TOP NEWS: Economy: August 9, 2012
- In U.K., Backlash On Standard Chartered Allegations
- With Rates Low, Banks Increase Mortgage Profit
- Fannie Mae Posts Profit as Home Prices Rise
- Productivity, Labor Costs Rise
- Business Message to D.C.: Stop Fighting, We’ll Spend
Excerpts and More Top Stories
STANDARD CHARTERED: In U.K., Backlash Over Standard Chartered Allegations
Max Colchester, Liz Rappaport, Damian Paletta, WSJ – British regulators, politicians and bankers launched a counterattack against the New York banking supervisor that this week accused Standard Chartered of misconduct.
STANDARD CHARTERED/REGULATION: In Laundering Case, a Lax Banking Law Obscured Money Flow
Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Edward Wyatt, NY Times – In so-called U-turn transactions before 2008, global banks like Standard Chartered could provide scant information on transfers that passed in and out of the United States.
STANDARD CHARTERED: Treasury working with British regulators on Standard Chartered investigation
Danielle Douglas, The Washington Post – The Treasury Department sent a letter to British financial regulators clarifying U.S. laws on Iranian transactions before and after 2008, an inquiry that appears to be tied to the ongoing investigation of London-based Standard Chartered Bank.
STANDARD CHARTERED: Bank seeks advice over countersuit
Kara Scannell, FT – Bank’s advisers believe ‘there is a case’ for claiming reputational damage after a US regulator accused it of being a rogue institution.
Peter Eavis, NY Times – Interest rates on mortgages are at record lows, but they could be even lower if banks were satisfied with the profit margins that were seen just a few years ago.
Nick Timiraos, WSJ – Rising home prices powered Fannie Mae to a $5.1 billion second-quarter profit, its largest since the mortgage-finance company was taken over by the government in 2008.
LABOR/PRODCUTIVITY: Productivity, Labor Costs Rise
Sarah Portlock, Eric Morath – U.S. workers productivity grew mildly in April through June, reflecting a slow improvement in the overall economy, even as labor costs moved higher. Nonfarm business productivity, rose at a 1.6% annual rate in the second three months of 2012, the Labor Department said, unit labor costs were up 1.7% during the period.
FISCAL CLIFF: A Business Message to D.C.: Stop Fighting, We’ll Spend
Dennis K. Berman, WSJ – America’s companies have a message for Washington. It’s just not being heard. Recent earnings calls have become an unexpected public platform for chastising Democrat and Republican alike for what’s become of our way of governing. A “fiscal cliff” that will reset tax rates looms on Dec. 31, while a presidential election has only sharpened the divide on virtually every major policy issue.
Jared Bernstein, FT, Opinion – One of the guiding principles of contemporary tax policy in the US is the notion that Americans are terribly overtaxed. Yet, data from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reveal that, when it comes to federal taxation, US households are less taxed now than 30 years ago,
TRADING/PROSECUTIONS: Ex-Traders at UBS Are Offered Deal
Jean Eaglesham, Joe Palazzolo – U.S. prosecutors have agreed to shield several former UBS employees from criminal charges in return for their cooperation with the investigation of suspected interest-rate manipulation.
TRADING/COMPUTERIZATION: Man vs. Machine at Morgan Stanley
Aaron Lucchetti, Brett Philbin, WSJ – Morgan Stanley is scrambling to replace some of its well-paid bond traders with computers, in a move to repair its bond-trading business.
TRADING/INSIDER TRIAL: Insider Informant: Some Tips Were Refused
Chad Bray, WSJ – A cooperating witness in the insider-trading trial of hedge-fund manager Doug Whitman testified that he turned her down on several occasions when she offered him inside information about a series of corporate takeovers, potentially undercutting her earlier testimony that he gladly traded on her confidential information.
KNIGHT CAPITAL: Errant Code? It’s Not Just a Bug
Ellen Ullman, NYTimes, Op-Ed – We need code, and attentive human beings, to solve problems like the runaway stock trades at Knight Capital.
Ezra Klein, Bloomberg, Opinion – While tax reform offers a slew of benefits and political possibilities that simply raising taxes doesn’t, it also presents a slew of technical and political difficulties that simply raising taxes doesn’t.
INVESTING: Bet on Platinum’s Fall Is Anti-Euro Wager
Carolyn Cui, WSJ – Some hedge funds have found a new venue to wager on a worsening outlook for Europe: the platinum market.
SAMSUNG CHILD LABOR: Samsung China Assembler Employs Child Workers, Group Says
Mark Lee, Jun Yang, Bloomberg – A Chinese company that assembles devices for Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) hired children at its production facilities and forced employees to work excessive hours, violating labor laws.
MANUFACTURING/CHINA-US: China’s New Target: Batteries
Mike Ramsey, WSJ – A company that two years ago was one of the most promising U.S. innovators in the clean-fuel auto industry was rescued from collapse Wednesday. Its buyer: A Chinese auto-parts company.
NEWS CORP LOSSES: News Corp in $2.8bn writedown
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, Emily Steel, FT – US group writes down the value of its publishing businesses by $2.8bn and takes a $224m charge to cover the costs of investigations into scandals
J.P.MORGAN QUARTERLY: J.P. Morgan Cites ‘Material Weakness’ In Restated First-Quarter Results
Matthias Reiker, WSJ – The lender’s restated first-quarter profit of $4.92 billion, down $459 million from the original report, matched what the company announced last month.
HP LOSSES: HP to Book $8 Billion Charge
Ben Worthen, Shara Tibken, WSJ – Hewlett-Packard Co. said it would write down the value of its technology-services business by about $8 billion, underscoring both industry changes and singular pressures plaguing the company.
MACY’S PROFITS: Macy’s Brightens Its Outlook as Profit Surges
Saabira Chaudhuri, Karen Talley, WSJ – Macy’s Inc.’s fiscal second-quarter profit surged 16%, with the department-store operator seeing revenue, and particularly online sales, rise as its localized product offerings and raft of exclusive brands resonated with customers.
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