Receiving Wide Coverage ...

Buoyant Markets Worry BIS: The financial markets are "euphoric" despite uncertain economic and geopolitical outlooks and that worries the Bank for International Settlements, according to its annual report Sunday. The BIS finds the "buoyancy" in the markets "puzzling," according to the Wall Street Journal. And we all know what that means. Any time there are headlines or stories about things like "irrational exuberance" in the markets, it means financial officials are worried about a bubble — or "unsustainable asset booms," as the Financial Times describes it in its report. Central banks shouldn't raise rates "too slowly or too late" with all this buoyancy in the markets, according to the FT.

BNP Update: Details of the BNP Paribas settlement with regulators are taking shape with a reported concession on the suspension the U.S. is imposing on the French bank's ability to clear U.S. dollar transactions, namely that it will be allowed to delay that suspension for six months. BNP Paribas "had been processing potentially illicit dollar transactions with countries blacklisted by Washington years after the U.S. began investigating the lender," the Journal reported. The possible $8.9 billion settlement would set a record for a sanctions violation case but would be "relatively low when compared to the volume of alleged illicit transactions." The French bank is widely expected to plead guilty "to attempting to conceal some $30 billion in transactions with sanctioned companies." Bank executives admitted the concern last summer.

Wall Street Journal

Meanwhile, Blackstone Group is starting a hedge fund to make "large, highly concentrated wagers," sources report. "Many hedge funds are shying away from making such outsize bets," according to the paper. Apparently not this one, though.

The paper also pens an editorial on former Treasury secretary Hank Paulson's description of carbon emissions as "an economic threat akin to mortgage-backed securities before the financial panic." The paper opines: "If he has spotted a bubble this time, we guess one out of two is an improvement on zero out of one."

New York Times

The next secretary of Veterans Affairs could be Robert A. McDonald, a former Procter & Gamble chief executive, according to an unnamed U.S. official. A nomination from the Obama administration is reportedly pending.

The Times also not surprisingly has penned an editorial on a familiar theme: N.J. governor and possible U.S. presidential candidate Chris Christie's track record managing the public's money.

In Home Loans, Subprime Fades as a Dirty Word — but the down payments are hefty.

Washington Post

The debate dividing the Republican Party over whether to keep the Export-Import Bank going has made headlines only recently but lobbyists and trade groups have been debating the Ex-Im issue for quite a bit longer than that. The Aerospace Industries Association, for example, has been lobbying for the bank since 2008 because its members, like Boeing, benefit from the way its loan guarantees allow them to sell products internationally. And Delta Air Lines has been lobbying against the Ex-Im since 2011 because it doesn't like how it helps foreign competitors finance purchases of certain aircraft, the Post reports.

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