Payrolls Jump 204,000 as U.S. Economy Weathers Shutdown (Bloomberg)
The addition of 204,000 workers followed a revised 163,000 gain in September that was larger than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 91 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an increase of 120,000. The jobless rate rose to 7.3 percent from an almost five-year low.
S&P Cuts France's Credit Rating (WSJ)
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Friday cut France's credit rating by one notch to AA, sharply criticizing President François Hollande's strategy for repairing the country's economy and saying he has little room for maneuver to fix its finances. "We believe the French government's reforms to taxation, as well as to product, services, and labor markets, will not substantially raise France's medium-term growth prospects," S&P said. "Furthermore, we believe lower economic growth is constraining the government's ability to consolidate public finances."
UBS Pulls Away From State (WSJ)
UBS paid nearly $3.8 billion to repurchase a fund of troubled assets that was handed over to Switzerland's central bank in the midst of the financial crisis, effectively marking an end to state support for the country's biggest lender. On Friday, the Swiss National Bank said the so-called stabilization fund had been wound down earlier than expected and now contains about $6.5 billion, mostly in cash equivalents, from the proceeds of sales of once-toxic assets in the years following the financial crisis. Both UBS and the central bank had indicated for months that a transfer was in the works. Under the terms of the original agreement, hashed out in the midst of the crisis, UBS was obligated to pay the central bank $1 billion plus half of the remaining value of the fund's equity to exit from the arrangement.
Ex-SAC manager seeks to hide hedge fund ties (NYP)
Former SAC Capital Advisors money manager Michael Steinberg doesn’t want prospective jurors on his insider-trading trial to know he worked at Steve Cohen’s now-notorious hedge fund. Steinberg is charged with conspiracy and securities fraud tied to trades in Dell and Nvidia. His trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 18 — just two weeks after SAC agreed to plead guilty to insider-trading charges and pay a record $1.8 billion penalty. Steinberg’s lawyers want to remove references to his employment at SAC when the case is introduced to would-be jurors, according to court papers. Steinberg’s lead lawyer, Barry Berke, wants instructions to the jury pool to omit that Steinberg “was working at a hedge fund called Sigma Capital Management, which was a division of a hedge fund called SAC Capital” and “was part of a conspiracy that included people at his hedge fund and at other hedge funds who shared this information,” according to the filings on Thursday.
6-foot-5 de Blasio to be NYC’s tallest modern mayor (NYP)
At 6-foot-5, Bill de Blasio will be the tallest New York City mayor of the modern era — and possibly of all time. Come January, de Blasio will take over City Hall after the 12-year reign of Mayor Bloomberg, who stands 5-foot-7. It won’t be the first time a height discrepancy created an issue for a new mayor. When Bloomberg delivered his first inaugural address in 2002 after replacing the 5-foot-10 Giuliani, he stood on a box at the lectern to give himself a boost. Hizzoner later replaced the mayoral podium so he could get rid of the box. And when the 6-foot-2 Ed Koch took office in 1978, he was determined to sit at the same desk as Fiorello La Guardia, who served from 1934 to 1945 and stood a full foot shorter. “Ed’s first problem was that he wanted the La Guardia desk, but it was too short, so we called in the carpenters” to raise it up, recalled John LoCicero, a Koch aide. “People would always come up to Ed and say, ‘I saw you on TV. you look taller in person.’ ” Another mayor who faced a similar quandary was the patrician, 6-foot-4 John Lindsay, who served from 1966 to 1973. His staff had to prepare for his diminutive replacement, Abe Beame, who measured 5-foot-2. “We had to get a new desk, chair, everything. Beame’s chair was more like a barstool,” Lindsay aide Sid Davidoff recalled Thursday. The mayor-elect could use La Guardia’s desk, since it’s still at City Hall. But he would have raise it again, as it’s back at its the original height. De Blasio has not decided whether to move his family from their pad in Park Slope, Brooklyn, to Gracie Mansion, which Bloomberg declined to use as sleeping quarters. If de Blasio does make the move to the Upper East Side, sources said, he would occupy living quarters on the second-floor that include four spacious bedrooms and a bathroom equipped with an old tub that is large enough to accommodate his height.
JPMorgan consumer bank ahead of plan on job cuts, expenses: executive (Reuters)
JPMorgan expects to complete its previously announced plan to eliminate 4,000 jobs from its consumer business by year-end, 12 months ahead of schedule, a bank executive said on Friday.
JPMorgan Banker Backed $200 Million Madoff Loan in 2008 (Bloomberg)
A former JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) banker who managed Bernard Madoff’s account said the con man was on track to receive a $200 million loan less than a month before his arrest if the request hadn’t been dropped. Daniel Bonventre, one of five ex-Madoff employees on trial for allegedly aiding the fraud, asked JPMorgan in November 2008 to borrow twice Madoff’s credit limit of $100 million, with U.S. Treasuries as collateral, Mark Doctoroff, who left the bank last year, testified yesterday in federal court in Manhattan. “They are doing well financially,” Doctoroff said of Madoff’s securities firm in an e-mail to JPMorgan’s credit department on Nov. 17, 2008. “They are looking at the current market as an opportunity to make investments, true to their value investing style.”
Bank ruling could spur more Libor-linked mis-selling cases (Reuters)
Barclays and Deutsche Bank failed on Friday to remove allegations of interest rate rigging from two lawsuits, opening the door for more bank clients to claim they were mis-sold products linked to Libor. A British court ruled the role both banks played in a global manipulation of the London interbank offered rate was relevant to individual cases brought against them. The decision, made in the Court of Appeal in London, was seen as a test case, the result of which could prompt more companies to bring action against banks, citing manipulation of Libor, which is used to price over $300 trillion of financial contracts around the world. In previous legal rulings, judges stopped short of saying Libor was relevant to all claims against banks and allowed it to be used only in cases where contracts have been linked specifically to the benchmark.
Caffeine in women's underwear doesn't 'promote fat destruction' as advertised: suit (NYDN)
The class-action suit roasts Maidenform Brands Inc., which manufactures “shapewear” for women seeking to tame their curves with a fabric that has tiny caffeine capsules embedded in it “to promote fat destruction,” according to the complaint filed in Brooklyn Federal Court. New Yorkers Christine Caramore and Michelle Martin said they bought shapewear and did not get the advertised results. A call to Maidenform was not returned.