Frontrunning: August 31

  • Romney Promises to 'Restore' U.S. (WSJ)
  • Dirty Harry Makes Surprise Appearance (WSJ)
  • It has always been about the gold: Time for eurozone to reach for the gold reserves? (FT)
  • EU Plan Said to Give ECB Sole Power to Grant Bank Licenses (Bloomberg)
  • More attempts to marginalize Germanty: Brussels pushes for wide ECB powers  (FT)
  • Justice may be blind but it has geographic limits: Apple Loses Patent Lawsuit Against Samsung in Japan (BBG)
  • ECB Said to Use Greek Myth for Security on New Euro Banknotes (Bloomberg)
  • Reid's ties to China-Nevada solar plan draw ire (Reuters)
  • Alberta deficit set to triple on slumping oil prices (Globe and Mail)
  • Bernanke may hint at QE without boxing Fed in (Reuters)
  • Berezovsky loses against Abramovich  (FT)
  • Spain Considers Bankia Re-Capitalization Without EU Money (Bloomberg)

Overnight Media Digest


* Mitt Romney accepted the Republican nomination for president and took aim at Barack Obama as a failed steward of the nation's economy.

* JP Morgan is reviewing its dealings with dozens of brokerages that use the bank to settle trades in an effort to reduce its risks.

* Barclays tapped longtime executive Antony Jenkins to become its new CEO. His tasks: repair the bank's reputation with regulators and settle questions about the future of the investment bank.

* Glencore's attempt to form the world's fourth-largest mining conglomerate by acquiring Xstrata edged closer to collapse after sovereign wealth fund Qatar Holding said it would vote against a deal at the current offer price.

* After failing to gain significant market share with tablets running on Google Inc's Android operating system, Samsung Electronics Co now is betting on devices using Microsoft Corp's Windows.

* Apple Inc is flexing its legal muscle more squarely at Google Inc in another patent fight against Samsung Electronics Co.

* Japan's Sharp Corp hasn't started mass producing screens for Apple Inc's next iPhone, a person with knowledge of the situation said Friday, signaling potential supply problems for the U.S. company as it gears up to unveil its next-generation smartphone next month.

* Twitter Inc on Thursday said it will allow advertisers to more easily target their Twitter ad messages to people based on their interests, a shift some advertisers have been demanding of the short-messaging service.

* Egypt's President Morsi, speaking at a summit in Iran, slammed Tehran's policies on Syria and Israel. U.N. chief Ban blasted Damascus for using "ruthless force."




Barclays named retail banker Antony Jenkins as chief executive on Thursday.


Qatar's RasGas has become the second major state-owned Middle East energy company to be hit by a severe computer virus in weeks.


The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, plans to give the European Central Bank oversight of all banks in the euro zone.


Fast-growing technology companies would be allowed to float as little as 10 percent of their business on the London Stock Exchange under proposals being weighed up by Downing Street.


Investors have decided not to take up an unusual bond offering backed by royalties from songs penned by Bob Dylan and other musicians.


Simon Fox, chief executive of entertainment retailer HMV Group will take over the helm at Trinity Mirror next month.


Cash bonuses for bankers should be capped and shareholder approval required for longer-term incentive plans, Germany's finance minister said.


The founder of Admiral Insurance Henry Engelhardt said aggressive pricing and rising customer claims are likely to hit UK motor insurers.


Twitter users will soon be seeing advertisements targeted to what the short-messaging site has learnt about their interests.



* Two researchers say an off-the-shelf computer program has been used to monitor and spy on dissidents in countries around the world.

* An Irish court has set Friday as the deadline for Sean Quinn, a bankrupt former billionaire, to provide information on what the Irish government contends is his byzantine collection of offshore assets and opaque owners.

Authorities are trying to determine whether Mr. Quinn, former head of the Quinn Group conglomerate, and his family are hiding assets to avoid repayment of the 2.8 billion euros, or $3.5 billion, he owes to the state-controlled bank that seized control of his business empire last year. He then filed for bankruptcy, saying he was down to his last 11,000 euros, an old Mercedes-Benz and 166 acres of land.

