More Charges Coming In Insider Trading Probe (Reuters, related)
A year after four hedge funds were raided as part of a sweeping probe into insider trading, agents are ready to arrest as many as three people who worked at the raided funds, sources familiar with the investigation said. These arrests are expected to take place in the coming weeks, and some of the people will plead guilty to charges of insider trading, the sources said. Speculation has been mounting for weeks that the government was ready to make its next move against people who traded technology stocks at hedge funds Diamondback Capital Management and Level Global Investors, according to people at hedge funds, industry analysts, lawyers and law enforcement officials. At least one former Level Global worker is cooperating with authorities in the matter.
Charges Expected In Insider Probe (WSJ)
Investigators are focusing on an analyst at mutual-fund firm Neuberger Berman Group LLC and traders who worked at hedge funds Diamondback Capital Management LLC and Level Global Investors LP, the people say. Law-enforcement officials expect charges against the individuals to be filed by mid-December, the people say.
Jobless Claims Climb Back Over 400,000 (WSJ)
Initial jobless claims climbed by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 402,000 in the week ended Nov. 26, the highest level in more than a month, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast claims would fall by 3,000 to 390,000. For the week ended Nov. 19, claims were revised to 396,000 from an originally reported 393,000. Claims are now up two weeks in a row.
Euro-Zone Debt Is 'System Risk' (WSJ)
The euro zone's debt problems will cause widespread economic damage in a way "characteristic of a systemic crisis," Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said on Thursday. He said the currency bloc's crisis is causing damage to governments and banks around the world. "We are seeing first hand the costs of financial instability," he said. "No-one could deny the current situation is extraordinarily serious and threatening," Mr. King said following the publication of the BOE's twice-yearly Financial Stability Report. He added that the situation could deteriorate to the point the euro zone is forced to break up.
Goldman Analysts: Despair Will Turn To Hope In 2012 (CNBC)
“We think in the near term the market has further to fall as recession is further priced in and earnings downgrades accelerate,” Peter Oppenheimer, the chief European equity strategist at Goldman Sachs, wrote in a research note on Thursday. After losses for stocks in the first quarter Oppenheimer expects a rally before the end of the first half of the year with major indices finishing the year 10 percent up on current levels. “The timing of this rebound, however, is difficult to predict as it is party dependent on policy developments,” he said. The euro zone economy will contract by 0.8 percent in 2012 according to Goldman Sachs economists, with a “sharp, albeit short-lived, recession in Germany and France and a persistent and much deeper one in the peripheral euro zone countries.” Despite the recession, some kind of resolution to the euro zone debt crisis will lead to a rally for stocks and a narrowing of bond spreads according to Oppenheimer.
SocGen Said To Cut At Least 200 Jobs In US (Bloomberg)
Naseem Haffar, who was hired as U.S. head of loan sales and trading in March 2010, and New York-based senior credit traders Joseph Finnern and Zachary Chavis were among those dismissed, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is private. Cuts may amount to 10 percent to 20 percent of the firm’s 2,000 workers in its U.S. corporate and investment bank.
Dominque Strauss-Kahn says 'uninhibited but legal' sex life cost him the Presidency of France (DM)
The former head of the International Monetary Fund claimed today that his bid to become President of France was lost because of his ‘uninhibited’ but otherwise 'legal' sex life. Speaking for the first time about the two attempted rape allegations which effectively ended his career, Dominique Strauss-Kahn said that having casual oral sex with a New York hotel maid was something he regretted deeply. The 62-year-old admits that his ‘flesh is weak’, but insists he has never paid for sex with any of the young women he regularly met at orgies across the world.
Raj Awaits Prison News (NYP)
A federal appeals court did not immediately rule yesterday whether hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam must report to prison next week for an 11-year sentence for insider trading or remain free while he appeals the case.
Four Hundred Dow Points Aren’t What They Used to Be Amid Record Volatility (Bloomberg)
“It feels like a good day, but whether or not it’s sustainable is another thing,” Hayes Miller, who helps oversee about $43 billion as the Boston-based head of asset allocation in North America at Baring Asset Management Inc., said in a telephone interview. “We’re not buying it. This rally isn’t going to shake us from being more cautious on risk assets for the first half of 2012.”
Weill Deal (NYP)
Sandy Weill, the former chairman and CEO of Citigroup, has found a buyer for his 15 Central Park West penthouse condo, which was recently listed for a staggering $88 million. Several sources told Gimme Shelter that an agreement has been reached with an unnamed buyer, who appears to be foreign. But a contract has not yet been signed. The beautifully renovated full-floor penthouse, the city’s highest-priced apartment, is 6,744 square feet plus a fabulous, three-sided, 2,077-square-foot terrace. Weill, once blamed by Time magazine as one of the top 25 people responsible for the 2008 economic meltdown, has pledged that money from the sale of the apartment will go to charity...Weill bought the penthouse for $43.7 million in 2007. He has not said what charity will be the recipient of the sale.