TENSION OVER BRITISH BANK CASES The Obama administration's decisions to fine two big British banks, HSBC and Standard Chartered, over money laundering instead of pursuing criminal charges drew strong rebuke. 

Internal government documents show both tension among authorities about how to pursue the cases and suggest that at least the Treasury Department was sensitive to pressure to let big interconnected banks survive instead of face criminal charges, Ben Protess writes in DealBook. 

When authorities were being blamed for letting HSBC off the hook,Treasury officials assured top aides to Timothy F. Geithner, then the Treasury secretary, that monetary penalties were coming as "quickly as possible." 

Ultimately, Treasury assessed a record $875 million fine against HSBC. But some critics wanted more, noting that Treasury's own internal documents cite the bank's "egregious violations" of money laundering laws as "qualitatively worse" than other banks. 

"I would like to see Treasury support zealous prosecution, and instead I see them managing their image," said Bart Naylor, a policy advocate at Public Citizen, a nonprofit group critical of the government for not taking a harder line with HSBC.

BUFFETT BUYS INTO ENERGY Warren E. Buffett dived back into the acquisition pool on Wednesday with a big bet on energy. MidAmerican Energy Holdings, a unit of Mr. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, agreed to buy Nevada's largest electric utility, NV Energy, for about $5.6 billion. 

MidAmerican is paying $23.75 a share for NV Energy, a 23 percent premium to the company's closing price on Wednesday. The deal will also include the assumption of about $4.5 billion in debt. 

The purchase of NV Energy, a utility with about 1.3 million electric and natural gas customers in Nevada, is the largest-ever acquisition made by MidAmerican, which Mr. Buffett bought in 2000, Peter Lattman writes on DealBook. In a statement, Mr. Buffett suggested that the purchase was in part a play on the economic recovery in Nevada, one of the states hit hardest by the housing crisis

MidAmerican's acquisition is Mr. Buffett's second big deal this year. In February, Berkshire teamed up with a Brazilian investment group on a $23.6 billion takeover of the ketchup maker H.J. Heinz.

DISH RAISES BID FOR CLEARWIRE What is Dish Network's chairman, Charles W. Ergen, up to? 

That question took on new significance on Wednesday evening, as Dish announced a plan to raise its tender offer for shares in Clearwire to $4.40 a share in cash. The bid trumps the most recent takeover offer by the company's majority owner, Sprint Nextel, of $3.40 a share, less than two days before shareholders are set to vote on the latter offer

In a letter to Clearwire's board, Dish reiterated the superiority of its offer for the company and stressed its desire to harness the wireless network operator's spectrum to its own holdings. 

Dish is seizing upon continued investor dissatisfaction with Sprint's revised bid, which came after shareholders roundly criticized previous proposals as insufficient. Sprint - with the backing of its Japanese suitor, SoftBank - sweetened its offer to head off defeat. 

Many outside Dish are wondering whether the revised Clearwire bid means that Mr. Ergen has shifted his focus away from his $25.5 billion bid for Sprint itself, or is simply seeking to make life difficult for his acquisition target and SoftBank.

ON THE AGENDA First-quarter G.D.P. figures are released at 8:30 a.m.

JAMES GORMAN, MUSIC AGENT On Wall Street, it's not uncommon for children to follow their parents into finance. But Caroline Gorman, the daughter of Morgan Stanley's chief executive, James Gorman, appears headed down a much different path. 

Mr. Gorman sent an e-mail on Wednesday promoting the music career of his daughter, whose band, Madness and the Film, released an EP, four songs on iTunes, over the weekend.

Contact: @williamalden | E-mail



Grubman: Dish/Sprint Numbers Don't Add Up Jack Grubman, the former Citigroup telecommunications analyst and now an industry consultant, argues against a proposed Dish Network-Sprint deal.

Smithfield's brands include Smithfield, Eckrich, Farmland, Armour and others.

Need for Pork Drives China's Big Deal The $4.7 billion offer by Shuanghui International for Smithfield Foods is one of the biggest moves yet by a Chinese company into the United States.

C.P. Foods of Thailand Looking for Acquisitions Charoen Pokphand Foods of Thailand wants to buy assets in the United States and Europe after it failed to acquire the American pork producer Smithfield Foods.

Fiat Said to Line Up $10 Billion to Buy Chrysler Stake Fiat is in discussions to access up to $10 billion in financing to buy the stake in Chrysler that it does not already own, according to Bloomberg News.

Newsweek Is Put Up for Sale Newsweek, the once-venerable magazine that experienced one of the most precipitous declines in media over the last decade, is up for sale.

F.T.C. Files Complaint Against Casino Deal The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint aimed at stopping the casino operator Pinnacle Entertainment from buying its rival Ameristar Casinos for $869 million plus debt.

Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan last year at a Senate hearing. A recent vote by shareholders confirmed his dual role as chief executive and chairman.

Flawed System Suits the Shareholders Just Fine The recent vote at JPMorgan to preserve Jamie Dimon's dual role as chief and chairman suggests that shareholders may be part of the problem, Jesse Eisinger writes in The Trade column.

John Remondi, at a Senate panel in 2008, was named chief executive of Sallie Mae.

Sallie Mae Will Split Old Loans From New The student lender will split into a loan-management company and a commercial bank amid concerns that graduates hobbled by debt are falling behind on their payments.

How to Make Bank Bail-Ins Work If debt investors are to shoulder the risk of suffering a loss, they will need more confidence about what lurks in banks' balance sheets, Breakingviews writes.

Risk of Bank Failures Is Rising in Europe, E.C.B. Warns The European Central Bank warned that the euro zone's slumping economy and a surge in problem loans were raising the risk of a renewed banking crisis.

