Frontrunning: June 26

  • On the continuing fraud that is Liebor: Libor Guardians Said to Resist Changes to Broken Rate (Bloomberg)
  • Bank bailout to spark firesale of corporate Spain (Reuters) with Goldman and China just waiting
  • EU Could Rewrite Eurozone Budgets (FT) but it won't because Germany will just say Nein again
  • Congress Said to Delay Automatic Budget Cuts Until March (Bloomberg)
  • China Says June Trade Improving in Sign Slowdown Stabilizing (Bloomberg)
  • Biggest U.S. Banks Curb Loans as Regional Firms Fill Gap (Bloomberg)
  • New York Fed Sells $4bn in Mortgage Debt (FT)
  • Julian Assange’s fall from the heavens (Reuters)
  • Wheeler to Lead N.Z. Central Bank as Kiwi Hits Exports: Economy (Bloomberg)
  • Japan Lower House Passes Sales Tax Bill as Vote Divides DPJ (Bloomberg)
  • Most Chinese Stocks Gain on Speculation New Lending to Rebound (Bloomberg)
  • Spain, Cyprus Request Bailout Aid (WSJ)

Overnight Media Update:


* The Supreme Court struck down the harshest parts of Arizona's immigration law, but upheld a section that lets police check immigration status.

* News Corp is considering splitting into two companies, separating its publishing assets from its entertainment businesses. A final decision on the split hasn't been made.

* Production of coca, the ingredient in cocaine, is rising rapidly in the lower Amazon region amid big changes in the global cocaine business.

* Facebook said Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is joining the company's board, making her the first female board member for the social network.

* Some of the biggest banks are being asked to submit road maps this week for how they can be quickly and cleanly liquidated, but a top regulator said he doesn't back using the so-called living-will process to break them up.

* Greek Finance Minister Vassilis Rapanos resigned for health reasons, forcing the government to scramble as it tries to renegotiate better terms for its bailout.

* Moody's lowered its credit ratings on 28 Spanish banks by one to four notches, hours after the country requested bailout aid.

* Lennar is in talks with the China Development Bank for approximately $1.7 billion in capital to jump-start two San Francisco projects.

* Orbitz has found that people who use Apple's Mac computers spend as much as 30 percent more a night on hotels, so it's starting to show them different, and sometimes costlier, travel options than Windows visitors see.

* Turkey levied new allegations against Syria related to the shooting down of a Turkish military jet and said ahead of a NATO meeting that the incident "would not go unpunished."

* The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider an appeal from a group of Bernard Madoff investors who were seeking to recover all the money listed on their last account statements when the Ponzi scheme unraveled in 2008.

* T-Mobile USA Inc is buying airwave licenses, and swapping some of its own, in a deal with Verizon Wireless that should aid Verizon in getting regulatory approval for its larger acquisition of spectrum holdings from a group of cable companies.

* Microsoft struck a deal to buy Yammer Inc for $1.2 billion in cash, a transaction that highlights a new trend in business software and perceived shortcomings in Microsoft's own products.

* In a bid to steal a march on South Korean rivals introducing new ultrathin televisions, Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp agreed to cooperate on production technology for organic light-emitting diode display, or OLED, panels for large-screen TVs.

* Quest Software Inc disclosed a higher, superior takeover offer from its "strategic bidder," elevating the battle for the data-management software maker to $2.32 billion.




The European Union would gain far-reaching powers to rewrite national budgets for euro zone countries that breach debt and deficit rules under proposals likely to be discussed at a summit this week, according to a draft report seen by the Financial Times.


Airlines, trucking companies and other big energy consumers are betting on further oil price falls, with many reluctant to lock in at current levels amid fears that prices could plunge if the global economy weakens further.


A series of high-profile deals this year highlights the growing interest of emerging-market companies in making acquisitions in Europe.


Microsoft has agreed to pay $1.2 billion for Yammer, which runs a Twitter-like service for office workers, in an attempt to take advantage of the business world's social networking boom.


Qatar's sovereign wealth fund is seeking approval to invest up to $5 billion in Chinese stocks and bonds, which would make it the biggest foreign investor in China's capital markets.


Bloomberg plans to announce that it has hired more than 100 research professionals for a global industry research service that will provide much of what was once the preserve of equity analysts on Wall Street and in the City of London.


Shazam, the popular UK-based music recognition app, is capitalising on the digital and social media buzz surrounding the 2012 London Olympics via a new partnership with Comcast's NBCUniversal.



- An array of surveillance software now exists to let parents keep tabs on their children's activities online, raising questions about appropriate parenting.

- Zynga plans to add more games as interest in its most popular games is waning and its share price is declining.

- Microsoft will buy the social networking service Yammer Inc for $1.2 billion in cash, as it seeks to strengthen its enterprise software business.

- The new bid of $27.50 a share tops a bid from Insight Venture Partners and Vector Capital that Quest accepted last week.

- On the eve of a crucial summit meeting of European leaders in Brussels, Spain formally requested billions in aid and Cyprus said it would apply for a bailout.

- Italy is poised to pass labor laws most view as flawed. The proposal has been widely criticized by unions that say it goes too far and businesses groups that say it doesn't go far enough.

- Facebook said on Monday that its chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, has joined the social network's board, becoming the first woman to serve as a director for the company.




- Rescuers will try "drastic" measures to reach possible survivors in a collapsed mall, acting at the urging of the community and Ontario's Premier, after search-and-rescue operations were suspended over safety fears.

Report in the business section:

- Unable to put a value on coming Olympic Games, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp and Bell Media have walked away from their partnership rather than put together a new bid for exclusive Canadian television rights.


- The bad news keeps piling up for Encana Corp, the beleaguered Canadian energy icon that seems to be embroiled in a collusion plot to deflate land prices with one of its top rivals in the United States.


- The Russians are conducting what has quietly become their annual flyover of key Canadian sites this week, revealing the two countries' regular surveillance of one another at a time when a spy scandal and Arctic sovereignty have markedly strained relations.


European economic update:

  • Germany GfK Consumer Confidence 5.8 – higher than expected. Consensus 5.6. Previous 5.7.
  • Switzerland Consumption Indicator 1.05. Previous 1.41. Revised 1.37.
  • France Consumer Confidence Indicator 90 – higher than expected. Consensus 89. Previous 90.
  • Sweden PPI (M/M/Y/Y) -0.5%/0.3% – lower than expected. Consensus -0.2%/0.6%. Previous -0.2%/0.0%.
  • Italian Retail Sales (M/M/Y/Y) -1.6%/-6.8% – lower than expected. Consensus -0.6%/-0.1%. Previous -0.2%/1.7%. Revised -0.8%/1.5%.
  • UK PSNB ex Interventions 17.9B – higher than expected. Consensus 14.8B. Previous -16.5B. Revised -17.6B.