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Opening Bell: 10.29.10

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Volcker On His Rule-- Keep It Broad (WSJ)
Mr. Volcker, in private conversations with administration officials, said that, in implementing the so-called Volcker Rule, regulators should adopt something akin to antimoney-laundering laws, where the federal government bans a particular behavior and then places the onus on banks to screen for red flags and comply with the rules. His suggestion: Bar banks from trading with their own funds if they benefit from any type of government guarantee, such as deposit insurance, these people said. Banks would have to police their own activities to make sure they are in compliance, with Federal Reserve examiners ensuring that is the case.

Economist: Double-Dip Risk Gone, Soft Landing Ahead (CNBC)
chuthan, managing director of the Economic Cycle Research Institute, said the economy likely would move into a "soft landing" phase but would not see the dreaded double-dip scenario. "Being very definitive on this, we're not going to go into a new recession anytime soon," he said. "That has a lot of implications when you can rule out a certain nightmare scenario."

Tony James: Deals Are Pricey (NYP)
"We're routinely priced out of the market," said James, adding, "We haven't been close" on winning some deals.

Paul Krugman: Divided We Fail (NYT)
Barring a huge upset, Republicans will take control of at least one house of Congress next week. How worried should we be by that prospect? Not very, say some pundits. After all, the last time Republicans controlled Congress while a Democrat lived in the White House was the period from the beginning of 1995 to the end of 2000. And people remember that era as a good time, a time of rapid job creation and responsible budgets. Can we hope for a similar experience now? No, we can’t. This is going to be terrible. In fact, future historians will probably look back at the 2010 election as a catastrophe for America, one that condemned the nation to years of political chaos and economic weakness...So if the elections go as expected next week, here’s my advice: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Nomura's Profit Plunges 96% on Losses in Asia, Europe (Bloomberg)
Net income plummeted to 1.1 billion yen ($14 million) for the three months ended Sept. 30, from 27.7 billion yen a year earlier, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement today. Revenue for the period fell 10 percent to 320.4 billion yen.

4 Year-Old Can Be Sued, Judge Rules In Bike Case (NYT)
Citing cases dating back as far as 1928, a judge has ruled that a young girl accused of running down an elderly woman while racing a bicycle with training wheels on a Manhattan sidewalk two years ago can be sued for negligence...he suit that Justice Wooten allowed to proceed claims that in April 2009, Juliet Breitman and Jacob Kohn, who were both 4, were racing their bicycles, under the supervision of their mothers, Dana Breitman and Rachel Kohn, on the sidewalk of a building on East 52nd Street. At some point in the race, they struck an 87-year-old woman named Claire Menagh, who was walking in front of the building and, according to the complaint, was “seriously and severely injured,” suffering a hip fracture that required surgery. She died three weeks later.

Warren Hits Out at Financial Industry Obstructionism (Reuters)
"We fought hard to get here, and those who tried to block the agency's creation have already said that they will be back," Warren said in remarks prepared for delivery at the University of California in Berkeley. "Every day, they spend money to find a way to cut back the agency's power -- even before its work has begun," she added

A Novel Whose Plot Sounds Oddly Familiar (NYT)
A mysterious hedge fund takes aim at weak currencies from Colombia to Ukraine. Finally, it succeeds in Turkey and a panic ensues as investors dump government debt, the currency dwindles and Ankara defaults on its obligations. The scenario is fictitious, but its themes — avaricious traders, volatile currencies and beleaguered governments — seem to resonate in a world healing fitfully from the 2008 financial crisis. Greece, anyone? That might explain why “Nineteenth Street NW,” a novel by a Harvard-trained economist at the International Monetary Fund, has attracted some interest, at least among the international banking set. Paul Volcker said he liked the combination of “finance and intrigue.”