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  Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011 | 5:19 PM ET

Muni Bond Smackdown! Bill Gross versus Meredith Whitney

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Muni Bond Smackdown! Bill Gross versus Meredith Whitney [Bloomberg] "Bill Gross, who manages the world's biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., clashed with Meredith Whitney, the banking analyst, when he said he doubted there would be many local-government bankruptcies."

Bumping our Heads on the Debt Ceiling: And the Folks Don't Like it One Bit [CNBC] "The U.S. public overwhelmingly opposes raising the country's debt limit even though failure to do so could hurt America's international standing and push up borrowing costs, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Wednesday. Some 71 percent of those surveyed oppose increasing the borrowing authority, the focus of a brewing political battle over federal spending. Only 18 percent support an increase."

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  Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011 | 5:02 PM ET

In Defense of the Debt Ceiling

Posted By: John Carney

Felix Salmon calls the debt ceiling “built-in systemic stupidity” and asks why we have it at all .

I’m happy to provide the answer.

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  Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011 | 4:52 PM ET

Blood Libel & The Chatter Class

Posted By: Ash Bennington

All things Sarah Palin evoke a passionate response: Her 'Blood Libel' comment is no exception. (Wait: Did Palin really say 'pundent'?)

»Read more
  Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011 | 2:47 PM ET

Beige Book Highlights

Posted By: Ash Bennington
Gregor Schuster | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

Data from today's Beige Book suggests that "economic activity continued to expand moderately from November through December."

Here are the highlights:

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  Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011 | 12:53 PM ET

Whitney: Forget Dividends, Do Acquisitions. But Will Banks Listen?

Posted By: Jeff Cox
Meredith Whitney
cnbc.com
Meredith Whitney

, analyst Meredith Whitney thinks it should cool down.

Implementing dividend hikes now is short-sighted, said Whitney, who spoke in an interview earlier with CNBC .

While banks have done a good job raising cash, they’d be better off putting it to work on overseas acquisitions that would pay off over the long term rather than stuffing it back into investors’ pockets in the short term, she said.

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  Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011 | 12:41 PM ET

Layoffs Hit Barclays

Posted By: John Carney
Out of Work
Out of Work

The long awaited layoffs at Barcays Capital are underway.

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  Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011 | 12:36 PM ET

Dark Pools & Lit Pools: A Financial Morality Tale?

Posted By: Ash Bennington
AP

Welcome to the light.

Credit Suisse has launched a new "lit pool"—in contrast with the "dark pools"—which are periodically vilified for their absence of transparency.

Here's the thumbnail summary.

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  Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011 | 12:08 PM ET

The Banality of Goldman's Business Standards

Posted By: John Carney
The Goldman Sachs booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Getty Images
The Goldman Sachs booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Although the report from the internal business standards committee at Goldman Sachs begins by acknowledging that the financial crisis had a profound impact on Wall Street, American businesses and households, it falls far short of rising to the challenges created by that impact.

Goldman was driven to initiate a review of its business practices and standards by an irony. The firm had outperformed nearly all of its Wall Street rivals, literally outliving some of them, through the financial crisis. It believes its risk management was so good that the firm, perhaps uniquely, had no need for government aid in 2008. Its traders reacted to the bursting of the housing bubble earlier and with more agility than those at any other big firms.

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  Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011 | 12:00 PM ET

Dutch Government to Hookers: All Prosties Will Pay Taxes, No Exceptions Ladies

Posted By: Cadie Thompson
Kevin Steele | Aurora | Getty Images

Looks like all the pay for play professional ladies of the night in Amsterdam will soon have a meeting with the tax man.

According to the AP, a notice printed in Amsterdam's main paper, addressed "to landlords and window prostitutes in Amsterdam," stated that Agents of the Tax Service would be visiting the smaller prostitutes' businesses and reviewing their business administration "...such as prices, staffing, agendas and calenders."

Le sigh. Can't win them all ladies.

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  Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011 | 11:51 AM ET

I'd Lend My 401K to a Bowery Wino — If...

Posted By: Ash Bennington
Euros at an angle
Thomas Northcut | Photodisc | Getty Images
Euros at an angle

I would lend my 401K to a Bowery wino—especially at 7 percent interest—if someone with deep enough pockets promised to take me out at par.

The big news in European sovereign debt markets this morning is Portugal's 'successful' bond auction: Lisbon was able to sell €1.25 billion in debt.

On a yield basis, investors priced the Portuguese 10 year notes at 6.71 percent.

The Financial Times points out that the auction cleared below the critical "7 percent threshold" —above which level, "the government has acknowledged is unsustainable".

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About NetNet

  • NetNet is where you'll find the low-down and the high jinks of Wall Street. It's the place for insider stories, trader gossip, and tales of the foibles of the moneyed crowd and the culture of finance.Wall Street news and commentary served fresh all day long.

 

  • Jeff Cox is finance editor for CNBC.com.

  • Lawrence Develingne

    Lawrence Delevingne is the ‘Big Money’ enterprise reporter for CNBC.com and NetNet.

  • Stephanie Landsman is one of the producers of "Fast Money."

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