Opening Bell: 09.06.11

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Swiss National Bank Pledges Unlimited Currency Purchases (Bloomberg)
The Swiss central bank imposed a ceiling on the franc’s exchange rate for the first time in more than three decades and pledged to defend the target with the “utmost determination.” The Swiss National Bank is “aiming for a substantial and sustained weakening of the franc,” the Zurich-based bank said in an e-mailed statement today. “With immediate effect, it will no longer tolerate a euro-franc exchange rate below the minimum rate of 1.20 francs” and “is prepared to buy foreign currency in unlimited quantities.”

El-Erian: Tuesdays Market Preview Not Pretty (CNBC)
E-E: "To state the obvious, it is shaping up to be a difficult return for U.S. markets after the Labor Day break as European stock plunge and the European Central Bank loses some of the control it has been exercising on the Euro-zone's sovereign bond market."

US Banks Offered Deal Over Robosigning Lawsuits (FT)
According to five people with direct knowledge of the discussions, state prosecutors have proposed settlement language in the “robosigning” case that also might release the companies from legal liability for wrongful securitization practices.

SocGen Deals Eyed By Libya (WSJ)
The French bank paid an unspecified amount to a Panama-registered company, Leinada Inc., to help structure and advise a $1 billion investment vehicle in 2008, according to deal-related documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Leinada's exact role isn't clear, but the company's involvement was criticized by some officials at Libya's sovereign-wealth fund before fighting engulfed the country.

What Did Fannie, Freddie Know? (WSJ)
The 17 lawsuits filed Friday by federal regulators against some of the world's biggest financial institutions hinge on a simple premise: The mortgage loans that banks packaged into securities often didn't meet the underwriting guidelines the banks outlined in their securities filings. The lawsuits, filed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, allege that the banks made untrue statements and omitted key facts when they sold mortgage investments to loan giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Zoellick says double-dip recession unlikely (Reuters)
"I don't believe that the United States or the world will go into a double-dip but there's high degrees of uncertainty," World Bank President Robert Zoellick told reporters in Singapore.

Aussie bodyboarder dies after shark bites off legs (AP)
A shark bit the legs off a bodyboarder at a popular surfing spot in western Australia on Sunday, killing the man, police said. Authorities were searching for the shark as well as the man's missing limbs. The man in his early 20s was bodyboarding with five friends when the shark attacked, a police spokesman said. He died at the scene in the surfing haven known as The Farm, off Bunker Bay near the western town of Dunsborough. The beach was closed after the attack.

US Pushes On Banks, Switzerland Pushes Back (WSJ)
Concerns arose over the weekend that the banks may have to hand over more client data by Tuesday, as details of a letter from U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole asking for more account information from potential U.S. tax dodgers became public, triggering a sharp response. "The U.S. must comprehend that a solution must be found within the existing Swiss legal framework," Patrick Odier, chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association, told a meeting of the banking lobby group on Monday. "Bank secrecy protects assets, it doesn't hide them."

GE’s Immelt Aims to Beat S&P Profit Growth (Bloomberg)
“In my personal opinion, at $16, it’s an incredible opportunity, especially if you believe now is a good time to invest,” said Lawrence D. Fink, the CEO of BlackRock Inc. and GE’s third-biggest shareholder. “If you think global GDP is going to collapse, GE, along with most companies, will not fare well in that. But GE is very well-positioned.”

Schroeder: Germany Shouldn't Tolerate 'Greece Bashing' (CNBC)
"The one mistake the German chancellor made was that she tolerated Greece-bashing and sometimes, did so herself. That should not have happened," said Schroeder in an interview in Brussels. "The Second World War and the period prior to that has not vanished from the collective memory of many Europeans," he added. "For that reason, despite playing an important role in Europe, Germany should work closely with France and other partners."

Why Any Euro Exit Would Cause 'Complete Chaos' (Reuters)
"Every contract in Greek law is in the euro. Every creditor would have a claim on a debtor whose income suddenly became in the drachma," Nielsen, formerly of Goldman Sachs, said. "There would be defaults across the private sector and complete chaos."

Reinsurers Say ‘Fat Is Gone,’ Prices Must Rise (Bloomberg)
“The fat is gone and now you really need to make your money as an underwriter,” said Brian Gray, the chief underwriting officer at Swiss Re, at a roundtable of reinsurance executives hosted by Bloomberg News in Zurich. “The biggest challenge for the industry is the interest-rate shock, and that has not got the same kind of attention as natural catastrophes.”

Lottery Lawsuit: Man Fights For Part Of Co-Workers' Jackpot (Fox)
According to the lawsuit filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, 39-year-old Edward Hairston, of Youngstown, took part in the Kraftmaid lottery pool for eight years, but stopped paying into the pool when he missed work in June, July and August because of a back injury. "I think he could have sent his money in," said co-worker Tracey Root. "He's probably in contact with somebody that he worked with that he could have given the money to stay on top of it." According to lottery player Jeff Smith, "You've got to pay to play, and if he was part of the group at one time, he was part of the group while he was playing, and to win the lottery, you have to pay in to reap the rewards, so unfortunately, I think he missed out."

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