Tag Archive | "tokyo"

Opening Bell: 05.31.11

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2nd banker in hotel sex bust (NYP)
Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar — the 74-year-old former chairman of Egypt’s Bank of Alexandria — allegedly groped and “gyrated” against the maid in Room 1027 at The Pierre hotel on Fifth Avenue, a law-enforcement source told The Post. He was wearing a bathrobe at the time, but it was not clear what, if anything, he had on under it.

Greek Aid Package To Be Decided By June (Bloomberg)
Inspectors from the EU, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank are set to wrap up a review of Greece’s progress in meeting the terms of last year’s 110 billion-euro ($158 billion) bailout in coming days. The EU will then formulate its plan for further aid to Greece, which remains shut out of financial markets a year after the rescue package.
“We are waiting for their final judgment,” Juncker, who is also Luxembourg’s prime minister, said yesterday in Paris after meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. “Their position will partly determine our position, so it’s too early. We will try to solve the Greek problem by the end of June.”

Japan recovery takes hold, but debt downgrade looms (Reuters)
Japan’s economy offered more signs of recovery from the deadly March earthquake on Tuesday, but Moody’s ratings agency warned both growth and government action may fall short of what is necessary to bring Tokyo’s ballooning debt back under control.

Goldman Sachs names ex-Sen. Gregg to advisory post (Businessweek)
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said Friday that it has hired former U.S. Senator Judd Gregg as an international adviser.

Libya’s Goldman Dalliance Ends in Losses, Acrimony (WSJ)
In early 2008, Libya’s sovereign-wealth fund controlled by Col. Moammar Gadhafi gave $1.3 billion to Goldman Sachs Group to sink into a currency bet and other complicated trades. The investments lost 98% of their value, internal Goldman documents show…In an effort to make up for the losses, Goldman offered Libya the chance to become one of its biggest shareholders, according to documents and people familiar with the matter.

Lagarde has G8 backing (Reuters)
G8 leaders all back French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde’s bid to run the IMF, Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Sunday, as she attacked a call to investigate her role in a 2008 legal case that may harm her chances.

Wall Street ‘mispriced’ LinkedIn’s IPO (FT)
Peter Thiel, an early Facebook investor and co-founder of PayPal, said banks did not understand the full potential of the latest internet companies and warned that the next Silicon Valley darlings would negotiate hard when their turn comes to go public. “Whenever a stock price goes up as much as it does with LinkedIn, you assume the IPO was mispriced and the bankers screwed up,” said Mr Thiel, an investor in LinkedIn since its launch. “There continues to be a certain antipathy by Wall Street banks toward Silicon Valley companies where they don’t quite believe it’s real.”

At I.M.F., a Strict Ethics Code Doesn’t Apply to Top Officials (NYT)
At the International Monetary Fund, there is one set of ethics guidelines for the rank-and-file staff and another for the 24 elite executive directors who oversee the powerful organization. Over the last four years, the fund has tightened internal systems for catching ethical misconduct among its 2,400 staff members, establishing a telephone hot line for complaints like harassment; publishing details of complaints in an annual report; and empowering an ethics adviser to pursue allegations, which last year led to at least one dismissal. But the fund’s board members remain largely above these controls. The ethics adviser, for example, is not able to investigate any of them.

Strauss-Kahn assembles crisis team to fight back (Reuters)
Faced with a legal and media onslaught, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is pulling together a crack team of investigators, former spies and media advisers to fight back against charges he sexually assaulted a hotel chambermaid.

‘Bad-tipper’ Strauss-Kahn has food, patio furniture delivered; turns away balloons (NYP)
“They never tip,” said a sweaty Danny Cotto after dropping off a box from Espresso Coffee at around 6 p.m. at the luxe TriBeCa town house…He took in a six-bag grocery order that included healthy fare like boneless, skinless chicken breast, Lean Cuisine meals and Crystal Light.

DSK using man-power to clean up (NYP)
Dominique Strauss-Kahn has hired an all-male cleaning staff to do his dirty work at his TriBeCa townhouse, where he’s awaiting trial for allegedly forcing himself on a hotel maid.

Concerns mount over rising buy-out debt levels (FT)
Joseph Schull, European head of US private equity group Warburg Pincus, warned that his industry should not repeat mistakes made during its heyday in 2006 and 2007, when some companies were bought with excessive loan packages…Howard Marks, chairman of Oaktree Capital Management, a US private equity group investing in distressed assets, wrote in a note to clients last week: “In most regards the capital markets – and investors’ tolerance of risk – are retracing their steps back in the direction of the bubble-ish pre-crisis years.”

