Frontrunning: March 7

  • Key rate for $350 trillion market in limbo - Libor Links Deleted as U.K. Bank Group Backs Away From Rate (Bloomberg)
  • Rift Grows Between Germany's Bundesbank and ECB (Spiegel)
  • Athens issues threat to bond holdouts (FT)
  • SNB to Reveal Board Members’ Currency Transactions After Hildebrand Furor (Bloomberg)
  • Sarkozy Floats New Corporate Tax (WSJ)
  • Super Tuesday Ensures a GOP War of Attrition (WSJ)
  • Martin Wolf - The pain in Spain will test the euro (FT)
  • Refinancing Fees Are Reduced for Some F.H.A. Borrowers (NYT)
  • China's foreign trade to slow to 7% in Jan-Feb (China Daily)
  • Import taxes 'will be cut' this year (China Daily)

Overnight Press Digest:


* Mitt Romney eked out a narrow win in Ohio and extended his delegate lead on Super Tuesday, but voters failed to deliver a decisive victory that could have brought a swift end to the GOP contest.

* Authorities investigating the importation of low-cost foreign pharmaceuticals into the U.S. have identified a supply chain that may have allowed fake cancer drugs to reach U.S. clinics.

* A hedge fund is accusing a Clear Channel unit of improperly shifting $656 million to its parent, which is owned by private-equity firms Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee.

* The federal mine-safety agency said regulators failed to identify numerous hazards at a Massey Energy mine before a 2010 explosion killed 29 miners.

* Japanese prosecutors filed charges against Olympus and six individuals allegedly involved in the company's $1.5 billion accounting scandal.

* Adidas AG Wednesday maintained its outlook for sales growth in 2012 as the sportswear and sports equipment maker reported higher profit in the final quarter of last year.


* A federal jury on Tuesday convicted R. Allen Stanford, a Texas financier, on 13 out of 14 counts of fraud in connection with a worldwide scheme that lasted more than two decades and involved more than $7 billion in investments.

* Mitu Gulati, a Duke law professor, who with Lee Buchheit, a New York lawyer, developed the blueprint for Greece's bond write-off, says that similar deals would help other indebted countries.

* India's mass production of generic versions of drugs patented elsewhere helps poor people with treatment that would otherwise be too costly, but drug companies say the knockoffs stifle innovation.

* More than three years after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, the estate of the failed Wall Street firm emerged from Chapter 11 protection on Tuesday as a sliver of its former self, devoted to paying off creditors.

* A World Bank report shows a broad reduction in extreme poverty - and indicates that the global recession, contrary to economists' expectations, did not increase poverty in the developing world.




- Republicans greatly extended Mitt Romney's lead over his rivals for the party's presidential nomination in multiple Super Tuesday contests that underscored Rick Santorum's evangelical appeal and gave Newt Gingrich a tenuous new lease on life.

- Ottawa is preparing to shake up the way it funds Canadian research and development, expressing concern that too much federal science cash is flowing to accountants.

Reports in the Business Section

- Air Canada's largest union has issued strike notice in a move that is bound to create anxiety as many travelers prepare for March Break.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers will be in a position to walk off the job at 12:01 a.m. on Monday.

- Amid an explosion in oil sands growth, surging Canadian energy output has combined with pipeline problems and rocketing U.S. production to create a supply glut that is severely depressing prices, and profits. Concerns are now rising that the export pipes that sustain Canada's energy industry are rapidly filling up.


- Mitt Romney extended his delegate lead in the Republican presidential race with victories in five Super Tuesday states, giving him a measured dose of momentum as he tries to tighten his grip on the GOP nomination.

- U.S. President Barack Obama pushed back on Tuesday against suggestions that Washington was on the cusp of making a decision about possible military action against Iran.

Financial Post section:

- A Bombardier Inc Q400 turboprop aircraft took off from Toronto Tuesday bound for WestJet Airlines Ltd's headquarters in Calgary with its livery showing a simple red maple leaf and an even simpler message: "Proudly made here and flying everywhere."

European Economic Update:

  • UK BRC Shop Price Index 1.2% y/y. Previous 1.4% y/y.
  • Swiss Unemployment Rate for February 3.4% - in line with expectations. Consensus 3.4%. Previous 3.4% .
  • Swiss Foreign Currency Reserves for February 224.9B. Previous 227.2B.
  • Spain Industrial Output w.d.a. for January -4.2% y/y – higher than expected. Consensus -4.3% y/y. Previous -3.7% y/y.
  • Norway Industrial Production s.a. for January 4.5% m/m. Previous -2.2% m/m.
  • Norway Industrial Production w.d.a. for January 3.0% y/y. Previous -4.9% y/y.
  • Norway Prod Manufacturing s.a. for January 1.1% m/m – higher than expected. Consensus 0.4% m/m. Previous -0.3% m/m.
  • Norway Prod Manufacturing w.d.a. for January 1.7% y/y – higher than expected. Consensus 0.8% y/y. Previous 0.6% y/y.


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