Basel, Basel, Basel!

New Global Bank Rules Could Require Bigger Cushions (Wall Street Journal)

The Basel Committee appears poised to demand larger reserves than expected, including a requirement that common equity equal 4.5% to 5% of assets, with an additional counter-cyclical equity cushion that could bring those levels up as high as 7%.


ECB's Weber Hopeful of Basel III Deal at Weekend (Reuters)

Bundesbank head Axel Weber says the Basel III talks could be wrapped up this weekend. This is big news because Germany was one of the last holdouts, demanding to see the final regulatory recommendations from the Basel Committee before it would grant them its stamp of approval.

ECB's Weber Says Raising Banks' Capital Ratios Won't Slow Economic Growth (Bloomberg)

Weber, who is also a member of the governing council of the European Central Bank, says that planned increases in capital ratios won't slow economic growth in the real economy.

Willis Group Hires ex-A.I.G. Chief Sullivan (DealBook)

There is life after AIG after all. Sullivan, who worked at AIG from 1970 until 2008, will now run a business that sells risk management services. This strikes us as the equivalent of those programs where death row inmates scream at 'at risk' kids to set them straight. Sullivan knows what happens when you don't get yourself some risk management.

President Obama to Oppose Extension of Bush Tax Cuts (New York Times @ CNBC)

The Obama administration has leaked to the press that the president will make clear later today that he opposes any compromise that would extend the Bush administration's tax cuts. Expect great populist rhetoric to accompany this message, as the president struggles to gain some footing for his party, which is now facing a tough mid-term election.

SEC Probes "Quote Stuffing" Practices: Schapiro (Reuters @ ABC News)

Mary Shapiro says that her securities industry cops are probing certain practices around "quote stuffing," where large numbers of rapid-fire stock orders are placed and canceled almost immediately.

Analyst Layoff Wave To Hit In 2011 (New York Post)

Meredith Whitney says Wall Street will layoff 80,000 workers, in the biggest round of jobs cuts seen since the dot com bust. Also, year end bonuses are totally going to suck this year.