No New Easing for U.K. (CNBC via Reuters) "The Bank of England voted to make no change to its monetary policy this month, in a widely expected decision as it waits to see how much growth next year suffers from UK public spending cuts and euro zone turmoil." Also, "Despite a debt bailout for neighboring Ireland, the economic outlook for Britain has changed little since November's MPC meeting and consumer price inflation has risen further above its 2 percent target to 3.2 percent. Manufacturing activity has been strong following robust overall economic growth of 0.8 percent in the third quarter, though trade data on Thursday was unexpectedly weak, casting doubt on the BoE's hopes of an export-led recovery next year."
Gorman True to His Words: Morgan Stanley Seeks to Reduce Payout (New York Times DealBook) "Even as Wall Street prepares to hand out rich year-end bonuses, one firm, Morgan Stanley, is mapping out a plan to reduce the pay of some of its senior executives, according to people with knowledge of the plan. The effort to rein in compensation in the management ranks — while still rewarding its top traders and bankers — is one way that Morgan Stanley is coming to grips with a quandary that has plagued it for a year."
Hacker Cyber War Widening? (New York Times) "In a campaign that had some declaring the start of a “cyberwar,” hundreds of Internet activists mounted retaliatory attacks on Wednesday on the Web sites of multinational companies and other organizations they deemed hostile to the WikiLeaks antisecrecy organization and its jailed founder, Julian Assange. On Thursday, a man identifying himself as one of the activists from a group called Anonymous, who used the pseudonym Coldblood in an interview with BBC radio, said: 'This campaign is not over from what I’ve seen. It’s still going strong.' The speaker had an English accent and said he was a 22-year-old software engineer with no specific political loyalty."
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg Not Running for President (CNBC) "Despite growing rumors to the contrary, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he is not running for president in 2012.In an interview Thursday morning with CNBC, the billionaire executive and head of Bloomberg LP denied that a spate of high-profile policy speeches was paving the way for a run at the nation's top elected office.'I'm not going to be running for president, he said. I have eleven-hundred and nineteen days left in my job. I'm looking forward to today and every other one of them.'"
"Toll Brothers CEO Sees Nascent Rebound in U.S. Home Sales as Worst Over" (Bloomberg) Let's hope he's right: "The worst is over for the U.S. housing market and a rebound will gain momentum in 2012, according to Douglas Yearley, chief executive officer of Toll Brothers Inc."
"Facebook and Twitter remove hackers" (Financial Times)"Facebook and Twitter have removed accounts run by computer hackers who have made revenge attacks against services perceived to have abandoned WikiLeaks in recent days. The online campaign, known as Operation Payback, has been using the social networking sites, as well as other chat rooms, to co-ordinate its computer assaults. Both sites have removed accounts that appear under the campaign’s name. Operation Payback’s Twitter account linked to a file appearing to contain consumer credit card information before the account was taken offline."
More of the Very Rich Take 'Giving Pledge' (Wall Street Journal) "The billionaire founder of social network Facebook Inc. has agreed to give the majority of his wealth to charity, part of a broader group of rich entrepreneurs committing to philanthropy earlier in their lives."
Also, Michael Milken. (Which sounds like a far more interesting lede.) "The Giving Pledge is an effort organized by software mogul Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett to persuade the world's rich to boost their giving.
Those pledging are part of a broader shift in philanthropy, in which successful business people—often entrepreneurs—are giving more of their money to charity far earlier than their predecessors. It was a trend that was helped along by Mr. Gates, who started his foundation while still leading Microsoft Corp."
"World stock markets higher on growth hopes" (TheStreet.com) "World stock markets mostly advanced Thursday as investors enjoyed the positive momentum from the extension of U.S. tax cuts, which boosted expectations of stronger economic growth in the short-term. A compromise in Washington to extend tax cuts helped shares and sent bond prices sharply lower, as some investors expect it to lead to stronger growth in the world's No. 1 economy. U.S. jobs data later in the day will be the main focus. In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.1 percent to 5,801.85, and France's CAC-40 was up 0.2 percent at 3,839.05. Germany's DAX was steady at 6,973.81. Asian indexes closed mostly higher, and Wall Street was set to rise at the open. Dow futures were up 0.3 percent at 11,401, and S&P futures were 0.3 percent higher to 1,232.90."