Wall Street Sees 'No Exit' From Financial Woes (Bloomberg)
“I don’t think it’s a time to make money -- this is a time to rig for survival,” said Charles Stevenson, 64, president of hedge fund Navigator Group Inc. and head of the co-op board at 740 Park Ave. The building, home to Blackstone Group LP Chairman Stephen Schwarzman and CIT Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer John Thain, was among those picketed by protesters yesterday. “The future is not going to be like a past we knew,” he said. “There’s no exit from this morass.” [...] “I wouldn’t shed too many tears for Wall Street,” Neil Barofsky, 41, the former special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program who is now teaching a class on the financial crisis at New York University School of Law, wrote in an e-mail. “The systemic advantage that the too-big-to-fail banks enjoyed in the lead-up to the financial crisis may be diminished in the near term, but the structure is still essentially the same and will almost certainly help catapult them to record profits and bonuses once the good times return.” Wilbur Ross, 73, said Wall Street’s “inherent ingenuity” shouldn’t be discounted and that “the history of the investment community shows that it will find ways to profiteer.”
Chanos, Gross Understand Wall Street Protest (Bloomberg)
Chanos said New Yorkers don’t appreciate the impact government bank bailouts have had on other U.S. citizens. Gross said that wage earners are fighting back after three decades of class warfare against them. “Class warfare by the 99%? Of course, they’re fighting back after 30 years of being shot at,” Gross said on Twitter...John Paulson criticized the movement. His townhouse was among those targeted by marchers who left a fake tax-refund check made out for $5 billion on his doorstep, which was barricaded by police.
Informant Surfaces In BNY Mellon Probe (WSJ)
For a decade, Grant Wilson toiled on a small trading desk at Bank of New York Mellon Corp. in Pittsburgh, buying and selling currencies for the bank's biggest clients. Mr. Wilson also had another job: For the last two of those years he was a secret whistleblower, assisting currency-trading investigations of BNY Mellon, according to people familiar with the matter. His input culminated with the filing last week of separate civil lawsuits by the Justice Department in federal court and New York attorney general in state court alleging that BNY Mellon systematically overcharged investors on billions of dollars of currency trades, defrauding or misleading them for a decade.
AIG Offers Reputation Insurance (WSJ)
Chartis, the property-casualty subsidiary of the New York insurer, is offering a new type of coverage to help companies offset the cost of bringing in outside experts when a public-relations crisis hits. Dubbed ReputationGuard, the insurance will pay for policyholders to seek the counsel of two crisis-communications firms, Burson-Marsteller and Porter Novelli, even before a possible crisis becomes public.
Gingrich: Fire Bernanke and Geithner (AP)
Asked if Wall Street financiers should go to jail for the economic problems, Gingrich says political leaders in Washington are more responsible for the downturn and cited Bernanke and Geithner for firing.
Rick Perry Mixes Up Dates Of American Revolution (ABC)
“Our Founding Fathers never meant for Washington, D.C. to be the fount of all wisdom. As a matter of fact they were very much afraid if that because they’d just had this experience with this far-away government that had centralized thought process and planning and what have you, and then it was actually the reason that we fought the revolution in the 16th century was to get away from that kind of onerous crown if you will,” Perry said.”
Republicans Stretch Truth In Debate Salvos On Jobs, Taxes (Bloomberg)
Following are examples of assertions that didn’t stand up to fact-checking by Bloomberg and Post reporters and analysts. The Claim: Romney said “median income in America has declined by 10 percent during the Obama years.” The Facts: Figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show that median household income fell by 2.9 percent from the end of 2008 to the end to 2010 after taking inflation into account. A report released this week by two former census officials who made their own estimates put the drop at 9.8 percent from December 2007 to June 2011. That covers a period before Obama took office in January 2009 and also takes inflation into account, something Romney didn’t mention. The Claim: Romney said Obama’s health-care law raised spending by $1 trillion. The Facts: The law increases spending by $788 billion over 10 years, while achieving $931 billion in savings over the same time for a net deficit reduction of $143 billion, the Congressional Budget Office estimated in March 2010. The Claim: U.S. Representative Ron Paul of Texas said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has compounded the problem of inflation in the U.S., and that “he’s inflating twice as fast as Greenspan was,” referring to Bernanke’s predecessor Alan Greenspan. The Facts: The Labor Department’s consumer price index, one of the most common inflation measures, has climbed 2.2 percent on average per year during Bernanke’s 5 1/2 years in office, less than the average 3 percent rate during Greenspan’s 18 1/2 years. The M2 money supply, which includes currency, bank deposits and money market mutual funds, rose 4.9 percent a year under Greenspan and has increased an average 6.4 percent annually under Bernanke. By other, less conventional measures of inflation, such as the price of gold in dollars or the amount of monetary base created by the Fed, there would be considerably higher rates of inflation under Bernanke’s chairmanship.
Euro Rescue Could Start Without Slovakia, Austria Says (Reuters)
The euro zone could launch its European Financial Stability Facility safety net for struggling members even if Slovakia fails to ratify a beefed-up EFSF, Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said in a radio interview on Wednesday. "If Slovakia does not approve then we have to reevaluate. That means we either we install the safety net nevertheless — we have to see if that is possible legally. I personally would favor this."
Soros: Don't Let Faulty Euro Destroy Financial System (Reuters)
In an open letter published in the Financial Times on Wednesday, the "concerned Europeans" conceded the euro was "far from perfect", but added euro zone leaders needed to "fix its faults rather than allowing it to undermine and perhaps destroy the global financial system."
Bankers Charged In Tax-Evasion Case (WSJ)
The indictment, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, criminally charged two client advisers, Daniela Casadei and Fabio Frazzetto, with allegedly conspiring with about 180 U.S. taxpayers to hide more than $600 million in offshore accounts and to evade paying U.S. taxes on the funds. The two are described as client advisers for a Swiss bank, which wasn't named in the indictment.
Man accused of phony breast exams strikes deal with prosecutors (Orlando Sentinel)
A Coconut Creek man accused of posing as a doctor and offering free door-to-door breast exams has reached a deal with prosecutors, lawyers told a Broward judge on Tuesday. Phillip Winikoff, 81, was accused in April 2006 of carrying on the ruse with women at an apartment complex in the 3200 block of Northwest 40 Street in Lauderdale Lakes. Investigators said two women took Winikoff up on the offer, allowed him into their apartments and realized something was amiss only after the exams started.