IMF Raises Global Outlook as Advanced Nations Accelerate (Bloomberg)
The International Monetary Fund raised its forecast for global growth this year as expansions in the U.S. and U.K. accelerate, and urged advanced economies to maintain monetary accommodation to strengthen the recovery. The global economy will grow 3.7 percent this year, compared with an October estimate of 3.6 percent, the IMF said in revisions to its World Economic Outlook released in Washington today. U.S. gross domestic product will expand 2.8 percent, compared with 2.6 percent; Japan will gain 1.7 percent versus 1.2 percent; and the U.K. will increase 2.4 percent from 1.9 percent, the report showed.
Third Point Discloses Stake in Dow Chemical (WSJ)
Third Point founder Dan Loeb said in a presentation that Dow should fully separate its petrochemicals business from its specialty chemicals operations, saying attempts to run it as a unified company has led to underperformance.
Deutsche Bank Loss Could Be Harbinger For Sector (WSJ)
Deutsche Bank AG’s surprise €1 billion ($1.35 billion) fourth-quarter loss suggests that a new phase of banking cleanups is getting under way in Europe, a likely precursor to other European lenders absorbing financial hits. European regulators, trying to douse the Continent’s banking crisis, are working on a round of examinations of banks’ books, scheduled for completion later this year. The goal is to identify lurking losses and force banks to set aside more money to cover future bad loans and, where necessary, to raise more capital. Deutsche Bank’s loss appeared to partly reflect the bank acting in anticipation of the greater regulatory scrutiny, analysts said. The bank announced its quarterly results late Sunday, more than a week earlier than planned.
Ex-Deutsche Bank Manager Aims to Keep Drug Tape From Jury (Bloomberg)
Former Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) executive Brian Mulligan is trying to limit what jurors hear about his admitted use of “bath salts,” a synthetic stimulant, as his claims that two Los Angeles policemen beat him go to trial. U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner in Los Angeles is scheduled to decide today, at the start of trial, whether the jury will hear a recorded conversation Mulligan had with a police officer, days before the alleged beating on May 15, 2012, in which he acknowledged using the drug, also known as White Lightning, at least 20 times in the preceding six months. Mulligan, 54, a former vice chairman of media and telecommunications investment banking at Europe’s largest investment bank by revenue, last year sued police officers James Nichols and John Miller, as well as the City of Los Angeles, seeking $20 million in damages over claims he was beaten so badly he required emergency facial surgery. Mulligan lost his job in November 2012, seven months after the incident in the Eagle Rock neighborhood north of downtown Los Angeles, and weeks after the Police Protective League provided media with the audio recording of Mulligan asking a police officer in Glendale, California, for advice about “White Lightning.”
JPMorgan, Credit Suisse Ramp Up Startup Push for Deals (Bloomberg)
Wall Street investment banks — from JPMorgan to Bank of America Corp. and Credit Suisse Group AG (CS) — are increasingly catering to closely held technology startups, especially in Silicon Valley. While firms led by Morgan Stanley (MS) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) have long cultivated relationships with venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to later earn fees managing initial public offerings and advising on acquisitions, many banks have expanded the roster of services in recent years. The push includes beefing up technology teams, organizing invitation-only conferences for entrepreneurs, starting coverage areas for venture capital and using balance sheets to finance startups or extend credit.
FBI grills ex-JPMorgan exec on China bribes (NYP)
The FBI is not waiting on JPMorgan Chase’s internal investigation into allegations of bribing Chinese officials. Agents in December questioned former bank executive Gaby Abdelnour as he walked through Kennedy Airport, according a report. Abdelnour, who from 2006 until 2012 was in charge of the bank’s daily Asia Pacific operations, was asked about JPM’s hiring practices, the report said. The bank, run by CEO Jamie Dimon, is the focus of an international bribery probe. Neither the former bank executive nor the bank have been charged with any wrongdoing. The probe is looking at whether JPM improperly hired the children of China’s political and corporate leaders to gain business.
Geithner Said U.S. Would Respond to Downgrade, S&P Says (Bloomberg)
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told McGraw Hill Financial Inc. (MHFI) Chairman Harold W. McGraw III in 2011 that Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the U.S. debt would be met by a response, S&P said. S&P filed a declaration by McGraw yesterday in federal court in Santa Ana, California, as part of a request to force the U.S. to hand over potential evidence the company says will support its claim that the government filed a fraud lawsuit against it last year in retaliation for its downgrade of the U.S. debt two years earlier. In his court statement, McGraw said Geithner called him on Aug. 8, 2011, after S&P was the only credit ratings company to downgrade the U.S. debt. Geithner, McGraw said, told him that S&P would be held accountable for the downgrade. Government officials have said the downgrade was based on an error by S&P. “S&P’s conduct would be looked at very carefully,” Geithner told McGraw according to the filing. “Such behavior would not occur, he said, without a response from the government.”
Flying French fry injures McDonald’s patron (NYDN)
Rowdy eaters at the fast food joint’s Bordeaux branch launched the edible missile at a worker after getting angry at the slow service. But the potato wedge missed the employee and smashed into a female diner, eating nearby with her family, straight in the eye, The Local reports. Suffering severe pain, she was rushed to hospital. Doctors discovered the projectile had scratched her cornea and ordered her to stay at home, and off work, for 10 days. The woman reported the attack to police, The Local reports. It’s not known, however, whether cops have managed to track down the frustrated customer.