Greece Plans 'Special Economic Zones' to Boost Growth (Reuters)
Greece plans to set up "special economic zones" to attract private investment and help lift its debt-laden economy out of depression, the government said on Tuesday. The zones would offer investors tax and administrative advantages. Athens is already in talks with the European Commission to get approval for the move, Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis told a news conference. "We believe these zones will boost the real economy by creating a special regime to attract investment and generate exports," Hatzidakis said.
Spain's Catalonia to Ask for Aid From Madrid (WSJ)
Catalonia, Spain's most indebted region, said Tuesday it will ask for €5.02 billion ($6.27 billion) in financial assistance from the Spanish government's liquidity program, as it struggles to pay for basic services such as hospitals, schools and care homes. Catalan government spokesman Francesc Homs said at a news conference that the government will ask for the funding to "face debts maturing in the coming months."
ECB's Draghi Stuck At The Office, To Skip Jackson Hole Symposium (WSJ)
"ECB President Mario Draghi had hoped to attend the annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, but has decided not to go to Jackson Hole, due to the heavy workload foreseen in the next few days," an ECB spokesperson wrote in an email.
Paulson To Talk With BofA (WSJ)
Bank of America's wealth-management arm will host a conference call Tuesday with Paulson & Co.'s John Paulson, offering some of its financial advisers and their clients a chance to grill the struggling hedge-fund manager, people familiar with the matter said. The call comes within days of the decision by a major Paulson client, Citigroup's private bank, to stop investing with Mr. Paulson's firm. That move is expected to lead to withdrawals of about $410 million. The people said they expected the advisers to express their concerns with the hedge-fund industry's recent returns, and press Mr. Paulson for answers on why his funds have underperformed. Bank of America routinely holds calls with hedge-fund managers and they can include tough questions, but tend to be more about sharing ideas, the people said.
Leonardo DiCaprio To Bare All In 'Wolf Of Wall Street' (NYDN)
“There will be some pretty illicit sex scenes coming up,” said a set insider. “It involves four guys and two girls.” And there’ll even be a little guy-on-guy action in one of the orgies — but DiCaprio won’t be in those. Not that there would be anything wrong with that. Scorsese’s film follows the rise and eventual imprisonment of drugged-out real-life former stockbroker Jordan Belfort, who is now a motivational speaker and says he has been sober since his life imploded in the go-go late ’90s and he went to prison. The movie started shooting in the Financial District over the weekend and there’ll be more filming in midtown this week. Later this month, the action will move to a Hamptons estate. DiCaprio was spotted rehearsing at Bank of America with co-star Jonah Hill. Matthew McConaughey also stars, as Belfort’s mentor. “They were incognito and Leo didn’t take his sunglasses off the entire time,” said a Merrill Lynch source. There are some scenes you can bet will be shot strictly behind closed doors. “We have a scene in an office with a troupe of hookers during a coffee break,” the set insider told us. “They are in the process of casting a ton of beautiful models, who are willing to bare it all, to portray escorts and strippers,” our source said. “The girls have to be incredibly hot.”
Connecticut Homes Biggest Losers As Wall Street Cuts (Bloomberg)
Connecticut, for 25 years the state with the highest per capita income in the U.S., is now leading the nation in home-price declines as Wall Street trims jobs and bonuses that had driven multimillion-dollar property sales. Prices in the Fairfield County area, home of the banker bedroom communities of Greenwich and New Canaan, tumbled 12.9 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the biggest decline of the 147 U.S. metropolitan areas measured by the National Association of Realtors.
Hero Reagan’s Compromise Would Collide With Tea Party Certitude (Bloomberg)
Ronald Reagan remains the modern Republican Party’s most durable hero. His memory will be hailed as The Great Uncompromiser by those who insist the GOP must never flag in its support for smaller government, lower taxes and conservative social values. His record tells a different story. During Reagan’s eight years in the White House, the federal payroll grew by more than 300,000 workers. Although he was a net tax cutter who slashed individual income-tax rates, Reagan raised taxes about a dozen times. His rhetoric matched that of many of today’s most ardent Christian conservatives, yet he proved to be a reluctant warrior on abortion and other social issues. Perhaps most tellingly, he was willing to cut deals, working closely with Democratic leaders such as House Speaker Tip O’Neill of Massachusetts to overhaul Social Security and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski of Illinois to revamp the tax code.
Ann Romney Takes Biggest Stage Yet To Humanize Husband (Bloomberg)
Mitt Romney’s likability gap was evident in a Washington Post/ABC News poll released yesterday. The poll, taken Aug. 22-25, showed 27 percent of registered voters find Romney to be more friendly or likable among the two candidates, compared with 61 percent for the incumbent.
Daughter of banker and former NYC budget director, found dead in lower East Side apartment building (NYDN)
The 29-year-old daughter of a prominent financier died with a mysterious gaping neck wound in a pal’s lower East Side building where she was seeking refuge from a failed marriage, police and neighbors said. Cops were trying to determine how Carlisle Brigham, the daughter of the city’s former budget director, ended up on a second-floor landing with the gushing slash wound Monday. Although a homicide was initially suspected, cops now believe she may have been the victim of an accident, police sources said...Neighbors said Brigham had split from her husband and was crashing in the Orchard St. building with a platonic male friend. She was found facedown on the second-floor landing of the Orchard St. tenement about 11:05 a.m., her overnight bag nearby.
Ackman again urges General Growth to sell to Simon (Reuters)
"GGP's Board currently has the ability to take steps to prevent Brookfield from unfairly expropriating control from other GGP shareholders," Ackman, head of Pershing Square Capital Management LP, wrote in a letter to the board.
Citigroup to settle MBS suit (Reuters)
The bank has agreed to pay nearly $25 million to settle a lawsuit by investors who said they were misled about the quality of mortgage-backed securities they bought just before the U.S. housing market crashed, according to court papers filed Monday in federal court.
Kidney for Ohio patient's transplant put in trash (AP)
A nurse accidentally disposed of a kidney from a living donor this month at an Ohio hospital, and doctors tried unsuccessfully for at least two hours to resuscitate the organ in what medical experts describe as a rare accident, health officials said...Two nurses have been placed on paid administrative leave while the hospital reviews what happened.
Montana man trying to create Bigfoot sighting in “Ghillie suit” struck and killed by cars (AP)
A man dressed in a military-style “ghillie” suit and apparently trying to provoke reports of a Bigfoot sighting in northwest Montana was struck by two cars and killed, authorities said. The man was standing in the right-hand lane of U.S. Highway 93 south of Kalispell on Sunday night when he was hit by the first car, according to the Montana Highway Patrol. A second car hit the man as he lay in the roadway, authorities said. Flathead County officials identified the man as Randy Lee Tenley, 44, of Kalispell. Trooper Jim Schneider said motives were ascertained during interviews with friends, and alcohol may have been a factor but investigators were awaiting tests. “He was trying to make people think he was Sasquatch so people would call in a Sasquatch sighting,” Schneider told the Daily Inter Lake on Monday. “You can’t make it up. I haven’t seen or heard of anything like this before. Obviously, his suit made it difficult for people to see him.”