Wall Street Protests Spread To Four Continents (Bloomberg)
“I want to see stricter regulation of the finance system,” said Joe Spence, 23, an anthropology student at Kent University, one of those who have camped out for three nights next to Christopher Wren’s 17th century church. “I want a government that will not just pander to the banks.” A notice at the campsite, about 100 yards from the LSE, read “Jail the Bankers.” The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations that began last month in Lower Manhattan moved uptown on Oct. 15, as about 6,000 people gathered in Times Square during what organizers called a “global day of action against Wall Street greed.” The protests spread to Europe and Asia at the weekend, with more than 100 people were injured in Rome, where as many as 200,000 gathered, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported...“Around the world, we’re seeing people coming out in record numbers -- not just to protest and then go home,” said Tim David Frank, 27, a teacher involved with the Occupy Sydney movement. “These are people who’ve decided to live and stay overnight, on the streets, outside of the financial institutions to remind them that we exist and that our world should be based on our interests, not just theirs.”
Occupy Wall Street Protestors Flood Times Square (NYMag)
Saturday: As some [of the 10,000-20,000] protesters moved forward into the intersection, two officers on horseback repelled them. People were seen trying to kick and push the horses away. Said a facilitator who asked not to be named, "The horses were stomping on people. We were yelling, 'stop, get down, don't get arrested.'" Sewer steam was billowing into the air and one occupier yelled "tear gas!" in confusion. As the protesters pushed forward, officers ran toward them with batons, yelling, "Get back!" The crowd fell backwards, and an 82-year-old woman cracked her head on the pavement. She lay in the street bleeding from the head for ten minutes before EMTs arrived. During that time, police drove in a truck filled with more gates to the intersection, as well as several scooters. At least two people were arrested in the showdown.
Customers locked in and arrested after attempting to close their accounts in protest (DM)
Footage has emerged showing what appears to be dozens of Citibank and Bank of America customers denied requests to close their accounts, some even being arrested after alleged clashes with branch managers. A woman dressed in a business suit holding a checkbook attempts to enter but is stopped by officers outside who ask her if she was part of the protest. After calmly insisting she is a customer of the bank, a plain-clothed officer detains her. Police swarm as she appears to be taken back inside - one of 24 people arrested on charges of criminal trespassing...Citibank said in an official statement the group was 'very disruptive and refused to leave after being repeatedly asked.'
Obama Extends Support For Protestors (FT)
On Sunday, Mr Obama honoured Martin Luther King at a dedication to a new memorial on National Mall in Washington. Referring to protests that have spread from Wall Street to London, Rome and elsewhere, Mr Obama said: “Dr King would want us to challenge the excesses of Wall Street without demonising those who work there.”
Germany Shoots Down Swift Euro Crisis Solution (Bloomberg)
Germany said European Union leaders won’t provide the complete fix to the euro-area debt crisis that global policy makers are pushing for at an Oct. 23 summit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made it clear that “dreams that are taking hold again now that with this package everything will be solved and everything will be over on Monday won’t be able to be fulfilled,” Steffen Seibert, Merkel’s chief spokesman, said at a briefing in Berlin today. The search for an end to the crisis “surely extends well into next year.”
Citigroup, Wells Fargo May Post Profit Jump (Bloomberg)
Citigroup may say that profit climbed 15 percent to $2.5 billion when it reports results at 8 a.m. in New York, according to the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Wells Fargo, scheduled to report at the same time, may say earnings rose 18 percent to $3.9 billion. Bank of America, which reports tomorrow, may report $2.7 billion in profit, compared with a $7.3 billion net loss a year earlier.
Challengers Take Aim At Credit Rating Titans (WSJ)
The credit-rating arm of Morningstar Inc., best known for mutual-fund research, on Sunday launched ratings of bond deals backed by home mortgages. The rating firm already rates commercial-mortgage bonds and is in the early stages of developing municipal-bond ratings. "The Big Three is soon going to be the Big Four," said Robert Dobilas, president of Morningstar Credit Ratings LLC, a unit of the Chicago company. Morningstar has 17 credit-rating analysts, compared with more than 2,900 in total at Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, but it plans to expand and challenge them in every major asset class over the next few years.
Big Cash Edge Powers Obama For Drive In '12 (NYT)
Since the beginning of the year, Mr. Obama and the Democratic National Committee, for which the president is helping raise money to finance his party’s grass-roots efforts, have spent close to $87 million in operating costs, according to a New York Times analysis of campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. That amount is about as much as all the current Republican candidates together have raised so far in this campaign.
Kinder Morgan to buy El Paso Corp. for $20.7B (AP)
Kinder Morgan agreed to buy El Paso Corp. for about $20.7 billion in cash and stock in a deal expected to create the largest natural gas pipeline in the U.S. "We believe that natural gas is going to play an increasingly integral role in North America," said Richard Kinder, Kinder Morgan Inc.'s chairman and chief executive, on Sunday, citing the recent developments in natural gas shale drilling. After adding El Paso's pipeline network, Kinder Morgan would have the largest natural gas pipeline network in the country with 80,000 miles of pipelines.
Hedge Funds Add To Commodities Wagers (Bloomberg)
Money managers boosted combined net-long positions across 18 U.S. futures and options by 0.2 percent to 656,691 contracts in the week ended Oct. 11, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 commodities rose 5.2 percent last week, the most since December and enough to take the gauge out of the bear market it entered last month. Hedge funds had cut their bets by 49 percent in the previous four weeks.
Hank Greenberg Calls Yuan Bill 'Dumb Idea' (Bloomberg)
A U.S. Senate bill designed to punish China for keeping its currency undervalued is a “dumb idea” and risks igniting a trade war, former American International Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Maurice “Hank” Greenberg said. “Just doing it was wrong, totally wrong,” Greenberg, who helped build AIG into the world’s largest insurance company, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.
Woman Charged After Pelting Husband With Cupcakes (Tribune)
The fight started with a verbal quarrel about 7:45 p.m. at the home in the 4700 block of South Western Avenue, according to a police report, but escalated until the woman started hitting her husband over the head. After that, she reached for the box of desserts and directed a fusillade of snack cakes at his head and body, her husband told police. Several of the confections apparently hit their mark, as the man's head and shirt were smudged with icing when officers arrived, according to a police report...On Sunday morning, Cook County Circuit Judge Adam D. Bourgeois Jr. ordered electronic monitoring for the woman and a $10,000 bond.