Barclays, Credit Suisse Post Lower Profits (BW)
Net income at Credit Suisse fell to 1.14 billion Swiss francs ($1.31 billion) from 2.06 billion francs in the year-earlier period, the Zurich-based bank today. That compares with the 1.32 billion-franc average estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg…Barclays said today its first-quarter profit fell 5.2 percent to 1.01 billion pounds ($1.67 billion) as earnings at its Barclays Capital investment banking unit dropped 33 percent. Sales and trading revenue fell 17 percent from the year-earlier period.
Bernanke’s Code: A Guide To The Fed Chairman’s First Q&A (WSJ)
Balance sheet: Look for Mr. Bernanke to affirm that QE2 will end in the summer, as planned. Any deviation from that position would be major news. Listen for what Mr. Bernanke says about the future size of the balance sheet. In this new world of Fed policy, how many securities the central bank holds is the primary signal of how much support it is providing the economy; the Fed has injected more than $2 trillion into the economy since the financial crisis. It is considered unlikely, but if Mr. Bernanke hints the Fed may stop reinvesting the proceeds from its mortgage holdings, it will be seen as the first step toward actual monetary tightening. If Mr. Bernanke drops such a hint, expect the dollar to rally.
Fed’s ‘Extended Period’ May End In May 2011, Economists Say (Bloomberg)
Thirty-three of 44 economists surveyed said the central bank will remove the two-word phrase from its post-meeting statement in 2011, with 18 betting it will move by September. The Fed may wait until 2012 to announce sales of mortgage or Treasury securities it bought to reduce borrowing costs, with 26 respondents expecting a plan next year, according to the survey, conducted from April 20 to April 25.
Hedge Fund Pot Farmer Pleads Guilty (TB)
Tara A. Bryson, executive of Ridgefield-based New Stream Capital has plead guilty to drug possession charges. She was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended, and a year of probation. Bryson copped a last minute plea deal with the State of Connecticut. In return she had felony charges of conspiracy to cultivate a pot farm reduced to a misdemeanor–possession of a controlled substance under four ounces and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bryson’s arrest report shows Connecticut State police found over 203 marijuana plants in her million dollar Newtown home so the charges being subbed out from cultivation of marijuana to only possession less than four ounces appears to be a lucky break.
Banks Warn Obama On Soaring Debt (FT)
“Any delay in making an interest or principal payment by Treasury even for a very short period of time would put the US Treasury and overall financial markets in uncharted territory and could trigger another catastrophic financial crisis,” said Matthew Zames, a JPMorgan executive, in a letter to Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, this week.
Robot Stock Picker Beats Human Managers After Japan Quake (Bloomberg)
Six computer programs, making all the investment decisions for T&D Asset Management’s Kabu-Robo Fund, generated returns of 1.9 percent in March. The average actively traded fund that invests in Japan lost 6.9 percent during the month, according to Tokyo-based Rating and Investment Information Inc. The benchmark Nikkei 225 (NKY) Stock Average dropped 8.2 percent in the period. “People tend to go with the herd when there’s a panic,” said Kazuhiro Kunisada, chief executive officer of Trade Science Corp., which designed the programs for T&D’s Kabu-Robo Fund. “Robots just follow the rules.”
NYPD Admits It Provided Diddy With A Police Escort (NYP)
The NYPD admitted today that it provided Sean “Diddy” Combs with a police escort following a concert last week, a decision slammed by Mayor Bloomberg. “The bottom line is the police department should treat everybody exactly the same. If you don’t get a police escort, P. Diddy shouldn’t,” Bloomberg said.
Does Corporate America Kowtow To China? (Reuters)
“I don’t blame the Chinese, they’re just pursuing their national interest,” said Patrick Mulloy, a member of the Congressional U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. “I blame us for not realizing what’s happening to us and for doing nothing about it.”
White House Distributes Copies Of Obama’s Birth Certificate (BW)
Today’s release was made because “the president believes it was becoming a distraction,” White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said.
S&P’s Japan Outlook Goes Negative (WSJ)
In a statement Wednesday, the credit-rating firm said it estimated reconstruction costs owing to the quake and subsequent tsunami and nuclear disaster at ¥20 trillion to ¥50 trillion ($245 billion to $613 billion), with a central forecast of ¥30 trillion.
PIMCO Says Greece Needs To Restructure Its Debt (Reuters)
“So far none of the solutions for the Greek debt crisis have worked. And a lot of people – including me – don’t believe that they will work in the future,” Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive of PIMCO, wrote. Greece will need “a preferably voluntary and orderly restructuring” to relieve itself of its debt burden, the PIMCO CEO said.
I handed over £6.2m to gigolo out of love for him: Heiress tells how conman turned blackmailer (Daily Mail)
Married mother of three Ms Klatten, who is said to be worth more than £6 billion through holdings in car giants BMW and chemical firm Altana, fell for conman Helg Sgarbi, 46, after meeting him in a luxury hotel. The Swiss born former investment banker had told her he was a ‘special adviser for the Swiss government’ and fed her a string of lies, winning her over and within weeks they had become lovers. He wooed her with his charm but it later emerged that it was all part of an elaborate plot hatched by mystical faith healer Ernani Barretta, 63, whose trial began in Pescara today.