Deutsche Bank Said to Weigh Shrinking Securities Unit (Bloomberg)
To help lift returns, the bank is considering paring its interest-rate trading business and the prime finance activities that cater to hedge funds, said the person, who asked not to be identified speaking about private discussions. One option would shrink the investment bank by almost a fifth, the person said.
ECB hits out at Greek 'blackmail' claims as Merkel holds steady in bailout demands (Telegraph)
In his first formal talks with Germany since taking office, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras put on a show of solidarity with counterpart Angela Merkel, promising to “avoid division and find a common solution” with his European partners after weeks of acrimonious mud-slinging between the two sides. But in a letter sent to Ms Merkel and ECB chief Mario Draghi in anticipation of the talks, the Greek premier chastised the central bank for making it “impossible” for his government to meet its basic obligations to pay wages and pensions. "I am urging you not to allow a small cash flow issue, and a certain ‘institutional inertia’, to turn into a large problem for Greece and for Europe,” wrote a pleading Mr Tsipras.
Tsipras raises Nazi war reparations claim at Berlin press conference with Merkel (Guardian)
“It’s not a material matter, it’s a moral issue,” said Tsipras, unusually insisting on raising the “shadows of the past” at the heart of German power in the gleaming new chancellery in Berlin. It was believed to be the first time a foreign leader had gone to the capital of the reunified Germany to make such a demand. Merkel was uncompromising, while appearing uncomfortable and irritated. “In the view of the German government, the issue of reparations is politically and legally closed,” she said.
A-listers are flocking to NYC’s most overpriced restaurant (NYP)
“You must be out of your mind to go to a place with zero stars,” says Julian Niccolini, co-owner of the Four Seasons restaurant. “A lot of people like to be taken advantage of, and Kappo Masa has a perfect address for that: Madison Avenue people don’t know how to get rid of their money.”
Stephen King wants Maine gov. to "man up and apologize" (CBS)
"Governor Paul LePage implied that I don't pay my taxes. I do. Every cent. I think he needs to man up and apologize," King wrote on Twitter Thursday. The best-selling novelist took to social media after LePage accused him of skipping out on Maine income taxes. The error, made during the governor's weekly radio address, prompted King to broadcast his own statement, saying "Governor LePage is full of the stuff that makes the grass grow green."
US vetoes RBS, HSBC and BNP living wills (FT)
The Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which share responsibility for evaluating banks’ living wills, said the three banks plans contained “unrealistic or inadequately supported assumptions about the likely behavior of customers, counterparties, investors, central clearing facilities, and regulators; and inadequate analysis regarding interconnections within the firms”.
Ex-Rabobank trader pleads guilty to conspiracy charge in US Libor case (Reuters)
Lee Stewart, a former senior derivatives trader for Rabobank in London, entered his plea in federal court in Manhattan before U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff. He is set to be sentenced in June 2017, according to a Department of Justice spokesman.
Inside the Minecraft billionaire's ultimate bachelor pad (CNBC)
Some of the details he included are: A lot of skin. There are rare animal hides everywhere in the house. The drawers of the men's dressing room are lined with alligator skin and the door to the cinema room (one of the most expensive in LA) is lined with Italian lizard skin.
European Banks Seen Offloading $109 Billion of Bad Debt in 2015 (Bloomberg)
Loan disposals by banks have grown every year since 2010 as scrutiny by the European Central Bank and pressure from regulators to shore up balance sheets prompted lenders to restructure and downscale their operations. That’s provided a growing supply of assets for U.S. investment firms including Lone Star Funds, Apollo Global Management and Oaktree Capital Group LLC, which invest in distressed assets.
Proof grows that female executives bring bigger profits (USN)
Companies with more balanced leadership do a better job recruiting and retaining talented workers, reducing the costs associated with replacing top executives, McKinsey found. They also have stronger customer relations because management better reflects the diversity of society, and they tend to make better business decisions because a wider array of viewpoints is considered.
Real life Human Torch runs 645 feet while on fire (UPI)
Joe Todtling donned flame-resistant Nomex clothing and fire gel Friday in his hometown of Passail before igniting himself and running 645 feet with a team of local firefighters following closely in case of mishap. Todtling, a professional movie stunt man known locally as Seppe, smashed U.S. daredevil Ted Batchelor's previous record of 531.5 feet while an audience of about 1,500 fans watched the feat. Todtling, whose wife and children were present at the event, said he is planning to take on further full body burn records including being pulled by a horse, a quad bike and a small motor vehicle. He said the records will be attempted in Teichalm in June.