US Weighs Summer Sale Of GM Stock (WSJ)
To break even, the U.S. Treasury would need to sell its remaining stake—about 500 million shares—at $53 apiece. GM closed off 27 cents a share at $29.97 in 4 p.m. trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange, hitting a new low since its $33-a-share November initial public offering. "Planning for the sale of our remaining GM stock is still at an early stage, and the IPO lock-up does not expire until late May," a Treasury spokesperson said. "At that point, we will consider all of our options, based on our twin goals of protecting taxpayers' interests and exiting as soon as practicable."
Obama administration officials tried to keep S&P rating at ‘stable’ (WP)
Treasury officials told S&P analysts that they were underestimating the ability of politicians in Washington to fashion a compromise to curb deficits, a Treasury official said. They argued a change in ratings was not needed at this time because the debt was manageable and the administration had a viable plan in the works, the official said.
IMF's Blanchard Says US Lacks Deficit Plan (Reuters)
"There are reasons to be worried. The United States lacks a credible plan, for the medium term, to reduce its budget deficit," Blanchard said.
Justice Department Seeks Data In Nasdaq-NYSE Anti-Trust Review (Bloomberg)
Antitrust review is emerging as a key test in the battle for the 219-year-old market, which Nasdaq OMX Chief Executive Officer Robert Greifeld tried to snatch away from Deutsche Boerse with an $11.3 billion offer on April 1. Giving Nasdaq control would create a monopoly in listings, a prospect that may create undue risk the takeover will be blocked, according to NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer.
Congress Mulls Budget Deal Forcing More Taxes, Spending Cuts (Bloomberg)
Proposals being circulated among the bipartisan “Gang of Six” Senate negotiators, and about 20 other lawmakers in both chambers, would set deficit-cutting targets, according to people familiar with the plan. They would impose automatic, across-the- board spending reductions and higher taxes if Congress failed to meet the goals.
Freshman Republican’s bind: Vote convictions or help economy by rising debt limit? (WaPo)
“I desperately want to vote ‘no,’ ” Rep. David Schweikert said at the town hall. “I also desperately don’t want [the economy] to crash.”
Bank of America Merrill Lynch to Exit Private Equity Business (CNBC)
The unit, BAML Capital, has not been particularly active in recent months, having made its last investment in the fall of 2010. Bank of America, under pressure to conserve capital, has apparently decided it could no longer provide capital to the unit, which has roughly 35 professionals. A Bank of America spokesperson said BAML Capital is being spun off, and will be run by the current management team. The team will continue to manage the $5 billion in assets owned by BofA. Those assets will remain on the bank's books, with expecations they will be monetized.
London Skyscraper Boom Ends as City Goes ‘From Vanity to Sanity’ (Bloomberg)
“The age of bling is over,” said Shuttleworth, who led the team at Norman Foster’s firm that designed the seven-year- old tower in the City of London financial district. He said it would never get off the ground today. “Money now drives everything, so if you can build something for half the price, you will,” he said.
Mubarak clinically depressed in hospital, officials say (NYP)
Doctors said the ousted leader spends all day in bed and is eating very little with his wife Suzanne by his side, the official added.
Facebook Seeks Friends In Beltway (WSJ)
Until lately, Facebook has spent very little money in Washington, even by Silicon Valley's frugal standards. The company's outlays on lobbying totaled $351,000 last year, federal records show. That's a fraction of the amount spent by other technology giants, including Google Inc.'s $5.2 million and Microsoft Corp.'s $6.9 million. Facebook's new Washington office, designed to look like a hacker's lair, with walls of faux construction rubble, is a work in progress. People familiar with the company's plans said talks to hire former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs to guide the company's communications strategy, including with Washington, have fallen apart in the wake of a leak to the media that made a deal for him to join the company sound imminent.
China Speed Yuan Push (WSJ)
A senior Hong Kong monetary official told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that China's central bank is "actively considering" new rules that would make it easier to bring yuan funds raised offshore back onto the Chinese mainland.
Leader of Big Mortgage Lender Guilty of $2.9 Billion Fraud (NYT)
After more than a day of deliberations, a federal jury in Virginia found Lee B. Farkas, the former chairman of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker, guilty on 14 counts of securities, bank and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. Mr. Farkas, 58, faces decades in prison for his role in the $2.9 billion plot, which prosecutors say was one of the largest and longest bank fraud schemes in American history and led to the 2009 collapse of Colonial Bank.
Goldman Luster Fades On Revenue Worries (NYP)
"There's a possibility that at least over the next six months the bank will have weak earnings," said Rochdale Securities bank analyst Dick Bove, who cut the firm's shares to "neutral" from "buy."