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Finance NetNet


  Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011 | 12:36 PM ET

Dark Pools & Lit Pools: A Financial Morality Tale?

Posted By: Ash Bennington

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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  Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011 | 11:12 AM ET

Paul Broun Says Defense of Obamacare Is Voodoo Economics

Posted By: Lori Ann LaRocco

The partisan bickering has stopped this week as Congress pulls together supporting their injured colleague and honoring those who have lost their lives in last Saturday's shooting rampage in Tuscon. But don't expect this quiet lull to continue.

Congress will be back in session soon and the fight over health care is about to begin (again). The key legislation being brought to the floor by the GOP is the Repeal, Replace Bill.

The Representative behind this legislation is Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) but this Congressman has two letters after his name that only a few share in Congress—M.D. Before his career in public office, Dr. Broun practiced general medicine but in 2002, he went out on his own, establishing a unique practice of full-time house calls.

This will be the second time this bill makes its way through the House, Broun failed to find Democratic support in the last Congress. Now with the GOP in the driver's seat, Broun will make a go of it once the House Leadership decides its time.

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  Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011 | 9:22 AM ET

Who's on Top at Goldman Sachs?

Posted By: Ash Bennington

Portuguese Debt Auction Clears Below Important 7 Percent Threshold [Financial Times] The FT reports a mixed bag on Lisbon's latest auction: "Portugal successfully issued debt on Wednesday in the first bond sale of the year from a 'peripheral' eurozone economy, taking away some of the pressure for a bail-out of the indebted country. But investors warned the country was still likely to follow Greece and Ireland in seeking emergency rescue loans because of its stagnating economy. The most closely watched government bond auction of the year to date saw Lisbon sell €1.25bn of four-year and 10-year bonds. It was the maximum amount that debt managers were looking to sell and demand was strong. Critically, Lisbon paid yields of 6.71 per cent for the 10-year bonds, below the 7 per cent threshold that the government has acknowledged is unsustainable and in the eyes of most investors is likely to force the country to seek bail-out loans."

Who's on Top at Goldman Sachs? [Wall Street Journal] Investment bankers aim for primacy at Goldman: "In the pecking order at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., traders trounced investment bankers for most of the past decade. Now, the Wall Street firm's army of investment bankers is making a comeback. The 63-page internal report released by the New York company on Tuesday showed how Goldman is trying to reassert the traditional primacy of deal making while playing down the firm's recent reliance on trading. One of the biggest reasons why: Trading caused most of the turmoil, suspicion and reputational damage suffered by Goldman since the financial crisis erupted."

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  Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011 | 7:20 AM ET

Waking up With Nicole Lapin

Posted By: Nicole Lapin

Get your UGGs on and break out the Hot Paws — here's what you missed while bundled in your electric blanket last night and need to know to have a happy snowy hump day:

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  Tuesday, 11 Jan 2011 | 5:01 PM ET

Euro Stabilizes as Japan Commits Yen

Posted By: Ash Bennington


China Eases Currency Controls [Wall Street Journal] "Bank of China Ltd., one of the country's four major state-owned banks, has opened trading in the Chinese currency to customers in the U.S., representing a symbolic endorsement by Beijing of foreign trading in the yuan.The move is the latest by China to allow the yuan, whose value is still tightly controlled by the government, to become an international currency that can be used for trade and investment. Analysts say allowing trading in the yuan, also known as the renminbi, is an early step by the Chinese government toward making its currency fully convertible into dollars and other currencies."

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  Tuesday, 11 Jan 2011 | 4:58 PM ET

Democrats Demand Answers on Bank of America's Deal With Fannie Mae

Posted By: John Carney
Bank of America flag
Getty Images
Bank of America flag

The deal cut between Bank of America and the government's housing monsters is—finally—coming under scrutiny on Capitol Hill.

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  Tuesday, 11 Jan 2011 | 4:48 PM ET

Elena Kagan Botches Her First Decision

Posted By: John Carney
Elena Kegan
Elena Kegan

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan has written her first opinion for the Supreme Court, taking up sides with a credit card company and against a debtor in a bankruptcy dispute.

The court decided the case by an 8-to-1 vote, ruling that Jason Ransom could not shield income from his creditors by claiming a $471 monthly car allowance for his 2004 Toyota Camry. Even though the law allows for a $471 car allowance to be excluded from payments to creditors, the court interpreted the law to mean that only car owners who owe money on their cars could take advantage of the allowance. Ransom owned the Camry outright.

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