advertisement

TOP HEADLINES: JPMorgan CEO accepts blame for trading mistake

Monday, May 14, 2012 | 8:45 p.m. CDT; updated 9:04 p.m. CDT, Monday, May 14, 2012

Here are today's top stories from The Associated Press.

For some JPMorgan Chase shareholders, facing crisis without Dimon is hard to imagine

NEW YORK — JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon owned up to stock analysts and went on TV to accept blame for a $2 billion trading mistake. Next he faces shareholders, who are considerably less wealthy since the blunder was disclosed.

While Dimon may be greeted by colorful protesters and tough questions at the JPMorgan annual meeting in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, shareholders are unlikely to call for his head. For them, facing the crisis without Dimon might be a bigger nightmare than the trading loss itself.

"When a bank is dealing with this sort of a challenge, you want someone of his caliber to shepherd it through," said longtime JPMorgan shareholder Michael Holland, chairman and founder of money manager Holland & Co.

That has not been a universal opinion since Thursday, when Dimon disclosed to analysts that the bank had lost $2 billion by making a bad bet with so-called credit derivatives.

Greek coalition talks to enter ninth day

ATHENS, Greece — Marathon efforts to break Greece's post-electoral paralysis are lurching into a ninth day amid the country's worst crisis in decades, with fractious party leaders summoned to a yet another emergency meeting Tuesday that could see the reins of government surrendered to non-politicians.

The hectic haggling in Athens cast a deep gloom over global markets, which fell Monday on fears that the debt-crippled country will have to hold another election within weeks — the only way out if squabbling party leaders fail to strike a power-sharing deal.

That would squander vital time earmarked for reforming Greece's fast-shrinking economy. In return for the two massive international bailouts that are its only shield from bankruptcy, Greece has committed to implement further cutbacks. It will otherwise face the catastrophic prospect of bankruptcy and an ignominious exit from the euro, which would cause unknown consequences for Europe and the world.

European finance ministers Monday urged Athens to struggle on with its reform schedule, warning that a euro exit was no longer inconceivable.

Syrian unrest spills into Lebanon for third day

TRIPOLI, Lebanon — Firing assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, Lebanese gunmen clashed in street battles Monday as sectarian tensions linked to the 14-month-old uprising in Syria bled across the border for a third day.

At least five people have been killed and 100 wounded in Lebanon's second-largest city since the gunbattles erupted late Saturday, security officials said. Residents say differences over Syria are at the root of the fighting, which pits neighbor against neighbor and raises fears of broader unrest that could draw in neighboring countries.

Lebanon and Syria share a complex web of political and sectarian ties and rivalries, which are easily enflamed. Tripoli has seen bouts of sectarian violence in the past, but the fighting has become more frequent as the conflict in Syria worsens.

The fighting camps break down along sectarian and political lines. On one side are Sunni Muslims who support the rebels trying to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad. On the other are members of the tiny Alawite sect, followers of an offshoot of Shiite Islam who are Assad's most loyal supporters.

Quest for Facebook IPO shares a challenge for ordinary investors, risky afterward

CHICAGO — Hoping to get in on Facebook's hotly anticipated public stock offering? You'll need Facebook friends at very high levels — or a lot of money.

Most people who like the idea of owning Facebook's stock will have difficulty getting it at the offer price, currently expected at $28 to $35 a share. Unless you know the right people at Facebook, you'll likely need to have a large, active account with one of the big banks or brokerage firms directly involved in the stock sale.

Otherwise, you can take your chances by buying shares after the initial public offering is completed, when Facebook begins trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker symbol "FB." That's likely to happen Friday.

Doing it that way typically means paying much more for the stock, however. And heavy demand skews the early stock price, leaving an investor vulnerable to the risk of a big drop.

Jettisoning CEO won't resolve all of Yahoo's credibility issues

SAN FRANCISCO — Yahoo still has credibility issues, even after casting aside CEO Scott Thompson because his official biography included a college degree he never received.

