J.P. Morgan Unit Made Risky Bets on Firms (WSJ)
The JPMorgan unit whose wrong-way bets on corporate credit cost the bank more than $2 billion includes a group that has invested in financially challenged companies, including LightSquared Inc., the wireless broadband provider that this month filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection…The Special Investments Group last year took a $150 million stake in closely held LightSquared, in a deal that J.P. Morgan lost money on, according to a person familiar with the bank.
Both Campaigns Seize on Romney’s Years at Bain (NYT)
…the Romney campaign is actively recruiting testimonials from workers who have had positive experiences with Bain. It is getting ready to release advertising highlighting Bain’s marquee success stories, like the turnaround of Staples. It is considering seeking out middle-class surrogates — a fireman or members of a teachers union, for instance — who would be willing to talk about how Bain managed and increased the size of their pension funds, a lesser-known aspect of private equity…Mr. Romney’s advisers are betting that if they stay out of the nuances of private equity and tell a story about turning around failing companies, they can transform the Bain attacks into a narrative that underscores Mr. Romney’s image as a skilled executive who can steer a troubled economy back to prosperity.
ECB Official: On Greece, ‘We Are Working on Plan A’ (CNBC)
“It’s our strong preference that Greece stays in the euro zone…We are working on plan A,” Joerg Asmussen said in the interview yesterday. “I always work on plan A. I am not speculating, I am working to make plan A successful,” he added.
What Would A Greek Exit Mean For The US Economy? (Reuters)
usiness investment would stall, banks would pull back on credit, and lost wealth as equity prices fall would cause consumers to slow their spending. Commodity prices would plunge, helping importers but hurting growth in export economies.
Merkel May Be Persuaded On Euro Debt-Sharing Compromise (Bloomberg)
Chancellor Angela Merkel left the door open to a compromise on debt sharing in the euro area as Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said he can help bring Germany round to acting in Europe’s “common good.”
Short Sellers Find Friends In Banks (WSJ)
As traders at Morgan Stanley were frantically trying to shore up Facebook Inc.’s FB share price following the company’s initial public offering, other managers on the deal were helping short sellers bet that the newly minted stock would fall. Trading desks at Goldman Sachs Group and J.P. Morgan Chase, two of the firms that helped Morgan Stanley underwrite the IPO, were among those lending out Facebook shares that hedge funds needed for short sales, according to people familiar with the matter. While it isn’t uncommon for Wall Street firms to make shares available for shorting on IPOs they manage, Morgan Stanley, the lead underwriter, didn’t lend shares, according to people familiar with the matter.
Escaped monkey holds up flight at JFK for hours (NYP)
Monkey business held up a Beijing-bound flight at Kennedy Airport nearly four hours yesterday.
A monkey escaped its crate in the cargo hold of an Air China Boeing 747 scheduled to leave Terminal 1 at 4:50 p.m., said Port Authority police. Port Authority emergency services officers and an airport worker caught the monkey and handed it over to the airline. The animal never got out of the jet’s cargo hold. The foot-tall monkey was one of about 50 to 60 being shipped to China for medical research, said police sources. “He was a slippery little beast,” one source said.
Bankia Shares Suspended Ahead of Board Meeting (WSJ)
EFE news agency reported Thursday that the lender will ask the government for more than €15 billion ($18.80 billion). The bank said it requested the suspension ahead of the meeting, at which it will also approve its 2011 earnings report. The board meeting will begin at 2:30 p.m. GMT.
Moody’s Downgrades Major Nordic Banks (WSJ)
Moody’s said the funding and margin issues left the banks susceptible to unexpected losses from which it would be a challenge for them to rebuild capital. It also highlighted risks to asset quality, with the Swedish economy exposed to weakness in Europe and the banks’ variable-rate mortgage books vulnerable to interest rate changes.
USDA Is a Tough Collector When Mortgages Go Bad (WSJ)
Unlike private firms, the USDA doesn’t need permission from a court to start collecting on unpaid debts. It can in some cases seize government benefits and tax refunds before a foreclosure is completed. After foreclosure, the USDA can go after unpaid balances, even in states that limit such actions by private lenders.
Nasdaq CEO went ahead with Facebook IPO despite signs new software had bugs (NYP)
During a conference call on Monday evening, Nasdaq officials said that they were unaware of any problems with the system. However, sources said that there may have been signs that the system wasn’t glitch-free even at the 11th hour and that Nasdaq opted to roll the dice. “They may have thought they did not have any material issues with the systems,” said one exchange platform official.
Lacrosse Party-Boy Image Worries Coaches Who See Slower Growth (Bloomberg)
“It’s really important that the lacrosse world grows up a little bit,” Danowski said from his office in Durham, North Carolina. “We are getting more TV exposure; more people are able to make a living through lacrosse. If we want to be accepted in the mainstream, then it’s time for us to grow up.”
Salt 2012: A Fund Manager’s $710,000 Blackjack Breakfast (AR)
Geismar asked O’Leary what his name was and where he was from. “You like the Dallas Mavericks? Yeah? Let’s be a maverick!” he said to the new player and threw him a $5,000 chip to bet on O’Leary’s hand. O’Leary started beating the dealer, too, winning Geisma thousands of dollars a hand. After some big wins, Geismar hugged him in excitement. “He was jumping into the pit screaming ‘we’re going to need more chips over here!”