The (early) Lunch Wrap | FT Alphaville

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Good morning, New York


Get Carnwath: Who is Alison Carnwath and why is PIRC, the British shareholder activist group, encouraging shareholders to oppose her reappointment as a non-executive director at Barclays? Apparently because she was chairman of the bank’s remuneration commmittee. As Paul notes, that in their eyes makes her responsible for Bob the Bloat’s pay packet. (Though, apparently she’s lazy too.)

China rebooted: China’s swing back to a narrow trade surplus for March has taken everyone by surprise. But as Kate notes, that doesn’t mean everything is hunky dory again. Slowing imports could suggest that things might not be going well in terms of domestic demand.

Bernanke and the MMFs: How do you stop MMFs posing a risk to financial stability? Bernanke agrees with Schapiro: make them maintain loss-absorbing capital buffers and force them to redeem shares at market value rather than a fixed $1 price. Though, as Kate highlights, that might make them expensive and unpopular.

Something’s happening in Apple vega: Macro Risk Advisors’ Dean Curnutt directs Izzy to the fact that there’s much more Apple ‘call’ vega being traded than Apple ‘put’ vega being traded. According to him, that’s not a healthy sign for the market.

Hedge funds and the whale: Don’t miss this Easter epic from our very own credit expert. Lisa explains why it doesn’t always make sense to listen to what hedge funds are telling you about market distortions.


Facebook buys Instagram for $1bn: the parallels with Google’s acquisition of YouTube are striking. (FT’s Tech blog)

Avon appoints Johnson & Johnson vice-chairman Sheri McCoy as its new chief executive, in a move underscoring its determination to fend off an unsolicited $10bn takeover approach from Coty. (Financial Times)

Microsoft pays $1.1bn for AOL patents, putting the software giant in control of some of the core patents from the early days of the World Wide Web, adding to an arsenal that already overshadows those of rivals such as Google and Apple and potentially opening a new front in the industry’s patent wars. (Financial Times)

CME Group is considering opening a futures exchange in London to expand in Europe. The US operator of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is currently bidding for the London Metal Exchange, but may not win, as NYSE Euronext and possibly IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) are also in the running. (Financial Times)

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff complained about US monetary policy while at the White House on Monday as she made her case for international action against currency “manipulation” directly to Barack Obama. Ms Rousseff said that excessive monetary expansion in the US and Europe was hampering growth in countries such as Brazil. (Financial Times)

US visas for skilled works saw a sharp increase in demand during the first week of the new application period, with as many applications in a single week as were made in a month at the same time last year — a positive indicator for the economy. Each year a total of 85,000 visas are available, and thus far 25,600 applications have been made. (Wall Street Journal)

German exports rose in February, beating expectations. January saw an increase of 3.4 per cent on the previous month, and February saw a 1.6 per cent increase when a decline of 1.2 per cent had been expected. Germany had demand from outside Europe to thank for its good fortune. (Bloomberg)

Calpers seeks to offload private equity interests of $1.5bn as it restructures its portfolio of alternative asset holdings. The sale is being managed by UBS and starts this week. (Bloomberg)

Markets: Global stocks extended their longest losing streak in four months as Asian equities slipped while Europe’s markets had their first chance to react to Friday’s disappointing US jobs report. (FT’s Global Market Overview) Spanish bond yields have reached highs not seen since early December. (Wall Street Journal)