Average pay of top bankers drops 10% (FT)
The analysis of total pay awarded to the heads of 15 banks, exclusively compiled for the FT by Equilar, a US pay research group, shows that they took home $11.5m on average in 2012, 10 per cent less than in the previous year. ... Last year’s fall in pay coincides with an average drop in net income by more than a fifth across those 15 lenders. But it also comes amid a share price recovery in the sector, with all but two of the banks – BBVA and Credit Suisse – outperforming the FTSE World index in 2012. Of the 10 bankers that were in office since the beginning of 2011, only three – John Stumpf at Wells Fargo, Stuart Gulliver at HSBC and Brady Dougan at Credit Suisse – enjoyed pay rises.
Banks Present Own Crisis Plan to Fed (WSJ)
Under the proposal, the largest financial-services holding companies would be willing to hold a certain amount of debt and equity that would be used to prop up any failed bank subsidiary seized by regulators. Some banks might be forced to issue expensive long-term debt. ... In December, Wells Fargo Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf called Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo and expressed concern about any move to require banks to hold a certain amount of long-term debt, according to people familiar with the conversation. Mr. Tarullo told Mr. Stumpf that if he didn't like the idea he should suggest an alternative, these people said.
Central banks told to head for exit (FT)
Central banks must head for the exit and stop trying to spur a global economic recovery, the Bank for International Settlements has said following a week of market turbulence sparked by the US Federal Reserve’s signal that it would soon cut the pace of its bond buying. ... The BIS, which counts the world’s leading monetary authorities as members, said cheap and plentiful central bank money had merely bought time, warning that more bond buying would retard the global economy’s return to health. It used its influential annual report to call on members to re-emphasise their focus on inflation and press governments to do more to spearhead a return to growth.
Vodafone to Buy Kabel Deutschland for $10.1 Billion (DealBook)
Under the terms of the deal announced on Monday, Vodafone, one of the world’s largest cellphone operators, said it had offered Kabel Deutschland’s investors 87 euros for each of their shares in the German firm. The offer includes a 2.5 euro dividend that Kabel Deutschland’s board had announced in February. The proposal represents a premium of almost 40 percent on the company’s stock since a potential acquisition by Vodafone was first reported in February. Shares in Kabel Deutschland jumped by almost 2 percent, to 85.62 euros, in morning trading in Frankfurt on Monday. Vodafone’s stock price also rose less than 1 percent in London.
Olive-oil win for NY pols (NYP)
New York lawmakers banded together to knock off a provision of a federal farm bill that would have subjected Italian and Greek olive oil to new fees and testing — a measure that gave their constituents a bad case of indigestion. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-SI) helped engineer a lopsided vote on the House floor to strip the proposal last week — playing heavily to his Staten Island district’s Italian-American roots. ... “Italians and Greeks, we know our olive oil,” Grimm told The Post, mocking the torpedoed initiative. “I’m thinking like TSA-type guys dunking bread at the border and saying, ‘That tastes pretty good, let’s let that go.’ Are you kidding me?”
Founders of ENRC Offer $4.7 Billion in Takeover Bid (DealBook)
The founders of the Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation and the government of Kazakhstan on Monday offered to buy the remaining stake in the troubled mining giant they do not already own in a deal valuing the miner at £3 billion, or $4.7 billion. The deal, which had to be outlined ahead of a Monday deadline for the consortium to clarify its takeover plans, comes as allegations of bribery and corruption continue to dog the company, known as ENRC.
Gold Miner Writedowns at $17 Billion After Newcrest Fallout (Bloomberg)
Newcrest Mining Ltd.’s decision to write down the value of its mines by as much as A$6 billion ($5.5 billion) will lead to the biggest one-time charge in gold mining history. It also heralds pain for competitors. Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s biggest producer, Newmont Mining Corp. and Gold Fields Ltd. may be next, according to Jefferies International Ltd. ... “We would expect that there would be several, if not many companies, who would also in the next reporting period be coming to a list of impairments,” Michael Elliott, sector leader for Ernst & Young LLP’s global mining practice, said in a phone interview from Sydney. “It’s just a question of timing, and who had the largest exposures.”
PBoC breaks silence over China cash crunch (FT)
The People’s Bank of China said liquidity was at a “reasonable level” and called on big lenders to do more to help restore calm to the country’s anxious markets. Interbank rates spiked to double digits last week, even momentarily hitting 28 per cent, before easing. The sudden cash squeeze raised the spectre of a credit crisis in the world’s second-biggest economy and rattled global investors. “Commercials banks must pay close attention to the liquidity situation in the market and must strengthen their analysis and forecasts of factors affecting liquidity,” the central bank said.
Citi Makes Iraq Move (WSJ)
Citi said it obtained preliminary approval from Iraq's central bank to establish a Baghdad office. Until now, Citi served its Iraqi clients through its office in Jordan's capital Amman. The lender is looking to open two more representative offices in Erbil and Basra at a later stage.
Italy's Berlusconi faces verdict in underage sex trial (Reuters)
Judges in a Milan court retired to consider their verdict on Monday in a trial in which former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with a minor and abusing the powers of his office to cover it up. ... With two appeals possible, it could be years before a verdict is final. However, if the 76-year-old is found guilty it could weaken Prime Minister Enrico Letta's left-right coalition government, which depends on the center-right leader's support.
Burger War as Five Guys, Shake Shack to Open in London (Bloomberg)
Five Guys, which opens in Covent Garden on July 4, is a family outfit that started in Washington, D.C., in 1986. It has expanded to more than 1,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada. Shake Shack, also in Covent Garden, holds its opening party the same day. ... “We’ve set up a British company and we would never have decided to come here if we didn’t believe that if we do our job, the market could support a minimum of three,” said Meyer. He created Shake Shack at a hot-dog cart in New York’s Madison Square Park before winning approval for a permanent kiosk in 2004.
Dallas Auction House Sells KFC Founder's Suit (NBC)
The president and chief executive of Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan purchased the trademark white suit worn by company founder "Colonel" Harland Sanders at auction Saturday for $21,510 -- then promptly tried it on. Masao "Charlie" Watanabe grinned while putting on the suit jacket and black string tie at the Heritage Auctions event, standing beneath a photograph of Sanders. He had already planned to attend a company marketing meeting in Dallas, but arrived early after he found out about the auction, he said.
Daredevil Nik Wallenda completes high-wire walk across Grand Canyon (Reuters)
Wallenda, the self-described "King of the High Wire," took 22 minutes and 54 seconds to walk 1,400 feet across the crimson-hued canyon with just a distant ribbon of the Little Colorado River beneath him. The event was broadcast live around the world. Wallenda, the first person to cross the canyon, made the walk without a tether or safety net. Wallenda could be heard praying almost constantly during the walk, murmuring "Thank you, Jesus." He kissed the ground when he reached the other side. ... Wallenda said the walk was stressful.