GM Reports $2.16 Billion Profit Ahead of Share Sale (BW)
Earnings before interest and taxes rose to $2.28 billion from $2.03 billion during the previous three months of the year, the Detroit-based company said today in a statement. Revenue was $34.1 billion. Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson, who took over from Ed Whitacre on Sept. 1, has said GM can make “significant” profit even amid a U.S. auto sales rate running about 30 percent slower than before the financial crisis.
Ireland's Fate Tied To Doomed Banks (WSJ)
With doubts swirling about the solvency of the Irish state in early September, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan summoned a dozen senior government and bank officials to a conference room nicknamed the "torture chamber," a nod to its history as a venue for painful meetings. For two years, Ireland had poured money on a raging banking crisis, to no avail. Each estimate of the rising price of rescuing Ireland's banks turned out too low. Mr. Lenihan needed to halt the drip-drip of bad news that was leading his country to ruin. "I want a final figure ASAP," he told the group. Two weeks later, the estimate came in: Up to €50 billion—nearly $50,000 for every household in the Emerald Isle. But now, investors are betting the bill could be higher still and could reignite Europe's sovereign-debt crisis...It wasn't supposed to be this way. In October 2008, Mr. Lenihan boasted that his government had devised "the cheapest bailout in the world so far." Ireland's financial regulator pronounced the banks "more than adequately capitalized."
Zoellick Sees 'Elephant,' Not Endorsing Gold Standard (CNBC)
What "the price of gold has been telling people is that there is a lack of confidence in some of the fundamentals growth policies," Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank said. "The golden elephant in the room, whether people recognize it or not, is being used as an alternative monetary asset," he said.
Goldman Executive Fired Over Violations (FT)
Alexandre Harfouche, a London-based managing director and head of European block trading, was sacked for failing to make proper disclosures to the bank’s compliance department, according to people familiar with the matter. “Mr Harfouche no longer works for the firm, and I have no idea what his plans are,” a Goldman spokesman said, declining to comment further. Mr Harfouche could not be reached for comment. While Goldman did not specify the reasons for Mr Harfouche’s departure, people close to the situation stressed that no securities law had been violated and no client had been harmed by the events that led to his dismissal.
Wall Street Collects $4 Billion From Taxpayers as Swaps Backfire (Bloomberg)
For more than a decade, banks and insurance companies convinced governments and nonprofits that financial engineering would lower interest rates on bonds sold for public projects such as roads, bridges and schools. That failed promise has cost more than $4 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as hundreds of borrowers from the Bay Area Toll Authority in Oakland, California, to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, quietly paid Wall Street to end agreements since 2008.
Goldman's O'Neill Says China, U.S. in `Grand Bargain' on Yuan (Bloomberg)
“People forget, but the currency has risen by 3 percent since the summer and has risen nearly 25 percent over five years,” said O’Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset, in an interview on Bloomberg Television. It’s not a “fluke” that China is given a bigger share at the Washington-based IMF, and “that’s part of the grand bargain,” he said.
Google To Give All Staff 10% Raise (WSJ)
The pay hike comes as Google ramps up its battle with competitors, especially neighboring Facebook Inc., in a fight to secure talented staff. Roughly 10% of Facebook's employees are Google veterans and other Silicon Valley companies have aggressively poached employees from the Internet giant.
Baupost Group To Return Cash (BI)
Seth Klarman's Baupost Group will return 5% of its capital to investors at the end of the year, says a source who has viewed a November 8th letter from Klarman to Baupost's investors. Baupost has generated an monstrous $6.5 billion in net investment profits from January 1, 2009 to September 2010 ("net" of an estimated $2 billion of performance and management fees). This growth has propelled the firm to an enormous $23 billion in assets. Klarman considers this size too large for the current market environment, in which he finds opportunities scarce.