The troubled Internet company's next challenge will be convincing its restless shareholders and demoralized employees that the turnaround work started during Thompson's tumultuous four-month stint as CEO won't be wasted.

It won't be an easy task, given that Yahoo Inc. has now gone through four full-time CEOs in a five-year stretch marked by broken promises of better times ahead. Yahoo's revenue and stock price have sagged while rivals such as Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. are growing as advertisers spend more money online.

"Yahoo has been floundering for years and it looks like there is going to be at least several more months of indirection now that another CEO is coming in," said Adam Hanft, who runs a consulting firm that specializes in brand reputation and crisis management.

Yahoo's hopes are now resting on Ross Levinsohn as its interim CEO.

Obama campaign says Romney's record at Bain offers window into how he'd run the country

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama tried Monday to tarnish Mitt Romney as a corporate titan who got rich by cutting rather than creating jobs, opening a new effort to undercut the Republican's claims that his background of business success is just what America needs in a time of deep economic uncertainty.

At the center of the Obama campaign effort are a new website, TV ad and online video including interviews with onetime workers at a Kansas City steel mill that Romney's former private equity firm failed to successfully restructure. Workers lost jobs and health care benefits. Pensions were reduced.

"It was like a vampire. They came in and sucked the life out of us," says steelworker Jack Cobb.

Countering the criticism, Romney's campaign said the former Massachusetts governor welcomes an election-season conversation with Obama about jobs. Romney's campaign has argued that he helped spur tens of thousands of jobs in the public and private sectors and pointed to a net job loss during Obama's presidency, most of which occurred during the first few months of his administration. Obama has touted the creation of 4.2 million new jobs over the past 26 months as his policies took hold.

49 headless corpses latest victims as rival Mexico cartels seek to escalate body count

CADEREYTA, Mexico — Authorities struggled Monday to identify 49 bodies without heads, hands or feet to gain clues into the latest in a series of massacres from an escalating war between Mexico's two dominant drug cartels, with increasing evidence that innocents are being pulled into the bloodbath along with gang rivals.

More than 24 hours after the gruesome discovery, officials had yet to identify any of the mutilated corpses found near the northern industrial city of Monterrey. None of the bodies examined so far showed signs of gunshots, Nuevo Leon state security spokesman Jorge Domene told Milenio television.

Though it was unclear who the victims were, it was the fourth massacre in a month. Mexico's interior secretary, Alejandro Poire, said Monday that all those incidents resulted from the fight between the Zetas gang and the Sinaloa Cartel, which have emerged in the last year as the two main forces in Mexican drug-trafficking and other organized crime.

Flesh-eating bacteria cases occur about 750 times a year, but Georgia woman's especially rare

ATLANTA — Aimee Copeland, a Georgia grad student, is fighting for her life because of the flesh-eating bacteria that infected her after she gashed her leg in a river two weeks ago. One of her legs was amputated and her fingers will be too, her father says, because of the spreading infection.

She has a rare condition, called necrotizing fasciitis, in which marauding bacteria run rampant through tissue. Affected areas sometimes have to be surgically removed to save the patient's life.

The government estimates roughly 750 flesh-eating bacteria cases occur each year, usually caused by a type of strep germ.

Louisiana sheriff says 'Swamp People' cast member Mitchell Guist dead after fall on boat

PIERRE PART, La. — A cast member of the reality TV show "Swamp People" died Monday, a Louisiana sheriff said.

Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack said Mitchell Guist was pronounced dead at a hospital. He had fallen while aboard his boat on the Intracoastal Waterway, near Pierre Part.

Initial reports from deputies in neighboring St. Martin Parish are that Guist was traveling on the waterway around 9 a.m. when he fell, Waguespack said. The boat returned to a nearby landing in St. Martin and Guist was taken to a hospital. The cause of his fall is unclear, and there is no word yet on the official cause of death.


Like what you see here? Become a member.


Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Comments

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.

advertisements