Obama To Challenge Republicans On Jobs (Bloomberg)
The president's address to a rare joint session of Congress on jobs, the top concern of voters as the 2012 election campaign gets under way, will frame the government’s response as one of either action or delay on reviving the economy. On taxes, the signature Republican issue, he will cast himself as a champion of relief for the middle class rather than for the wealthy. Obama will propose a more than $300 billion stimulus plan in the Republican-controlled House chamber as job growth stalls and the unemployment rate hovers above 9 percent. His job- approval ratings are scraping new lows as public doubts about his stewardship of the economy rise. “The president has had a difficult summer,” said Democratic political consultant Tad Devine, a senior strategist for the Al Gore and John Kerry presidential campaigns. “All of the polling is heading in the wrong direction. He needs a circuit breaker.”
ECB Holds Rates As Recession Fears Mount (Reuters)
The European Central Bank held interest rates at 1.5 percent on Thursday and is likely to indicate that a policy tightening cycle it began in April is on hold in the face of growing evidence the euro zone's economic recovery is losing momentum.
German Finance Minister: Situation In Greece Is 'Serious' (Reuters)
Market Conditions Leave David Tepper Cautious (II)
Sources say the Appaloosa manager has gone 30 percent to 40 percent in cash, which is very high for him. Some of his cash is invested in U.S. Treasuries...he is not preparing to aggressively start spending this cash any time soon, except to pick up some shares of stocks he already owns on the dips.
Financial Firms' Ceilings (WSJ)
Ms. Krawcheck believes that her abrupt exit from Bank of America "is not a woman's issue," a person familiar with her thinking said. "She doesn't feel that. This was a business decision. The music stopped, and she didn't have a chair."
Yahoo Seen Willing To Take Any Bid After Bartz (Bloomberg)
Carol Bartz’s ouster is giving companies from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to Microsoft Corp the chance to buy Yahoo! Inc.’s earnings virtually for free.
Rising Fears Of Recession (NYT)
“The chances that we are in something that is going to feel like a recession are close to 100 percent,” said Joshua Shapiro of MFR Inc. in New York, who has diagnosed the economy more accurately than many other forecasters lately. “Whether we reach the technical definition”—which is determined by a committee of academic economists and based on gross domestic product, employment and other factors—“I think is probably close to 50-50.”
Gumby Botches Robbery Of 7-11 (CBS)
San Diego police say a suspect, dressed up as Gumby, tried to rob a 7-Eleven on Labor Day. The botched robbery happened just after midnight Monday in Rancho Penasquitos. Surveillance tape shows the costumed bandit telling the clerk he is being robbed and reportedly demands a pack of cigarettes and cash. The flexible suspect then tried to pull out what he said was a gun from his costume. Apparently flustered, Gumby dropped 27 cents on the floor and left the convenience store empty-handed.
Fed Prepares To Act (WSJ)
Three of the five regional bank presidents who have a vote on monetary policy dissented in August because they didn't want the Fed to pledge to keep interest rates low for another two years, as it chose to do. They seem likely to resist additional actions. "It is unlikely that the [economic] data in September will warrant adding still more accommodation," Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota said in a speech Tuesday.
Feared SEC Watchdog Preps Slew Of Reports (WSJ)
The reports, to be issued this month by the SEC's inspector general, involve several serious issues that could help determine the agency's standing on Capitol Hill. They include allegations that regulators destroyed documents relating to initial probes; alleged conflicts of interest concerning payments to Bernard Madoff victims; the "revolving door" between the SEC and Wall Street; and the financial package offered a former SEC official. The reports "involve significant aspects of the SEC's operations, whether it's ethical controls or how the agency deals with important records," said David Kotz, the SEC's inspector general. Though he declined to comment on the findings of the reports, Mr. Kotz said: "There's a lot of congressional interest in our findings." "We look forward to receiving the reports," said John Nester, an SEC spokesman.
Moynihan Tries To Keep BofA Intact As Mortgages Fall Apart (Bloomberg)
On the afternoon of Aug. 23, Gary G. Lynch, the global chief of legal, compliance, and regulatory relations for Bank of America, was attending a meeting in Washington when the floor heaved. Although Lynch, a lanky 61-year-old attorney with swept- back white hair, had never experienced an earthquake, he possessed the good sense to get beneath a sturdy conference table, along with several other people, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Sept. 12 issue. “If the ceiling came down,” he recalled, “I thought we were dead.” The ceiling held, despite the magnitude 5.8 quake rippling from its epicenter in Virginia. Minutes later, Lynch pulled out his BlackBerry and discovered another startling development: a rumor rattling Wall Street that Bank of America might get swept into an involuntary, government-orchestrated rescue by its smaller rival JPMorgan Chase & Co. “This is really getting nuts,” he thought.
Corpse Found In Tub With TV Weatherman (MFDC)
Homeowner Christopher Barbour, who says he is a friend of 33-year-old KARK weatherman Brett Cummins, told police that he woke up Monday morning and found his friend asleep in his bathtub with a dead man wearing a dog collar lying next to him. Barbour told investigators Cummins had brought a friend that Barbour knew only as "Dexter" over the night before and the three were drinking and snorting drugs. Barbour said he later went to sleep on his couch, and woke up around 8 a.m. the next morning. He heard snoring from the bathroom and saw the two men in the tub, which had no water in it. He shook Cummins awake, and the two tried to wake "Dexter."