A FrontPoint Founder Tries Again With a New Firm (DealBook)
After Mr. Duff helped to orchestrate the sale of FrontPoint to Morgan Stanley in 2006, he struck out on his own, starting Duff Capital Advisors…With the markets in disarray, clients never materialized and Duff Capital shut down in May 2009…Now, Mr. Duff, a former top executive at Morgan Stanley, is trying again. His new firm, Massif Partners — which like FrontPoint has a name that refers to his passion for mountain climbing — is building off the blueprint of Duff Capital and focusing on pensions.

Russia’s Central Bank Signals Interest-Rate Pause After Surprise Increase (Bloomberg)
Bank Rossii, the central bank, yesterday raised its overnight deposit rate to 3.5 percent from 3.25 percent, surprising 11 of 20 economists in a Bloomberg survey. It left the refinancing and overnight repurchase rates unchanged after a quarter-point increase in April, saying in a statement that borrowing costs may be at the level necessary to tackle inflation and promote growth “for the nearest months.”

For Insurers, Bad—but Not Bad Enough (WSJ)
The deadly outbreak of tornadoes across the U.S. since late April is expected to cost the insurance industry more than $5 billion, according to disaster-modeling firm Eqecat. That puts weather-related losses in the U.S. so far this year in the range of $13 billion to $15 billion, three to four times a typical year. Add in catastrophes like the earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan, and disaster-related losses for the industry are estimated to be upward of $50 billion this year…”I think things are now bad enough to be good enough,” says Meyer Shields, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus. Bad enough, that is, that the industry will be forced to start raising premiums later this year or early next. That would immediately benefit major insurance brokers such as Aon Corp. and Marsh & McLennan Cos. Indeed, their shares are up more than 10% this year, roughly double the broader market.

Analyst: Chipotle expands test of chorizo (NRN)
Chipotle Mexican Grill has expanded a test of a new chorizo sausage that, if rolled out, would be the chain’s first new meat option in years, a securities analyst said Friday.


Hackers Disrupt PBS Web Site and Post a Fake Report About a Rap Artist (NYT)
The PBS Web site briefly carried a fake article claiming that the famed rapper Tupac Shakur was alive and living in New Zealand after a group of hackers took over the organization’s computer systems on Saturday night.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Samsung Counter-Sues Apple: Business As Usual?

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Samsung (SSNLF) today counter-sued Apple (AAPL) in courts in Germany, Tokyo and South Korea, Bloomberg’s Jun Yang reports this morning, after Apple alleged on Monday Samsung’s “Galaxy” brand of phones and tablets infringe on Apple’s innovations in physical device design and touch-screen gestures.

On Wednesday, during Apple’s fiscal Q2 conference call with analysts, Apple’s COO Tim Cook said that Apple’s business with Samsung for a variety of components should not be harmed by the suit. “We are Samsung’s largest customer, and Samsung is a very valued component supplier to us, and I expect the strong relationship will continue,” said Cook.

And, indeed, one source quoted by Yang today seems to take the whole matter in stride. “This is strictly business,” says business professor Chang Sea Jin of National University of Singapore, as quoted by Yang. “The typical way to deal with cases like this is to counter sue. It’s not between the management of Samsung and Apple, their lawyers will work it out.”

Article courtesy of Tech Trader Daily

Opening Bell: 04.21.11

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Morgan Stanley Profit Drops, Beats Estimates as Trading Revenue Jumps (Bloomberg)
Net income fell 45 percent to $968 million, or 50 cents a share, from $1.78 billion, or 99 cents, a year earlier, the bank said today in a statement. Earnings from continuing operations, excluding a 26-cent loss tied to a Japanese joint venture and a 30-cent tax gain, were 46 cents a share. That compared with the 40-cent average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Ex-Goldman Sachs Banker Starts Hedge Fund Analyzing Japanese Blog Traffic (Bloomberg)
Former Goldman Sachs Group banker Hideki Furusho and a University of Tokyo professor have teamed up to create a hedge fund that invests in Nikkei 225 futures based on a computer model that analyzes Japanese blogs.

