"Thanks For Not Running" (Bloomberg)
Sean Swift, of JP Morgan, won the Corp Challenge this week in Central Park, and thereafter fired off this text to his pal: "Thanks for not running this year," Swift, 24, wrote to his friend Karl Dusen, an analyst at American International Group Inc. who took the title in 2006, 2007 and 2008. "Maybe now I'll get a bonus."
Lewis Defends Merrill Deal (WSJ)
"Despite being pummeled by Congress, shareholders and other critics, Mr. Lewis likely isn't stepping down anytime soon. "I don't see anyone who could be doing a better job of leading this organization at this time," said Walter Massey, Bank of America's chairman."
AIG Balks At Claims From Hudson Crash (NYT)
AIG is dragging its ass in paying the claims from the downed plane, it appears. The article attributes much of their slow response to the general perception that the crew handled the incident so well, explaining it's hard to find fault in their actions when everyone considers them heroes.
BlackRock To Acquire Stake In Barclays Unit (NYT)
"BlackRock said Thursday night that it had agreed to buy Barclays Global Investors from the British banking giant Barclays for about $13.5 billion in one of the largest deals in the money management industry, creating a juggernaut with nearly $3 trillion in assets."
Paulson & Co. Goes Long Distressed Debt/Mortgage Securities (Bloomberg)
Paulson & Co. is dumping a hefty little chunk of change into jumbo prime securitizations and distressed opportunities (including banks and finance companies). While not in direct contrast to his shorting of the subprime market in general, it could mark the fund manager's belief that the market is turning (if only slowly).
Soros: Ban Credit Default Swaps (Guardian)
"Some derivatives ought not to be allowed to be traded at all. I have in mind credit default swaps. The more I've heard about them, the more I've realised they're truly toxic...CDS are instruments of destruction which ought to be outlawed," Soros told a meeting of the Institute of International Finance.
Mortgage Delinquencies May Have Peaked (Reuters)
"Among U.S. homeowners with mortgages, 7.01 percent were at least 30 days late on their loans in May, an increase of 58.4 percent from a year ago and up 1.3 percent from the prior month, according to monthly data by Equifax Inc. By comparison, 4.42 percent were delinquent in May 2008."
Japan Probes Report Two Seized With Undeclared Bonds (Bloomberg)
"Japan is investigating reports two of its citizens were detained in Italy after allegedly attempting to take $134 billion worth of U.S. bonds over the border into Switzerland."
Riverstone, Cuomo Come To A Deal (WSJ)
"Both firms have agreed to a new code of conduct. Under that code, Carlyle and Riverstone agreed not to use placement agents, or middlemen who earn fees by securing pension business for investment funds. Riverstone and Carlyle also agreed to restrictions on campaign contributions to officials who control pension-fund money."