Tsipras Vows to Reject Unfair Deal as EU Braces for Collapse (Bloomberg)
With a viable solution “the Greek government recently elected by the Greek people will bear the cost of carrying through,” Tsipras told reporters in Athens on Wednesday. Without one, “we will assume the responsibility to say ‘the great no’ to a continuation of the catastrophic policies.”
European Central Bank Walks Fine Line on Greek Bailout (WSJ)
The European Central Bank faces a tough choice as acrimonious talks between Greece and its lenders push the country closer to default: strictly apply its lending rules and risk making matters worse, or keep money flowing to Greek banks and damage its own credibility. The stakes are high for Greece, which has been crippled by recession and soaring unemployment that could get worse if it is forced out of the euro. There is a lot on the line too for the ECB and its president, Mario Draghi, who in nearly four years at the helm has steered the eurozone through recession and deflationary risks with abundant bank loans and bond buying.
Suspicious Swiss Bank Deals to Be Part of FIFA Investigation (Dealbook)
An investigation by the authorities in Switzerland into the activities of FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, will include the examination of more than 50 suspicious financial relationships, the country’s chief federal prosecutor said on Wednesday. Michael Lauber, the official leading the investigation, said at a news conference that his office had received 53 reports involving FIFA from banks concerned about transactions and that his team had “obtained evidence concerning 104 banking relations.” He added: “And be aware that every banking relation represents several bank accounts.”
Toe Wrestling: 'The One Sport That England Always Wins At' (Reuters)
Toe wrestling traces its roots to 1976 when Staffordshire pub landlord George Burgess sought to find a new sport for Brits to dominate, according to the Bentley Brook Inn where the championship took place. "I just love the fact that this is the one sport that England always win at, we get hammered at everything else," Nash said. "My technique ... is to hurt the first person that comes into the ring with me: hurt them bad and terrify everyone else." There are two participants in each bout. With their feet on a small square ring on the floor, the competitors begin by locking their big toes together, before battling arm-wrestling style to drive their opponent's foot to the ground. Toe inspections are a must and mixed sex matches are not allowed. "There have been some dirty toed tactics, 'flicking off' is one of them," organizer Edward Allington said.
Hedge-Fund Bet Hits Pensions (WSJ)
Large corporate pension funds have quadrupled the share of their portfolios invested in hedge funds over the past five years, according to an analysis of about 300 firms in the S&P 500 by Wilshire Consulting. During that period, those pensions have lagged behind the performance of the broader stock market in every year but one, according to Wilshire. Their return of 9.7% in 2014 was below 13.7% for the S&P 500, including dividends. “There’s certainly regret,” said Jim McKee, head of hedge-fund research at Callan Associates Inc., which advises pension funds. “The last five years have been disappointing for pensions invested in hedge funds.”
Greenberg’s Firm Vows to Appeal A.I.G. Ruling (Dealbook)
Judge Thomas C. Wheeler of the United States Court of Federal Claims found on Monday that the Federal Reserve acted illegally when it demanded a 79.9 percent equity stake in A.I.G. as a condition of the bailout. But he also found that A.I.G. shareholders had not been damaged and had in fact been saved from bankruptcy. While Mr. Greenberg, the former A.I.G. chief executive, had been demanding as much as $40 billion on behalf of shareholders, Judge Wheeler awarded nothing. “We respectfully disagree with the trial court’s legal conclusion that, under applicable appellate cases, there is no remedy for the government’s illegal conduct,” Starr said in a statement on Tuesday.
2.3 Pounds Of Cocaine Found Hidden Inside Fried Fish (CBS)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Miami International Airport made fish fry out of a smuggler who tried using fried fish to conceal cocaine. According to authorities, a passenger arriving from Jamaica Saturday morning was carrying fried fish their luggage. During an X-ray examination of a passenger’s luggage, officers said they noticed anomalies in some of the cooked fish. Officers said the bellies of some of the fish were sewn together and certain fish felt thicker than the rest. Authorities said they found 2.3 pounds of cocaine hidden inside the fish, which they seized.