World Facing 50% Danger of Another Recession, Nobel Laureate Spence Says (Bloomberg)
“I’m quite worried,” Spence said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Hong Kong yesterday. “A combined downward dip in Europe and America, which is a good chunk of the industrialized economies, I’m quite sure will take down growth in China particularly, and that will then immediately spread to the rest of the emerging economies.” He put the likelihood of such a scenario “at about 50 percent.”
Greece Sets Out Conditions For Bond Swap (WSJ)
In a letter sent to foreign governments on Thursday and posted in part on the Athens Stock Exchange websites Friday, Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos laid out two conditions for Greece to proceed with the deal. Specifically, that investors holding 90% of all Greek government bonds eligible for the program participate, and including 90% of those bonds maturing between June 30, 2011 and between Aug. 31, 2014. "If these thresholds (or either of them) are not met, Greece shall not proceed with any portion of the transaction described in this letter if it determines, in consultation with the official sector, that the total contribution of private sector creditors towards the financing needs of Greece and Greece's debt sustainability is insufficient to permit the official sector to support the new multi-year adjustment program for Greece announced on July 21, 2011," the letter said.
Hurricane Irene Weakens on Course to North Carolina (Bloomberg)
Irene is packing slightly slower sustained winds of 110 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory at 5 a.m. Miami time. The storm may strengthen later today to a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale as it churns toward the North Carolina coast, the center said.
S&P Pushes Back at Blame for Rating Turmoil (Bloomberg)
“It’s at the very least an oversimplification to say that all this is happening because of S&P’s change of opinion,” Beers said. Amid evidence of a slowing world economy, “markets digesting all these news have concluded that the near-, perhaps medium-term, outlook for global growth has become less certain. This was all happening before the downgrade and has continued after some of the noise around the downgrade,” Beers said.
AIG Gets Tough On Analyst Views (WSJ)
Chief Executive Robert Benmosche has complained to senior executives at investment banks about the unfavorable stock research, suggesting that some analysts don't fully understand the company and its value, according to people familiar with the matter.
ABN Amro To Cut 2,350 Jobs (WSJ)
ABN Amro Chief Executive Gerrit Zalm said the move is not so much driven by economic uncertainties, but rather by the goal to reduce costs. "The main consideration is that we want to be a very efficient bank," he said.
Sushi and whisky: hard time in Russia's VIP prisons (Independent)
Andrei, a former assistant to a Russian member of parliament who was sentenced to nine years in jail in 2006 for embezzlement said: "We had whatever we wanted. I even ate sushi every day," he told the paper, to which he showed photographs that backed up his claims. "We had a great table laid on for us in the camp – sushi, champagne, whisky." His allegations come just a month after photos were published of prisoners partying in a prison just outside Moscow. The photos showed inmates dressed up in togas, sitting down to a lavish meal and having McDonald's delivered to their cell. The governor of the prison was sacked after the photos appeared on the internet. Both incidents show how corruption, endemic in Russia, has also engrained itself in the Russian prison system. Andrei claimed he was allowed, for a fee, to live in the hotel used for conjugal visits, which is on the camp's grounds, and leave whenever he wanted so long as he returned at night. "I put up a bar, home cinema and brought back whoever I wanted," he said
In Buffett's Bet, Gone Is 'Panic' Premium (WSJ)
Sandler O'Neill analysts said Mr. Buffett was sounding the "all clear" by stepping in, adding "we expect the move to also diminish fears that financials in general are on the verge of another 2008-like crisis." Still, not all were heralding the news. Peter Schiff, head of brokerage EuroPacific Capital Inc., said Mr. Buffett's 2008 investments came right before the shares tumbled and would have failed if not for extraordinary government bailouts. "If history repeats, it's more likely the banking stocks are about to get hammered," said Mr. Schiff, a noted gold investor. "People that buy Bank of America shares could lose all their money and Warren can still be fine."
NYSE To Open Monday But Has Contingency Plan In Place (NYP)
"We have contingency plans in place for such events with the goal of having the market up and running while ensuring the safety of our people," Richard Adamonis, a spokesman for the exchange, said in an email. Contingency measures include proactive personal and information outreach to employees and the trading community as well back-up power generation facilities.
Groupon Has 'Never Been Stronger' Mason Says (Bloomberg)
“When I read some of the press this weekend, I realized a rational person could read this stuff and wrongly conclude that we’re in trouble,” Mason wrote in a memo sent to employees yesterday and obtained by Bloomberg News. “The irony is hopefully clear: We’ve never been stronger.”
Apple Without Jobs Gives Cook $28 Billion To Deal (Bloomberg)
Jobs, who transformed the near-bankrupt personal-computer also-ran into the world’s largest technology company, used less than a billion dollars for takeovers in the past decade as he unveiled the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Apple’s largest U.S. rivals have shelled out more than $15 billion on average to buy companies over the same span, according to data compiled by Bloomberg...Boosting acquisitions in entertainment, patents and security with its $28 billion cash hoard may help Apple fend off Google and Samsung Electronics Co. without Jobs, the University of North Carolina and Stewart Capital said.
Guy: Fully Fledged Credit Crisis May Be Ahead (CNBC)
“The global economy may muddle through, but a second credit crash is now distinctly possible. But the trigger and timing is unknown,” he added.