Goldman To Close Global Alpha (WSJ)
The hedge fund, which used computer-driven models to invest, had about $1 billion in assets under management but had suffered losses of about 12% so far this year, according to a person familiar with the situation. Goldman decided to close Global Alpha because several investors were redeeming money held by the fund, this person said. "We have begun liquidating the assets of the Fund," Goldman wrote in the letter to clients. Goldman said it would distribute 85% to 90% of the hedge fund's assets to investors, while keeping some cash for possible legal costs tied to a claim by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Global Alpha was created in 1997 by Goldman and initially led by Goldman trader Cliff Asness.
UBS $2 Billion Loss To Trigger Investment Bank Retreat (Reuters)
UBS is expected to shrink its investment bank business—source of a $2 billion rogue trading loss—and could fire senior executives as it tries to retain worried private clients and avert a ratings downgrade. Analysts said the massive loss, announced on Thursday, was the final nail in the coffin for UBS' investment bank which has struggled, like others in the industry, against falling markets and tough new regulation as well as the soaring Swiss franc...Late on Thursday, Moody's said it had placed the bank's long-term debt and deposit ratings on review for a possible downgrade, a further blow to the bank. "The losses call into question the group's ability to successfully complete the rebuilding of its investment banking operations," it said.
BofA Said To Keep Countrywide Bankruptcy As Option (Bloomberg)
Bank of America would consider putting the unit into bankruptcy if litigation losses threaten to cripple the parent, said four people with knowledge of the firm’s strategy...The threat of a Countrywide bankruptcy is a “nuclear” option that Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan could use as leverage against plaintiffs seeking refunds on bad mortgages, said analyst Mike Mayo.
Polish FinMin: Euro Collapse Could Lead To War (CNBC)
"If the euro zone were to fall apart then it's hard to exclude the possibility of EU falling apart as well," Polish finance minister Jacek Rostowski said in an interview. "The EU has been one of the two great pillars of European peace and security of the past 60 years," he said. "Therefore the danger in a longer-time horizon, in 10-20 years, in the absence of one of the key elements of our security system and one of the key elements of our political system, which ensures we deal with problems in this peaceful, democratic way we've developed, the risk of all sorts of authoritarian political movements, and therefore even war, in the long horizon, rises,” he said.
The Biggest IPO You Haven't Heard Of (WSJ)
The company, Beijing Jingdong Century Trading Co., runs 360buy.com, a fast-growing online-shopping site that sells a broad range of goods, mostly direct to consumers, much like Amazon.com Inc. This business-to-consumer part of China's online shopping market is expected to expand more than fivefold to 650 billion yuan ($100 billion) over the next three years, according to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International. Jingdong hopes to raise as much as $4 billion to $5 billion from an initial public offering in the first half of 2012, people familiar with the situation said last week. If it succeeds, it would overtake Google Inc., whose $1.9 billion IPO in 2004 makes it the current record holder for Internet companies.
Toe-Sucking Assailant Creeps Out Arkansas Town (MSNBC)
Last Saturday, Ruth Harris, an 83-year-old Conway woman, told police that she was sitting in a chair in front of her apartment. A man approached her and said he liked her feet. According to a police report, the man took off one of her shoes and began sucking on her toe. "The man then asked if he could kiss her and she had told him no and told him he was crazy," the report stated. The man left quickly after people walked into the apartment complex's courtyard. On Tuesday, police received another call from a woman who said that on Saturday she was shopping at a local department store when she noticed a man staring at her. He approached her and "told her he loved her toes, and they were so long and beautiful," the report said. The man then told the woman that he had a foot fetish and that "her toes are so long and succulent" and he wanted to suck them. When the woman's cell phone rang, the man retreated. "This is on the police department's radar, and they are concerned," said LaTresha Woodruff, police spokeswoman in Conway, about 30 miles from Little Rock. "They are taking information and trying to figure out who is doing it ... we want him off the streets."
Geithner Presses EU To Act Decisively (Reuters)
"What is very damaging (in Europe) from the outside is not the divisiveness about the broader debate, about strategy, but about the ongoing conflict between governments and the central bank, and you need both to work together to do what is essential to the resolution of any crisis," he said. "Governments and central banks have to take out the catastrophic risks from markets ... (and avoid) loose talk about dismantling the institutions of the euro."
Silver Lake Is Said To Weigh Buying Yahoo (Bloomberg)
As part of a deal, Silver Lake would sell off Yahoo’s Asian assets and then attempt to turn around the main operations or find a buyer for that business.
Economists Say US Recession Looks More Likely (WSJ)
Economists see a one in three chance the U.S. will slip into recession over the next twelve months and doubt any steps the Federal Reserve might take at its meeting next week can change that.
KKR Gathers $1 Billion For Mezzanine Fund (Bloomberg)
KKR Mezzanine Partners I aims to finance private-equity investments and corporate acquisitions, the firm said today in a statement. The mezzanine business will finance mostly third- party transactions.
McDonald's Death Now Attributed To Soda Fountain Gas Leak (AP)
Carbon dioxide piped through gas lines to a soda fountain leaked in a McDonald's in Georgia and sickened 10 people, including a woman who later died after being found unconscious in a restroom, police said Wednesday. Investigators determined a leaky gas line between the walls caused the gas, used to pump carbonation into sodas, to build up a week ago to the point where people inside were unable to breathe. "It caused what is normally a harmless gas to be pumped into the wall cavity and leak into the women's restroom," said Pooler Police Chief Mark Revenew. "At a high level of concentration, it displaces oxygen." The restaurant's franchisees, John and Monique Palmaccio, said in a statement they "are committed to running safe, welcoming restaurants."