At Facebook Townhall, Obama Goes On Offensive (WSJ)
“The Republican budget that was put forward I would say is fairly radical. I wouldn’t call it particularly courageous,” Mr. Obama said. Mr. Obama offered a dire description of the budget drafted by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. He said it would reduce taxes for corporations and the wealthy by cutting funds to clean energy programs and transportation. “I guess you could call that bold. I would call it shortsighted,” Mr. Obama said to applause from an audience of mostly young people. “I do think Mr. Ryan is serious,” Mr. Obama added. “He’s a patriot.”

BlackRock First Quarter Profit Gets Boost From Popular ETFs (Reuters)
The New York-based firm earned $819 million, or $2.96 per share, excluding some expenses, compared with $727 million, or $2.40 per share, a year earlier, BlackRock said on Thursday.

Weil: Geithner Downgrades His Own Credibility To Junk (BusinessWeek)
Fox Business reporter Peter Barnes began his televised interview with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner two days ago with this question: “Is there a risk that the United States could lose its AAA credit rating? Yes or no?” Geithner’s response: “No risk of that.” “No risk?” Barnes asked. “No risk,” Geithner said.

GE Profit, Revenue Beat Street View (Reuters)
The world’s biggest maker of jet engines and electric turbines said earnings attributable to common shareholders came to $3.36 billion, or 31 cents per share, up from $1.87 billion, or 17 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 6 percent to $38.45 billion.

Bernanke Plans To Make Voice Heard (WSJ)
Next Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will do something no Fed chief has done before: Stand before a room full of journalists after officials conclude a policy meeting and answer questions about the central bank’s decisions…”You can argue that the chairman of the Fed is more important than the president of the United States, but very few Americans understand what the Fed does,” says Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who successfully pushed for the Fed to disclose more about its secretive bank lending. Addressing the press, Mr. Sanders says, will be “a step forward.”

Greece Seeks Probe Into Debt Restructuring Rumor (Reuters)
Greek bank stocks fell 4.58 percent on Wednesday and the broader Athens bourse index lost 2.62 percent, underperforming pan-European indices on what traders said where rumors, spread by email, that the country would soon restructure its debt…”The ministry urgently requested the prosecutor’s office to launch a criminal investigation regarding the move in the Athens Stock Exchange and the bond market,” the ministry said in a statement.

Taco Bell Demands Apology After Lawsuit Is Withdrawn (CT)
On Wednesday, the fast-food chain decided to trumpet that good news with full-page ads in 10 major U.S. newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, demanding an apology. The company pegged the ads at a total cost of between $3 million and $4 million. “Would it kill you to say you’re sorry?” the ad exclaimed. “Sure, they could have just asked us if our recipe uses real beef. Even easier, they could have gone to our Web site where the ingredients in every one of our products are listed for everyone to see,” the ad read. “But that’s not what they chose to do.

New Swiss Tax Rules Signal Big Changes for Private Banks (NYT)
Switzerland aims to sign new treaties by the summer with Germany and Britain under which their citizens would pay taxes on more of their undeclared assets in Swiss banks. France and Italy are expected to follow suit.

Business Group Vows Support for U.S. Lawmakers to Cut Deficits (Bloomberg)
“The business community strongly supports a comprehensive deficit-reduction plan and will support members of Congress who help get it enacted,” according to a statement from the Committee for Economic Development released today in Washington. “Serious deficit reduction cannot be painless, and no one should expect or demand that the spending and revenue provisions they care most about will not be touched.”

Regulators Serve Up Alphabet Soup (WSJ)
Banks that decide they don’t want to belong to this exclusive, heavily regulated club should beware the “Hotel California.” This provision of Dodd-Frank, named in homage to the Eagles lyric that “you can check out any time you like but you can never leave,” ensures a taxpayer-aided bank can’t “de-SIFI” simply by shrinking its assets. Jargon purists, who prefer acronyms to Eagles songs, can find particularly rich pickings in the dozens of new rules affecting swaps, futures and options. A round-table event held by regulators last fall invited the public—”seating on a first-come, first-served basis”—to discuss DCOs, DCMs, SDs, MSPs, SEFs and SB SEFs. Such acronyms “remain strictly for the Dodd-Frank cognoscenti,” says Margaret Tahyar, a partner at law firm Davis Polk. Some of these terms will remain obscure. But some will enter the corporate lexicon, perhaps graduating to be the SECs and FDICs of their day.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 4.18.11

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Citi Profit Falls 32 Percent (Reuters, Citi)
Citigroup’s first-quarter profit fell 32 percent as the bank lost less money on bad loans but struggled to grow its business. The bank said this morning it earned $3.0 billion, or 10 cents per share. That compared with $4.4 billion, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier.

