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Opening Bell: 09.14.11

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Moody’s cuts two French banks’ ratings (FT)
Christian Noyer, governor of France’s central bank, insisted on Wednesday that the country’s banks had enough capital to withstand any losses from a Greek default and said the downgrades of Crédit Agricole and SocGen were “relatively good news”.

Barroso Vows Euro-Bond Options, Countering German Concerns (Bloomberg)
“The commission will soon present options for the introduction of euro bonds,” [EC President Jose] Barroso told the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, today, prompting applause from lawmakers who have backed the idea. “Some of these options could be implemented within the terms of the current treaty; others would require treaty change.”

Soaring Poverty Casts Spotlight on ‘Lost Decade’ (NYT)
According to the Census figures, the median annual income for a male full-time, year-round worker in 2010 — $47,715 — was virtually unchanged, in 2010 dollars, from its level in 1973, when it was $49,065, said Sheldon Danziger, professor of public policy at the University of Michigan. Those who do not have college degrees were particularly hard hit, he said. “The median, full-time male worker has made no progress on average,” Mr. Danziger said.

BNY Mellon Forex Trades Cost Pensions (WSJ)
For the Massachusetts fund, The Journal found that all or portions of 10,288 trades involving about $570 million worth of foreign-currency purchases could have been netted out at no cost with sales of the same foreign currencies the fund made on the same days. Instead, BNY reported separate purchases and sales of the currencies. The cost of those transactions to the fund was $3.2 million.

Just end it all, Russian oligarch tells eurocrats (Reuters)
"If I was a politician in Europe, I would commit suicide," said Vladimir Potanin, who owns a 30-percent stake in Norilsk Nickel (GMKN.MM), the world's largest nickel and palladium producer. "There is really such a big difference between the interests of different countries, I simply do not understand how you can match the interests of Germany and Greece," said Potanin, who is ranked by Forbes as Russia's fourth richest man with a fortune of $17.8 billion.

Lenny Dykstra co-defendants flip on former New York Mets star, taking no-jail plea deals (NYDN)
Lenny Dykstra's co-defendants flipped on the former Mets star Tuesday, taking no-jail plea deals in return for testifying at his felony cocaine, Ecstasy and grand theft auto case. Accountant Robert Hymers, 27, and friend Christopher Gavanis, 30, copped to one felony charge each and were told by a judge their cases will be dropped to misdemeanors if they cooperate with prosecutors, pay restitution and serve 30 days of community service.

Two Banks Tap ECB for Dollar Funding (CNBC)
A total of $575 million was borrowed by the two banks. The dollars, which are available as part of a swap deal the ECB has with the Federal Reserve, were offered at 1.1 percent, well above the price available to banks with access to open markets.

Swiss Inflation Specter Lurks in SNB Sales (Bloomberg)
“You can’t have your cake and eat it,” said Claude Maurer, an economist at Credit Suisse in Zurich. “You can either pursue a ceiling on the exchange rate or you can fight price pressures. The SNB apparently sees medium-term inflation threats as the lesser of two evils.”

Deutsche Bank vice president sues over foul language and strip clubs (Telegraph)
Kelley Voelker, a vice president in Deutsche Bank's Wall Street office, claims she was "mommy-tracked" after taking maternity leave from her job in the company's hedge fund division. Ms Voelker, 44, said bosses tried to demote her to a "vague" marketing job when she came back to work in May 2010, that bigger accounts were directed to a male colleague, and that her bonus was slashed.

Sarah Palin snorted cocaine off 55 gallon oil drum and had affairs with NBA star and husband's business partner: Sensational claims in new book (Daily Mail)
A friend said Mrs Palin spent the night with the basketball star but could not confirm whether they had sex, according to the National Enquirer. 'I remember Sarah feeling pretty good that she'd been with a black basketball star,' a source told the magazine.