Friday, May 7, 2010

Central Banks take action; Germany & Greece;GS and the SEC $GS

Today’s Top Stories

· Central Banks take action – BOJ injects US$22B into overnight money market funds to help calm nerves (and to help weaken the yen, which has been surging over the last few days).  The ECB is going to be holding a conf call w/commercial banks according to a Reuters reportMarket News is reporting speculation that ECB could open swap lines today w/other central banks.

· G7 finance ministers will be holding a conf call on Fri to discuss the crisis (to kick off 7:30amET; the conf call will take place ahead of the scheduled Euro Leaders Summit and ahead of a scheduled IMF meeting on Sun - finance ministers and central bankers of the Group of Seven leading nations will hold a teleconference to discuss how to get ahead of the crisis and how to send signals of support for financially troubled Spain and Portugal without further roiling markets.  Japan’s fin min said G7 leaders prob. wouldn’t discuss intervention in the currency markets.

· Germany & Greece – the German parliament is voting today on the Greek bailout – the lower house already approved; also – a German group has just filed a lawsuit against the German Greek aid plan (both the parliament approval and this German suit were widely expected). 

· UK - In the UK, the election resulted an a hung parliament that, (per JPM’s M. Barr) “Among the spectrum of hung parliament possibilities, it would appear the result is close to that which grants the least clarity in terms of what government we will see, and plausibly least stability in terms of the size of majority commanded by whoever forms a government.” Talks among all 3 parties set to continue into the weekend, although LibDem leader Clegg appears set to back Cameron (per Bloomberg headlines crossing), helping GBP bounce off lows.  Moody’s just said the UK election outcome is no threat to the country’s AAA rating; S&P said the election doesn’t change its view of UK. 

· The SEC, the CFTC, the Treasury, and the Fed, said they were investigation what the SEC called “unusual trading activity that briefly took place Thurs afternoon”.  Exchange officials were systematically going through trading tapes, focusing on a surge in selling that federal officials said might have been set off by a single contract in Chicago.  Officials plan to examine whether securities professionals triggered yesterday’s stock- market plunge or exploited the turmoil to profit illegally.   CNBC/NYT/Reuters

· GS and the SEC are discussing a settlement according to the WSJ – lawyers from Goldman met w/SEC officials this week in what is the first step towards settlement talks, although the two sides are said to be far apart.  WSJ 

· China - speculation China may follow Australia and impose a mining "super tax".  London Independent.

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