Geithner Says GOP Prepared To Lift Debt Limit (WSJ)
In interviews aired on the Sunday talk shows, Mr. Geithner said House Speaker John Boehner and other senior Republicans told President Barack Obama in discussions last week that they were aware of the risk of a credit default and were open to lifting the limit even in the absence of a comprehensive deal to slash the country’s debt load.

Greenspan Says US Should Let Bush-Era Tax Cuts Expire (Bloomberg)
We should “allow the Bush tax cuts to expire,” Greenspan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” today, calling the economic crisis “imminent and dire.” We should “put the rates back to where they were during the Clinton administration,” he said.

Hedge Funds Bounce Back (WSJ)
Total hedge-fund assets are approaching $2 trillion and are soon expected to surpass their peak in early 2008, according to industry analysts. Even start-ups and smaller funds, which were shunned by many investors in the wake of the crisis, are benefiting.

Emerging Nations Reject Capital Plan (WSJ)
The IMF’s plan would have encouraged nations to treat capital controls as a last resort, after they had first tried use other tools, such as policies on interest rates, currency values and government budgets. But ministers of developing economies resisted vehemently, viewing the proposal as an effort by advanced economies to hamstring their policies. Brazil, Turkey, South Korea and several other developing countries have adopted capital controls over the past year to limit surging inflows. “We oppose any guidelines, frameworks or ‘codes of conduct’ that attempt to constrain, directly or indirectly, policy responses of countries facing surges in volatile capital inflows,” Brazil’s finance minister, Guido Mantega, told the IMF’s steering-committee meeting.

Robot Does Hazardous Duty At Nuclear Plant (WSJ)
The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said Sunday that the PackBot, a small robot that scoots around on tank-like treads, would monitor radiation and oxygen levels to find out whether conditions were safe enough to allow human workers to go in to try to bring the nuclear crisis at the plant under control.

FDIC Eyes Tougher Rules For Big Banks (FT)
Sheila Bair warned that regulators now had the authority to demand that US banks break themselves into smaller parts — and it “could and should be used.”

Is Sitting Lethal? (NYT)
Over a lifetime, the unhealthful effects of sitting add up. Alpa Patel, an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, tracked the health of 123,000 Americans between 1992 and 2006. The men in the study who spent six hours or more per day of their leisure time sitting had an overall death rate that was about 20 percent higher than the men who sat for three hours or less. The death rate for women who sat for more than six hours a day was about 40 percent higher. Patel estimates that on average, people who sit too much shave a few years off of their lives…Sitting, it would seem, is an independent pathology. Being sedentary for nine hours a day at the office is bad for your health whether you go home and watch television afterward or hit the gym. It is bad whether you are morbidly obese or marathon-runner thin. “Excessive sitting,” Dr. Levine says, “is a lethal activity.”

Ferrari Should Be Valued at $7.3 Billion in IPO, Marchionne Says (Bloomberg)
Fiat SpA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said he’s told bankers pushing him to pursue an initial public offering of Ferrari that the division may be worth more than 5 billion euros ($7.3 billion).

Greece Denies Restructuring Plan As Traders Raise Bet Default (Bloomberg)
“Restructuring is not an issue we’re discussing,” Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said in an April 16 interview in Washington. “The pain and the cost” of doing so would be greater than repaying lenders, he told reporters the same day.

Greek Default Would Mean Pain All-Around (WSJ)
Economists at the Brussels think tank Bruegel calculate that roughly 20% of Greece’s debt at the end of 2010 was held by domestic banks. They are in difficult straits, and forcing losses on them may simply require the country’s rescuers to come up with more money to help.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Blames iPad For American Unemployment (HP)
On Friday, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. addressed the United States’s current unemployment crisis and claimed the iPad was “probably responsible for eliminating thousands of American jobs.” Jackson, himself an iPad owner, expanded on his statement by pointing to the recent bankruptcy of Borders Books. “Why do you need to go to Borders anymore? Why do you need to go to Barnes and Noble? Just buy an iPad and download your book, download your newspaper, download your magazine,” the Congressman said.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Are You A Tokyo-Based Banker Worried About Radiation Risks?

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Don’t be!

