Here’s what you need to know this morning via The Money Game:
- The fallout from the SEC’s fraud charges against Goldman Sachs continues to dominate this morning’s headlines with several Congressmen calling for an expansion of the investigation. This expansion would be focused on AIG’s role in these deals, but may also grow to other firms like Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank.
- The Goldman case is being felt in global markets today as indices are down on the U.S. government’s charges and investigation into the company. Both the Nikkei and Hang Seng were down overnight, and European markets are also down in early trading.
- The ash crisis brought on by Eyjafjallajökull’s eruption still has European traveller’s at its mercy. Flights remain grounded throughout Northern Europe and now Britain is using its navy as a means to transport stranded travellers back from France to the UK.
- The impact of the ash crisis is being felt by more than travellers as it has emerged that Kenyan farmers, who export many of their crops to and via Europe, are losing $1.3 million a day and have already laid off 5000 workers.
- Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has stepped up the war of words in the fight to apply sanctions on Iran. She said she fears for the regional instability that would be brought on by a potential arms race in the Middle East. This comes just hours after Secretary of defence Robert Gates disputed he felt that the Obama administration has no backup military plan to deal with Iran.
- Thailand continues to be in crisis mode as its downtown financial centre is being patrolled by government military troops in order to stop protesters from acting in the area. The country’s ex-Prime Minister has called for immediate elections to end the crisis, according to Reuters.
- Pimco’s Neel Kashkari is now calling for U.S. growth to slow to 3% to 4% of GDP as a result of high unemployment and structural weakness in the housing market. This would take the country off its 6% to 7% growth trajectory it has recently been experiencing.
- Toyota has agreed to a $16.4 million payout to the U.S. government over its recalled vehicles. While the fine is a record for the U.S. Transportation Department, it is less than 2% of Toyota’s net income.
- German bunds have lost their winning ways after Chancellor Angela Merkel moved to cooperate in the Greek bailout. Her moves have now made the bund a loser against the world’s other safe bet, U.S. treasuries.
- IBM reports its earnings today, and they are expected to impress, with year-over-year revenue growth projected higher. IBM reports after market close today, while Apple reports tomorrow.
- Bonus: Kim Kardashian is gearing up for the World Cup by picking soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo as her hook-up of choice. The two were caught together in Madrid over the weekend, no word if this is a short term, or long term affair.
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