Thousands Mass Near Wall Street To Start Day Of Protests (WSJ)
Thousands of people have gathered near the former home of Occupy Wall Street in Lower Manhattan to start a citywide day of demonstrations to mark the movement’s two-month anniversary, blocking streets and sidewalks and facing an army of police in riot gear and on horseback. The plan is to march on Wall Street from the area around Zuccotti Park, the site until Tuesday’s eviction of the protest encampment, where activists plan to disrupt the start of the work day. So far, after more than 60 days of protest activity nearby, a heavy police presence and a warren of barricades have kept protesters from holding serious protests on Wall Street itself. At 7:40 a.m., however, a group of hundreds began to stream down Cedar Street chanting “Shut down Wall Street.” The group turned onto Nassau Street and headed to Wall Street. Police used motorcycles and other vehicles to block the march’s progress on Nassau Street, where a mass of demonstrators chanted “We are the 99%.” Elsewhere, police on horseback worked to control the crowd. Police dressed in riot gear have blocked Wall Street at the corner of Hanover Street, where a group of people shouting “Wall Street’s closed” blocked the barricade. “I’m hoping they see that they are being held accountable to the 99%,” said Katie Ferrari, 23 years old, who works as an artist and graphic designer.
Wall Street Protesters March on NY Stock Exchange (Reuters)
"I feel like this is a beautiful moment to take back our streets, especially after the eviction. We need to prove we can exist anywhere. It's gone beyond a single neighborhood, it's really an idea," said Rachel Falcone, 27, from Brooklyn...Megyn Norbut, 23, from Brooklyn, said she holds down three jobs and joined the protest on Thursday "because we got kicked out of Zuccotti and we need to show that this is a mental and spiritual movement not a physical movement. It's not about the park," Norbut said.
Merkel Tells Monti To Fix Italy (WSJ)
"You have taken office at a difficult time for your country and for the euro zone in general, and there are many hopes and expectations set on you," she wrote in the congratulatory letter to Mr. Monti, who named his new government Wednesday. "It would behoove you and your government to decide upon and implement decisive and significant reforms."
Subpoenas Issued in MF Global Probe (WSJ)
Federal prosecutors in Chicago and New York have issued subpoenas in the probe of the collapse of MF Global Holdings Ltd., people familiar with the case said, a sign of an intensifying Justice Department criminal investigation as authorities try to track down about $600 million in client funds.
SocGen Cuts To Hit Investment Bank (WSJ)
SocGen plans to make the bulk of planned staff cuts at its corporate and investment bank, but its disposal of assets won't involve assets in Asia. Jacques Ripoll, Société Générale's head of global investment management and services, said the "main changes" would be in corporate and investment banking but the numbers have yet to be decided. There will also be other areas where the bank uses "a lot of financing, or capital, or dollar-funding transactions where there may be some consequences," said Mr. Ripoll, who sits on the French lender's executive committee.
U.S. Banks Face Contagion Risk From European Debt (Bloomberg)
U.S. banks face a “serious risk” that their creditworthiness will deteriorate if Europe’s debt crisis deepens and spreads beyond the five most-troubled nations, Fitch Ratings said. “Unless the euro zone debt crisis is resolved in a timely and orderly manner, the broad credit outlook for the U.S. banking industry could worsen,” the New York-based rating company said yesterday in a statement. Even as U.S. banks have “manageable” exposure to stressed European markets, “further contagion poses a serious risk,” Fitch said, without explaining what it meant by contagion. The “exposures” of U.S. lenders to major European banks and the stressed nations of Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, known as the GIIPS, are smaller than those to some of the continent’s larger countries, Fitch said. The six biggest U.S. banks -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Citigroup Inc. (C), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley (MS) -- had $50 billion in risk tied to the GIIPS on Sept. 30, Fitch said. So-called cross-border outstandings to France for all except Wells Fargo were $188 billion, including $114 billion to French banks. Risk to Britain and its banks was $225 billion and $51 billion, respectively.
Fitch's Warning Spooks Investors (WSJ)
Gerard Cassidy, a banking analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said the intense reaction to the Fitch report shows how vulnerable big, interconnected banks are perceived to be three years after the shocks of the 2008 financial crisis. "In this world we are living in, you are guilty until proven innocent," he said. "If you aren't disclosing it, you are hiding information. That is what investors think. It's a big predicament for the big banks."
Jefferies CEO Sees Turmoil Ending Soon (Bloomberg)
So that's nice.
Legg Mason’s Miller to Exit Main Fund After Trailing Peers (Bloomberg)
Bill Miller will be succeeded by Sam Peters as manager of Legg Mason Capital Management Value Trust (LMVTX) on April 30, the Baltimore-based firm said today in an e-mailed statement. Miller will remain chairman of the Legg Mason Capital Management unit while Peters will assume the role of chief investment officer.
The Situation Sues Abercrombie For $4 Million (Gawker)
Filed in Florida, the lawsuit claims Abercrombie infringed "the GTL and The Situation trademarks," by selling T-shirts that said "The Fitchuation" and "GTL...You Know The Deal" on them. The company marketed these shirts without paying Sorrentino anything, while simultaneously distancing themselves from him in a press release.