Facing WikiLeaks Threat, Bank Of America Plays Defense (NYT)
In addition to the internal team drawn from departments like finance, technology, legal and communications, the bank has brought in Booz Allen Hamilton, the consulting firm, to help manage the review. It has also sought advice from several top law firms about legal problems that could arise from a disclosure, including the bank’s potential liability if private information was disclosed about clients.
Bank Of America Settles Mortgage Dispute (MarketWatch)
Bank of America said Monday it’s reached a settlement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of outstanding repurchase claims arising from certain home loans sold to them by Countrywide Financial Corp...As a result of the settlement, Bank of America said its home loans and insurance business is expected to record a $2 billion, non-cash goodwill impairment that the company can’t deduct for tax purposes.
White House: US Debt Limit Fight Would Be 'Catastrophic' (Reuters)
"This is not a game. You know, the debt ceiling ... is not something to toy with," Austan Goolsbee told the ABC News program "This Week." "If we hit the debt ceiling, that's ... essentially defaulting on our obligations, which is totally unprecedented in American history." "The impact on the economy would be catastrophic. I mean, that would be a worse financial economic crisis than anything we saw in 2008," he said.
Goldman Invests In Facebook At $50 Billion Valuation (NYT)
Under the terms of the deal, Goldman has invested $450 million, and Digital Sky Technologies, a Russian investment firm that has already sunk about half a billion dollars into Facebook, invested $50 million, people involved in the talks said.
Investments Boost For Paulson And Co (FT)
Paulson’s flagship $9bn Advantage Plus Fund, which in September was down 11 per cent for the year, has staged the most dramatic recovery. According to an investor, the fund was up 10.2 per cent for the month as of December 10. It is now up 14.3 per cent for the year. The fund is understood to have continued its strong performance this week. The Advantage Plus Fund trades around corporate events, such as mergers and acquisitions or bankruptcies. The firm’s Credit Opportunities Fund is up 4 per cent so far this month, bringing its performance to 16.5 per cent for the year so far. Mr Paulson’s Recovery Fund, which is focused on the US economy and its prospects, also returned 10.2 per cent over the first 10 days of December. The Recovery Fund is now up 19.4 per cent so far this year.
More Than 1,000 Dead Birds Drop From The Sky (AP)
Environmental service workers finished picking up the carcasses on Sunday of about 2,000 red-winged blackbirds that fell dead from the sky in a central Arkansas town Sunday.
Bet Again On AIG? Count Me In (Politico)
Op-ed: "I lost $2.5 million on American International Group stock in 2008. But I still want to be among the first to purchase new company shares in the next few weeks. That’s when the Treasury is aiming to sell at least $15 billion of its AIG holdings at the beginning of a series of stock offerings. Am I crazy? I don’t think so."
Obama Studies Regan Years For Guidance On Pushing Agenda (Bloomberg)
Before leaving for a year-end vacation, Obama sought advice from Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein and David Gergen, an image adviser to both Reagan and Clinton, said an Obama aide. On his Hawaii trip, Obama brought along journalist Lou Cannon’s Reagan biography, “The Role of a Lifetime,” a selection his press secretary announced over Twitter.
Woman Sues Chase, Claims She Was Fired For Blogging (NYP)
Business analyst Marilyn Tagocon, 50, was canned after telling her bosses about her spare-time blogging and self-publishing of historical fiction, a lawsuit alleges. When a coworker told her the company's code of conduct restricted employees from posting personal political speech, Tagocon went to the Human Resources Department to make sure she wasn't doing anything wrong.
Man, 110, Ready To Wed Wife Number 6 (Herald)
"It doesn't matter who she is, as long as she can cook for me," Sanah Ahmad said.
Hero Group Executive Held In Citi Fraud Case (WSJ)
A senior Hero Group executive has been arrested for allegedly receiving a part of more than 3 billion rupees ($67 million) believed to have been misappropriated at a Citigroup Inc. bank branch on the outskirts of New Delhi, a police officer said Monday. The executive, Sanjay Gupta, allegedly got about 200 million rupees, said Assistant Commissioner of Police Dalbir Singh.
Singapore Avoids Recession (Reuters)
The economy grew 14.7 percent in 2010 to become one of Asia's fastest growing economy, rebounding from a contraction in the previous year. It grew at a pace of 12.5 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier. The government expects 2011 economic growth to be in the region of 4-6 percent, a projection first made in November.
Investors' Forecast: Sunny With A Chance Of Overheating (WSJ)
"The big risk we run is that the economy recovers and the Fed is slow to raise rates," said Ed Peters, co-director of global macro strategies at First Quadrant LP, an investment-management firm.
iPhone Alarm Glitch Leaves Some Asleep (WSJ)
"Dreaded iPhone alarm problem," wrote someone who identified himself as a pastor. "I guess [I] didn't need to be on time for church?"