sizable stock holdings in the company.




- The Alberta government has gone on the offensive against Europe's proposed fuel-quality directive with a new study that shows the oil sands production is only slightly more greenhouse-gas intensive than crudes already used in Europe.

Reports in the business section:

- The fevered pace of building in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal is fuelling fears that the condo market is dangerously close to overheating. A surge in condominium construction helped drive overall construction starts up 14 per cent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 244,900, the highest since September, 2007, and an increase from the March pace of 214,800, according to data released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp on Tuesday.


- Canadians may soon be able to apply for passports that do not reveal their gender. "Passport Canada policy in relation to the gender indicated on passports is the subject of a review," reads a briefing note obtained by La Presse newspaper in an Access to


- It looks like the beginning of the end for shareholders of Yellow Media Inc as a group of bondholders have hired legal counsel and started preliminary talks with the company on refinancing that could see them win control of the phone directory publisher in exchange for writing down their debt.


European economic update:

  • UK BRC Sales Like-for-Like -3.3% y/y – lower than expected. Consensus 0.6% y/y. Previous 1.3% y/y.
  • Germany Trade Balance (EUR) 17.4B – higher than expected. Consensus 14.3B. Previous 14.9B.
  • Germany Current Account (EUR) 19.8B – higher than expected. Consensus 18.0B. Previous 11.7B.
  • France Trade Balance (EUR) -5721M – higher than expected. Consensus -6000M. Previous -6279M.
  • Greece CPI – EU Harmonized 1.5% y/y – higher than expected. Consensus 1.3% y/y. Previous 1.4% y/y.

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cossack55's picture

I would say Sinn Fein is a little late to the party.

Element's picture


* The supposed bomber in a foiled plot by al Qaeda's Yemeni branch to bring down a U.S. jet was actually a double agent for U.S. and Arab intelligence agencies.


But ... but! ... this can't be! ... Hillary just finnished getting on her soapbox to give some pretentious ultra-hypocritical insane rant about her undies getting in a bunch! ... so, they really are her undies?

Clinton: Terrorists trying perverse ways to kill

May. 8, 2012 - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the al-Qaeda airline plot indicates that terrorists are searching for more perverse and terrible ways to kill people. Secretary Clinton joined India's foreign minister in New Delhi on Tuesday.


Oh really Hills?  Let's see now:
One foreseeable day in the not too distant future it's going to be you Hillary ... a baby Hillary Clinton, deposited on the sidewalk, bought forth from the worm-infested shit-hole of a stray canine.

Popo's picture



>  "The supposed bomber in a foiled plot by al Qaeda's Yemeni branch to bring down a U.S. jet was actually a double agent for U.S. and Arab intelligence agencies."

Doesn't that make him a triple agent?

Element's picture

I laughed out loud today when I heard a radio report where Clinton was claiming it was a "more sophisticated version" of the original underwear bomber's "device", but that there was no danger to any aircraft or any passengers at any time.

Perhaps sophisticated means his undies had secret utility pouches or something? ... the mind boggles at the possibilities of what this could mean.

I'd love to see a schematic of this undergarb though ... but then again, EVERYONE would soon be doing it, because let's face it, it's such a fricken great idea!

And popo, did you hear about that other fake terrorist 'attack' last week, about some dumb lamers who supposedly planed for years to acquire the expertise and chemical capacity to like ... you know, ... blow up a bridge!

YES! ... a fucking bridge! ... not a credit card building, not the Council on Foreign Relations meeting ... just humble extra-aqueous transportation infrastructure.

Pure Evil genious!

Way to change the world guys, that'll teach 'em to fuck with the little people!

Rriiiigh, yeah ... something tells me that 'domestic-terrorist-threat' was fake as well, huh? 

Now go watch the movie "Brazil" ... and try to spot a difference.


How unbelievably desperate Washington must be to get people to psychologically re-engage the terrorist bogeyman?

spanish inquisition's picture

My take is it is getting difficult for US agents to infiltrate groups. The tactics used only work on really dim bulbs like the FBI has "foiled" in the US.

So the new plan seems to be a Abdul the double agent (really from accounting) returns being undercover (actually on vacation) and brings a terror bomb (a pair of old underwear soaked in diesel fuel and miracle grow that was given to him outside by his boss) to headquarters. Clean up the information loop by sending a drone to blow up a random car.. I mean, a car full of terrorists. Issue press release. The day is saved!!!

EDIT: I think that this is the future of the war on terror. By eliminating the terrorists (by not involving any and taking out random "bad" people), you can control the news flow and eliminate any potential embarassments by leaving anyone alive.

Element's picture

Well, except that a big chunk of humanity can see it's a wall of pure farce, with lies used for mortar.

JohnKozac's picture


How do you spell stupidity in Chinese!!!”


I guess the Chinese are asking that very question about Lehman's Fuld and Goldfarb when their hubris drove Lehmans into bankruptcy.

Catullus's picture

The Lehman Brothers emails!!! Yes!  They were calling themselves the Bros.  It can't get funnier.

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