Here’s what you need to know this morning:
- The EU-IMF bailout of Greece continues to teeter on the edge of existence, with Greek debt and CDS spreads moving rapidly higher. Uncertainty continues over the austerity measures Greece will need to endure, if it successfully activates the bailout.
- Progress on the financial reform bill has a bipartisan bill nearing completion, but not without the influence of outside lobbying groups. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is pushing for new derivatives rules requiring capital protection for the products to not be applied to previously held contracts.
- South Korea is now publicly blaming North Korea for the sinking of one of its ships with a torpedo, making the situation on the Korean Peninsula extremely precarious. It remains unlikely the South will seek war against the North, and, instead, will use other measures at its disposal, like UN sanctions, to retaliate in the conflict.
- Instability remains the norm in Thailand this morning, with protesters now removing their trademark red shirts for concerns police will further target them with violence. Another bomb exploded this weekend in the capital, injuring 8, and there are fears more explosives will be used in the political conflict.
- United Airlines and Continental Airlines have seen their merger talks stall due to differences in opinion on the pricing of the “stock-for-stock deal.” Negotiations are ongoing on this dispute, which would effectively alter the valuation of the deal.
- Hertz is moving to buy European car rental giant Dollar Thrifty for $1.2 billion in a move set to give the company more European exposure among vacationers.
- Global diamond mining giant De Beers is reducing the amount of diamonds it is producing fearing the world’s supply is being exhausted. The company produces 40% of the world’s rough diamonds.
- Job growth is set to continues robustly through the third quarter of 2010, this according to a report from the National Association for Business Economists. The study also showed that these employment moves are not a result of the government’s stimulus measures.
- The BP oil well that exploded last week is currently leaking up to 1,000 barrels of oil a day, and now a plan has been developed to rapidly seal it. The U.S. Coast Guard is using submarine vehicles to close the leak, which could severely hurt the gulf’s environment if not contained.
- Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus is now calling for a bank tax to add money to the government’s coffers. Sen. Baucus says that there is little doubt it will happen, and it will effect hedge funds and private equity as well.
- Bonus: Speculation over Mariah Carey being pregnant has been dismissed by her publicist amid reports her and her husband Nick Cannon were expecting their first child.
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