A Secretive Banking Elite Rules Trading In Derivatives (NYT)
On the third Wednesday of every month, the nine members of an elite Wall Street society gather in Midtown Manhattan. The men share a common goal: to protect the interests of big banks in the vast market for derivatives, one of the most profitable — and controversial — fields in finance. They also share a common secret: The details of their meetings, even their identities, have been strictly confidential. Drawn from giants like JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the bankers form a powerful committee that helps oversee trading in derivatives, instruments which, like insurance, are used to hedge risk. In theory, this group exists to safeguard the integrity of the multitrillion-dollar market. In practice, it also defends the dominance of the big banks. The banks in this group, which is affiliated with a new derivatives clearinghouse, have fought to block other banks from entering the market, and they are also trying to thwart efforts to make full information on prices and fees freely available.
Wall Street Sees Record Revenue In Recovery From Bailout (Bloomberg)
The five largest U.S. firms by investment-banking and trading revenue -- Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley -- will likely have a better fourth quarter than the previous two periods, driven by equity underwriting and higher volume in stock and bond trading, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Even if this quarter only matches the third, the banks’ revenue will top that of any year except 2009.
Tax Deal Is Set To Pass Senate (WSJ)
Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, a top adviser to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, predicted Sunday that some sort of tax deal would pass in the House before the current session ends. The House is "very focused on getting a comprehensive tax compromise passed by the end of the year," Mr. Van Hollen said in an interview. If Republicans won't alter the estate-tax provision, he added, "then we have to go from there."
Suicide Won't End Madoff Lawsuits (WSJ)
In case you were wondering.
German Finance Minister: Don't Bet Against Euro (AP)
In an interview to appear on Sunday in Bild am Sonntag newspaper, Schaeuble said leaders of all the countries that share the currency agreed — the euro worked toward their common good and a return to national money would be a mistake. "Those who bet their money against the euro will have no success... the euro will not fail," Schaeuble said. "The euro benefits us all and we will defend it successfully."
Julian Assange Boasted About 'Asian Teengirl Stalkers' In Online Dating Profile (Gawker)
So now you know.
No New Normal For 2011 In Forecasts For 11% S&P Gains (Bloomberg)
Market analysts say earnings will hit record highs, keeping valuations below historical averages at the same time government spending aids the economy. Reaching their average forecast for 2011 would give the index annualized gains of 15 percent over three years, twice the rate anticipated by PIMCO’s new normal theory that anticipates deficits and increased regulation will limit returns.
Moody's: Spanish Banks Need More Capital (WSJ)
Moody's Investors Service on Monday lifted its estimated loan losses for the Spanish banking system by 63% to €176 billion (232.81 billion), saying the country's banks have only recognized half of this figure to date and would need additional capital of €17 billion to take such a hit.