Major Banks Mask Their Risk Levels (WSJ)
BREAKING: "You want your leverage to look better at quarter-end than it actually was during the quarter, to suggest that you're taking less risk," says William Tanona, a former Goldman analyst who now heads U.S. financials research at Collins Stewart, a U.K. investment bank.
Brown Pledges Extra Curbs On UK Bank Bonuses If Elected (Bloomberg)
Gird your loins, chippies: “We will not hesitate to give the FSA the powers to quash executive bonuses if we feel it is simply wrong for the financial system to encourage reckless and irresponsible behavior.”
Soros: Greece Needs Concessionary Rates from Germany (Reuters)
"I hope that Germany will realise that talking about lending at market rates is the wrong remedy. It would push Greece into the abyss," he said.
Former Fannie CEO Admits Failures (WSJ)
"I should be clear that this was a failure of leadership," Armando Falcon, the former head of the companies' regulatory agency, said in prepared testimony.
Woods Goes Low At Augusta (NYP)
As warmly received as Woods was by the spectators, and much as he smiled after making great shots and as well as he played, make no mistake, the specter of the sex scandal hovered — literally — over him at Augusta National. Two hired planes, about two hours apart, flew overhead tugging cynical signs with them. The first flew over the course around the time Woods teed off to begin his round at 1:42 p.m. and read: “TIGER: DID YOU MEAN BOOTYISM?”
RyanAir Introduces Toilet Tax On Flights (NYDN)
The airline is introducing a "toilet tax," which will force fliers to pay one euro to use the toilet. The toilets will be coin-operated, WalletPop UK reports. The airline is also reducing the number of toilets on its planes to a mere one.
Let Traders Call The Next Bubble (WaPo)
"If regulators are unlikely to preempt the next bubble, where does that leave financial reformers in Congress? There are plenty of useful things they can do, but the hedge fund/central bank contrast points to one in particular. Reform should harness the energies of private traders, since their roulette-like incentives encourage them to call bubbles early. Big financial institutions should be required to issue special bonds that convert to equity in a crisis, and traders should drive the value of these bonds according to the odds that a crisis will materialize. In time, signals from these canary-in-the-coal-mine securities could inform regulatory decisions. When the markets telegraph a rising risk of crisis, regulators may restrain lending. Faced with angry senators, they could cite the message from the canaries."
Wynn Resorts Bows Out of Philadelphia Casino Plan (AP)
"We are fascinated by the legalization of full gaming in Pennsylvania and stimulated by the opportunity that it presents for Wynn Resorts," CEO Steve Wynn said in a brief statement. "This particular project did not, in the end, present an opportunity that was appropriate for our company."