Thing One: Let's Make A Deal: They did the crime together. They might as well do the time together too.
A bunch of banks under scrutiny in the Libor scandal would like very much to have a ginormous, universal settlement with regulators, so that none of them are embarrassingly singled out the way first-mover Barclays was, according to a new Reuters report. We all saw what happened to Barclays -- universal disdain, top executives walking the plank, moronic trader emails forever enshrined in Moronic Trader Email Valhalla. Egads, it's enough to make one's monocle pop out of one's eye!
Reuters also notes, though, that such a mass settlement could be difficult to pull off, however appealing to regulators because of the huge pile of fines it would invariably produce -- billions and billions, as Carl Sagan would say. It's one thing to get banks to work together to routinely steal money. Heck, that's easy. But, now that the jig is up, they have every motivation to try to cut better deals for themselves and shove other banks under the bus. Meanwhile, Libor, the interest rate affecting trillions in loans and derivatives contracts, is still a complete fabrication, write Peter Eavis and Nathaniel Popper in The New York Times.
Thing Two: Uncle Sam's Junk Sale: The U.S. government is hustling to sell toxic debt it bought during the crisis, The Wall Street Journal reports, with hedge funds and other vulture investors lately showing an interest in the stuff. And with an election approaching, it would be nice to unload most of this junk and advance the Treasury Department's possibly dubious claim that the crisis bailouts have turned a profit.
Thing Three: Woe Is Wall Street: Morgan Stanley reported a grim 24 percent tumble in revenue in the second quarter and announced it was joining the mass Wall Street job die-off, wrapping up what has been the worst first half of a year for the biggest U.S. banks since 2008, Bloomberg notes. Banks are being dogged by bad mortgages, slumping trading revenue, a sluggish economy, fewer fraud opportunities -- you name it really.
Thing Four: Corn and soyabean prices set records yesterday, as the drought in the Midwestern U.S. is raising the risk of a global food crisis, the Financial Times writes: "'I’ve been in the business more than 30 years and this is by far and away the most serious weather issue and supply and demand problem that I have seen by a mile,' said a senior executive at a trading house."
Thing Five: Oh, Look, It's Europe Again: Thought we'd forgotten about Europe, did you? No such luck. After a brief vacation, the continent apparently is back in the business of blowing up. Spain had to pay up to borrow money yesterday, and the interest rate on its 10-year debt crept back to unsustainable levels. And Greece continues to struggle to meet the demands of its European lenders.
Thing Six: Microsoftness: For the first time in 26 years as a public company, Microsoft has reported a quarterly loss, the FT writes. The loss was mostly due to accounting stuff -- a massive write-down of the value of online advertising business aQuantive and deferring some revenue for the launch of Windows 8.
Thing Seven: That's A Lot Of Cupcakes: New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer hasn't lifted a finger yet, but she's already one of the best-paid executives in Silicon Valley. Yahoo has given her a pay package that could be worth $129 million, the NYT writes, which will buy a lot of the "cupcakes, art and designer clothes" she likes, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Thing Seven And One Half: We Are From France: Rest in peace Tom Davis, one of the original Saturday Night Live writers, who helped introduce the world to the Coneheads, Theodoric of York, Irwin Mainway and many more.
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Calendar Du Jour:
Before Market Open:
Heard On The Tweets:
@MattLech: I'm sick of the economy. Everyone is an idiot.
@zerohedge: That deleting noise you hear is traders everywhere eliminating their LinkedIn profiles around the world
@Pfro: Ann #Romney: "We've given all you people need to know"... i love being referred to as "you people
@kairyssdal: Oh my god. Trump just said Canada's running a very good country. My head is going to explode.
-- Calendar and tweets rounded up by Khadeeja Safdar.
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