Banks Contemplate Moving up Bonuses Due to Possible Tax Hikes(CNBC) "Congress is debating tax rates, and that has Wall Street nervously eyeing the calendar. Worried that lawmakers will allow taxes to rise for the wealthiest Americans beginning next year, financial firms are discussing whether to move up their bonus payouts from next year to this month." As Bush-era tax cuts are about to expire, many of the big banks are reviewing their options and holding discussions with pay consultants. Goldman Sachs is rumored to be among those considering such plans, and is considered to be something of a bellwether."
Tax Cut Extension Deal May Be Reached in Exchange for Unemployment Extension in Congress (Wall Street Journal)"White House officials and congressional Republicans are closing in on a deal that would extend current income-tax rates for all Americans as well as a benefits program for the long-term unemployed, staving off tax increases for middle-class and wealthy taxpayers alike that are set to take effect after this year."
ECB President Proposes "European Sovereign Bond" as a Potential Solution to the Debt Crisis (Financial Times) "In spite of recent decisions by European fiscal and monetary authorities, sovereign debt markets continue to experience considerable stress. Europe must formulate a strong and systemic response to the crisis, to send a clear message to global markets and European citizens of our political commitment to economic and monetary union, and the irreversibility of the euro."
"Madoff trustee sues HSBC for $9 billion" (CNN Money) First JPMorgan and UBS, now HSBC. "The court-appointed trustee liquidating Bernard Madoff's former investment firm has filed a lawsuit against HSBC for $9 billion for allegedly aiding the most massive Ponzi scheme in history. The trustee, Irving Picard, alleged that London-based HSBC Holdings PLC enabled Madoff's fraud "through the creation, marketing and support of an international network of a dozen feeder funds based in Europe, the Caribbean, and Central America," in a statement released Sunday. "
"Moody's Downgrades Hungarian Government Debt" (ABC News) "Credit ratings agency Moody's downgraded Hungary's government bonds by two notches on Monday, citing worries about public finance policies and exposure to foreign financial shocks, such as the European debt crisis."