Business, Economics and Jobs

Macro chatter: Tough Tuesday for Facebook and JPMorgan


A Jeep Grand Cherokee on display at the 2012 Washington Auto Show in Washington, DC. Jeep's Grand Cherokee is especially popular in China even though it can cost nearly $190,000 to drive home.


Karen Bleier

Need to know:
Sorry Wall Street, China doesn’t need you to buy US debt anymore.

For nearly a year, China’s central bank has been able to buy Treasury securities directly from the US government, Reuters reported.

Every other central bank in the world has to go through a Wall Street bank. But China is a big time Treasury buyer. China owns more US Treasury debt than any other foreign government in the world, a distinction that has earned it the privilege to skip Wall Street on the way to the US Treasury.

China isn’t cutting out the middleman to save a few bucks but instead is trying to shield its bidding habits from banks that could try to exploit its positions, Reuters said.

China still has to go through Wall Street to sell US Treasuries.

Want to know:
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s Parisian honeymoon has to wait as the Facebook founder and CEO deals with some “business stuff” at home, The Daily reported.

That “business stuff” isn’t pretty.

Facebook’s share price dropped 11 percent on the social network’s second day of trading after barely eeking out a gain on Friday. Bloomberg said the fall was enough to bring down the value Zuckerberg’s personal Facebook fortune by more than $2 billion, but the slide probably isn’t the only thing on Zuckerberg’s mind.

Questions about Facebook’s revenue model are bubbling up, and financial industry regulators are investigating a series of botched trades on the company’s first day on the Nasdaq.

Dull but important:
JP Morgan’s $2 billion trading loss is probably more like a $7 billion trading loss, CNN Money said, citing unnamed sources on the bank’s derivatives trading desk.

JPMorgan’s losses are expected to climb if global stock markets continue suffering.

JPMorgan shares have dropped nearly 20 percent since the company announced its trading debacle. The company also has suspended plans to buy back a chunk of its stock.

Just because:
The US Supreme Court has said twins conceived through in vitro fertilization after their father’s death cannot claim his federal survivor benefits, Agence France-Presse reported.

Karen Capato gave birth 18 months after her husband died of cancer using sperm the pair had frozen before his diagnosis. The twins were not mentioned in the man’s will and were therefore ineligible to collect benefits from the US Social Security Administration under state law.

More people have been seeking Social Security benefits for children conceived after a parent’s death, AFP said.

Strange but true:
It costs nearly $190,000 to buy a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 in China where the Jeep brand is so popular that nearly 1,500 stores are licensed to sell its apparel.

The same car costs just under $55,000 in the US, but Chinese buyers don’t seem to mind the price difference too much. More than 19,000 jeeps were sold in China last year, Bloomberg said