Finance NetNet


  Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 | 5:41 PM ET

Austerity Measures Rejected by Portuguese Parliament

Posted By: Ash Bennington
  Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 | 4:38 PM ET

Are European Protectionists Trying to Stop Takeovers?

Posted By: John Carney
shaking_hands_2_200.jpg | Getty Images

Since almost all regulation of merger and acquisition activity entrenches management and hurts shareholders, it’s not too surprising that the 172-page consultation document released by the U.K.’s takeover panel recommends a host of measures that will make it harder to oust bad executives through corporate takeovers.

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  Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 | 4:14 PM ET

Are Banks Paying Too Much in Dividends?

Posted By: John Carney

Moves by many banks to reintroduce or raise their dividends following the Federal Reserve’s stress tests suggests that the tests may have accidentally created an non-economic need for banks to pay higher dividends.

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  Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 | 3:28 PM ET

Why Your Next Trading Floor Might Be on a Ship

Posted By: John Carney
Radio Caroline
Evening Standard | Getty Images
Radio Caroline

High frequency trading firms may soon find themselves contemplating building a trading floor on transatlantic ships.

High-frequency trading that attempts to take advantage small price differences in the price of stocks, bonds or derivatives trading on two geographically removed markets requires super-fast trading.

Basically, the traders are trying to catch a fleeting arbitrage opportunity before the rule of one price kicks in and erases it.

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  Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 | 2:49 PM ET

If TARP is So Profitable, Why Not Bail Out Everyone?

Posted By: Jeff Cox
US Capitol Building with cash
US Capitol Building with cash

As Treasury feeds us a steady diet of how much money taxpayers are making off the Troubled Asset Relief Program, you have to wonder why nobody thought of this idea sooner.

After all, if the worst that can happen from the collapse of the banking system is that we make money rescuing failing institutions, then who really cares how much risk they take? Can the Department of Bank Bailouts be far behind?

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  Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 | 1:43 PM ET

Small Business Group: The Individual Mandate Is Unconstitutional

Posted By: Lori Ann LaRocco

Today is the one year anniversary of the passage of the giant health care reform bill. The future of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is still uncertain. More than half of the nation's states are suing the federal government over this law.

Some federal courts have ruled that portions of the law are unconstitutional. Others have upheld the law. It seems certain to come before the Supreme Court.

One segment of the population that has been extremely vocal in its opposition to the law is the small business community. I asked Karen Harned, executive director of the NFIB Small Business Legal Center, to discuss the one year anniversary of health care reform and their efforts to expedite the case to the Supreme Court. The National Federation of Independent Business is a part of this lawsuit to overturn this controversial law.

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  Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 | 1:03 PM ET

The Puckiest Guy on the Bond Desk

Posted By: Cadie Thompson
Marty Reasoner and Adam Reasoner
Marty Reasoner and Adam Reasoner

The guys on the trading floor were probably a tad bit jealous when one of their own was called to play goalie for the Florida Panthers hockey team's practice at Madison Square Garden Tuesday morning.

Adam Reasoner, a 26-year-old bond trader and the younger brother of the Panthers center, Marty Reasoner, was called to fill in for the Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen. Clemmensen was unable to play because of an injury.

Adam played hockey at Boston College for two seasons and said he keeps in shape playing with other financial professionals on Wednesday nights at Chelsea Pier, he told the Miami Herald.

The Miami Herald's sportswriter George Richards reports:

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  Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 | 10:59 AM ET

Here's How Raj's Defense Team Might Try to Impeach Lloyd Blankfein's Credibility

Posted By: Courtney Comstock, Business Insider
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein
Getty Images
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein

It's confirmed. Lloyd Blankfein will testify at the trial of Raj Rajaratnam for insider trading, according to letters sent to Judge Holwell, from government prosecutors and Raj's defense \(via Bloomberg \).

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  Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 | 9:17 AM ET

Lloyd Blankfein to Testify at Galleon Trial

Posted By: Julia La Roche

Woah! Estimated damage from Japan quake is about $309 billion — that's about four times Katrina [Bloomberg]

Egyptian stock market opens and tumbles [MarketWatch]

Fed objects to Bank of America dividend increase so the bank will ask again. []

Lloyd Blankfein to testify at Galleon trial [NYTimes DealBook]

Fed's Fisher compares US Congress to Lindsay Lohan []

Donald Trump said he 'duped' Gaddafi [CNN Money]

»Read more
  Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 | 8:55 AM ET

Why GDP Isn’t a Good Proxy for Ability to Pay Muni Debt

Posted By: John Carney
Photo by: John Carney

The big question on everyone’s mind when it comes to municipal bonds is simple: Will states and cities be able to pay their interest and principal on time, and in full?

Unfortunately, no one really knows the answer. The source of our ignorance, ironically, is the historical strength of muni bonds—the low default rates. So few muni bonds have defaulted historically — only four major cities in 40 years, and zero states — that we just don’t know what metrics to use to predict defaults.

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