How often have you been on a long drive and wished that you had a hot shot of espresso to wake you up? Aside from the fact that spilling scalding coffee is a safety hazard, an extra appliance is a distraction, and drinking espresso will make you have to pee way more frequently, the concept of an in-car espresso maker sounds pretty good.
One funny thing that homegrown American sweetheart Jennifer Lopez did recently was to make this Fiat commercial about her love for the Bronx without actually leaving her platinum-coated soundstage in L.A. at any moment. As if Jennifer Lopez would be caught dead in a Fiat! Right? Anyhow, they also apparently used the huge TATS Cru "I (Heart) The Bronx" mural without permission.
• Chrysler's alliance with Fiat is a done deal. [CNN]
• Good news, bankers: The Obama administration is dropping its plan to cap salaries at firms receiving government bailout money. [WSJ]
• Citigroup is swapping $58 billion of preferred stock into common shares, a move that will make the U.S. government the bank's largest shareholder. [BN]
• The ten banks that were given to go-ahead to repay U.S. aid had planned on returning a combined $68.3 billion. Add another $4.6 billion to the tab! [DB]
• FDIC chair Sheila Bair stirred the pot the other day when she said she hoped to oust Citi's Vikram Pandit. Now both sides are defusing tensions. [FT]
• Hedgie John Paulson is investing $100 million in CB Richard Ellis. [WSJ]
• The Treasury is expected to announce this morning that 10 banks have been given the go-ahead to repay their Troubled Asset Relief Program funds. [BN]
• The Supreme Court put the acquisition of Chrysler by Fiat on hold yesterday pending objections from three state pension funds and consumer groups. Fiat, however, says it has no plans to abandon the deal. [WSJ, NYT, DB]
• The Obama administration appears to be backing away from plans to reduce the number of three-letter agencies that oversee U.S. financial markets. [WSJ]
• Citigroup isn't paying out big bonuses in the U.S. But that isn't the case in London, where the bank has been luring traders with fat pay packages. [DB]
• Don't expect to see former Tyco chief Dennis Kozlowski walking the streets in the near future. The Supreme Court rejected his appeal yesterday. [NYP]
A Fiat commercial featuring Tibet supporter Richard Gere tooling around in a shiny new Lancia and chilling with some Tibetan monks has the Reds in China all steamed. Why the hell would the Italian car-maker give a crap what China thinks? Zillions of dollars in slave labor! So naturally they're apologizing to the thin-skinned, human rights-abusing regime. "Gere is well known for supporting Tibet's independence from China, which subjected the tiny state to a brutal crackdown this year. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne backed the commercial when it was shown to reporters on June 4. 'I obviously like it,' he said. Chinese newspapers responded with reports criticizing the ad, however, and Fiat issued an apology on Friday. 'Fiat reiterates its neutrality in connection with any political matter, be it on a national or international basis,' it said. 'Fiat Group extends its apologies to the Government of the People's Republic of China and to the Chinese people.'" [Variety] See the offensive ad after the jump.