Whither Europe: Greece’s center-right New Democracy party won 29.7 of the vote in parliamentary elections yesterday, claiming the 50-seat bonus for winning the most votes and positioning the party to form a coalition that would keep the country in the bailout-for-austerity agreement signed with European rescuers. Alex Tsipras’ Syriza party, which had promised to abandon austerity measures if given control of the government, finished second with 27 percent of the vote.
French Socialists once a majority in parliamentary elections, giving President François Hollande a supportive legislature.
The Citigroup analysts who put the chances of a Grexit at 50 to 75 percent are sticking with those odds, despite the results of yesterday’s elections.
Lion’s share: Morgan Stanley sought to be the “sole driver” of the Facebook IPO, positioning itself to collect the bulk of fees—and criticism for the company’s plummeting share price in the weeks after the offering. We’ve heard that line before, of course, but The Wall Street Journal puts Morgan Stanley banker Michael Grimes back through the paces.
Post-Facebook, investment bankers may need to replace “oversubscribed” as a line for marketing offerings.
HARP helping banks: A federal program that allows struggling homeowners to refinance mortgages at prevailing low interest rates may be helping banks more than borrowers, according to a Nomura research report. Borrowers who participate in HARP are compelled to refinance with existing lenders, and banks are taking advantage by charging above-market interest rates, The Wall Street Journal reports. The upshot: HARP may save homeowners $2.5 to $5 billion this year, while banks stand to gain $12 billion in additional revenues through the program.
Gupta’s fate: Rajat Gupta was found guilty of three counts of fraud and one count of conspiracy at his insider trading trial Friday, and barring a successful appeal, the fate of the former McKinsey & Co. CEO now rests with Judge Jed Rakoff. That might not be the worst thing, as Judge Rakoff has shown some leniency in sentencing insider-trading convicts. Mr. Gupta’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 18.
The Times reports that jurors were conflicted, with some shedding tears during the reading of the verdict.
Paperboy:The New York Times looks at Warren Buffett’s affinity for newspapers, and hears nary a discouraging word about the legendary investor’s management of The Buffalo News, which Mr. Buffett acquired in 1977.
Pop quiz: If you’re thinking about day trading, The Big Picture has a quick quiz for you.
Reporter passes: “Market-moving” reporter Dan Dorfman died at 80.