Tsipras Will Walk Tightrope With Unveiling of New Greek Budget (Bloomberg)
In a three-day-long parliamentary debate set to conclude with a vote of confidence on Wednesday, the 41-year-old leader will seek to strike a balance between complying with creditors’ demands and fulfilling his election-campaign promises for a “parallel program” to alleviate the impact of austerity. European leaders are pushing Greece for deep spending cuts and economic overhauls.
Glencore Oil Deals Could Bite Banks (WSJ)
A deal struck last year between Glencore PLC and the government of Chad sent $1.4 billion to the African country as an up-front payment for four years of oil shipments. Now, uncertainties over the transaction, which was financed by bank lending, and troubles with other similar deals are shedding light on how Glencore’s energy business has taken some banks into risky areas that are causing jitters as commodity prices fall.
Dealmakers Ignore Stock Market Rout After Busiest Summer for M&A (Bloomberg)
Companies are still hungry for deals, and willing to pay large premiums for major M&A opportunities, according to Ferdinand Mason, a partner at law firm Jones Day in London. While the flow of transactions has been steady across sectors, activity has been especially high in the pharmaceuticals and telecommunications, media and technology industries, he said. “Economic instabilities are showing no sign of dampening appetites for deal-making,” Mason said in an e-mail. “Every time I think we’ve reached a peak, there’s a new announcement.”
Merkel says VW scandal has not hurt Germany's reputation as good place for business (Reuters)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a German radio station that the emissions scandal around German carmaker Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) was "drastic" but the damage was not so great that Germany was no longer deemed a good place to do business. "I believe the reputation of the German economy and the trust in the German economy has not been shaken by this to the extent that we are no longer considered a good business location," she told Deutschlandfunk, according to the text of an interview due to be broadcast later on Sunday.
Australian artist to alter sexual cheeseburger mural (UPI)
An Australian building owner said the street artist behind a controversial mural of a cheeseburger filled with copulating human bodies will alter the piece. Dean Sunshine, owner of Rathdowne Fabrics in the Brunswick neighborhood of Moreland, in the Melbourne area, said he asked street artist Makatron to make alterations to his "Kama Sutra Burger" mural after the Moreland City Council graffiti team asked for the artwork to be removed. The council, which objected to the mural depicting people engaging in sexual activities between the sesame seed buns of a cheeseburger, has agreed to allow Makatron -- aka Mike Maka -- to alter his painting. "Art is certainly in the eye of the beholder, but our arts and culture team does think there are a couple of parts of the image that might have crossed a few lines," Moreland Mayor Meghan Hopper told the Melbourne Herald Sun. "When Maka started painting it I said it was looking a little full on, he said, just wait 'til it's finished, once you've got the tomatoes and cheese and lettuce in there the naughty parts will be covered up a bit," Sunshine told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Yellen’s Sway Over Rates Puts Her Atop Most Influential Ranking (Bloomberg)
...the diminutive, white-haired Yellen, who looks a bit like a kindly grandmother (though she doesn’t actually have grandkids), has to be the tough guy who will soon start raising rates, even as risks to the economy persist. At first blush, it seems paradoxical that Yellen has been cast in this role. She’s known as a dove who favors easy money to boost employment, putting her at the opposite end of the spectrum from the hawks who keep a sharp eye on inflation and raise rates more quickly...Still, colleagues say she recognizes there is just so much the Fed can do to help the less well off. She’s shown a willingness during her time at the Fed to tighten credit when she thought it was needed to keep inflation in check or, in monetary jargon, foster price stability.
Short Sellers Take On Hong Kong's Best-Performing Property Stock (Bloomberg)
Evergrande Real Estate Group Ltd., the best-performing major property stock traded in Hong Kong this year, is also the most-shorted and lowest-rated among peers. Some reasons: The developer controlled by billionaire Chairman Hui Ka Yan has bought back shares to help boost prices and has been piling on debt, leading analysts and some investors to bet that increases won’t be sustainable. The shares, which defied a slumping market to increase in July and slip only 0.6 percent amid a rout in August, led declines among property developers in September.
Dodd-Frank’s Effect on Small Banks is Muted (WSJ)
It’s a favorite lament of community banks: The 2010 Dodd-Frank law is squeezing small financial firms and crimping access to credit for Main Street, all in the name of protecting the country from another financial crisis. A look at the data shows the reality is more complicated, and small banks are proving surprisingly resilient by some measures. Meanwhile, the bigger challenge than weathering compliance costs, say banking consultants and analysts, is generating profits during a period of unusually low interest rates.
Sweden embraces six-hour work day (NYP)
How would you like to come in at 8 a.m. and go home at 2 p.m. every day?
Believe it or not, many workers in Sweden are now living that dream, with the Scandinavian country adding the six-hour workday to its list of socially progressive initiatives, Fast Company reports. By urging employees to stay off social media and limit personal distractions, many companies have found the same amount of work gets done in a shorter amount of time. The result is happier, more-focused employees. “I think the eight-hour workday is not as effective as one would think,” Linus Feldt, CEO of app developer Filimundus told Fast Company.
Blackstone Schwarzmans’ $40M gift gets Papal blessing (NYP)
Blackstone Group Chairman and Chief Executive Schwarzman — worth more than $10 billion — and his wife in donated $40 million in September to help underprivileged students pay for Catholic school. Then, days later, they were welcoming Pope Francis to Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem. Building a relationship with the Archdiocese of New York has been a long journey for the interfaith couple. Stephen is Jewish, Christine Roman Catholic, and they got married in 1995 by a rabbi and a priest.
Informant Eats Heroin She Bought Undercover For Cops: Police (AP)
Pamela Laich was working with Altoona police Sunday night when she bought heroin from the target of the investigation. Police say Laich was instructed to buy five bags for $80 but after a long delay came back with only three. The undercover officer supervising Laich made her go back for two more bags, but police thought what she returned with looked odd. Police say they later determined she had switched the heroin out with dry baby cereal. Police say Laich then sneaked the heroin into a holding cell, where she ate it.