The age of Jamie Moyer when he became the oldest player to ever win a major league baseball game is 49 years and 150 days, while the number of things you need to know today is just seven and a half. Here they are:
Thing One: Sucks To Be Citi: The Occupy movement has come to the corporate boardroom.
In an unseemly display of activism that is clearly the work of socialist sympathizers, Citigroup shareholders on Tuesday rejected a pay plan that showers Citi CEO Vikram Pandit with millions in cash and bonuses despite his overseeing a 44 percent drop in the company's share price last year. The stock is up 33 percent this year, but still well below where it was at the end of 2010 and certainly well below its price before Pandit took over the company in late 2007, just before the financial crisis. It's the second major rebuke of the year for Citi, following the Fed's earlier smackdown of the bank's plan to increase its dividend.
Fortunately for Pandit and Citi, the shareholder vote, a feature of the Dodd-Frank financial-reform bill, is merely symbolic -- wouldn't want to give the rabble too much power, would we? But this may not be the last sign of shareholder revulsion about CEO pay, in the banking sector or otherwise. “This is a milestone for corporate America," bank analyst Mike Mayo told The New York Times. "When shareholders speak up about issues on which they’ve been complacent, it’s definitely a wake-up call. The only question is what took so long?”
Thing Two: De Max For De Minimis: But don't think corporate America isn't fighting back. The energy sector has successfully lobbied hard to water down new regulations on the market for credit default swaps, the derivatives at the heart of the financial crisis. The New York Times notes that the new CDS rules, which will be set today, have been altered to dramatically increase the amount of derivatives a company can trade before it has to subject itself to regulatory oversight, for the sake of the market and puppies and apple pie.
Thing Three: Oil And Vinegar: President Obama, acknowledging the heavy burden high gas prices have placed on his reelection chances, pushed Congress on Tuesday to crack down on speculation in the oil market. Given what we've seen done to financial reforms after the crisis, color us pessimistic on this front. More encouragingly, the Washington Post writes that American consumers seem to be responding to the crisis of $4 gasoline with admirable fortitude, driving less and buying smaller cars. What is this, Europe?
Thing Four: Extended European Vexation: Speaking of Europe, it's feeling a little green around the gills again today, as investors once again confront the rolling debt crisis there. Spanish banks are under pressure from bad loans, Bloomberg writes, and it's only a matter of time before they, and probably the Spanish government, have to be bailed out, writes Reuters. The U.S. stock market can't hear any of this because it's too busy going back to the moon again, for no immediately apparent reason, although many global investors now see the U.S. as something of a safe haven.
Thing Five: Spectrum Squeeze: In what is also being described as a crisis, mobile carriers are warning they need to get more of that sweet, sweet radio spectrum, saying all of our sexting and tweeting and Instagramming is clogging up the airwaves, writes The New York Times. This may be a phony crisis, though, given that there's technology that would make mobile data transmission more efficient, the NYT notes.
Thing Six: Zuckerberg Goes It Alone: Facebook's $1 billion purchase of Instagram was mostly handled between Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram chief Kevin Systrom, the Wall Street Journal writes, leaving Facebook's board almost totally in the dark about the company's biggest acquisition to date. That's how things are done between small start-ups, but it's less cool for ginormous public companies, the WSJ writes.
Thing Seven: Buffett Has Cancer, Feels Fine: Business icon and Berkshire Hathaway chief Warren Buffett announced that he has stage one prostate cancer, but said it has not slowed him down a bit nor posed any threat to his life. The announcement won't stop the spread of anxiety about succession plans at Berkshire, notes Michael de la Merced of The New York Times.
Thing Seven And One Half: Between The Spreadsheets: When you think of Wall Street, the first thing you probably think of is love, am I right? Because Wall Street guys famously know just how to make sexytime with the ladies. For example, this hopeless romantic has put all of his Match.com prospects into a helpful spreadsheet, like you do, complete with dates of communication and their precise rating on a standard attractiveness scale (nothing less than a 7, and don't be "Jappy").
Calendar Du Jour:
Before 9:30 a.m.:
After 4:00 p.m.:
Heard On The Tweets:
@ObsoleteDogma: New Google strategy?: Shut down Gmail until everybody closes their Facebook accounts & opens up Google+ ones.
@zerohedge: Bank of America selling non-US wealth management business.. but they do not, repeat NOT, need the cash
@ReformedBroker: I'll settle for a hologram of the 2006 economy
@Sullybean1: I think we found out the 2006 economy WAS a hologram.
-- Calendar and tweets rounded up by Khadeeja Safdar.