At The Motley Fool, we know our readers like to be informed. So we've scouted out today's most relevant news items and brought them to you all in one page. We hope you find this midday edition informative and useful.

Bank of America in capital-building mode for longer
It seems the U.S.' largest bank, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), will need to raise $50 billion to offset losses of soured mortgages. Expenses related to defaulting home loans could reach $20.4 billion for the second quarter, draining the bank's capital. The company has already told investors to prepare for a loss of as much as $9.1 billion. The capital requirements are necessary to avoid a repetition of the 2008 crisis, which could shake the banking world once more.

In comparison, rival banks such as Citigroup (NYSE: C) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) have announced profits for the last quarter beyond analysts' expectations. Bank of America would need to continue hoarding cash until 2016 to reach a 9.5% capital goal and comply with new regulations. The biggest drain comes from mortgage disputes after taking over subprime lender Countrywide Financial and accords with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Read more at Bloomberg.

European woes may be in small loans
With most of the focus has been on sovereign debt in Europe, it seems the problem may be a massive amount of small loans. After the latest stress test revealed only eight banks flunked the 5% capital cushion requirement, experts decided to dig deeper into the data. This revealed an even larger debt held by banks, from residential mortgages, small-business loans, corporate debt, and commercial real estate loans to institutions and individuals in ailing economies.

France, the third-most-exposed country -- after Italy and Spain -- holds $46 billion in these types of loans, more than three times its sovereign debt. BNP Paribas, Credit Agricola, BPCE Group, and Societe Generale all hold loans and debt issued to institutions and individuals in Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

Underwriter downgrades LinkedIn
After a skyrocketing IPO, LinkedIn's (NYSE: LNKD) stock fell by 4.6% today after one of its underwriters, JPMorgan, downgraded the stock from overweight to neutral. According to JPMorgan, the downgrade was based on valuations and not on fundamental concerns in the business. LinkedIn currently has a small profit, but had closed Friday at a $12 billion market value, close to Netflix, with a $15 billion value, but seven times the revenue. LinkedIn is scheduled to announce second-quarter earnings Aug. 4. Read more at The New York Times.

Moody's suggests eliminating debt ceiling
Ratings agency Moody's suggested that the best way to eliminate uncertainty among bondholders is to eliminate the debt ceiling altogether. After nearly a month of bitter arguing in Congress over whether to raise the debt ceiling and by how much, Moody's said it would reassess its threat of downgrading the U.S. rating if the ceiling was eliminated. The debt ceiling has not been a constraint measure for the country's debt, because Congress had historically raised it without controversy. Read more at Reuters.

Apple 1, HTC 0
California-based technology giant Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) has claimed a victory in its patent dispute with HTC. The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that HTC had infringed two patents relating to multimedia processing technology and data detection technology for its smartphones. HTC works with the Android platform developed by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG). HTC said it would appeal the decision. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

So there you have it, the top financial stories for this afternoon. Check throughout the day for commentary on these and other stories. Also, follow us on Twitter, on Facebook, or through our email digests.

Michelle Zayed owns no shares of any companies mentioned in the story. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and JPMorgan Chase. The Fool owns shares of and has opened a short position on Bank of America. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Netflix, Apple, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying puts in Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.