Italy's Focus Shifts To Forming New Government (Bloomberg)
Berlusconi said today that he favored early elections and that Angelino Alfano, head of his People of Liberty party, might be the candidate. Berlusconi last night said he’d step down as soon as parliament passed cost-cutting steps pledged to European Union allies in a bid to convince investors Italy can curb record borrowing costs. Parliament is due to vote on the measures in the coming weeks.
Exit From Italian Debt Spurs Fears (WSJ)
Italy has long relied on the fact that its debt level, although high at 120% of gross domestic product, isn't rising much, thanks to Rome's relatively small budget deficit. But the country still needs to borrow hundreds of billions of euros a year to repay its debts falling due. Next year, Italy must borrow enough money to repay more than €300 billion in maturing debts and cover a targeted budget deficit of up to €25 billion. If investors aren't willing to lend Italy such sums, Europe will have to prop up the country with all the money it can muster—with help from the IMF—or risk a global financial crash.
Goldman Sachs Traders Lost Money on 21 Days in Third Quarter (Bloomberg)
Goldman, which relied on trading for 62 percent of revenue so far this year, recorded losses from that business on 21 days in the third quarter, the most since the fourth quarter of 2008. The firm’s traders lost more than $100 million on one of the days, according to the New York-based company’s quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. They produced more than $100 million on nine days out of 64 total days in the quarter that ended Sept. 30, the filing showed.
HSBC Hurt By Bad Loans (WSJ)
HSBC on Wednesday said revenue slipped in the third quarter as investment-banking clients sat on the sidelines, its Hong Kong business weakened and bad loans rose in the U.S. Adjusted pretax profit, which strips out a series of one-time factors and is closely watched by analysts, dropped 36% to $2.96 billion, from $4.60 billion. After factoring in a hefty, $4.11 billion accounting gain on the value of HSBC's own debt, net profit in the three months to Sept. 30 was $5.22 billion, up 66% from $3.15 billion in the third quarter of 2010 and better than the second quarter's $5.06 billion.
Yelp Eyes $2 Billion IPO (WSJ)
Like Groupon, which is currently valued at $15.9 billion, Yelp also rebuffed an earlier offer from Google, in Yelp's case for approximately $500 million about two years ago, people familiar with the matter said. In January 2010, Yelp received a $25 million investment from private-equity firm Elevation Partners, which also bought shares from employees and earlier investors for a total investment of $100 million, people familiar with the matter said. That investment valued the company at about $500 million, the people said.
MF Global Clients May Have To Share Cash (Bloomberg)
“Distribution of the assets will be pro rata, if there’s insufficient there to fulfill all obligations,” said Stephen Harbeck, president of the Securities Investor Protection Corp., or SIPC. About $593 million in commodity customer funds are unaccounted for, according to a person with knowledge of regulatory probes into the failure of the New York-based firm.
Jim Rogers: Gold Will Hit $2,400 Bubble (CNBC)
"It will easily go to $2,000 but it will reach $2,400 over the course of the bull run, which has years to run," said Rogers, the CEO and chairman of Rogers Holdings. "It will end in a bubble when this is over. The way bull markets work is they go up and up and then by the end they turn into a bubble and that will happen to gold. He said, however, that such a bubble is still years from happening. "That could be five years, 18 years or six years," he said. "I hope I am smart enough to sell but when that happens it will probably double." He said that currently he would buy silver instead of gold because it's cheaper on a historic basis. "I own both, I'm not selling either but if I had to buy one today I would buy silver," he said.
JPM Analyst: UBS, Credit Suisse Should Pool Securities Units (Reuters)
UBS and Credit Suisse should focus solely on private banking and pool their investment banks if plans for curbing the latter's risk-taking activities fail to appease shareholders, JPMorgan analyst Kian Abouhossein said. "If returns are still not adequate to shareholders, this is an alternative," Abouhossein said, commenting on a research note published on Tuesday.
Cain says no way he harassed No. 4 (NYP)
Republican presidential contender Herman Cain denied that he even knew Sharon Bialek, a former underling he allegedly groped after she came to him for job advice -- and flatly dismissed every other accusation of sexual harassment lobbed against him, too. “I have never acted inappropriately with anyone, period,’’ Cain said. “The charges and accusations I absolutely reject. They simply didn’t happen. They simply did not happen.’’
IMF Chief Warns World Economy Risks 'Lost Decade' (Reuters)
Christine Lagarde told a financial forum in Beijing that European plans to bolster a rescue package for Greece were a "step in the right direction", but that the outlook for the world economy remained dangerous and uncertain. "There are clearly clouds on the horizon," Lagarde said. "Clouds on the horizon particularly in the advanced economies and particularly so in the European Union and the United States."
IEA: Oil Could Hit $150 a Barrel in Near Term (CNBC)
The price of oil could rise to as much as $150 per barrel in the near term if investment in the oil-producing countries of North Africa and the Middle East is lower than required to meet growth in demand from emerging economies, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday.
Hedge Fund Manager Buys 4.9% Stake in MGIC (Deal Journal)
J. Kyle Bass, portfolio manager at Dallas-based Hayman Capital Management LP, bought the 4.9% stake in MGIC Investment Corp, according to federal filings. He said on Monday the bet reflected his view that the housing market’s losses had largely been absorbed. “You can see that the pig has moved through the python in terms of U.S. housing losses,” he said.
Occupy Guys On March To DC (NYP)
A group of "Occupy Wall Street" protesters will embark Wednesday on a two-week march from New York to Washington, D.C. The "Occupy The Highway" protesters are set to leave from New York's Zuccotti Park at noon and march on foot to the capital, covering an average 20 miles a day for the next two weeks. They aim to reach Washington, D.C., by Nov. 23 -- when a congressional committee will be deciding whether or not to uphold Bush-era tax cuts. "We will be in D.C. by Nov. 23 for the Congressional Super Committee meeting," the protesters wrote on the "Occupy Wall Street" website. "This committee has the power to keep the Bush tax cuts (that only benefit the top one percent) or let them expire. We want to be there to fight for the 99 percent!"