It’s a Saturday, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it, because there’s a heck of a lot going on.
Here’s what you need to be paying attention to this May Day.
- The Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) annual shareholders meeting is happening right now. Already the company has reported monster Q1 profits, and both Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger have taken turns defending Goldman Sachs (GS), which is one of their portfolio companies. [See also: From One Pigman To Another….]
- Obama is flying to the Gulf Coast on Sunday morning to inspect the damage and response to the Deepwater Horizon oil crisis. The sense right now is that we’re looking at an environmental tragedy on the scale of Exxon Valdez, maybe worse, since there’s no short-term prospect of plugging the massive leak in the ground that’s spewing oil. Current estimates suggest BP (BP) is on the hook for at least $3 billion.
- Greece/IMF/EU talks continue. According to Greek government officials, some kind of announcement may be made today. The market is hoping to hear something that’s orders of magnitude stronger than any bailout announcement we’ve gotten so far, or otherwise the feeling will be that it can and will fall through again.
- Of course, there are fresh violent, anti-austerity protests going on today in Athens. The fact that it’s May Day, a day for celebrating anti-capitalism only adds to the tension.
- New reports suggest the criminal probe into Goldman Sachs is not just a perfunctory follow-on to the SEC charges, but rather a truly separate thing that’s wider than Abacus, and that started before the SEC’s investigation. HUGE.
- The New York-based Economic Cycle Research Institute says the economy is already beginning to slow.
- With just five days before the election, UK’s The Guardian has endorsed the Liberal Democrats, the country’s biggest third party. Its leader, Nick Clegg, has surged thanks to a string of strong debate performances, Gordon Brown’s disastrous campaigning, and a lingering sense of unease with the conservatives.
- Korea has confirmed that a torpedo sank the Cheonan, though it still won’t blame North Korea directly.
- The Volcker Rule — which would mark a partial return to the Glass-Steagall era — is gathering steam, says WSJ.
- And we’re just putting it out there, because it’s out there, but the National Enquirer is running an Obama sex scandal story that’s really short of details, but basically claims that anti-Obama folks are offering $1 million for a videotape and story that would confirm the President had an affair with ex-aide Vera Baker at some point in the last six years. It could be 100% nonsense, but remember they OWNED the John Edwards story.