* The British bank Barclays named its retail boss, Antony Jenkins, as its new chief executive to replace Robert Diamond, who stepped down in June over the rate-manipulation scandal.

* Al Jazeera, once known in the United States mostly for televising videos of Americans and others taken hostage in foreign countries, but now a serious presence as a worldwide network, is betting heavily on sports to win American viewers.

* The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved a drug made by Ironwood Pharmaceuticals to treat chronic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation in adults.




* Quebec police are on the hunt for a sticky-fingered thief after millions of dollars of maple syrup vanished from a Quebec warehouse. The theft was discovered during a routine inventory check last week at the St-Louis-de-Blandford warehouse, where the syrup is being held temporarily.

* The trophy case of empty liquor bottles that has become a standard of dorm-room decor will not be tolerated at Acadia University next week. The school in Wolfville, N.S., has rolled out what may be the most comprehensive campus alcohol strategy of any university in response to the alcohol-related death of a student in residence last year.

Reports in the business section:

* Alberta is veering toward a deficit as high as $3-billion this year, more than three times larger than expected, as a slump in oil prices forces the government to find ways to slash spending.

* Inc said on Thursday that its Kindle Fire tablet accounts for 22 percent of U.S. tablet sales and that the device is sold out. The news from Amazon comes one week before it holds a press event in Santa Monica, California, fueling speculation it will launch new tablet devices.


* A man charged with the slaughter of more than 50 sled dogs near Whistler, B.C., two years ago has pleaded guilty to a charge of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to animals. Sled dog operator Robert Fawcett entered his plea while standing next to his lawyer in a North Vancouver court, while outside, about a dozen animal rights advocates gathered, calling for a prison sentence for Fawcett.

* An Ontario woman who started a family with another inmate while serving a life sentence for killing an eight-year-old boy will get a second chance at building a life outside prison. Amina Chaudhary, 51, gasped and shook with relief Wednesday when members of the Parole Board of Canada handed down their decision to release her to a halfway house in Hamilton.


* The start of Ottawa's review of a bid by China's state-owned energy company for Nexen Inc has sparked another round of political acrimony over who should ultimately control Canada's resources and who stands to gain or lose.

* The National Bank of Canada isn't following the dividend-increasing example of the country's large banks, even though the Quebec-based bank's profits grew by 13 percent in the third quarter to $379-million.


European Economic Update

  • UK GfK Consumer Confidence Survey -29 – lower than expected. Consensus -27. Previous -29.
  • Germany Retail Sales -0.90% m/m -1.00% y/y - lower than expected. Consensus 0.20% m/m 0.10% y/y. Previous -0.10% m/m 2.90% y/y. Revised 0.50% m/m 3.70% y/y.
  • UK Nat'wide House prices sa 1.30% m/m -0.70% y/y – higher than expected. Consensus 0.10% m/m -2.20% y/y. Previous -0.70% m/m -2.60% y/y. Revised -0.80% m/m.
  • Spain Adjusted Real Retail Sales -7.30% y/y. Previous -5.20% y/y.           
  • Norway Retail sales - vol sa - 0.10% m/m - lower than expected. Consensus 0.40% m/m. Previous -1.10% m/m.                   
  • Norway Unemployment Rate 2.60% - in line with expectations. Consensus 2.60%. Previous 2.70%.                      
  • Spain Current Account (Euros) -0.3B. Previous -0.8B.               
  • Euro-Zone CPI Estimate 2.60% y/y – higher than expected. Consensus 2.50% y/y. Previous 2.40% y/y.                  
  • Euro-Zone Unemployment Rate 11.30% - in line with expectations. Consensus 11.30%. Previous 11.20%. Revised 11.30%.
  • Italy CPI - EU Harmonized 0.20% m/m 3.50% y/y – lower than expected. Consensus 0.30% m/m 3.60% y/y. Previous -1.70% m/m 3.60% y/y.