Obama Says Debt Limit Battle Hurt The Economy (Bloomberg)
After spending most of the summer in Washington fighting with congressional Republicans over raising the nation’s debt ceiling, Obama is on a three-day trip through the Midwest that the administration has billed as a chance to listen to the public’s concerns about jobs and the direction of the country. He told his audiences that “partisan brinksmanship” has poisoned the dialogue in the nation’s capital.
High Frequency Traders Score Big (WSJ)
High-frequency traders have roughly tripled their stock trades this month, estimates Tabb Group, a markets-research firm in New York. That has boosted their share of overall U.S. stock trading volume to about 65%, up from about 53% during the months before the August turmoil, according to the research firm.
Selloff Raises Stakes in Sarkozy-Merkel Talks (Reuters)
Sarkozy, who broke off his summer holiday last week to deal with the market meltdown in French stocks, is to meet with Prime Minister Francois Fillon over lunch to fine tune France's position before he meets Merkel.
Deutsche Börse Unit Sued Over Alleged Iran Funds (WSJ)
A group of nearly 1,000 American victims of international terrorism is suing Clearstream Banking SA of Luxembourg, a unit of Germany's Deutsche Börse AG, for allegedly assisting Iran in fraudulently securing the release of $250 million in frozen assets and in moving it out of the U.S. financial system, according to legal documents recently unsealed by a federal court in New York. The plaintiffs—family members of the 241 U.S. servicemen killed in the 1983 bombing of a Marine Corps barracks in Beirut—are seeking the funds as partial payment of the $2.7 billion that a federal judge in 2003 ordered Iran to pay the victims of the bombing. The judge ruled that Tehran had orchestrated the attack, at the time the largest terrorist act ever committed against U.S. citizens. Iran has denied any role in the bombing.
Hamptons Scene: Alec Baldwin, Richard Prince, Donald Mullen (Bloomberg)
Alec Baldwin made his art-buying intentions clear Friday night at the Summer Gala Benefit Auction for Guild Hall, the East Hampton art and entertainment complex. “Just get the hell out of my way when Clifford Ross comes up,” he said under a tent on the grounds of a Long Island estate near Guild Hall. “I really want it and I’m going to get it.” When Ross’s 2008 “Hurricane LI,” a scene of crashing waves, came up for auction, Baldwin playfully glared and glowered at competing bidder Donald Mullen, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s global head of credit...Mullen, who wore his sunglasses most of the night, paid $100,000 for a Barbara Kruger print of a man wearing a blindfold over which appears the sentence, in red lettering, “He entered shop after shop, priced nothing, spoke no word, and looked at all objects with a wild and vacant stare.”
Starbucks’ Schultz Urges Fellow CEOs to Halt Campaign Giving (Bloomberg)
“I am asking that all of us forego political contributions until the Congress and the President return to Washington and deliver a fiscally disciplined long-term debt and deficit plan to the American people,” Schultz wrote in an e-mail sent to business leaders yesterday. Among the recipients of Schultz’s e-mail were NYSE Euronext CEO Duncan Niederauer and Bob Greifeld, CEO of Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., who in turn e-mailed letters to companies listed on their respective exchanges.
Skowron Admits Drug Tips (NYP)
Joseph “Chip” Skowron III, the doctor-turned-trader who nearly took down $7 billion hedge-fund giant FrontPoint Partners, has owned up to his insider-trading shenanigans. Some nine months after he was linked to an insider-trading probe and fired from FrontPoint, Skowron, 42, pleaded guilty to paying for illegal tips on the progress of a clinical drug trial. “I knew my actions were wrong, and I deeply regret my participation in these activities,” Skowron told Manhattan federal judge Denise Cote yesterday.
The Greenwich, Conn., resident faces up to five years in prison for conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Skowron also agreed to forfeit $5 million to the government. His sentencing is set for Nov. 18.
Manchester United Seeks Singapore IPO (WSJ)
U.K. soccer club Manchester United Ltd. is planning to raise around US$1 billion from a Singapore initial public offering in the fourth quarter, people familiar with the situation said Tuesday, in the latest foreign listing to tap Asia's funding markets.
S&P Downgraded by Investors After China Upgrade (Bloomberg)
Since S&P, the New York-based subsidiary of McGraw-Hill Cos., dropped the U.S. to AA+ from AAA on Aug. 5, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, a benchmark for everything from home mortgages to car loans, has declined to as low as 2.03 percent from a high this year of 3.77 percent, with American debt on pace in August for the biggest monthly gain since December 2008. Interest rates on American bonds are lower today than on most of the countries with AAA ratings by S&P and the Treasury recently financed its outstanding debt at the lowest cost ever. If anything, the decision from S&P, the largest ratings provider, resulted in an upgrade of U.S. securities as the American bond market outperformed world bond indexes during the period since the downgrade by S&P.