The Closer | FT Alphaville

The Closer


- “When those yields cross their 10-month moving average, it is time to be gone from risk assets.”

- The rise of Repurchases & Dividends (plus chart).

- Northern Ireland and the G8: “So it’s kind of like a trompe l’oeil

- Another response to R&R on debt and GDP (plus chart).

- Hedge fund titillation / Dealbreaker headline du jour.

- Contra US housing doom.

- Doing “total blight elimination” in Detroit.

- Much more on using cold hard cash transfers in development policy.


US growth was revised slightly lower for the first three months of 2013. The economy expanded at an annualised rate of 2.4 per cent according to the latest data, compared to an earlier estimate of 2.5 per cent (Financial Times). Thursday’s data also confirmed that government spending dropped sharply at the beginning of the year: the slump was revised to 4.9 per cent from 4.1 per cent (Reuters).

The Agnelli family plan to maintain their 30 per cent stake in Fiat as bankers examine options for financing a full merger of the company with Chrysler. A takeover of the 41.5 per cent of Chrysler which Fiat does not own could be financed with bank debt or a share issue, although a deal may have to wait for a ruling in a court dispute between Fiat and UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, who own 16.4 per cent (Financial Times).

Neiman Marcus rejected a proposal by Saks for a KKR-financed merger. The complexity and proposed terms of the deal caused the overture to founder, although Neiman’s owners TPG and Warburg Pincus have been seeking to sell or list the luxury retailer, and KKR has been considering taking a stake in Saks (Wall Street Journal).

Morgan Stanley signalled that it expects much lower revenue from its fixed-income unit in the future. The bank’s president of institutional securities revealed a quarterly target of $1.5bn to $2.5bn from the unit, some way below its peak of $3.3bn in 2007. It generated $1.5bn in the first quarter, compared to between $3bn and $5bn for fixed-income operations at rivals Goldman and JPMorgan (Wall Street Journal).

Goldman attracted some 17,000 applicants to this year’s 350 summer intern posts. The bank is also receiving about 50,000 to 70,000 applications for full-time jobs a year, said Gary Cohn, its president and chief operations officer (Financial Times).