New Players, Ties Surface In Insider Trading Probe (WSJ)
An independent analyst, John Kinnucan, has said he refused a Federal Bureau of Investigation request in October to record conversations with a client, whom he has declined to identify. That client is Michael Steinberg, a technology-fund manager at SAC division Sigma Capital Management, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Package Would Give Obama Stealthy Stimulus (WSJ)
Apart from extending Bush-era tax cuts, which were set to expire at year's end, the agreement includes other components pegged at about $200 billion, including a payroll-tax cut for workers and an extension of unemployment benefits, which are likely to boost growth in 2011. The total package could amount to $900 billion worth of spending and tax cuts over two years. Most economic forecasts had already assumed the Obama administration would win support for extending at least the middle-class portion of the Bush tax cuts. Without that, the economy would likely be closer to stalling instead of growing a projected 2.5% to 3.5% next year. "This gave us a chance to do what most people thought wasn't going to be possible in this environment, which is to provide a real forward lift to the economy relatively quickly," National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers said.
Roubini: Bond Vigilantes Could Target US (CNBC)
Dr. Doom tweeted: “Obama-GOP tax deal costs $900 billion over two years. US kicking the can further down the road. Are bond vigilantes starting to wake up?”
Bankers Fail to Win Concessions on EU Bonus Rules, Lawyers Say (Bloomberg)
Bankers failed to soften European rules on bonuses that will limit cash payouts and impose minimum share retention periods, lawyers said. The rules, to be approved by European Union regulators at a two-day meeting in London starting tomorrow, are likely to be similar to those proposed earlier this year, which limited bankers to receiving a maximum of a quarter of their bonuses in immediate cash payouts.
BoA Deal In Muni Case May Be Tip Of Iceberg (Bloomberg)
Bank of America Corp.’s agreement to pay $137 million in restitution for taking part in a nationwide bid-rigging conspiracy for municipal-investment contracts may soon be followed by more settlements to repay the scheme’s victims, the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division head said. “Stay tuned to this channel -- I think you will see a lot more activity in the coming weeks and months,” Christine Varney, the antitrust chief, told reporters yesterday. “We are committed to getting restitution, full restitution, to all the municipalities that were victims of this scheme.”
Boston Businessman Giving Up $625 Million (AP)
A 97-year-old Boston-area apparel entrepreneur agreed Tuesday to forfeit $625 million to be distributed to cheated investors in jailed Bernard Madoff's historic Ponzi scheme, authorities revealed, as a court trustee said negotiations are under way to recover money as well from the owners of the New York Mets.
Two Large Banks Tied to Gerson, Big Network Firm (WSJ)
Two large Wall Street firms formed alliances with the nation's largest "expert-network" firm in recent years, giving them a vested interest in the outcome of a big insider-trading investigation. One of those Wall Street firms, Credit Suisse Group, recently received a subpoena seeking information and documents related to its use of experts at Gerson Lehrman Group, a large expert-network firm, by the banks' researchers and clients, people familiar with the matter says. Credit Suisse declined to comment.
Harry Reid Tries To Add Online Poker In Tax Bill (POLITICO)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is trying to use the tax cut package President Barack Obama brokered with Republicans to legalize online poker, POLITICO has learned — a move that could further complicate the deal Obama announced Monday...“The House Republicans will go crazy if this is in the bill,” said one senior congressional aide, declaring it “a total, 100 percent payback” for the support Reid received from gambling interests. The aide asserted that lobbyists for the Las Vegas-based casino operator Harrah's, now known as Caesars Entertainment Corp., even helped write the legislation. “You could call him ‘Harrah Reid’ at this point,” the aide quipped.
Queens woman plans to file suit after she says cops beat her because she didn't curb her dog (NYDN)
Stanczyk, a married housewife from Rockaway Beach, was walking her terrier, Psotka - Polish for "prankster" - when she wound up in a confrontation with two uniformed officers from the 100th Precinct, Shaun Grossweiler and Richard DeMartino. "They saw my dog and they said I didn't clean up," said Stanczyk, fighting back tears as she spoke in halting English. "I said, 'No, she only pee.' They, of course, not agree with me and I say, 'Show me. Where is it?'" The officers found dog feces nearby, she said. "Pick it up," she said one cop ordered her. "I got scared. I pick up. I said, 'It's cold, not belong to my dog.' When I smiled and said I didn't do anything, that made them very upset." At that point, Stanczyk was handcuffed and arrested. When she used her feet to try to prevent them from closing the patrol car door to secure her, she says, the beating began. "I get scared to death," she said. "I started to scream, 'My dog! My dog!' They punch me in my face. They punch me in my breast. They punch me in my stomach."
Citi Regains Some Market Mojo (WSJ)
Citigroup Inc. shares gained 3.8% after the U.S. sold the last of its stake in the bank, lifting the cloud of government ownership that had been hanging over the company and its stock price. In an internal memo, Citigroup Chief Executive Vikram Pandit, who has returned the bank to profitability this year after heavy losses brought the bank to the brink of collapse in 2009, expressed thanks to taxpayers and employees from Citi's offices at Johannesburg, South Africa. "We remain deeply grateful to the American people for the assistance we received and are very pleased that we have provided a substantial return on their investment," Mr. Pandit said in an email.