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Wall Street Roundup: A bond bubble? Big French fine.

October 5, 2010 |  8:58 am

Signs of growth. The service sector is growing a bit faster, according to figures released Tuesday  morning, and the Bank of Japan announced that it is cutting interest rates, clearing the way for more lending.

Wall Street seeks safety. The Wall Street Journal reports that new regulatory requirements have the big banks moving away from risky maneuvers and looking for safer sources of profit. 

A bond bubble? Investors have fled equities for the safety of bonds, leading the chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Company, Sheila Bair, to say that "a bit of a bond bubble" may be forming. 

Not so fast. A new power that shareholders were to be given in the coming year -- allowing them to propose board members to public companies -- will be delayed because of  a lawsuit from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

Big French fine. The trader who nearly brought down one of France's biggest banks, Societe General, was sentenced to three years in jail and ordered to pay the bank back $6.8 billion. And how long, one commentator asks, might that take?  Only about 178,000 years

-- Nathaniel Popper