Here’s what you need to know this morning:
- The on-again, off-again Greek bailout is very much on again this morning as the country’s prime minister has gone to the IMF asking for assistance. Greek bonds have surged this morning, as the specter of default diminishes.
- Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta has come under further pressure this morning, as it was revealed that the insider trading tip the government is investigating him for has to do with the Berkshire Hathaway’s purchase of Goldman shares at the height of the financial crisis. The tips on the Buffett deal were allegedly passed to Raj Rajaratnam at Galleon Group.
- Goldman Sachs is under further scrutiny for its involvement in the Lloyds refinancing package in the UK last year. The company acted as both an underwriter and investor in the deal, and it allegedly made moves to improve its investment position before the deal closed.
- The U.S. IPO market has returned to form, notching a day of issuance the size not seen since November 2007. Total sales thus far for this year are at $6 billion.
- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is rallying G-20 leaders to the cause of a Chinese yuan revaluation, as he seeks support in the key currency dispute. Brazil, India, and the EU are already on Geithner’s side, as he heads into G-20 negotiations today.
- Merger talks continue between Continental and United Airlines, as the two aviation behemoths head towards a stock-for-stock merger deal. The result of the merger would be a company worth $6.6 billion.
- The UK debate last night produced another strong outing for upstart candidate Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democratic Party, increasing the likelihood of a hung parliament. UK economic figures disappointed somewhat, a fact that is sure to hurt Gordon Brown and the in power Labour Party.
- Internal debate within the Federal Reserve is pushing Fed Chair Ben Bernanke to take action against potential high inflation by raising rates. If opinions are moving in that direction, a rate hike could occur sooner.
- The ratings agencies come under the Senate’s gaze today as their role in the financial crisis is reviewed. Of particular focus will be the agencies willingness to rate products they did not fully understand for the purpose of increasing profits.
- Instability in Thailand persists this morning after last night’s grenade attack, allegedly thrown by protesters who back the former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s return to government. Riot police have confronted protesters today, but thus far there is no return to yesterday’s deadly violence.
- Bonus: This season may be the last for the full Jersey Shore cast, with several members being cut from the show, though Snooki remains under contract for a third season.
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