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Monday, January 25, 2010


Asian markets fall as investors sell banking, metals stocks
Asian stock markets declined Monday after large losses late last week on Wall Street. Japan's Nikkei 225, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 and Taiwan's Taiex gave up 0.7%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 0.6%, China's Shanghai Composite fell 1.1% and South Korea's Kospi Composite slid 0.8%. New Zealand's NZX inched down 0.1%, while India's Sensex was down 0.2% and Singapore's Straits Times Index had fallen 0.4% in afternoon trading. The Wall Street Journal (25 Jan.)

Wall Street "got the message" on cutting bankers' bonuses
Pay cuts have hit Wall Street's investment banks, and pressure for further cuts could build as executives' bonuses are made public in the coming weeks, analysts said. "There's no question that Wall Street got the message from Washington," said Michael W. Robinson, a senior vice president at Levick Strategic Communications who formerly headed public affairs at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley paid out $44.7 billion in 2007 but budgeted $39.9 billion for 2009. Bloomberg (25 Jan.)

Mammoth Manhattan apartment complexes are handed back to lenders
Tishman Speyer Properties and BlackRock Realty decided to give New York apartment complexes Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, which have a combined 11,227 units, to their lenders. The $5.4 billion purchase from MetLife in 2005 was the biggest real estate transaction in U.S. history. Since November, the owners have tried unsuccessfully to renegotiate debt secured by the property. The New York Times (25 Jan.)

11,200 Sam's Club jobs will be eliminated by Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart Stores said it will slash 11,200 jobs at its Sam's Club warehouse stores. Production demonstrations will be outsourced to Shopper Events, a marketing company in Rogers, Ark., replacing about 10,000 workers. Employment in membership recruitment will be reduced by about 1,200. Los Angeles Times (25 Jan.)

Dispute intensifies between Argentina's government, central bank
After being barred by police from entering the central bank of Argentina, bank chief Martín Redrado filed formal charges against Aníbal Fernández, head of the Cabinet. The dispute grows out of Redrado's refusal to release $6.5 billion from the central bank's reserves to repay the nation's debt. President Cristina Fernández then tried to fire him by using an emergency decree. Buenos Aires Herald (25 Jan.)

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