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Wednesday Papers: U.S. Congress approves fiscal cliff deal

And Goldman Sachs chief Lloyds Blankfein cashes in $4 million of shares.

 
Wednesday Papers: U.S. Congress approves fiscal cliff deal

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The drama over the fiscal cliff in the U.S. ended late on Tuesday when the House of Representatives passed legislation lifting taxes on the wealthiest Americans after a topsy-turvy day on Capitol Hill.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The US Congressional Budget Office has revealed that the Senate-passed legislation to avert the "fiscal cliff" will add nearly $4 trillion to federal deficits over a decade.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and departing chief financial officer David Viniar both exercised restricted stock units on New Year's Eve that delivered them $4.2 million in cash apiece.
  • Financial Times: More than 250 people were working on Tuesday to contain the effects of the grounding of an oil-drilling ship owned by Shell in Alaska, in the latest of several blows to the company’s exploration programme there.
  • Daily Mail: Nalin Rathod, the boss of troubled miner Bumi, has stepped down, becoming the fifth high-level figure to leave the company in recent times.
  • The Guardian: Nautilus Minerals, which was planning to mine gold, copper and silver under the Pacific Ocean, has run into conflict with its partner, the government of Papua New Guinea, about the cost of the project.
  • Financial Times: Boeing is set to overtake Airbus for the first time in a decade by delivering more passenger jets to customers in 2012, primarily because the US manufacturer is cranking up production of its 787 Dreamliner after years of delay.
  • Financial Times: Snapchat, a smartphone app that shares self-destructing photos, has emerged as Silicon Valley’s latest obsession after withstanding a head-on challenge from social-networking group Facebook.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Britons should brace themselves for another year of weak growth as the prospects of a recovery remain gloomy, according to the Financial Times’ New Year survey of 94 leading economists.
  • Financial Times: Leading private equity and hedge fund investors are increasing their bets on the distressed shipping industry.
  • The Guardian: UK employers are continuing to hire staff but are offering lower salaries than a year ago, according to Reed, an online jobs board.
  • Financial Times: The UK is set to lose out to Germany and Poland as an investment destination in 2013, according to a survey of global investors’ spending intentions by Ernst & Young.
  • The Guardian: David Cameron has made the establishment of a free trade agreement between Europe and the US a key priority during the UK's leadership of the G8 group of richest nations this year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain will have to “acclimatise” to the “hard grind” of another year of squeezed wages, rising unemployment and low growth, leading economists warned, as the Government was accused of hoping “something just turns up” to deliver the recovery.
  • The Independent: The retail sector is "certain" to see further collapses and large swaths of stores closed this year, following a sharp jump in administrations in 2012, according to Deloitte, the accountancy firm.
  • The Guardian: China's official manufacturing purchasing managers' index held steady in December at 50.6, matching November's seven-month high, as growth in new orders was unchanged and the pace of output softened marginally.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Japan's government is to take the unprecedented step of buying factories and machinery directly with taxpayer funds, the latest in a series of radical steps to lift the country out of its deep slump.
  • Financial Times: After finishing 2012 on a high note, investors believe US equities are bound to extend last year’s run.
  • Financial Times: China is poised to produce more cars than Europe in 2013 for the first time.
  • Financial Times: Oil prices are set to stay above $100 a barrel for the third consecutive year in 2013 in spite of booming production in North America on the back of the shale revolution.
  • Financial Times: Foreign currency analysts are tipping a weaker yen as one of the major trades in 2013, after the Japanese currency lost more than 10% of its value against the dollar last year.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Vernon Hill, the billionaire founder of Metro Bank, has been named the start-up lender’s new chairman ahead of an expected flotation of the business next year.
  • Financial Times: Young drivers are facing rises in insurance premiums running into hundreds of pounds after reinsurers this week pushed up the costs for underwriters passing on risks to them by more than 20%.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Japanese electronics giant Sony said it has stopped producing its PlayStation 2 consoles in Japan, fuelling online rumours a PlayStation 4 is in the pipeline.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Sun European Partners is to purchase Paragon Print and Packaging, which makes labels and packaging for food retailers such as Tesco and Sainsbury; Paragon is valued at about £150 million.
  • Daily Mail: Iron ore miner Afferro Mining has received a £140 million preliminary takeover offer from International Mining and Infrastructure Corporation, a smaller rival.
  • The Guardian (Editorial): US Senate agreement is a jerry-built compromise that neither deals with the slump nor faces up to the long term.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): The past two years have turned investors into reluctant experts in the complexity of European politics.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Bears beware. A monetary revolution is underway.
  • Financial Times (Lex): US budget deal: Senate has approved plan to prevent the automatic and indiscriminate spending cuts and tax increases.
  • Financial Times (Lex): US regulators: European banks cannot assume that US regulators are an homogeneous bunch.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Credit rating agencies: Slowly, the post-financial crisis regulatory revisions in Europe are slotting into place.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Corruption in China: The present leadership knows all too well that its survival depends on stamping out graft.

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