Congress Sends Tax Bill To Obama (WSJ)
The bill goes to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature after the House overcame persistent liberal opposition and passed it with an unexpectedly large bipartisan majority of 277-148. The measure passed the Senate earlier in the week also with an overwhelming majority.
Diamond To Become Barclays Chief Three Months Earlier (Bloomberg)
Diamond, 59, will become CEO on Jan. 1, the London-based bank said in a statement today. Barclays said in September Diamond would succeed John Varley as CEO on March 31, 2011.
Probe Nabs Tech Analysts (WSJ)
In their most significant move yet in a sweeping insider-trading investigation, federal prosecutors charged four corporate managers with peddling financial details about prominent technology companies and with leaking secrets about popular consumer products such as Apple Inc.'s iPhone in exchange for cash. "The information trafficked by the four 'consultants' went way beyond permissible market research," said Janice Fedarcyk, a Federal Bureau of Investigation assistant director in charge. "It was insider information."
Insider Trading Arrests Point Prosecutors To Hedge Funds (Bloomberg)
“Few hedge fund managers have the investment skill to deliver the benefits that they promise,” James Fanto, a professor at Brooklyn Law School in New York, said in an e-mail. “They have to find an edge however they can -- in this case through the expert networks,” said Fanto, who teaches banking, corporate and securities law...“If you think you shouldn’t be talking about it --don’t,” an unidentified Primary Global employee tells Shimoon during one call, according to the complaint. “That would really suck if you recorded all the calls,” Shimoon replies.
UBS Internal Memo Responds To Dress Code Jibes (Reuters)
UBS sought to downplay a new dress code policy, broken by Dealbreaker and widely lampooned in the international press for detailed instructions to staff extending as far as the colour of their underwear and the care of nasal hair. The memo said the dress code was first created in 2009 for reception staff, event attendants and chauffeurs, but was being extended to customer-facing staff in Switzerland to help the bank present a consistent image. The effort to smarten up staff is part of a wider campaign to improve the public image of the country's top bank, bailed out by the government after writing down more than 50 billion Swiss francs ($52.2 billion) of toxic assets in the crisis.
Keith Meister, Former Icahn Lieutenant, Starts Hedge Fund (Dealbook)
Keith Meister, who was widely described as the billionaire activist investor Carl C. Icahn’s right-hand man, is starting an event-driven hedge fund that will be seeded by Soros Fund Management, people who have been briefed on the matter say.
Mark Madoff's Name Became Too Big A Burden To Bear (NYT)
Most frustrating of all, this person said, was the fact that neither he nor anyone who knew him could publicly defend him. “There were all these comments from the trustee about how he was an incompetent boob, and to have all the people who knew otherwise muzzled by their lawyers — it was very, very hard.” No one in the financial world, the only world where he had ever worked, would publicly risk giving a job to a Madoff.
Ireland Debt Downgraded (WSJ)
The five-notch downgrade was made as "Ireland's sovereign creditworthiness has suffered from the repeated crystallization of bank-related contingent liabilities on the government's balance sheet," said Dietmar Hornung, vice president, senior credit officer at Moody's.
FSA Enforcement Of Bonus Rule Will Be Split Among 4 Tiers (Bloomberg)
The FSA proposed financial firms be split into four groups based on their size. The toughest rules will apply to firms with “significant proprietary trading and investment banking activities,” the regulator said in a statement. Small banks, building societies and institutions with low balance sheet risk will face fewer rules on share awards, disclosure and bonus deferrals. The deadline for implementation is Jan. 1.
WSJ Still Wins Deal Scoops (NYO)
WSJ vs. NYT, in chart form.
"What Goes Through David Einhorn's Mind" (Bloomberg)