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Opening Bell: 04.03.09

World Leaders Unite, Agree To Spend More (NYT)
We've become a society of instant gratification, and as such we expect there to be fixes for any and everything, inside of 10 seconds. The problem with that is that we run to solutions at a breakneck speed, as we're doing now - without any real concern for long term ramifications. There are two real issues with liquidity right now: the assets and the market memory/propensity to mitigate risk, and I charge that the majority of this spending doesn't address either, but rather serves to further social causes.
"The proposed remedies, some critics said, treat some peripheral effects of the crisis rather than its thorniest causes. On the critical question of how to grapple with trillions of dollars in "toxic assets" clotting the financial system in Europe and the United States, there was a declaration of goals but few specific actions."
Banks Eye PPIP Purchases (Reuters)
The gang's all here: Goldman, JPMorgan, Bank of Amerillwide, Citi, MS (etc).
CEO's Are Making Less, Yet Less Loved (WSJ)
The no-win conversation of the century.
"The median salaries and bonuses for the chief executives of 200 big U.S. companies fell 8.5% to $2.24 million, according to an analysis for The Wall Street Journal by Hay Group, a management consulting firm. The analysis examined proxy statements for companies with more than $5 billion in annual revenue.
Including the value of stock, stock options and other long-term incentives, total direct compensation for the CEOs dropped 3.4% to a median of $7.56 million. The decline was the first in seven years and only the second drop since the Journal began tracking CEO pay in 1989.
While median CEO salaries grew 4.5%, bonuses fell 10.9% as profits decreased by a median 5.8%."
Jobs Numbers Friday! (Bloomberg)
We're going to be seeing Jobs Numbers today at 8:30 AM. Consensus has it between down 711 and 525 with a target at 8.2% to 8.6%.
Update: 663,000 gone.
OECD Names Tax Havens (BBC)
"Costa Rica, Malaysia, the Philippines and Uruguay are the countries listed as not having agreed to tax standards.
The list is part of efforts agreed at the G20 summit to clamp down on havens."
Fraud Probe Startles Austria (WSJ)
Ignoring the fact that the guy looks like he drives a bus with "Candy" etched on the side, $4B is a weak effort. American's can do that in their sleep: your shit's weak Austria, weak.
"Julius Meinl V, chairman of an Austrian bank that bears his family's name, was arrested in a potential €3 billion ($4 billion) fraud case involving a real-estate fund created by the bank."
Another Top Merrill Banker Quits (WSJ)
George H. "Woody" Young III is out.