S&P downgrades Barclays, Deutsche and Credit Suisse (FT)
Standard & Poor’s has downgraded Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, reflecting its doubts about the future of European investment banking. The rating agency on Tuesday evening simultaneously cut all three banks from A-plus to A, blaming the rising uncertainty around the investment banking model. ... S&P questioned Deutsche’s ability to “generate stable, predictable revenues”, pointed to “earnings volatility” at Credit Suisse and said Barclays’ “relatively high investment banking weighting” was a negative drag on its creditworthiness.
Portugal’s Coalition Splinters on Austerity Fatigue (Bloomberg)
Portuguese borrowing costs topped 8 percent for the first time this year after two ministers quit, signaling the government will struggle to implement further budget cuts as its bailout program enters its final 12 months. Secretary of State for Treasury Maria Luis Albuquerque replaced Vitor Gaspar at the Ministry of Finance. That prompted Paulo Portas, who leads the smaller CDS party in the coalition government, to quit, saying the new minister would offer “mere continuity” of the country’s deficit-cutting plans. “It sounds the alarm bell of austerity fatigue,” said David Schnautz, a strategist at Commerzbank AG in New York. “This domestic noise is definitely negative.”
Michael Dell Is Said to Be Encouraged by Board to Raise Offer (DealBook)
The special committee is growing worried that the buyout offer will fail to win a majority of Dell shares that excludes Mr. Dell’s 16 percent stake at the vote on July 18, the person briefed on the matter said. Some 43 percent of the Dell shares need to be voted in favor of the offer. The directors have already taken a number of meetings with major investors that have left them pessimistic about the bid’s prospects, and now believe that a major shareholder advisory firm is poised to recommend a rejection of the takeover. Mr. Dell’s offer, made in partnership with Silver Lake, has been criticized for months by a number of big outside investors. But any bump in price would most likely come from the company founder, who already made concessions to reach the current price.
Gross Caught in TIPS Trap Gundlach Sidestepped in Tumble (Bloomberg)
Three weeks before he called the end of the 30-year bull market in bonds, Bill Gross was buying inflation-linked Treasuries, a bet that money printing by the world’s central banks would push up consumer prices. While Treasuries subsequently fell as he had predicted, so did inflation expectations, amplifying rather than limiting losses for Gross’s Pimco Total Return Fund (PTRAX), which had 12 percent of its $289 billion in Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities at the end of March. The world’s largest mutual fund fell 4.7 percent in the next two months, prompting $9.9 billion in withdrawals in June, the most on record.
High-living Tiffany exec stole $1M gems: feds (NYP)
A Tiffany & Co. executive helped herself to more than $1 million worth of diamond-encrusted bling before getting laid off by the famed Fifth Avenue jewelry company, the feds charged yesterday. ... “As alleged, Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun went from a vice president at a high-end jewelry company to jewel thief,” Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said. The investigation into her alleged five-finger employee discount was dubbed “Operation Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” a source said.
Greece sees deal with lenders, to miss transfer scheme goal: official (Reuters)
International lenders may freeze emergency aid to Greece for three months unless Athens can convince them that the country is on track to meet its reform goals, a senior euro zone official said on Wednesday. "If we don't conclude this review, I don't see any disbursement to Greece over the next three months"," the official told reporters, referring to a health check of the country's progress by the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank.
Health Law Penalties Delayed (WSJ)
The Obama administration said Tuesday it would delay enforcing a provision of the new health-care law that requires large employers to provide coverage for workers or pay a penalty in 2014, the biggest revision so far to the federal health-care overhaul. The law, passed in 2010, requires companies with the equivalent of 50 or more full-time workers to offer health benefits starting on Jan. 1—or pay a penalty of at least $2,000 per employee. The delay, announced by the Treasury Department in a blog post Tuesday, means that penalty won't kick in until 2015.
Deadline Splits an Agency on Trading Rules Abroad (DealBook)
Wall Street lobbyists, seeking to delay a July 12 deadline for rules that would rein in lucrative trading by banks overseas, pressed their case before a top Washington regulator last week. The regulator, Gary Gensler, the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, had an unusual response. He summoned into his office a pregnant employee whose due date happened to be July 12. “Tell everyone about that day,” Mr. Gensler instructed the employee, according to people who attended the meeting. Pointing to her abdomen, she grinned and replied, “No delay.”
Ian Hannam was given final written warning by JP Morgan Cazenove before FSA fine (Telegraph)
Mr Hannam - the former City rainmaker accused of market abuse and fined £450,000 for allegedly passing on inside information in relation to former client Heritage Oil - was the subject of “very significant and extensive restrictions” on his work as a result of the internal probe. The investigation and subsequent actions - which included a ban on new business relationships and resigning from the board of JP Morgan Cazenove - came to light on the first day of his fight to clear his name.
Ex-NYU professor arrested for stalking Citigroup’s chief economist (NYDN)
Heleen Mees, 44, was busted for stalking and harassing chief Citigroup economist Willem Buiter — sending him photos of herself masturbating and images of other naked women, the Daily News has learned. A one-time NYU professor, Mees sent Buiter more than 1,000 emails over a two-year period, authorities said. Some of them were laced with threats, while at least one was a hyper-sexual come-on. “What can I do to make it right? Shall I lick your b---s?” Mees allegedly wrote in one email. “Shall we adopt a child?” she wrote in another.
Officers Find Panting Dog, Sweatpants-Wearing Pig In Hot, Poop-Filled Car [Seattle.gov]
Pretty much what it sounds like.