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The Phone Call To Save Europe: Seven And A Half Things

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The European debt crisis has at least created a bull market for demonstrators.
The European debt crisis has at least created a bull market for demonstrators.

Thing One: This Is A Call: Hello, everyone. Let us see what is "new" in the "news" today. Oh, well, looky here, Europe is still a disaster! But then you didn't need a fancy-pants morning "newsletter" to tell you that, did you? Well, here's something we'll bet you didn't know, professor: A phone call is going to solve everything.

The Emergency Phone Call To Save Democracy For Our Children (EPCSDFOC) will take place some time today on a secure conferencing service hosted by Nick Fury in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s floating command center somewhere over the Bering Sea, and will involve all of the finance ministers and central-bank leaders of the Group of Seven nations, the Financial Times reports. These important people are going to solve this whole gosh-darn European debt hoo-ha once and for all, where 4,327 other conference calls, summits, back-room bull sessions and late-night key parties have failed.

Not enough good news for you? Well, how about the fact that Germany might finally be showing just the tiniest bit of openness to issuing joint European debt, according to The New York Times, which might go a little way to really solving things? But that's about as far as the good news goes, actually. On the other side of the ledger: The European Central Bank, which meets this week, is tired of doing all the hard work of saving the world and is waiting on European politicians to get their act together, the NYT writes; while China has had enough of bailing everybody out, Reuters says; and Spain is busy trying to keep all of its banks from turning into money-killing death machines, per the FT. So, no pressure, G-7. Happy conference-calling.

Thing Two: Blame Corzine: MF Global's bankruptcy trustee has performed an autopsy on the failed investment bank and has determined that CEO Jon Corzine and other bank officials ramped up risk and toned down oversight, a perfect recipe for the disaster that followed, the Wall Street Journal writes. The trustee warned he could go after Corzine and other former MF Global officials to get back some of the customer money that's still missing. A Corzine spokesperson said the beardy guy did nothing wrong and that the trustee had no basis to sue him.

Thing Three: JPMorgan's Loss, Now 100 Percent Bigger: Speaking of big losses: JPMorgan Chase may end up reporting a $4.2 billion loss from its big dumb credit-derivatives trade, more than double the initial loss estimate, Bloomberg writes. No wonder, as Bloomberg Markets magazine reports, Wall Street CEO pay was up 20 percent in 2011: These guys have got to be compensated for all of the agita their big dumb trades are causing them.

Thing Four: Happy-Go-Lucky Blankfein: One of those Wall Street CEOs, Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, testified yesterday in the insider-trading trial of former Goldman director Rajat Gupta. Blankfein said all the things the prosecution wanted to hear, including that Gupta was present for a confidential discussion of whether to take a $5 billion investment from Warren Buffett during the financial crisis. Meanwhile, according to the Huffington Posts's D.M. Levine: "Between questions from the prosecution, he leaned back in his chair and played with his tie, grinning widely for reasons not apparent to the audience." You'd be unable to stop grinning inappropriately, too, if you'd gotten a 14.5 percent pay raise during a year your stock price fell 45.6 percent (according to Bloomberg Markets).

Thing Five: Chinese Wall For Bonds: One of the Wall Street reforms that followed the dot-com bubble was the separation of investment banking and stock research by a Chinese wall, so the Henry Blodgets of the world couldn't extoll the virtues of some crappy stock his investment bank was trying to dump on you. That wall did not extend to bonds, however, which actually get issued with a lot more frequency than stocks. Now FINRA, Wall Street's self-regulating body, is finally getting around to thinking about separating the two, the Wall Street Journal writes.

Thing Six: Jobs-Free JOBS Act: Many of those dot-com-era reforms were recently knocked down by an abomination known as the JOBS Act, which claimed to make it easier for small companies to go public, in order to create more jobs, which everybody wants. Except, funny thing is, the Wall Street Journal writes, most of the companies now going public under the JOBS Act are shell companies and trusts, which don't create any jobs at all, unless you count lawyers.

Thing Seven: Mapples: Apple and Google are generally locked in a fight to the death over whatever spare Internet billions they can get their hands on, except when it comes to maps. Google Maps comes loaded up on Apple iPhones like the two companies are long-lost friends. But that will be changing soon, the Wall Street Journal reports: "Later this year, Apple is planning to oust Google Maps as the preloaded, default maps app from the iPhone and iPad and release a new mapping app that runs Apple's own technology, according to current and former Apple employees."

Thing Seven And One Half: Mass Transit: Hurry up and get your high-strength welding goggles: Venus will be crossing in front of the sun starting at about 6:00 p.m. ET today, a rare astrological event, lasting about seven hours, that won't happen again until 2117. But don't look right at the sun, dummies. Get some special goggles or better yet, find an open observatory or neighborhood astronomer with a proper filtered telescope.

Now Arriving By Email: If you'd like this newsletter delivered daily to your email inbox, then please just feed your email address to the thin box over on the right side of this page, wedged narrowly between the ad and all the social-media buttons. Nothing bad will happen to you if you do, unless you consider getting this newsletter delivered daily to your email inbox a bad thing.

Calendar Du Jour:

Economic Data:

10:00 a.m. ET: ISM Services for May

Corporate Earnings:

Nothing much.

Heard On The Tweets:

@mattyglesias: If only Mike Bloomberg would apply his insights about soda to the problems with a poorly supervised banking sector.

@dkberman: WSJ Breaking: Facebook developing special product for kids under 13. Prepare for ferocious debate on privacy and profits. $FB

@EddyElfenbein: From Facebook's peak 17 days ago, Mark Zuckerberg has lost $9 billion. That's a lot of hoodies.

@RBAdvisors: Shanghai Composite closed today down 64.89. Tiananmen Square was 6/4/89. Weird, huh? #China

@CorbinHiar: Bloomberg turned down an offer from the Obama administration to lead the World Bank. http://t.co/EzhVcbQA

@ReformedBroker: The market is fine, buy convoluted call spreads on the $FXE and pick up some Japanese yen in platinum terms

-- Calendar and tweets rounded up by Khadeeja Safdar.

And you can follow us on Twitter, too: @markgongloff and @byKhadeeja

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