Uncertainty Over Greece Weighs on Financial Markets (NYT)
Financial markets remained jittery Thursday amid concerns about the stability of the government in Athens, uncertainty over the fate of a second Greek bailout and suggestions by Ireland that it would require investors to pay for part of the bailout of its indebted financial institutions.
Paulson Funds Struggle as Big Bets Backfire; Gold Works (WSJ)
Mr. Paulson's $9 billion Advantage Plus fund lost more than 13% in the early part of this month, through June 10, leaving it down 19.65% for the year, according to two investors briefed on the performance. The Enhanced Partners fund, which had been a big winner this year, lost nearly 7% in the first 10 days of June, and now is up less than 4% in 2011, according to the investors.
Referrals on SAC Disclosed (WSJ)
The SEC has received 65 referrals of suspicious trading at hedge-fund firm SAC Capital Advisors LP over the last decade, or 46 more than previously disclosed, according to Sen. Charles Grassley...Sen. Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said "many" of the referrals involved trades older than the five-year legal time limit on bringing civil actions for insider trading. The older trades "would not appear to trigger any concerns regarding ongoing investigations," he said in a letter to SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro on Wednesday. SAC said it was "not surprised" that it has been the subject of 65 referrals since 2000. "Referrals by Finra are the result of surveillance of market-wide trading activity and they are neither findings nor allegations of insider trading," a spokesman for SAC said in a statement. "Given the size of our firm, our active investment style, and the period covered, we are not surprised by the number of referrals. SAC has always cooperated fully with regulators and will continue to do so," the spokesman said.
Falcone's Venture Runs Into Static (WSJ)
The most recent evidence of complications surfaced this week in disclosures tied to a report expected to detail potential interference problems with the network…The report is expected to warn federal regulators that recent tests showed LightSquared's network can knock out global positioning system, or GPS, receivers, according to people familiar with the report.
Och-Ziff May Profit From Market Turbulence (Bloomberg)
Daniel Och’s hedge-fund group bought options on almost $12 billion of U.S. stocks during the first quarter, a move that may generate profits if markets turn more volatile this year.
Wall Street Mind Meld: Obama Struggles? (Morning Money)
M.M. spoke with several senior Wall Street executives about recent efforts by the Obama campaign to reignite the financial industry support that generated a huge money edge over John McCain in 2008…One executive said he did not believe next week’s $38K per head event at Daniel had sold out, though another said that may have changed in the last few days.
Europe Faces 'Lehman Moment' As Greece Unravels (Bloomberg)
“The probability of a eurozone Lehman moment is increasing,” said Neil Mackinnon, an economist at VTB Capital in London and a former U.K. Treasury official. “The markets have moved from simply pricing in a high probability of a Greek debt default to looking at a scenario of it becoming disorderly and of contagion spreading to other economies like Portugal, like Ireland, and maybe Spain, Italy and Belgium.”
Overlooked Treasure for BofA in Chinese Bank (WSJ)
Amid this gloom, there is an overlooked bright spot for BofA: A lockup on most of its $22.2 billion holding in China Construction Bank expires in August. This means the bank, if it chooses, would be able to start selling down this holding. In one sense, this won't be that big a deal because gains on the stake, which had an initial value of about $8.5 billion, are mostly reflected in BofA's equity, or book value. But bank investors should remember there is a difference between equity and capital, which is a regulatory measure.
UK retail sales fall 1.4% in May (BBC)
UK retail sales fell 1.4% in May, official figures have shown, reversing the rise seen in April when sales were boosted by the royal wedding. In April, sales had risen 1.1% on the previous month, reflecting a "spike" due to one-off factors, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. The ONS said May's sales figures were worse than analysts had expected.
China Development Bank Scraps 1-Year Bill Sale Due To 'Market Conditions' (DJ Newswires)
China Development Bank Corp. said Thursday it will scrap its planned CNY20 billion ($3.09 billion) one-year bill auction due to "market conditions." The lender had planned to sell the bills Thursday morning as part of its routine financing. It didn't elaborate on why it cancelled. The bill sale cancellation comes after central bank action tightened liquidity in the domestic money market.
Citi Says Many More Customers Had Data Stolen by Hackers (NYT)
The Citigroup credit card data breach exposed the private financial data of more than 360,000 customers, about 80 percent more than it reported last week, according to a statement the bank released late Wednesday night. Previously, Citigroup said that more than 200,000 cardholders, or about 1 percent of its 21 million North American cardholders, were affected.
Central banks buy up US debt (FT)
Central banks were big buyers of Treasury debt in April while private investors sold out for the first time in nearly two years, according to official data released on Wednesday. The US Treasury reported that net foreign purchases of long-term securities, including stocks and bonds, rose $30.6bn in April, up from $24bn the previous month.
Swiss Banks Urged to Bolster Capital (WSJ)
The Swiss National Bank Thursday renewed calls for Swiss banking giants UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group to bolster their capital as quickly as possible, saying cushions are too thin when capital that won't absorb losses is stripped out under new bank rules soon to come into force.
Surge in junk derivatives trading (FT)
The volume of an index of derivatives contracts linked to corporate junk bonds – called the “high-yield CDX” – last week jumped to $28bn, nearly double the weekly average over the past few months, according to Markit, a data provider that owns the index.
JPMorgan problem fixer takes on mortgages (FT)
Mr Bisignano, 51, has built a reputation as a fixer of some of Wall Street’s toughest problems. At Citigroup, he turned the money-losing global transaction services business into one that earned a $1.6bn profit by the time he left in 2005. When Citi’s offices in lower Manhattan were decimated after the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001, Mr Bisignano was charged with relocating employees and ensuring that the bank’s systems continued to operate. Now Mr Bisignano is turning his attention to JPMorgan’s mortgage business, which like the home lending units of other banks, has suffered from myriad problems as a result of the housing meltdown.
I.E.A. Says World Will Increasingly Turn to Americas for Oil (NYT)
Over the next few years, world consumers are going to become more dependent on North and South America to satisfy their growing thirst for crude oil, according to a forecast to be released Thursday by the International Energy Agency.
Swiss Commodities Trader Expands Into Ethanol in Africa (NYT)
Jean Claude Gandur, a Swiss commodities trader, made a fortune during the 1990s buying oil concessions in Africa that others did not want or could not hold. Now a billionaire, he is poised to swim against the tide again with a major expansion into ethanol in Sierra Leone, the West African country still recovering from a decade-long civil war that ended in 2002.
Rioting overshadows hockey as Vancouver reels after Game 7 loss (Globe and Mail)
There were stabbings, numerous cars set on fire, and marquee stores looted throughout the downtown area, as police used tear gas and pepper spray to try – mostly unsuccessfully – to quell the ugly outbreak of violence.