China surprises with bank reserve hike (Xin/Rabinovith, Reuters) The Fed could learn something from the PBOC. This sudden move to tighten bank lending maintains the PBOC’s reputation for acting without warning. If the Fed had a similar rep, U.S. lenders wouldn’t be so cavalier taking interest rate risk.
Special bankruptcy court for banks mulled in Senate (Younglai, Reuters) Interesting proposal for Dodd’s Senate financial reform bill. Can’t really comment until details are made available.
Citi unit grows — with Fed’s help (Enrich, WSJ) The fact that Citi subsidiary GTS is so important to the global financial system — and that its failure would be disastrous — is a good argument that regulators should find a way to wind it down…
Obama weighs tax on banks to cut deficit (Calmes, NYT) No details here either, but I expect whatever is proposed to pass, as the proposal will come not long after banks announce bonuses. Plan would raise as much as $120 billion. Taking money away from the financial sector, including its customers, is a necessary step towards de-leveraging the economy.
Devaluation sparks chaos in Caracas (Lyons/Crowe, WSJ)
Single stock dividend futures launched (Hedgeweek, ht Nick Gogerty) Not sure what the value of these is, but Nick points out that the leverage available to those trading futures means someone in need of a trading fix will get it…
Mark McGwire admits using steroids (ESPN) He cries a lot, complains of the pressure he was under and the difficulty of a 162 game schedule.
At a mighty 104, gone while still going strong (Fernandez/Schmidt, NYT)
Expense reports (Dilbert)
You played the joker too, right?