Spain to Seek European Bailout…Tomorrow: Wall Street Roundup

Whither Europe: Spain will request European aid for its failing banks on Saturday afternoon, Reuters reports. That comes after Fitch Ratings downgraded Spanish debt three notches yesterday, and ahead of Greek elections on June 17 which could thrust European markets into crisis mode. “The government of Spain has realized the seriousness of their problem,” a German official deadpanned for Reuters.

Deposits in German banks rose 4.4 percent against the year before, as uh, Greeks, Spanish and Irish wised up.

European takeovers are down 23 percent year-to-date, by the way.

Ben speaks: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank was watching the European situation closely, but gave no indication that further monetary stimulus was imminent.

The Fed will hold all U.S. banks to the regulatory schema known as Basel III, and The Wall Street Journal is shocked that smaller lenders weren’t exempted.

Mr. Bernanke also warned Congress not to ignore the so-called fiscal cliff that arrives when Bush tax cuts expire at the end of 2012. “If you all go on vacation, it’s still going to happen,” he said.

Here all week: The New York Times’ Peter Lattman reports on Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s testimony yesterday in U.S. v. Gupta. “You became the No. 1 person at Goldman Sachs,” [defense counsel Gary P.] Naftalis said. Mr. Blankfein corrected him. “Chairman and chief executive is my official title,” Mr. Blankfein said. He then broke into a smile. “No. 1’s not an official title.” Blankfein will testify today, as the trial drags on.

Shareholders spring: Chesapeake Energy holds its annual shareholder meeting today in Oklahoma City. Could be a good one.

So sorry: Nomura Holdings apologized to shareholders for its involvement in three insider-trading cases.

Oops: Floyd Norris says MF Global was yet another case of accounting practices that “produced profits that vanished before they were actually realized.”

After Goldman: Paul Deighton, a Goldman Sachs investment banker for 22 years, is the guy running the show at the London Olympics.

Banker passes: Former Wachovia chief executive officer John Medlin died at 78.