Frontrunning: June 25

  • Merkel Backs Debt Sharing in Germany Amid Closer EU Push (Bloomberg)
  • With a ruling as early as today, here are four health care questions the Supreme Court is asking (CBS)
  • George Soros - Germany’s Reticence to Agree Threatens European Stability (FT)
  • China Stocks Drop to Five-Month Low (Bloomberg)
  • The New Republic of Porn (Bloomberg)
  • That's a costly detached retina: Greek Lenders Postpone Mission to Athens (FT)
  • Spain Asks for Aid as EU Fights Debt Crisis (FT)
  • Wolfgang Münchau - Why Mario Monti Needs to Speak Truth to Power (FT)
  • U.S. Banks Aren’t Nearly Ready for Coming European Crisis (Bloomberg)
  • MPC Member Wants £50bn Easing (FT)
  • India Boosts Foreign Debt Ceiling by $5 Billion to Defend Rupee (Bloomberg)
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Offers Dissenting View on Credit Bids (American Banker)

Overnight Media Digest


* The Muslim Brotherhood's Morsi was declared Egypt's first freely elected president, setting up an uneasy ruling alliance with the military.

* The SEC is examining Standard & Poor's Ratings Services' 11th-hour decision to pull its ratings on a high-profile deal backed by commercial-real-estate loans.

* Maria Dolores de Cospedal, president of the Spanish region of Castilla-La Mancha, is slashing spending to set the stage for future growth, in a euro-zone test of whether austerity can nurse a sick economy back to health.

* Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest seller of smartphones by units, said it expects its mobile phone business to report better results in the second quarter than it did in the first, partly helped by strong sales of its new Galaxy S III smartphone.

* J.P. Morgan will improve risk management of the unit that racked up more than $2 billion of trading losses, while avoiding big bets on derivative and private-equity investments.

* Anheuser-Busch InBev is close to taking control of Corona Extra beer maker Grupo Modelo, according to people familiar with the matter, in a deal that could be valued at more than $12 billion and consolidate the Belgian brewer's ownership of one of the world's top beer brands.

* Money manager J. Ezra Merkin has agreed to pay about $410 million to settle a civil-fraud lawsuit by New York's attorney general alleging that he funneled billions of dollars to convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff without investors' knowledge.

* Swedish housewares giant IKEA wants to set up 25 stores in India, a plan that comes as some relief for policy makers trying to boost foreign-investor sentiment.

* An influential federal judge shut down a high-profile patent case involving Apple Inc. and Google Inc.'s Motorola Mobility unit, rejecting their use of a legal weapon at the heart of the current smartphone patent wars.

* While Japan's domestic auto sales are about half their high of 1990, the light cars category is on its way to doubling its market share since then.

* Family films dominated the box office this weekend, with "Brave," the latest film from Walt Disney Co.'s Pixar Animation Studios, capturing the top spot.

* The euro could be held hostage this week by sentiment surrounding a late-week European Union summit, though some investors are already expecting the meeting to be a disappointment.




The Bank of England needs to pump at least another 50 billion pounds ($77.80 billion) into Britain's "stalled" economy, says David Miles of its interest rate-setting committee, warning that only a "substantial" third round of emergency bond-buying will kick-start recovery.


BT has been rebuffed for the third time, this time by the UK's Competition Commission, in its efforts to compel its competitors to share in the costs of lowering its 3 billion pounds ($4.67 billion) pension scheme deficit through higher charges for their use of its phone lines.


The EU financial services industry is on track to spend 33.3 billion euros ($41.74 billion) over the next three years simply to comply with new regulatory demands, a study by the JWG regulatory think-tank has found.


The new chief executive of Airbus says he is ready to "bet" that the European aircraft maker's planned new A350 widebody passenger jet will not suffer the same three-year delay that Boeing had with its 787 Dreamliner.


A string of earnings warnings from U.S. companies that are a barometer of the broader economy is casting a shadow over the outlook for equities.


Vale is preparing to build the world's largest single processing plant for palm oil by 2015 in an effort to cut its vast fuel costs and help develop the struggling Amazon region, the Brazilian mining company told the Financial Times.


Top U.S. and European bankers, including JPMorgan Chase's Jamie Dimon and Citigroup's Vikram Pandit, have enjoyed double-digit annual pay rises averaging almost 12 percent, despite widespread falls in profits and share prices, Financial Times research shows.



- A research director for Pfizer was positively buoyant after reading that an important medical conference had just featured a study claiming that the new arthritis drug Celebrex was safer on the stomach than more established drugs.

- Microsoft's own tablet computer unveiled last week is the most striking evidence yet of the friction with its partners on the hardware side of the PC business. It is the first time that the company will sell its own computer hardware, competing directly with the PC makers that are the biggest customers for the Windows operating system.

- J. Ezra Merkin, whose funds lost about $1.2 billion when Mr. Madoff's fraud collapsed in 2008, has agreed to pay $405 million over three years to compensate his investors.

- Even in tough times, with economies in crisis and politicians squabbling over the euro, soccer leagues have been scoring in the latest rounds of television broadcast deals.

- The Bank for International Settlements, which serves as an umbrella institution for the world's largest central banks, joined a growing list of institutions and leaders pushing euro zone countries to insure bank deposits and take other steps to prevent the European debt crisis from further undermining the global economy.

- The new rules from the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, intended to make it tougher for governments to hide shortfalls, could lead to credit downgrades and higher borrowing costs. The new accounting rules will require many local governments to disclose pension obligations that were hidden until now, stepping up the pressure to rein in public workers' benefits.

- Lockheed Martin said it had reached a tentative agreement Saturday night with the machinists union to end a nine-week strike at its fighter jet plant in Fort Worth and two other sites.




- Prime Minister Stephen Harper and more than a dozen of his cabinet ministers chose Quebec to kick off the Tories' political "summer of love," wooing support with their economic plan and a pledge to work with the Parti Québécois if it is elected to govern the province.

Report in the business section:

- Canadians are in a U.S. shopping state of mind this summer thanks to changes in regulations that allow them to buy more without paying duty, a new survey suggests.


- Rushing rivers, swollen by heavy rains, have wreaked havoc around British Columbia, forcing emergency officials to evacuate hundreds of residents in one community and search for man who'd been swept away in another.