U.S. investment banks want staff to focus on business opportunities in Japan as the nation turns to rebuilding areas devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that triggered a nuclear accident, analysts said. Goldman Sachs has hosted three nuclear specialists and held sessions on emergency preparedness and family welfare, said Hiroko Matsumoto, a spokeswoman in Tokyo. Morgan Stanley asked two scientists to speak to staff and their families over the coming week and is importing water from Hong Kong, said Mika Watanabe, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman…Global banks “want to avoid lowering their presence and losing market share in Japan as the economy is still the third largest and it was picking up,” said Takehito Yamanaka, a Tokyo-based analyst at MF Global FXA Securities Ltd. “There will also be new demand for loans and fund raising from companies whose factories were damaged, as well as mergers and capital alliances.”

[Bloomberg]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Are Goldman Employees Being Told They’re Not Allowed To Leave Tokyo?

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Or, alternatively, that they’re free to leave but not then allowed to come back? According to John Carney, yes.

At least four Goldman Sachs executives flew into Japan last week to speak with nervous ex-pat employees about radiation fears, according to a person familiar with the situation. They also conveyed another message: don’t leave Japan and don’t leave Tokyo. Employees at the investment bank’s Japan offices are worried about radiation levels affecting their families, the person said. Many were asking if they could temporarily relocate out of the country or perhaps move to a location in southern Japan, farther away from troubled nuclear power plants. The were told that they should not leave Tokyo, according to the person.

Several meetings were held last week between senior Goldman executives and Tokyo-based employees. At least one meeting was held in a large conference room on one of the five floors of the Mori Tower in Tokyo, which houses Goldman’s offices in Japan…”The message was clear: no one is to leave. If you do leave, you can’t come back and expect to still work for Goldman,” the person said.

Goldman Sachs Told Employees Not To Leave Japan [NetNet]



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

The JPMorgan Ping Pong Club Has Resumed Practice In Tokyo

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From an internal JPM update:

[Yesterday's] town hall was followed by a casual reception, where the Japan team enjoyed more pizza and other refreshments while mingling with Dimon, Abdelnour and Harvey. Meanwhile, for J.P. Morgan in Japan, business as usual is back in full swing. Colleagues are meeting with clients, and markets are normalizing. And—in what Harvey described as “perhaps the most critical sign” of a return to normalcy—today the table tennis club resumed its regular practice schedule.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Jamie Dimon Not The Only CEO Making The Trip To Japan

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James Gorman is there too! While his reception was a bit less lively than Dimon’s, which included employees waiting on a 2 hour line to get an autograph and a picture with the JPMorgan CEO who they were said to have treated like a “pop idol,” Gorman ought to still get credit for being there. While some of his staff apparently feel differently, it appears as though they could have been easily swayed by some free pizza.

“Gorman flew to Tokyo a day after Dimon to meet the 1500 employees at MS over here.

His Town Hall Session started at 11:45am and ended by 12. Five minutes into the session, he opened it up for Q&A, and not a single employee asked a question. The CEO of MS Japan was visibly embarrassed and stuttered “somebody please ask a question…there’s got to be at least one question out there” and a few management committee members asked rhetorical questions and it was over. He didn’t walk the halls like Jamie and he didn’t bring boxes of pizza like Jamie. He flew out just an hour ago…not sure why he came.”



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Opening Bell: 03.25.11

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Rajaratnam’s Wiretapped Call With Brother Bolsters Insider Case (Bloomberg)
And in testimony earlier this week, Goel said that Rajaratnam told him in 2003 that Rajaratnam had given BMW cars to two women in Intel’s sales department who leaked information to him. Lynam asked Goel if he thought Rajaratnam was joking. “I don’t think that was a joke, sir,” he responded. Wasn’t Rajaratnam kidding when he told Goel in a wiretapped conversation that he would kiss Goel on the cheek the next time he saw him? Lynam later asked. “I hope he was,” said Goel, to laughter in the courtroom. “If not, I had him figured out all wrong.”

Economy Grows 3.1%, Aided By Surge in Corporate Profits (Reuters)
Gross domestic product growth was revised up to an annualized rate of 3.1 percent, the Commerce Department said in its final estimate, close to its initial estimate of 3.2 percent published two months ago and up from its tally of 2.8 percent made in February.

Barclays Said to Be Investigated by Regulators in Libor Probe (Bloomberg)
U.S. and U.K. regulators are examining if communications between Barclays’s traders and its treasury broke regulations that stop information being shared across the bank.

