JPMorgan Pays $995 Million to Settle Ambac Lawsuits (Bloomberg)
JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to pay almost $1 billion to resolve claims by Ambac Financial Group Inc. that it was duped into insuring mortgage bonds backed by shoddy loans, clearing the way for approval of a larger settlement over similar allegations.
Paulson Pledges Personal Holdings to Back Firm After Assets Fall (Bloomberg)
The billionaire pledged his personal investments in four of his firm’s hedge funds as additional collateral for a credit line Paulson & Co. has had with HSBC Bank USA for at least five years, according to a filing last month with the state of New York. The holdings will also serve as guarantee for a new personal line of credit for Paulson.
AIG Outlines Plans to Slim Down Amid Investor Pressure (WSJ)
American International Group Inc. will sell its broker-dealer network, conduct an initial public offering of its mortgage-insurance unit and more aggressively cut costs, Chief Executive Peter Hancock said in a strategy update Tuesday, as pressure from investor Carl Icahn grows. AIG also said it plans to return at least $25 billion over the next two years to shareholders in the form of share buybacks and dividends, funded by divestitures, operating performance and other things. The amount is higher than some analysts expected and above the $20 billion Mr. Icahn pushed for.
Hedge funds betting against China eye 'Soros moment' (Reuters)
A handful of mainly U.S.-based macro hedge funds have led bets against China's yuan since late last year and the coming weeks should tell how right they are in predicting a devaluation of between 20 and 50 percent. Since at least last September, Texas-based Corriente Partners, which made hundreds of millions of dollars foreseeing Europe's debt crisis, has been accumulating tailored "low delta" options - essentially bets with long odds - that provide for an up to 50 percent fall in the yuan...That has prompted comparisons with the victories of George Soros-led funds over European governments in the early 1990s. Chinese state media on Tuesday warned Soros and other "vicious" speculators against betting on yuan falls.
Dead man's hand: Puerto Rican man 'plays poker' at his own wake (UPI)
The family of Henry Rosario Martinez, 31, contacted the Eternal Light Funeral Home in Barceloneta after his Jan. 19 death and asked that the man's remains be embalmed, dressed and seated at a poker table during his wake. "It's the first time we did this here, but we take it as something normal, because they have done these things in other parts of the island," funeral home owner Jose Mendelez told EFE. Martinez's wake included poker games with the corpse seated at the table and friends and family posing for pictures with the deceased.
Tyco Deal Adds to U.S. Tax Exodus (WSJ)
Johnson Controls, an industrial-systems and battery maker whose Milwaukee roots stretch back to 1885, said Monday it will merge with Tyco International PLC and take on Tyco’s Irish tax address. The deal, valued at roughly $14.4 billion, is a so-called inversion that should allow Johnson Controls to lower its tax rate over time.
Stock market slump has made these execs ex-billionaires (NYP)
Twenty US execs, including GoPro Chief Executive Nick Woodman and Valeant boss Michael Pearson, have fallen out of the coveted 10-figure net worth echelon, according to Forbes, which tracks the net worth of the wealthiest in real time...Other US executives demoted from 10-figure status: Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive at JPMorgan Chase and Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive at Goldman Sachs.
Mohamed El-Erian warns about a day of reckoning (CNBC)
Allianz Chief Economic Adviser Mohamed El-Erian said Tuesday the world economy is at the end of the era of borrowing growth and profits from the future in the form of easy monetary policies. "Either we validate the financial asset prices and growth faster, or alternatively we will slip into a global recession with financial disorder," El-Erian told CNBC's "Squawk Box." He put a timetable of about three years on the outcome. "The path we're on right now — and that we've been on for a while— is ending," the former Pimco co-CEO said, advocating central banks step back and allow economies to determine their own futures.
Sumo Militia Man Dares Chris Christie To Match We'd Pay To See (HP)
Kelly Gneiting, now encamped with the Bundy militia at Malheur National Wildlife Preserve in Oregon, issued one bizarre proposition to Republican hopeful and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: Win just one of 10 sumo matches against him, and the group will disperse. But if Christie loses all 10, well, ya gotta listen above.