Receiving Wide Coverage ...
AIG Is Having (Another) Share Sale: The newly private (or perhaps newly re-private) AIG is set to sell its shares in Asian life insurer AIA. Prices have yet to be set, but the sale is expected to net the company anywhere from $6.4 billion to $6.7 billion, depending on what paper you ask. AIG told Dealbook it will "sell the shares to institutional investors" and "use the proceeds from the deal for general corporate purposes," but other news outlets point out the firm has been "shedding noncore assets" steadily — just last week, the insurer announced plans to sell its 90% stake in an airplane leasing business — as it continues to pay off government loans. News outlets also point out AIG isn't getting out of Asia entirely, however. Last month, the firm said it plans to launch a joint venture with the People's Insurance Company (Group) of China. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times
Fiscal Cliff Update: Deadlocked negotiations over the impending fiscal cliff situation may have reached their tipping point this weekend, after House Speaker John Boehner made President Barack Obama an offer that included tax hikes on millionaires and a debt-ceiling increase. Said offer has already been rejected by the White House, since, according to the Post, "it would raise too little cash to significantly dent record budget deficits and do nothing to extend emergency unemployment benefits into the new year." But that hasn't stopped at least one unnamed Democratic official from deeming the offer a "breakthrough" to various news outlets. Other (also unnamed sources) cite the "quickening pace" of private conversations between the two party leaders as a sign that progress is being made, though a deal is hardly considered imminent. Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Politico
Wall Street Journal
UBS' imminent deal regarding Libor rate-rigging, on the other hand, is an "ominous sign" for banks still under investigation for similar charges, though, according to the only source close to a bank being probed cited (but unnamed) in the article, "There's no panic—yet" among executives.
Here's a sign companies don't always learn from past mistakes. New data shows private equity firms "are using almost as much debt to fund acquisitions as they did before the financial crisis, as return-hungry investors rush to buy bonds and loans backing those takeovers."
The paper has named central banker Mario Draghi as its Person of the Year, citing his "central role in the euro crisis — the biggest story of 2012" as the reason he beat out other notable Eurozone key players like Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and outgoing Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.
U.S. banks are "making a last-minute push" to have Basel III capital requirements eased, arguing the proposed standards would require them to increase their holdings of liquid assets by $700 billion.
U.S. banks are also keeping more mortgage loans on their balance sheets, instead of sending them over to the GSEs for securitization. This may be signal "renewed confidence in the housing market" or it may just mean banks are keeping the best loans for themselves in order to avoid guarantee fees, and sending the rest over to Fannie and Freddie.
Could a breakup be in the cards for some big U.K. banks? Maybe, as the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, slated to release a report assessing government-backed legislation later this week, is "leaning towards recommending a complete separation of retail and investment arms in case banks do not fully implement ringfencing."
New York Times
The Securities and Exchange Commission is accusing asset firm Aletheia Research and Management and its executive Peter J. Eichler Jr. of conducting a "cherry-picking" scheme that steered profitable trades into Eichler's personal accounts and losing investments into hedge funds he managed. Eichler said he is cooperating with the SEC and that his firm didn't mean to harm any of its products or clients.
Former Treasury Secretary (turned social media hound) Larry Summers will co-chair The Growth and Competitiveness project, a "new think-tank project aimed at supporting President Obama's second-term goal of reviving the economy by rebuilding the middle class." The project is housed in the Center for American Progress.