Friday's nonfarm payrolls report easily beat Wall Street expectations but may not be quite what Wall Street wanted.» Read More
Apparently no one knows just how bad off the Irish banking sector really is.
Or at least none of the responsible officials will say just how bad things are on the Emerald Isle, which reinforces the notion that it's still, well, really bad.
International bank regulators meeting in Basel, Switzerland have decided on new minimum levels for Tier 1 capital that are much weaker than expected the BBC's Robert Preston is reporting .
"Central bank governors and senior regulators are set to ordain that banks must have a minimum core tier one capital ratio, including a new so-called 'buffer' to protect against extreme economic conditions, of 7%," Preston writes.
Apparently the downward motion continued from there.
This is considerably lower than was wanted by the "hawks", the US, UK and Switzerland. They wanted a core tier one capital ratio of 8 to 9% including buffer, which is what British banks currently have to maintain. In fact most British banks currently have a core tier one ratio of around 10%.
But the new 7% minimum has been agreed in the face of stiff resistance from a number of countries, led by Germany, many of whose banks typically have much lower stocks of core capital in the form of equity and retained earnings - and will have great difficulty meeting the new standard.
This is probably bullish news for short term traders in bank stocks.
But the falling requirements may mean that the global financial system will be more vulnerable in times of economic distress.
Keep in mind, however, that even a 7% Tier 1 capital requirement is more stringent than the 6% required for a U.S. bank to be considered "well-capitalized" by the FDIC or the 4% currently required by Basel.
The Brits are aghast at revelations that star footballer Wayne Rooney patronized the services of a semi-professional prostitute named Jennifer Thompson.
Everyone wonders what would drive Rooney, who could presumably bed many women who wouldn't require payment, into the arms and other biological features of a professional. Chris Dillow at Stumbling and Mumbling says the answer is the implied promise of non-disclosure that prostitute offer their customers.
"In selling her story, Ms. Thompson has broken the code that prostitutes, like priests and lawyers, do not divulge their dealings with clients," Dillow writes .
So why did Thompson violate the code of prostitution? Dillow thinks part of the problem is that Thompson was only a semi-professional. Her circle of friends is composed of party-girls rather than full-time sex-sellers. So she may not have fully internalized the code.
John Gapper points us toward a recent study finding that chief executives with higher levels of testosterone are more aggressive in M&A situations.
The recent momentum of M&A activity in the market is spurring speculation as traders increasingly spread takover rumors, according to CNBC's Fast Money blog.
“It’s been an easy environment for some traders to get rumors started due to the acceleration of activity,” said Pete Najarian, a 'Fast Money' host and founder of OptionsMonster.com. “It’s like chum in the water.”
The UK’s financial regulator is set to levy a near-record fine on Goldman Sachs , the Financial Times is reporting.
The falling out between Bill Gross and his one-time partner Mohamed El-Erian has quickly turned into one of the ugliest bust-ups in recent history.
The founder of a hedge fund with $21 billion under management provided three investing rules and three favorite stocks.
Former executives at Dewey & LeBoeuf were accused of using accounting gimmicks to fool banks and investors.