Japanese Stocks Tumble on Uncertainty Over Growth The Japanese stock market lurched downward again on Thursday, sinking more than 5 percent at the close in Tokyo, as nervousness over the prospects for economic growth in Japan and elsewhere lingered.

Morgan Stanley Said to Shrink Fixed Income Unit Morgan Stanley plans to reduce its lackluster fixed income unit in a bid to earn healthy returns, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Goldman Changes Board Rules to Satisfy Maritime Law Goldman Sachs, which owns two ferries, has slightly changed its board rules to comply with a century-old maritime law that restricts the influence of foreign national on American ships.

Fannie Mae's 2,000% Moment Shares in the government-backed mortgage guarantor Fannie Mae have risen almost 2,000 percent this year, and the company's stock price climbed briefly above $5 on Wednesday.

GE Capital's C.E.O. Expected to Step Down GE Capital's chief executive, Michael Neal, is said to leave as early as this summer, The Wall Street Journal reports.

For the latest updates, go to » 

K.K.R. Hires Petraeus Kohlberg Kravis Roberts announced Thursday that it had hired David H. Petraeus, the retired general and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, to serve as chairman of the newly created KKR Global Institute.

Private Equity Targets Politics in 2014 In a handful of top Senate and gubernatorial races, senior private equity executives are already lining up to run, vowing not to repeat the mistakes of the Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.

Firms Said to Circle Bushnell Several private equity firms, including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, are considering a bid for Bushnell, the maker of rifle scopes and binoculars, according to The New York Post.

China Snubs Private Equity Chinese regulators are blocking plans for local brokerages to diversify their operations to help fund private equity investments.


Blackstone Said to Withdraw $400 Million From SAC The Blackstone Group is planning to withdraw around $400 million from the embattled hedge fund SAC Capital, The Wall Street Journal reports.

I.R.S. Filed $1.4 Million Lien Against Hedge Fund Manager The Internal Revenue Service has filed a $1.4 million income tax lien against Alphonse "Buddy" Fletcher Jr., the hedge fund manager who sued the Dakota co-op in New York after it turned down his request to buy an apartment.

U.S. Hedge Funds in Australian Media Deal Oaktree Capital and Apollo Global Management, which jointly own the Australian media company Nine Entertainment, are in talks to buy two local television stations.

Shareholder Activists Put Pressure on Chief Executives A rise in shareholder activism and growing willingness by boards to change their leaders have led to a number of the high-profile departures of chief executives in recent months.

The S.E.C. revealed previously unknown ways that Nasdaq executives fumbled Facebook's I.P.O.

Nasdaq Is Fined Over Mishandled Facebook I.P.O. The S.E.C.'s report said the exchange's executives proceeded with trading although they knew of programming errors.

I.P.O. for Empire State Building Wins Backing of ShareholdersMore than 80 percent of stakeholders have backed a planned I.P.O., but opposition remains.

Britain Details Plans for Postal Service I.P.O. Britain is preparing to privatize Royal Mail, the country's postal service, whose origins date to 1516 and the carrying of post for Henry VIII and the Tudor court.

News Corp. to Delist from London Exchange Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation will cancel its listing on the London Stock Exchange because of low trading volumes.

Two New Offerings Planned in Hong Kong The state-backed China Everbright Bank and the property unit of Hopewell Holdings are looking for raise up to a combined $2.7 billion through initial public offerings in Hong Kong.

Langham Hospitality Slumps in Hong Kong I.P.O. Langham Hospitality Investments fell as much as nine percent in Hong Kong in the worst debut for an initial public offering of least $500 million in Asia so far this year.

Italian Fashion Company Plans Public Offering Lapo Elkann, the brother of Fiat chairman John Elkann, is planning to list shares in his fashion and lifestyle company, Italia Independent, on the Milan stock exchange later this year.

Solar Investment Firms Plans Offering Bluefield Solar Income Fund is looking to raise around $225 million through a share sale that would be the second floatation of a renewables energy fund so far this year.

British Money Manager Raises $60 Million The British money manager Brewin Dolphin has raised around $60 million in a share offering as it looks to boost its capital reserves and hire new staff.


Collapse of Electric Car Start-Up Tarnishes Israel's ReputationThe collapse of the electric car company Better Place, which raised $850 million in financial backing, has tarnished Israel's reputation as a start-up hub.

Tesla Plans to Expand Driving Coverage The chief executive of Tesla, Elon Musk, wants to triple the coverage of the electric supercar so that owners can drive coast to coast.

Roku Raises $60 Million in New Round The video streaming company Roku has raised $60 million to help expand its operations to supply software and services to Internet-ready televisions.

Space Mining Company Turns to Kickstarter The space mining company Planetary Resources, which is backed by the Google executives Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, is looking to raise $1 million through Kickstarter for a crowdfunded telescope.

Visier Raises $15 Million in Series B Round Visier, an enterprise analytics company, has raised $15 million in a series B round led by Summit Partners.

Pinterest Allows Nudes as Other Sites Clamp Down The photo social network Pinterest has agreed to allow more nude images to be published after artists complained about the company's nudity policy.


Europe Warns Over Swaps Rules The European Union has written to American authorities to ask for more time before they impose new swaps rules on European banks that will come into force in July.

Japanese Investors File Complaint Against MRI InternationalJapanese investors in the American investment firm MRI International have filed a complaint to Japanese prosecutors over alleged fraud.

Anonymous Payment Schemes Thriving on Web Billions of dollars are being moved through anonymous Internet payment systems like Liberty Reserve, the currency exchange whose operators were indicted for laundering $6 billion.

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