Germany Doubtful On Euro Meeting (WSJ)
"I am more pessimistic than I was last week on the chances of total agreement," the official said on condition of anonymity. A more likely scenario, the official said, is that the 17 euro-zone countries, together with "four or five" other EU countries, would separately agree to far-reaching coordination of economic policies, supervision of their budgets through European officials and strict limits on debts and deficits.
Geithner Backs French-German Plan For Tighter EU (Bloomberg)
Geithner, speaking in Berlin yesterday after talks with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, praised the commitment to fiscal programs put in place by new governments in Spain, Italy and Greece, and said he was “very encouraged” by recent efforts to buttress the euro area. He welcomed “progress toward a fiscal compact for the euro zone,” echoing language used last week by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.
CIO: No Way Europe Will Hold Itself Together (CNBC)
"Europe is in a terminal phase of its life. There is no way I can see a glomeration being a successful way of smaller entities into bigger entities without growth. There will be fractures. (There is) no way Europe is ever going to hold it together," said David Murrin chief investment officer at Emergent Asset Management.
House Panel To Vote On Insider Trading (WSJ)
The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday said he is planning to hold a panel vote next week on legislation to ban insider trading by members of Congress. The announcement by Alabama Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus came as other lawmakers used a committee hearing to propose ways to prohibit lawmakers from using information they gather in the halls of Congress to trade stocks. A bill by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D., N.Y.) would prohibit lawmakers from trading on information they learn on Capitol Hill and require more frequent disclosure of stock transactions. Similar proposals are pending in the Senate.
Tiny Tax On Financial Trades Gains Advocates (NYT)
They call it the Robin Hood tax — a tiny levy on trades in the financial markets that would take money from the banks and give it to the world’s poor...Driven by populist anger at bankers as well as government needs for more revenue, the idea of a tax on trades of stocks, bonds and other financial instruments has attracted an array of influential champions, including the leaders of France and Germany, the billionaire philanthropists Bill Gates and George Soros, former Vice President Al Gore, the consumer activist Ralph Nader, Pope Benedict XVI and the archbishop of Canterbury.
Kitten Discarded In Cat Food Bag Rescued By Dog (CBS)
Reports that the two kittens, named Tipper and Skipper, were sealed in a Meow Mix bag with the rest of the litter, and then left in the street. The bag had been run over by a vehicle, killing some of the kittens and making it difficult to tell exactly how many cats were inside. Somehow, Tipper and Skipper survived. "It was not a pretty sight," Linda Blakely from Iowa's Raccoon Valley Animal Sanctuary said. That's when Reagan stepped in. He grabbed the bag, and carried it home. He didn't stop whining until his owner opened the bag. Covered in the blood and remains of the kittens who were killed, she found two seriously injured survivors. "The instinct of the dog was to nurture and not kill the kittens. With all the blood some dogs would have responded to the scent. Reagan the dog is a hero," Blakely said.
Too-Big-To-Fail Banks Back on Senate Agenda (Bloomberg)
“For too long, Wall Street has been permitted to operate in the dark, putting our economy at risk and leaving taxpayers on the hook,” Senator Sherrod Brown said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.
Four Charged Over Trading (WSJ)
The U.S. government filed civil-fraud charges against four Chinese citizens and a China-based firm for "highly profitable and highly suspicious" trading ahead of a takeover that allegedly netted more than $2.7 million in illicit gains.
Bloomberg News Responds to Bernanke Criticism (Bloomberg)
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said in a letter to four senior lawmakers today that recent news articles about the central bank’s emergency lending programs contained “egregious errors.” While Bernanke’s letter and an accompanying four-page staff memo posted on the Fed’s website didn’t mention any news organizations by name, Bloomberg News has published a series of articles this year examining the bailout. The latest, “Secret Fed Loans Gave Banks $13 Billion Undisclosed to Congress,” appeared Nov. 28. “Bloomberg stands by its reporting,” said Matthew Winkler, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News.
Weatherman Had Vowed To Wear Wife’s Colts Panties If They Lost To The Patriots (Deadspin)
"I'm tired of watching the Colts. The wife's a Colts fan and I want a 'w' bar none....and my promise to you, for the holiday season, if the Colts DO NOT WIN THIS WEEK, I'm going to come in each and every week for the rest of the season, donning my wife's Colts attire, and she only has panties."