Facing Vicious Debt Cycle, Greece Sprints to Apply Fixes (NYT)
Tuesday’s payment was an example. Continuing the cycle, the money Greece used to pay the I.M.F. came from a special reserve the fund requires all of its member nations to maintain. In other words, Greece used I.M.F. money to pay the I.M.F. And the money Greece is cobbling together to make other payments has come in part from state entities and municipal authorities. Unless Greece’s foreign creditors agree to forgive some of the country’s €324 billion debt, sustainable economic growth will be increasingly difficult to achieve, economists say. Making matters worse, bank depositors and investors will have less incentive to keep their money in Greece.
Democrats Greet Banking Bill With Skepticism (WSJ)
An opening gambit by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R., Ala.) to ease regulatory restrictions on smaller banks and increase scrutiny of the Federal Reserve was met with skepticism by Democrats, portending a rough road for a bill that would make the most significant changes to financial regulation since the 2010 Dodd-Frank law. While elements of the draft legislation unveiled on Tuesday are supported by both parties, congressional Democrats and the Obama administration criticized the bill as an overreach that could roll back some of the fundamental protections implemented after the 2008 financial crisis.
Banks Rethink Common Sales Tricks (WSJ)
Ever since former Jefferies Group LLC trader Jesse Litvak was sentenced in July 2014 to two years in prison for lying to customers about how much he had paid for securities, Wall Street executives have been rethinking the rules of engagement. Long-acceptable trading tactics—pretending to have paid more for a bond than one had, for example, or embellishing how many potential buyers may be interested in a particular security—have become potential criminal offenses.
Kim Jong Un Purges Defense Chief for Napping, Lawmaker Says (Bloomberg)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has purged his defense minister for dozing off at a rally in the latest removal of a senior official under his rule, a South Korean lawmaker said. Hyon Yong Chol, minister of the People’s Armed Forces, was captured napping in footage of the event late last month and South Korean intelligence indicates he may have been executed by firing squad, Shin Kyoung Min of the opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy party said Wednesday by phone. Shin was citing a briefing by the National Intelligence Service. “Rumors are rampant in North Korea that he’s been executed,” Shin said. “His crime was lese majeste.”
Star-studded Robin Hood Foundation galas raise $101M (NYP)
At the main event, a crowd of more than 4,000 donors — including Wall Street tycoons David Tepper, Henry Kravis and David Einhorn — were entertained by the likes of Paul McCartney, Jimmy Fallon and Jon Bon Jovi, sources at the event told The Post. The $101 million raised is believed to be the record for a US fundraiser. Hedge fund moguls Bill Ackman, founder of Pershing Square, and Einhorn, founder of Greenlight Capital, each kicked in $25 million, to help get the total into record territory, sources said.
American Apparel Has a Dossier of Complaints Against Former CEO It Can Use (Bloomberg)
The retailer has assembled e-mails, videos and audio recordings documenting complaints by those who worked for Charney. One e-mail to the human resources department in 2013 reported that he threw a medicine bottle at an employee, according to internal documents obtained by Bloomberg News. In a separate e-mail, a female worker said he called her a “slut” and a “whore.” In a resignation letter, an employee said, “I’m afraid to return to work and face further abuse.”
Hooters Casino Hotel Sold for $70 Million (AP)
A real estate broker representing the owners of the Hooters Casino Hotel said the property near the Las Vegas Strip has sold for about $70 million to a New York-based hotel investment company. Michael Parks with CBRE Group in Las Vegas confirmed Monday the 696-room casino-hotel off Tropicana Avenue was sold May 1 to Trinity Hotel Investors LLC.
Moody's downgrades Chicago debt to 'junk' (CNBC)
Moody's downgraded Chicago's credit rating down to junk level "Ba1" from "Baa2." The announcement, which the ratings agency released Tuesday afternoon, cited a recent Illinois court ruling voiding state pension reforms. Moody's said it saw a negative outlook for the city's credit. Following that May court decision, Moody's said it believes that "the city's options for curbing growth in its own unfunded pension liabilities have narrowed considerably."
Man sneezes out rubber end of childhood toy dart after four decades (UPI)
Steve Easton, 51, claims he was playing an Internet game at his home in Camberley when a sneezing fit prompted the emergence of the object from his nostril. Unsure of what he had found, Easton called his mother, 77-year-old Pat Easton, who told him what the object was -- the end sucker piece on a toy rubber dart. Pat Easton said she had decades previously taken Steve, then 7 or 8 years old, to the hospital after he swallowed the toy, but X-rays were inconclusive. "All these years later, it suddenly shot out," she told the BBC...Easton said he carried the object around to show people who were interested in the story, but he has since disposed of it.