Submitted by Tyler Durden.
- Euro-Area Banks Tap ECB for Record Amount of Three-Year Cash (Bloomberg)
- Papademos Gets Backing for $4.3B of Cuts (Bloomberg)
- China February Bank Lending Remains Weak (Reuters)
- Romney Regains Momentum (WSJ)
- Shanghai Raises Minimum Wage 13% as China Seeks to Boost Demand (Bloomberg)
- Fiscal Stability Key To Economic Competitiveness – SNB’s Jordan (WSJ)
- Bank’s Tucker Says Cannot Relax Bank Requirements (Reuters)
- Life as a Landlord (NYT)
- Shanghai Won’t Ease Curbs on Second Home Purchases by Non-Locals (Bloomberg)
Overnight media digest
* Mitt Romney won primaries in Michigan and Arizona, reasserting his dominance in a Republican nominating race and holding off a surging Rick Santorum.
* Criminal authorities are investigating whether a top Goldman Sachs manager passed inside information about technology stocks to the firm’s hedge-fund clients.
* U.S. banks increased lending by $130 billion in the last three months of 2011, posting the largest quarterly pickup in four years and marking a possible upswing in the economic rebound.
* Goldman Sachs Group, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo have been told U.S. securities regulators may sue them in civil court over allegedly shoddy disclosures of the risks of subprime mortgage bonds tied to the financial crisis.
* General Motors plans to extend a $335 million lifeline to struggling French auto maker PSA Peugeot Citroën as part of a tie-up that each hopes will aid turnarounds at their struggling European car operations.
* Employers and business groups are trying to stop an Obama administration effort that calls for federal contractors to hire a minimum number of disabled workers and could penalize those who don’t by revoking their contracts.
BTG TAKES STEPS TOWARDS LISTING
BTG Pactual has mandated Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan to help manage its initial public offering as it tries to build one of the biggest independent emerging market investment banks. http://link.reuters.com/zec86s
GOOGLE IN EU SHOWDOWN OVER PIRACY RULES
APPLE JOINS THE $500 BILLION CLUB
Apple has joined an elite group of companies to reach a $500 billion equity valuation amid expectations it is to launch the new version of the iPad next week. http://link.reuters.com/duc86s
TAXPAYERS FACE 15-YEAR NORTHERN ROCK WAIT
UK taxpayers will have to wait up to 15 years to recoup the money spent on rescuing Northern Rock, according to the first official analysis of potential returns from one of the highest-profile bailouts of the financial crisis. http://link.reuters.com/fuc86s
DALIO TAKES HEDGE CROWN FROM SOROS
Ray Dalio has overtaken George Soros as the world’s most successful hedge fund manager after his Bridgewater Pure Alpha fund made $13.8 billion for investors last year. http://link.reuters.com/guc86s
IRELAND CALLS VOTE ON EU FISCAL PACT
Dublin will hold a referendum on the euro zone fiscal pact, plunging Europe into months of uncertainty and potentially placing a question mark over Ireland’s membership of the euro. http://link.reuters.com/huc86s
BLACKSTONE AND KKR WEIGH BILLABONG BIDS
Blackstone and KKR are considering joining the bidding race for Billabong, the Australian surf wear company that has rejected a revised A$840 million ($900 million) offer by TPG, according to people familiar with the matter. http://link.reuters.com/juc86s
MOBILE OPERATORS SUBMIT PAY PLAN TO BRUSSELS
The UK’s largest mobile operators are preparing to submit plans for a mobile payment system for European regulatory consideration next week, although they will face continued opposition from rival company Three. http://link.reuters.com/kuc86s
* Developers of applications for Apple’s mobile devices, along with Apple itself, came under scrutiny this month after reports that some apps were taking people’s address book information without their knowledge.
* Federal health officials on Tuesday added new safety alerts to the prescribing information for statins, the cholesterol-reducing medications that are among the most widely prescribed drugs in the world, citing rare risks of memory loss, diabetes and muscle pain.
* Domestic politics in euro zone countries emerged again on Tuesday as a serious obstacle to resolving the European debt crisis, contributing to a decision by officials to postpone a crucial meeting they had planned for Friday. The setbacks illustrated again how hard it has been to reconcile impatient financial markets with democratic processes.
* Federal authorities are struggling to find evidence to support a criminal case stemming from the collapse of MF Global, even after a federal grand jury in Chicago has issued subpoenas.
European Economic Highlgights
- UK GfK Consumer Confidence Survey for January -29 – lower than expected. Consensus -27. Previous -29.
- UK Mortgage Approvals for January 58.7K – higher than expected. Consensus 54.0K. Previous 52.9K. Revised 55.0K.
- UK M4 Money Supply for January 1.6% m/m -1.8% y/y. Previous -1.4% m/m -2.5% y/y.
- Germany Import Price Index for January 1.3% m/m 3.7% y/y – higher than expected. Consensus 0.7% m/m 3.0% y/y. Previous 0.3% m/m 3.9% y/y.
- Germany Unemployment Rate for February 6.8% – higher than expected. Consensus 6.7%. Previous 6.7%. Revised 6.8%.
- France Consumer Spending for January -0.4% m/m -2.2% y/y. Consensus 0.2% m/m -2.0% y/y. Previous -0.7% m/m -3.1% y/y. Revised -0.2% m/m -2.5% y/y.
- Spain CPI 2.0% for February – higher than expected. Consensus 1.9%. Previous 2.0%.
- Spain Current Account (Euros) for February -3.6B. Previous -4.1B.
- Switzerland KOF Swiss Leading Indicator for February -0.12% – lower than expected. Consensus -0.1%. Previous -0.17%. Revised -0.15%.
- Switzerland CPI for January -0.7% m/m -0.9% y/y – lower than expected. Consensus -0.3% m/m -0.7% y/y. Previous 0.3% m/m -0.4% y/y.
- Sweden GDP for 4Q -1.1% q/q 1.1% y/y – lower than expected. Consensus -0.7% q/q 2.6% y/y. Previous 1.6% q/q 4.6% y/y. Revised 0.9% q/q 4.5% y/y.
- Norway Manufacturing Wage Index 1.4% q/q. Previous 2.1% q/q.
- Euro-Zone Core CPI for January 1.5% y/y – lower than expected. Consensus 1.7% y/y. Previous 1.6% y/y.