Merkel’s Cabinet Approves Larger Euro-Rescue Fund as Dissent Ebbs (Bloomberg)
“We’re in a now-familiar phase of ifs and buts from lawmakers but the bill will pass,” Peter Grottian, a politics professor at Berlin’s Free University, said by phone yesterday. “What’s more painful: risking the collapse of the government and a devastating economic backlash, or gritting your teeth and waving through a bill that may be effective even if you don’t understand it?”
Germany Deputy Finance Minister: Euro Bailout Fund Big Enough (CNBC)
The size of the new fund earmarked for bailing out struggling euro zone economies is "enough" at 440 billion euros ($635 billion), a key German policymaker told CNBC Wednesday...He also claimed that European banks do not need immediate recapitalization, despite increasing concerns about the health of banks with exposure to struggling peripheral economies such as Greece and Portugal, and even about the survival of the euro.
Citadel alleges employee took data, lied (CB)
Citadel alleges that a company engineer put “massive amounts of highly confidential” information on external computer devices and “has repeatedly lied to Citadel about his activities.” The employee, Yihao Ben Pu, 23, who is being fired today, has been in recent contact with a competitor whose principal formerly worked for the hedge fund, Citadel alleges in a complaint filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court. Mr. Pu told Crain's this morning that he has cooperated with Citadel and that the contact with the competitor came because he was asking about hiring a lawyer, which Citadel advised him he might need. He said information being used against him comes from devices he gave to Citadel without being asked and that some of what he did was “more or less” for work. He said he thinks Citadel has “overreacted” in the case and that he hopes the parties can put it behind them soon.
S&P Rates Subprime Mortgages Higher Than U.S. (Bloomberg)
S&P is poised to provide AAA grades to 59 percent of Springleaf Mortgage Loan Trust 2011-1, a set of bonds tied to $497 million lent to homeowners with below-average credit scores and almost no equity in their properties.
Fitch Reiterates Warning On China Banking System (WSJ)
"Clearly the government has done a lot to cool down the market and to some extent it has been successful... (But) the jury is still out," said Charlene Chu, head of China financial institutions at Fitch.
'Sleeping gas' thieves target super-rich at Italian billionaires' resort (Guardian)
Police in the billionaires' retreat of Porto Cervo on Sardinia's Costa Smeralda believe thieves who made off with €315,000 (£280,000) in cash and jewels used sleeping gas on their victims to ensure they were not disturbed during the break-in. Similar robberies have been reported this summer in France and Spain. The burglaries in Porto Cervo, which took place last week, were only disclosed by police on Tuesday. The thieves sneaked into the rented holiday villa of a Milanese pharmaceuticals tycoon and left with a haul worth around €300,000. The businessman's 42-year-old wife, her mother and their daughter were all in the house, along with a servant, but no one heard the burglars, even though they took the windows off their hinges to get in. At the villa next door, two holidaymakers found a watch and €15,000 in cash missing. They told police they had woken up feeling weak and dazed. In July, "gassing gangs" were reported to be targeting caravans and camper vans in France. Thieves sprayed sleeping gas in through air vents before breaking in.
Economy Deeply Divides Fed (WSJ)
Minutes of the Fed's Aug. 9 meeting, released Tuesday after the normal three-week lag, offered new evidence that some officials wanted to immediately restart a controversial bond-buying program aimed at spurring the economy. Others felt that even the smaller steps the central bank instead chose were too aggressive.
Some Companies Pay Their CEO's More Than Uncle Sam (WaPo)
Of last year’s 100 highest-paid corporate executives in the United States, 25 earned more in pay than their company recorded as a tax expense in 2010. Those 25 firms reported average global profits of $1.9 billion. Among the 25 were Verizon, Bank of New York Mellon, General Electric, Boeing and eBay. “These individual CEOs are being rewarded for presiding over companies that dodge taxes,” said Chuck Collins, one of the study’s co-authors and a senior scholar at the Institute of Policy Studies. Eighteen of the 25 firms last year operated subsidiaries in countries that the U.S. Government Accountability Office and other groups have identified as tax havens, one of the report’s authors said. For example, Bank of New York Mellon paid its chief executive Robert Kelly $19.4 million last year, while the company got $670 million in what amounted to a tax refund, according to the report. The company has 10 subsidiaries in foreign countries, the report said.
SEC Lawyer Blew Whistle Before (WSJ)
Darcy Flynn, who started in the SEC's enforcement division in 1995, earned the large payout after reporting alleged Medicare fraud in 1993 as an insurance-claims auditor in Michigan, according to public records and people familiar with the case. Nearly two decades later, Mr. Flynn is again accusing his employer of misbehavior. This time, Mr. Flynn is targeting the Wall Street regulator, which hired him to ferret out wrongdoing. He was initially asked to probe accounting scams, insider trading and other financial frauds. Since early 2010, Mr. Flynn has been supervising record-keeping related to enforcement cases that have been closed.
Hurricane Costs Seen As Ranking Among Top Ten (NYT)
Industry estimates put the cost of the storm at $7 billion to $10 billion, largely because the hurricane pummeled an unusually wide area of the East Coast...While insurers have typically covered about half of the total losses in past storms, they might end up covering less than 40 percent of the costs associated with Hurricane Irene, according to an analysis by the Kinetic Analysis Corporation. That is partly because so much damage was caused by flooding, and it is unclear how many damaged homes have flood insurance, and partly because deductibles have risen steeply in coastal areas in recent years, requiring some homeowners to cover $4,000 worth of damages or more before insurers pick up the loss.
Irene Fuels Hamptons Labor Pain (NYP)
Ex-President Bill Clinton, his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Madonna and a few other lucky folks will have a ritzy Hamptons beach all to themselves after Hurricane Irene crippled public access to the oh-so-chic stretch of sand -- just in time for Labor Day. The megastorm washed away massive amounts of sand at East Hampton's Georgica Beach, leaving behind a five-foot drop from the public access point on the road, next to where the Clintons are renting a house on exclusive Lily Pond Lane.
Russian cannibal made meatballs and sausage out of victim (NYDN)
A young Russian man who was curious about the taste of human flesh stabbed a man to death and then made meatballs and sausage out of his corpse, the Ria Novosti news agency reported. "The accused stabbed the man a few times, and after having assured himself that the man was dead, he cut up his body and ate him," an official told Ria Novosti...the 21-year-old cannibal is a chef in the Arctic city of Murmansk.