• Obama to Castigate Wall Street
  • Greek 2009 Deficit Was Wider Than Expected
  • Greek bond yields hit in spite of debt talks
  • UBS, Credit Suisse May Be Split in Crisis, Panel Says
  • UBS, Credit Suisse Must Hold 30 Days of Liquid Assets
  • Senators Closer to Bridging Partisan Divide on Finance Overhaul
  • Senate Derivatives Bill Faces Battle on Bank Spinoff Provision
  • U.S. Said To Weigh AIG Exit Through Two Years of Share Sales
  • Quattrone Reunites With Credit Suisse Investment Banker Boutros
  • Businessweek Wears New Mantle

Obama to Castigate Wall Street – WSJ

President Barack Obama will return to Manhattan’s Cooper Union on Thursday, two years after a campaign speech that laid out his vision for Wall Street, to castigate a financial industry that he will say has too often forgotten the ordinary Americans who have suffered from its reckless irresponsibility….

“A free market was never meant to be a free license to take whatever you can get, however you can get it,” Mr. Obama will say, according to speech excerpts released Wednesday night. “That is what happened too often in the years leading up to the crisis. Some on Wall Street forgot that behind every dollar traded or leveraged, there is family looking to buy a house, pay for an education, open a business, or save for retirement. What happens here has real consequences across our country.”….

Greek 2009 Deficit Was Wider Than Expected – WSJ

The European Union’s official statistics agency Thursday said the Greek budget deficit in 2009 was wider than the government had estimated, and added that it has reservations about the accuracy of Greek budget data that may lead to further upward revisions.

In the first of its twice-yearly reviews of government finances in the 27-member bloc, Eurostat said the Greek government’s budget deficit was 13.6% of gross domestic product last year…..

Greek bond yields hit in spite of debt talks – FT

Greek government bond yields are at their highest levels since the country joined the eurozone 12 years ago, with the yield on 10-year bonds climbing 42 basis points to 8.28 per cent as concerns mount over a bail-out package from the International Monetary Fund and whether a debt restructuring can be avoided.

Portugal continued to suffer in the shadow of Greece. Its 10-year government bond yields hit highs of 4.82 per cent, a climb of 21bp. Portugal’s 10-year government bonds previously peaked at 4.77 per cent in February……

UBS, Credit Suisse May Be Split in Crisis, Panel Says – Bloomberg

Switzerland needs bank insolvency laws to be able to break up UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG in an emergency, because the size of the banks is a threat to the rest of the economy, a government panel said.

Laws to create “bridge banks” to run the elements of the lenders most important to Switzerland’s financial system may be published this summer, the group of experts said in an interim report today. The two Zurich-based banks’ combined balance sheets are more than four times the size of the Swiss economy…..

UBS, Credit Suisse Must Hold 30 Days of Liquid Assets – Bloomberg

UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG, Switzerland’s biggest banks, must hold reserves of “first- class” liquid assets sufficient to cover at least 30 days of expenditures during a crisis scenario under new rules.

The banks must have higher liquidity than other lenders because of their importance to the Swiss economy, the central bank and financial regulator said in a statement yesterday. The banks may use cash, central bank deposits, “high quality” sovereign debt and corporate securities marked at a discount to meet the threshold, said Tobias Lux, a spokesman for the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, known as Finma…..

Senators Closer to Bridging Partisan Divide on Finance Overhaul – Bloomberg

Senators drew closer to bridging their differences over U.S. financial-overhaul legislation in negotiations fueled by the government’s lawsuit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Republicans’ threat to oppose the Democrats’ measure.

Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, said his talks with the panel’s chairman, Democrat Christopher Dodd, are making progress.

“I’m optimistic we’re going to get a bill, and it’s going be a good bill,” Shelby, of Alabama, told a Washington news conference yesterday. “We’re not there yet, but I think we’re closer than we’ve ever been.”…..

Senate Derivatives Bill Faces Battle on Bank Spinoff Provision – Bloomberg

….Under one part of a derivatives bill approved yesterday by the Senate Agriculture Committee, banks would have to spin off their swaps trading desks, which have generated billions of dollars in profits.

The proposal, strongly opposed by the financial industry, remains far from enactment. It faces objections from members of both parties and even the Obama administration, according to Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the top Republican on the Agriculture panel.

“The administration is opposed to it and I think for the right reasons,” Chambliss told reporters yesterday…..

U.S. Said To Weigh AIG Exit Through Two Years of Share Sales – Bloomberg

The U.S. government, majority owner of American International Group Inc. after rescuing the insurer in 2008, is considering a two-year plan to dispose its stake, said a person with knowledge of the discussions.

The proposal involves converting preferred stock into common shares for sale on the open market, said the person, who declined to be identified because talks with AIG are private. If the New York-based firm consents to the strategy and there is sufficient investor demand, the Treasury Department plan could be announced as early as the fourth quarter, the person said. Treasury has invested about $47 billion in the insurer…..

Quattrone Reunites With Credit Suisse Investment Banker Boutros – Bloomberg

Frank Quattrone, one of the top investment bankers to technology companies during the Internet boom, hired his former deputy George Boutros from Credit Suisse Group AG to join his two-year-old advisory boutique.

He also hired Jason DiLullo, a managing director from Credit Suisse and one of Boutros’s colleagues in San Francisco…..

Businessweek Wears New Mantle – WSJ

A revamped Bloomberg Businessweek magazine rolls out beginning Thursday, the most dramatic signpost of change since financial-information firm Bloomberg L.P. bought the struggling magazine in December….

In October, Bloomberg agreed to buy the unprofitable magazine from McGraw-Hill Cos. for $5 million plus severance and other liabilities. The company then began its makeover, led by veteran journalist Norman Pearlstine, Bloomberg’s chief content officer, and Josh Tyrangiel, the newly installed 37-year-old editor…..

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