Deal Brings Stability to U.S. Budget (WSJ)
House and Senate negotiators, in a rare bipartisan act, announced a budget agreement Tuesday designed to avert another economy-rattling government shutdown and to bring a dose of stability to Congress's fiscal policy-making over the next two years. Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), who struck the deal after weeks of private talks, said it would allow more spending for domestic and defense programs in the near term, while adopting deficit-reduction measures over a decade to offset the costs. Revenues to fund the higher spending would come from changes to federal employee and military pension programs, and higher fees for airline passengers, among other sources. An extension of long-term jobless benefits, sought by Democrats, wasn't included.
Regulators Vote To Back Volcker Rule (WSJ)
A broad new government rule to limit risk-taking by Wall Street will force banks to rethink virtually every aspect of their trading activities, setting the stage for more tumult at the largest U.S. financial institutions. The so-called Volcker rule, approved by five financial regulatory agencies on Tuesday, could lop as much as $10 billion total in yearly pretax profit from the eight largest U.S. banks through lower revenue and higher compliance costs, according to estimates from Standard & Poor's. The 953-page edict, part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, codifies and restricts the way banks trade securities. It curbs banks' ability to bet with their own capital and forces them to draw bright lines separating trades for clients from trades to limit their risks and so-called proprietary bets.
Late Summer Meeting Gave Urgency To Regulators On Volcker Rule (Dealbook)
Gathered in the Roosevelt Room on a late summer afternoon, the regulators outlined their progress in carrying out the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law, save for one crucial element: the Volcker Rule. The rule, a centerpiece of Dodd-Frank and a symbol of the Obama administration’s effort to rein in risk-taking after the financial crisis, was mired in delays, a victim of internal regulatory squabbling and fierce lobbying from the financial industry. But when Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew spoke up, people briefed on the meeting recalled in recent interviews, he declared that the rule was too important to delay and that he wanted the deal done by the end of 2013.
Era of Lucrative Debt Traders Fades as Credit Suisse Sees Exits (Bloomberg)
At least six senior members of the firm’s U.S. credit team have departed its New York office this year as top pay for high-yield debt traders and salespeople fell to about $3.5 million in 2012 from as much as $5 million three years earlier, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. The bank has scrapped monthly commissions it had paid as part of efforts to retain a DLJ junk-bond team led by an associate of Michael Milken, who created the market in the 1980s, the people said.
Witness Describes Madoff's Effort to Save Firm in Last Days (WSJ)
Frank DiPascali Jr. choked up while telling jurors in Manhattan federal court Tuesday that Mr. Madoff finally revealed to him the scope of the fraud during a late-night meeting in Mr. Madoff's office just days before his arrest. "He turned to me and said, crying, 'I'm at the end of my rope,'" said Mr. DiPascali, a high-school-educated, Queens, N.Y., native who worked for Mr. Madoff for 30 years. "What do you mean?" Mr. DiPascali said he responded. "I mean I have no more...money," Mr. Madoff responded, according to his former employee. "Don't you get it? The whole...thing was a fraud."
Tacos or death, sword-wielding robber demands (Chron)
A San Antonio man threatened a waitress with a sword he had holstered on his waist last week after he was told he would indeed have to pay for the tacos he ordered at a South Side restaurant, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. Adam Kramer, 28, has been charged with aggravated robbery and remains in the Bexar County Jail with a bail amount of $50,000. Kramer ordered six tacos at Alondras De Jalisco on South Loop 1604 at about 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 2, according to documents released Friday. When the waitress told Kramer how much he owed, he responded that he was going to take them for free, officials said. When the waitress told Kramer that he had to pay for his food, he allegedly started sliding what is described as a large sword in and out of a black sheath on his waist, the affidavit says. The waitress asked the cook to come talk with Kramer, who left the building when the phone rang, according to the affidavit. Kramer went to his vehicle before walking back to the restaurant, still allegedly carrying the large sword, so the waitress locked the door, documents state. “Mr. Kramer was yelling that he wanted his free tacos or somebody was going to die,” the affidavit says.
A Gold Rush Hits Wireless Spectrum (WSJ)
The U.S. government's first major auction of wireless airwaves since 2008 has speculators panning for gold. After years of complaining about the need for more airwaves, none of the major carriers have signed up. Instead, the January auction is crowded with people who don't own networks but are hoping to cash in on a scarce asset. At least 10 of the 34 potential bidders announced last week are private investors. One of them is Thomas Persons, who works part time in venture capital in South Carolina after retiring from AT&T in marketing. He got the notion to bid and then spent an hour and half filling out the application.
NYC Will Deploy Weapons Teams, Patrol Boats for Super Bowl (Bloomberg)
New York City police will deploy teams of officers with heavy weapons, patrol boats and canine teams as fans gather in the week leading to the 2014 Super Bowl. Dozens of pregame events will take place in the city related to the Feb. 2 National Football League championship game across the Hudson River at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. A highlight will be Super Bowl Boulevard, a collection of attractions that will close a 14-block stretch of Broadway in midtown Manhattan from Jan. 26 to Feb. 1. The New York City Police Department is employing security measures similar to those of other large public events, including Hercules teams of heavily armed officers whose job is deterring terrorists and preventing them from conducting reconnaissance, said John O’Connell, an inspector with the department’s counterterrorism bureau. The NYPD will also deploy radiation detectors, patrol boats, canine teams and “heavily visible” foot patrols, and will monitor closed-circuit TV cameras along Super Bowl Boulevard, O’Connell said at a conference today at police headquarters for members of the department’s Shield partnership with private security.
Steinberg trial may discuss Cohen’s Dell trades (NYP)
Assistant US Attorney Antonia Apps said she needed to tell the jury about Cohen’s trades in tech giant Dell to refute an argument by the lawyer for defendant Michael Steinberg that the government’s key witness turned on Steinberg, his former boss, because all of his buddies had already been charged. “There are other potential targets that [key witness Jon Horvath] talked to the government about,” Apps said in a talk with Judge Richard Sullivan and defense lawyer Barry Berke away from the jury. When the deal was cut, the feds were also investigating Cohen and SAC Capital. Cohen has not been charged, but his firm recently pleaded guilty to five counts of securities and wire fraud and agreed to pay a record fine of $1.8 billion. The defense has fought to keep Cohen’s Dell trades away from the jury.
Get ready, here it comes: A December taper (CNBC)
While forecasting the central bank's moves has been an uncertain proposition for most of the past several months—with the conventional wisdom having it wrong in June and September—several of the Fed's own financial tests for reducing its asset purchases look to have been met as it heads into the Dec. 17 meeting. Those include confidence in the outlook, an easing of fiscal drag and uncertainty, and what the Fed sees as more appropriate interest rates.
Shia LaBeouf alleged to have told fellow restaurant guest: 'I can get you killed!' (Daily Mail)
Dining at a chic restaurant bar in London's Covent Garden, Shia was approached by a female fan who left in tears after having spoken to the star. The woman's boyfriend is reported to have then approached the Transformers star which resulted in a 'tussle', according to The Sun of Sunday. 'Shia pursued him and was overhead saying, "I can get you killed",' the paper reports. The paper claims that Shia was eventually removed from the restaurant bar by a group of waiters and onlookers. A witness told the paper that 'Shia went for this guy after he upset his girlfriend. It was shocking. He looked out of control.'