Frontrunning: April 17

  • This is just hilarious on so many levels: Japan Will Provide $60 Billion to Expand IMF’s Resources (Bloomberg) - just don't look at Fukushima, don't look at the zero nuclear plants working, don't look at the recent trade deficit, and certainly don't look at the Y1 quadrillion in debt...
  • US Senate vote blocks ‘Buffett rule’ (FT)
  • Reserve Bank of Australia awaiting new data before considering rate move (Herald Sun)
  • Merkel Offers Spain No Respite as Debt Cuts Seen As Key (Bloomberg)
  • RBI cuts repo rate by 50 bps; sees little room for more (Reuters)
  • China allows banks to short sell dollars (Reuters)
  • Central bankers snub euro assets (FT)
  • Shanghai Econ Weakening’ Mayor Vows to Pop Housing Bubble (Forbes)
  • Wen's visit to boost China-Europe ties (China Daily)
  • Madrid threatens to intervene in regions (FT)
  • Pianalto: US Economy Still Faces Headwinds (WSJ)
  • Australia risks making China an enemy: Downer (Sunday Morning Herald)

Overnight news summary

WSJ

* The meteoric stock-price rise that has propelled Apple to become the world's most-valuable company is showing signs of faltering, threatening to drag the market down with it.

* Spain warned it could seize control of finances in regional governments as it struggles to cut its deficit and shore up investor confidence.

* U.S. regulators gave approval for Egan-Jones Ratings to rate bonds and other securities despite having serious concerns about the firm's internal procedures and staffing levels.

* If history is any guide, Carlyle could have its challenges convincing potential owners of the virtues of a publicly traded private-equity firm.

* A federal judge is weighing whether officials of bankrupt Jefferson County, Alabama, can divert money that would have gone to pay JPMorgan Chase and other debtholders in order to upgrade its leaky sewer system.

* The World Bank's board named Jim Yong Kim as its next president, maintaining the U.S.'s seven-decade lock on the post despite the first challenge by candidates from other countries.

* The Securities and Exchange Commission is moving to address criticism that it doesn't adequately weigh the economic impact of its regulations, a problem that has led to rules overturned in the courts and delays of key policies.

FT

MADRID THREATENS TO INTERVENE IN REGIONS

Madrid has threatened to seize budgetary control of wayward Spanish regions as early as May if they flout deficit limits, officials said - as investors took fright at the fragility of some euro zone economies.

COBALT TUMBLES AFTER ANGOLA REVELATIONS

Shares in Cobalt International Energy fell more than 10 percent on Monday following news that three of the most powerful officials in Angola have held concealed interests in the Goldman Sachs -backed group's oil venture in the African country.

EVERCORE OUTLINES FIVE-YEAR GROWTH PLAN

Evercore Partners has outlined an ambitious expansion plan as the U.S. investment bank seeks to join the ranks of the largest independent investment banks by potentially doubling its number of partners.

CHARITIES WARN OSBORNE OVER TAX MOVE

British finance minister George Osborne will be rebuffed by the voluntary sector if he pushes ahead with attempts to mitigate the effect of capping tax relief on charitable donations rather than exempting their organisations entirely, charities and experts have warned.

LME EYES RENMINBI MOVE FOR METALS

The London Metal Exchange is considering offering traders the chance to settle its contracts in the Chinese renminbi, a move that could lead to its dropping sterling after 135 years.

KOREA'S KT SEEKS OVERSEAS EXPANSION

The chairman of Korea's largest phone and internet group by sales plans to counter KT Corp's stalling growth by selling IT consulting services and mobile content in a fresh bid to expand globally.

PANDIT PLAYS DOWN HIGHER CITI PAYOUT HOPES

Citigroup might not increase its payout to shareholders at all this year, Vikram Pandit, chief executive, has warned, even as the bank reported improved first-quarter earnings.

AQUASCUTUM TO BE PUT INTO ADMINISTRATION

Aquascutum will be placed into administration as early as Tuesday, say two people familiar with the company's plans, putting about 250 jobs at risk and threatening the possible demise of a classic British clothing brand.

CUCINELLI LAUNCHES MILAN IPO

Brunello Cucinelli, an Italian maker of luxury cashmere sweaters worn by Prince William and James Bond star Daniel Craig, attempted to reopen Italy's IPO market on Monday on the back of booming sales for luxury goods.

NYT

* Internet streaming service Hulu will promote its original programming to advertisers this week in an annual ritual known as upfronts that is typically reserved for cable channels and network broadcasters.

* High earners who are worried that this year's Tax Day will be the last one before their rates rise have more than just the White House and Washington to blame. They can also look to two academically revered, if publicly obscure, left-leaning French economists whose work is the subtext for the battle over tax fairness.

* Argentina's president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, announced on Monday that the government would seize a majority stake in YPF, the nation's largest oil company.

* As the euro zone crisis shows signs of heating up again, political leaders are once more looking to the European Central Bank for help.

* The just-released Friday ratings for the morning shows gave ABC the good news it had long been waiting for - "Good Morning America" had more total viewers in the week of April 9 than the "Today" show.

* In a sign of the changing media landscape, two primarily online news outlets, The Huffington Post and Politico, won their first Pulitzer Prizes.

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

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- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen were awakened by a major earthquake as they overnighted in the Chilean capital.

 

Buildings shook throughout the city at around 12:50 a.m. local time in what the United States Geological Survey (USGS) rated as a 6.7 magnitude earthquake centred 112 kilometres from the city. r.reuters.com/kur67s

 

 

 

- The Harper government is about to dramatically shrink the federal oversight of proposed natural resource developments, handing over environmental reviews for many projects to the provinces and cutting back the number of smaller construction projects that are subject to any environmental assessment. r.reuters.com/xur67s

 

 

 

Reports in the business section:

 

- Vancouver, Canada's hottest real estate market is finally cooling off, new sales figures show, much to the relief of those who have grown weary of talk of a West Coast property bubble.

 

But the data from the Canadian Real Estate Association indicate that Toronto's sizzling market is still gaining momentum. r.reuters.com/byr67s

 

- The discount titans of U.S. retailing are poised for a fight over the market for new Canadians. Wal-Mart Canada, already well established, is boosting its efforts in the growing and lucrative area, while Target Corp looks to both "localize" and bring its U.S. experience north. r.reuters.com/cyr67s

 

NATIONAL POST

- The Wildrose Party's embrace of the decade-old Alberta "firewall" manifesto signals Canada will face a more assertive, independent Alberta if the challenger manages to topple the Progressive Conservatives next week. r.reuters.com/hyr67s

 

- Former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Brian Peckford, a key player in the negotiations that led to the patriation of Canada's Constitution and the adoption of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms exactly 30 years ago Tuesday, says the history of how the landmark deal was struck has become "badly mangled and distorted" and requires a major rewrite. r.reuters.com/myr67s

 

Reports in the business section:

- Russia's largest oil firm, Rosneft, purchased a stake in the hot Cardium tight oil play as part of a landmark alliance with Exxon Mobil Corp on Monday. The Russian giant joins China's top oil companies, the top U.S. oil companies and the top European oil companies in establishing a Canadian presence. r.reuters.com/nyr67s

 

- The Canadian Auto Workers Union called Monday for a national automotive industry policy that would create a Canadian-owned vehicle manufacturer, lower the value of the loonie, end free-trade talks with Japan, South Korea and the European Union, and impose tariffs on companies that don't build vehicles in Canada. r.reuters.com/wyr67s