BofA Warned To Get Stronger (WSJ)
BofA's board has been told that the company could face a public enforcement action if regulators aren't satisfied with recent steps taken to strengthen the bank, said people familiar with the situation. The nation's second-largest lender has been operating under a memorandum of understanding since May 2009, following repeated tussles with regulators over the purchase of securities firm Merrill Lynch & Co. and a downgrade of the company's confidential supervisory rating. The memorandum, which isn't public, identified governance, risk and liquidity management as problems that had to be fixed, according to people familiar with the document.
Supercomittee Failure Poses Threat to U.S. Recovery (Bloomberg)
Still, Standard & Poor’s reaffirmed it would keep the U.S. credit rating at AA+ after stripping the government of its top AAA grade on Aug. 5. Moody’s Investors Service reaffirmed its AAA rating with a negative outlook. Fitch Ratings noted in a statement that it said in August that a supercommittee failure would probably result in a “negative rating action,” likely a revision of its outlook to negative, and that a review would be concluded by the end of this month.
Soros Calls For ECB To Stop Bond Run (CNBC)
“As regulators still treat government bonds as the safe core of the financial system, this vicious circle threatens the stability of financial institutions not only in the euro zone but also in the rest of the world,” Soros, the chairman of Soros Fund Management, said in a co-written article with Peter Bofinger of Würzburg University in Tuesday’s Financial Times. Without action, Soros believes recessionary pressures will intensify making the situation in the bond market worse. “It’s a perfect vicious circle,” he wrote in the article.
EU Warns Greece On Bailout (WSJ)
"There is enough money for another 20 days," a senior Greek government official said. "Without the loan tranche we will default on the €2.8 billion bond payments in December and we won't be able to pay out salaries and pensions. The situation is very serious and this issue has to be settled this week."
Journalists Protest Occupy Wall Street Handling (ABC)
Media organizations sent letters on Monday to city officials complaining about the police handling of journalists covering the Occupy Wall Street protests and called for meetings to address their concerns. They said New York police blocked journalists from seeing when authorities cleared out the Occupy camp in lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park last week and said police officers used force and arrested some journalists as they were trying to do their jobs. "The police actions of last week have been more hostile to the press than any other event in recent memory," a coalition of media organizations and journalist groups said in a letter to chief New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne..."The numerous reports we have received and have learned of make clear to us that the NYPD is aggressively blocking journalists from doing their constitutionally protected work and in some instances is even targeting journalists for mistreatment," that letter said.
Man catches fire in Gothenburg train station (The Local)
An unidentified man sustained serious injuries after suddenly catching fire in Gothenburg on Sunday evening, leaving police flummoxed as to who he is and what really happened. ”All we know is that it's a man. We have no knowledge of his identity, nor of his age or any motive or even the circumstances of the incident,” said police officer Åsa Andersson to local paper Göteborgs-Posten (GP) According to eye witness accounts, the man was standing outside a record shop at the central train station around 10.30pm, when he suddenly caught on fire.
Peltz Power Play (NYP)
Billionaire investor and hockey enthusiast Nelson Peltz is weighing a plan to buy the $250 million in debt of the troubled New Jersey Devils...The plan being discussed by Peltz, whose Triarc Companies owns Wendy’s, includes lining up an equity investor to buy the money-losing NHL team should the current team owners fail in their talks with lenders to restructure the debt, according to one person who has spoken with Peltz about the plan in recent weeks. Peltz, who was said to be interested in buying the New York Islanders last December, is seeking a partner to provide perhaps $50 million in equity in a purchase of the team in a prepackaged bankruptcy.
Cut In Europe Bank Lending Has Wide Impact (WSJ)
A pullback in lending by European banks is beginning to be felt by companies in Africa, Australia and Latin America, making borrowing harder and more expensive, and putting pressure on slowing economies.
Gains Cue Jobs Heirs to Sell Apple, Disney (Bloomberg)
Under U.S. law, Jobs’s heirs may sell Apple and Disney and avoid $867 million in capital gains taxes. If Apple’s late co- founder left his estate to his wife, Laurene Powell Jobs, the family won’t be liable for the 35 percent estate tax until she dies or gives money to others, according to estate planners. “I can’t see any reason not to sell all of it,” said Kacy Gott, chief planning officer at the wealth-management firm Aspiriant. “They should have been looking to diversify years ago.”
Ex-Madoff trader admits faking records since '70s (AP)
Bernard Madoff's multibillion-dollar fraud began in the early 1970s with several employees working together to fake records when no trades actually took place, a former trader at Madoff's firm said in pleading guilty to criminal charges on Monday. The former trader, David Kugel, told a Manhattan federal court judge that he and two other longtime Madoff employees, Annette Bongiorno and Joann Crupi, used rates of returns on client statements that were pre-determined by Madoff himself. "I worked together with them to create the false trades and make them appear on investment advisor client statements and confirmations," Kugel, 66, said in admitting to six charges. Kugel, who is cooperating with the government investigation, said the trades were executed only on paper. "Specifically between the early 1970s to December 2008 I helped create fake back-dated trades."