S&P Warns Big Banks About ‘Excessive’ Dividends (NYT)
The credit rating agency said in a report that it “remains wary of banks aggressively increasing capital returns to shareholders at this juncture of the economic recovery.” S.&.P. indicated it might downgrade credit ratings at banks that made “excessive” payouts to investors.

Goldman Slides to 10th Spot in US M&A Rankings (Reuters)
Goldman advised on $71 billion worth of U.S. deals in the first quarter, far less than JPMorgan’s chart-topping $170 billion, and even lower than much smaller banks such as Rothschild, Evercore Partners and Lazard.

China-Focused Hedge Fund Assets Rise Despite Laggard Performance (DJ)
China funds added $3.5 billion in assets in 2010 to a total $18.68 billion, even as their 6.11% gains were short of the global industry average of 10.55%.

Warren Says Consumer Bureau Foes Should Look at Bank ‘Behemoths’ (Bloomberg)
“If we’re going to go out there and spill ink on accountability, we should also ask about how to hold powerful financial institutions accountable,” Warren said yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg News. “The idea that we should be worried that some agency that will speak up for consumers might get a little too loud is looking in the wrong direction.”

Bernanke To Hold Press Conferences 4 Times A Year (WSJ)
“The introduction of regular press briefings is intended to further enhance the clarity and timeliness of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy communication,” the Fed said.

Spain’s Bank Rescue Hits Headwinds (WSJ)
Eight of Spain’s cajas must present their capital-raising plans to regulators by April 10. That has caused a flurry of activity in recent weeks as savings banks sounded out hedge funds and private-equity funds and others pursued initial public offerings. But the exercise has stirred questions from investors about the level of reserves that the banks hold against real-estate risk in their portfolios. The banks also have faced questions over whether their executives have distanced themselves sufficiently from local politics; in some cases, they have even been quizzed about managements’ own understanding of what is on their books. In general, “people don’t understand what they are buying,” said a Spanish banker who has tried to get investors interested in the cajas.

Reactor Core May Be Breached at Damaged Fukushima Plant (Bloomberg)
“It’s very possible that there has been some kind of leak at the No. 3 reactor,” Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman at the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said in Tokyo today. While radioactive water at the unit most likely escaped from the reactor core, it also could have originated from spent fuel pools stored atop the reactor, he said.

Fed Mulls Auction For AIG Bonds (WSJ)
The Federal Reserve is considering an auction for a large portfolio of subprime-mortgage bonds and is consulting with BlackRock Inc. about the process, according to people familiar with the matter.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker

Tokyo-Based JPMorgan Staff Give New York Employees A Run For Their Money

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As we reported last week, when the earthquake hit, JPMorgan CEO James Dimon did not think twice about booking a flight to Japan to visit with employees and clients affected by the disaster. He arrived yesterday and, hearteningly, seems to have breathed new life into the area with his mere presence, lifting the spirits of those who were badly in need of a pick-me-up. Dimon offered “a silent prayer” for the victims of the ‘quake and delivered a “short but moving” speech to a sizable crowd, who was extremely happy to see him. “As part of the staff based in Japan, I was really encouraged by his visit,” a person at the bank told the Journal. As for what happened next, we don’t want to scare anyone but all Park Ave-based employees should be taking careful notes.

According to one person, snaking lines formed around the smiling CEO as people waited to get a photo with Mr. Dimon, who became a legend for steering the bank through the global financial crisis. The photo session went on for about two hours in the evening.

“It was almost like he was a Japanese pop idol,” the person said. Mr. Dimon also appeared on the trading floors to mingle with his staff earlier this morning.

While JPMorgan employees at home surely respect JD and perhaps even still get butterflies in their stomachs when glimpsing him in the building, few if any whip out a pitchbook or a breast for Dimon to sign. And one can’t but wonder if the contrast between how he was received in Tokyo and the reception he receives at home will stick out in his mind. If you’re at 270 and feel silly worrying, yet can’t get the idea out of your head that maybe JD will decide to relocate and abandon you, start thinking about what you can do to make him feel as loved as your counterparts in Japan. Sending him a care package while he’s gone with (photoshopped) pictures of the two of you to remind him what you look like would be a good jumping off point, as would rallying the troops to plan a “Welcome Home, We Love You” parade, and, if you really want to tip the scales, asking him to be a sperm donor for your unborn child.



Article courtesy of Dealbreaker