The (early) Lunch Wrap | FT Alphaville

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Good morning, New York


The eurozone, recession and Dilbert: As the eurozone slid back into recession, Lisa gave a blow by blow of the details which left us feeling simultaneously comforted and terrified. Luckily there is a cartoon near the end.

An Irish solution to an Irish promissory note: The Anglo Irish promissory notes dispute between the European Central Bank and the Irish government might be nearing resolution as the Irish central bank governor attempted to sway the ECB by suggesting the payment be made but is immediately recycled into an Irish sovereign bond. Joseph has all of the details in here.

Out of its yen: We took a look at the end of the Japanese financial year and asked if the yen had any more surprises coming as Japanese life insurance companies looked over their hedging ratios. The answer was “no” and “maybe”.

Etch a stock: Joseph chronicled the wonderful rise of the Ohio Art Company in artistic fashion.


EU firewall: The European Commission has recommended increasing the size of the eurozone’s rescue system from €500bn to €940bn by combining the existing, temporary bailout fund with a facility that is due to start this summer, according to an “options note” obtained by the FT. The suggestion came as Spain’s borrowing costs rose above 5.5 per cent for the first time since January amid signs the eurozone was slipping back into recession. (FT)

Russian privatisation: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the government and central bank to devise a plan to cut their holdings in state-owned lenders to below 50 per cent in a move designed to continue his goal of reducing the state’s role in the economy when he leaves the Kremlin to become prime minister in May. (WSJ)

Chinese yuan appreciation: The Chinese central bank set the yuan’s reference exchange rate at a record high on Friday, as it moved to strengthen the currency amid concerns over intensifying yuan-selling due to a fast-deteriorating economic outlook and a rise in short-term foreign debt. (WSJ) The Chinese government has also repeatedly threatened retaliation against European firms that bring trade complaints against China, prompting the EU to consider starting its own investigations if companies are unwilling to come forward with complaints. (WSJ)

Chevron in Brazil: Brazil’s petroleum regulator is considering revoking Chevron’s exploration contract after finding the U.S. oil producer could have avoided a 3,000-barrel spill off Rio de Janeiro’s coast. (Bloomberg)

JP Morgan fined: JPMorgan was ordered by arbitrators to pay $373m to American Century Investments over claims that executives led by Jes Staley enriched the bank at the expense of the fund-management firm. (Bloomberg)

Gold’s fading attraction: Investors are losing their enthusiasm for gold as signs of improvement in the US economy tempt them away from the traditional haven. Gold prices have already dropped 9 per cent since late February, on Thursday hitting a 10-week low of $1,627.68. (FT)

Indian graft: India’s coalition government was rocked by a fresh corruption scandal on Thursday after it was accused of forgoing $210bn in potential revenues by selling coal assets too cheaply to some of the country’s top industrialists. (FT)

Facebook goes patent shopping: Facebook purchased about 750 patents from IBM to bolster its intellectual-property standing as it squares off against Yahoo in a high-profile infringement lawsuit. (WSJ)

Markets: Markets are regaining composure after the latest wobble over global growth concerns, leaving risk asset classes firm and many equity benchmarks just below recent highs. S&P 500 futures point to New York gaining 0.3 per cent, leaving the stock barometer just 1 per cent below Monday’s near 4-year peak. (FT’s Global Markets Overview)

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