Larry Summers: ‘A Lot of Work’ Needed to Fix Economy (CNBC)
“We have all got a lot of work to do,” Summers, who played a key role in the early years of President Barack Obama’s administration, said. He believes that European governments should be “redoubling” their efforts to solve the crisis. The euro zone debt crisis has been top of the agenda in Davos this week. German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the conference with a downbeat speech emphasizing the need to solve the problems in the euro zone. The European Central Bank injected more liquidity into the European markets through a long term refinancing operation (LTRO) in December, which Summers described as “a very important step.” “That’s lubricating credit and economic activity. The sense that we are near the edge of a precipice has been clawed back,” Summers said.
Greek Debt Wrangle May Pull Default Trigger (Bloomberg)
Any agreement between the Greek government and the Washington-based Institute of International Finance on debt writedowns will only bind 50 percent of investors in the 206 billion euros ($270 billion) of notes being negotiated, Barclays Capital estimates. Hedge funds may resist a deal, seeking to get paid in full or compensated from insurance contracts.
U.S. Economy Grows 2.8%, Less Than Forecast (Bloomberg)
The U.S. economy expanded less than forecast in the fourth quarter as consumers curbed spending and government agencies cut back, validating the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep interest rates low for a longer period. Gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced, climbed at a 2.8 percent annual pace following a 1.8 percent gain in the prior quarter, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 3 percent increase.
In Punishing Year for Hedge Funds, Biggest One Thrived (Dealbook)
Bridgewater Associates posted returns of 23 percent in 2011 — a year when the average hedge fund portfolio lost 5 percent. Against the backdrop of fear over European debt and stagnant global growth, the hedge fund, led by one of Wall Street’s more enigmatic titans, Ray Dalio, sidestepped the mess. The fund did it with bets on United States Treasuries, German bonds and the Japanese yen, according to people familiar with the firm’s investment strategy, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is private.
FSA Unveils More Fines in Greenlight Case (WSJ)
The fallout from alleged insider trading at Greenlight Capital Inc. continued Friday when the U.K. regulator said it had fined Alexander Ten-Holter, a trader and former compliance officer at the firm, £130,000 for insufficient oversight in the sale of Punch Taverns PLC shares ahead of a planned equity raising in 2009. The Financial Services Authority also fined Caspar Agnew, a trading desk director at J.P. Morgan Cazenove £65,000 for failing to identify and act on a suspicious order from Greenlight to sell Punch shares that allowed the firm to be used to facilitate insider dealing or market abuse.
NYSE, Nasdaq battle for Facebook listing (NYP)
Duncan Niederauer’s New York Stock Exchange and Robert Greifeld’s Nasdaq are locked in a heated battle for Facebook’s listing when the privately held social-networking giant attempts to raise an eye-popping $10 billion in stock in the coming weeks, The Post has learned. “It’s a very heated battle,” Larry Tabb, founder of capital markets advisory firm Tabb Group, confirmed, saying the race so far may be too close to call.
Bankers at Davos Humbler as Austerity Hits (Bloomberg)
“Challenging times for the financial-services industry overall, so it’s hard not to be cautious,” Anshu Jain, 49, who takes over as Deutsche Bank’s co-chief executive officer in May, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “There’s going to be, and is, powerful consolidation within our industry.”
Please teach me about football!!! - $500 (Craigslist)
"My girlfriend and I were just invited to a Super Bowl party at her ex-boyfriend's apartment, and to be honest, last time I met him he told me he played football in college and I responded that I did as well --which was a lie. I don't know why I lied, I guess I just panicked and wanted to impress my girlfriend. Anyway. He asked me what position I played and I told him I played quarterback because that was really the only position I'd heard of. I really don't know anything about football except for the fact that touchdowns how you score points and sometimes you kick the ball. I've been reading articles on ESPN.com and watching clips online but I don't think it's going to prepare me for questions about actually playing it, or for making good comments during the game. So I need someone who can *quickly* teach me about all of things I would have learned playing football as well as what to say about it...This is really important to me. I think my girlfriend still really likes her ex and when we first started dating she cheated on me a few times with him, so I really can't risk looking like an idiot in front of both of them."