Evening Leaders – Alan Grayson Launches Hedge Fund

Former Congressman Alan Grayson to Launch his own Hedge Fund (FINAlternatives)

Former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) is taking his extensive experience with financial markets and the global economy and channeling it in a new business: asset management. Grayson’s new firm—aptly named The Grayson Fund Management Company—is gearing up to launch its first hedge fund. The vehicle will employ a global, deep value strategy, taking mostly long positions, primarily in emerging markets.

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)

Eurozone Leaders Have Emergency Meeting (FT)

France’s president Nicolas Sarkozy flew to Frankfurt on Wednesday night for an emergency meeting with leading players in the eurozone crisis including German chancellor Angela Merkel, as Franco-German differences bedevilled attempts to agree a comprehensive package of measures. The meeting broke up after two hours with neither the German or French leaders making any comment.

Private Equity Firms Consider Yahoo (WSJ)

Private-equity firms are knee-deep in work on a potential buyout of Yahoo Inc., which has been weighing its strategic options in recent weeks. Almost every major U.S. private-equity firm, including Silver Lake Partners, Blackstone Group, TPG Capital, KKR & Co., Bain Capital, Carlyle Group, Hellman & Friedman, Providence Equity Partners and Warburg Pincus, has a team doing preliminary work on Yahoo, according to people familiar with the matter.

American Airlines Prices Fall (FT)

American Airlines blamed the high price of jet fuel and volatile currency exchange rates for its larger-than-expected loss in the third quarter, applying more downward pressure on its shares. AMR Corp, American’s parent company, has suffered a difficult few months as investor concerns about its high debt load, weak revenue growth and string of quarterly losses have led to violent swings in its stock price.

PNC, US Bancorp Surpass Analyst Estimates (FT)
US Bancorp and PNC, two of the biggest regional banks in US, ramped up lending to businesses and consumers in the third quarter as they produced profits that exceeded the expectations of Wall Street analysts. US Bancorp reported a 40 per cent rise in earnings to $1.3bn, thanks to record revenues of $4.8bn. PNC reported a 24 per cent year-on-year drop in third-quarter profit to $834m on lower revenues. Earnings were boosted by lower provisions for credit losses and decreased charge-offs, reflecting improving credit quality among the lender’s borrowers.
Daimler AG Dismisses CEO Ernst Lieb Over Questionable Expenses (WSJ)
Daimler AG dismissed the chief of its U.S. Mercedes-Benz operations earlier this week over the company’s allegations he paid for personal expenditures with company money, according to people familiar with the matter. The German luxury car maker this week unexpectedly removed Ernst Lieb—a well-regarded, 36-year company veteran who took over its U.S. operations in 2006—from his post and while providing no explanation for the move. He remains at the company in an undisclosed role, Mercedes said Tuesday.
Groupon Sets IPO (WSJ)
Groupon Inc. plans an initial public offering of less than 10% of the discount deal company at a valuation of less than $12.5 billion in the wake of recent market volatility and the company’s missteps, according to people familiar with the deal. The size of the sale, expected to be completed in the next two weeks, could be $500 million to $700 million under plans to be disclosed in advance of the company’s roadshow beginning in the next few days, the people said. The size is meant to cut the amount of stock being sold at what may be a knock-down valuation, in hopes that more shares can be sold later at higher prices.
RIM Launches New BlackBerry OS (WSJ)
Research In Motion Ltd. on Tuesday unveiled a new operating system, dubbed BBX, that it plans to power its next-generation BlackBerry smartphones and other mobile devices—a linchpin of its attempt to strike back at surging competition from Apple Inc. and Google Inc. But on the first of a three-day developer conference here, the company disappointed some of the developers it was hoping to woo by not demonstrating the system on a prototype smartphone. RIM executives also didn’t provide many details about how the platform would be implemented on its next line of smartphones, nor did they give a more specific time frame for when those new phones are expected to reach stores. Initially, RIM has signaled the phones will be launched early next year.
New Samsung Google Phone Unveiled (WSJ)
Samsung Electronics Co. and Google Inc. on Wednesday jointly unveiled a new smartphone they developed together running on a new version of the Android operating system as the South Korean company pushes out new models in its attempt to gain more ground in the highly competitive and litigious smartphone market.