Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

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Posts Tagged ‘WSJ’

The Big-Bank Bloodbath: Losses Near Half a Trillion Dollars

Posted by hkarner - 8. Juli 2016

Date: 07-07-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

At 20 big banks, plunging share prices this year have erased a quarter of their combined market value

Wells Fargo is the only one of 20 big bank stocks to trade above its book value.

Big banks are nearly half a trillion dollars in the hole.

Since the start of 2016, 20 of the world’s bigger banks have lost a quarter of their combined market value. Added up, it equals about $465 billion, according to FactSet data.

Brexit isn’t all to blame. True, bank stocks have plummeted since the U.K. voted last month to leave the European Union. But they have been losing value since the start of the year, when a group of factors—the Chinese economy, the path of U.S. interest rates, oil prices—weighed on the markets.

More than pride is at stake. Sharp share-price falls will make it much more difficult, and expensive, for banks to raise capital if that is what is ultimately needed to shore up their balance sheets.

Just as bad, a serious decline in market value can breed inaction among bank executives. Instead of selling equity when they can, executives may wait for share prices to recover, only to find themselves in a worse situation as stocks drop even further. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Bitcoin and Prepaid Cards Face Tighter Controls Under EU Proposals

Posted by hkarner - 7. Juli 2016

Date: 06-07-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

The European Commission wants anti-money-laundering rules to be extended in an effort to fight terror financing and tax evasion

Bitcoin CCVirtual currencies such as bitcoin would need systems to verify the identity of users and monitor transactions under European Commission proposals aimed at tackling laundering.

BRUSSELS—The European Commission proposed expanding its anti-money-laundering rules to cover virtual currencies and prepaid cards, in a bid to fight terror financing and tax evasion as revealed in the Paris attacks and the Panama Papers disclosures.

The proposals from the commission, the EU’s executive arm, also seek to strengthen oversight of bank accounts and increase transparency about the ownership of trusts across the bloc.

The upper limit of nonreloadable prepaid cards would be lowered to €150 ($167) from €250. The perpetrators of the Nov. 13 Paris terror attacks used prepaid cards.

Under Tuesday’s proposals, virtual-currency platforms, such as bitcoin, would be brought under anti-money-laundering rules that should come into effect by the end of this year. Those platforms would also have to verify the identity of users and monitor transactions, as banks currently do. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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French, German Leaders Assure Prospective EU Members in Balkans After Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 5. Juli 2016

Date: 05-07-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

France’s Hollande and Germany’s Merkel sought to soothe worries about European stability at a Balkans summit

PARIS (AP)—The leaders of France and Germany assured prospective EU members in the Balkans on Monday that the British vote to leave the union won’t threaten eventual enlargement of the bloc.

Balkan nations that survived wars and political breakups in the 1990s worry they will face more hurdles to membership as the EU struggles to keep itself together. And pro-Russian forces in countries such as Serbia are hoping to sway the region toward Moscow and away from the West, as the Brexit vote throws European unity into question.

French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to soothe worries about European stability at a Balkans summit in Paris on Monday, notably by boosting opportunities for youths from countries that dream of joining the EU. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Brexit Exposes Eurozone’s Weak Spot: Italy’s Banks

Posted by hkarner - 5. Juli 2016

Date: 04-07-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal By SIMON NIXON

The U.K. vote to leave has made an already serious Italian banking crisis worse, Simon Nixon writes

Renzi ccItalian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi

The markets may have taken Brexit in their stride for now but it would be complacent to assume the worst of the shock has passed. Investors may also be betting that the U.K.’s political crisis will prove short-lived with the cautious Home Secretary Theresa May now the front-runner to be the next Conservative leader and prime minister. It will take time to assess the damage from what Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney has dubbed the U.K.’s “economic post-traumatic stress disorder.” Meanwhile, the full extent of the Brexit shock will depend less on what happens in the U.K. than on its impact on the eurozone, whose weakest link is the Italian banking system.

Brexit has made what was already a serious Italian banking crisis worse. Italian banks are sitting on a combined €360 billion ($401 billion) of bad debts, equivalent to about a quarter of gross domestic product. This includes €200 billion of loans to borrowers now judged insolvent, which banks have on average written down to 45% of their nominal value but which the market appears to value at closer to 20% of their nominal value, which implies the system is short of around €40 billion of capital. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A World in Crisis, and No Genius in Sight

Posted by hkarner - 4. Juli 2016

Date: 03-07-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

An old order is being swept away, and political leaders everywhere seem lost.

The leaders of the world aren’t a very impressive group right now. There’s a sense with some of them of playing out a historical or cultural string, that they’re placeholders in some way. Many are young, yet so much around them feels tired.

Which has me thinking, again, of the concept of the genius cluster. They happen in history and no one knows why. It was a genius cluster that invented America. Somehow Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Adams, Madison, Hamilton, Jay and Monroe came together in the same place at the same time and invented something new in the history of man. I asked a great historian about it once. How did that happen? He’d thought about it too. “Providence,” he guessed.

There was a small genius cluster in World War II—FDR, Churchill, de Gaulle. I should note I’m speaking of different kinds of political genius. There was a genius cluster in the 1980s— John Paul II, Reagan, Thatcher, Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa, Lee Kuan Yew in his last decade of leadership in Singapore. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Out of the Brexit Turmoil: Opportunity

Posted by hkarner - 1. Juli 2016

Date: 30-06-2016

Source: The Wall Street Journal By HENRY A. KISSINGERKissinger CC

 

Europe should not treat Britain as a prison escapee but as a potential compatriot. And the U.S. has a vital role to play.

The cascade of commentary on Britain’s decision to leave institutional Europe has described the epochal event primarily in the vocabulary of calamity. However, the coin of the realm for statesmen is not anguish or recrimination; it should be to transform setback into opportunity.

The impact of the British vote is so profound because the emotions it reflects are not confined to Britain or even Europe. The popular reaction to European Union institutions (as reflected in public-opinion polls) is comparable in most major countries, especially France and Spain. The multilateral approach based on open borders for trade and the movement of peoples is increasingly being challenged, and now an act of direct democracy intended to reaffirm the status quo has rendered a damning verdict. However challenging this expression of popular sentiment, ignoring the concerns it manifests is a path to greater disillusionment.

Brexit is a classic illustration of the law of unintended consequences. The British government sought a Remain vote to end, once and for all, domestic disputes about Europe in a minority of the Conservative Party and among fringe populist groups. Many backers of the Leave campaign were surprised by their success, having understood their political mission initially in much less sweeping terms. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Boris Loudmouth quit, he can’t provide the leadership for the task ahead

Posted by hkarner - 30. Juni 2016

Date: 30-06-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: Boris Johnson Says He Isn’t Seeking to Replace British Prime Minister David Cameron

Theresa May and Michael Gove vie for leadership of Conservative Party

Johnson CC2Boris Johnson arrives at a press conference earlier this month. On Thursday he said he wouldn’t seek the leadership of the U.K.’s Conservative Party.

The race for the leadership of the U.K. Conservative Party, and therefore the U.K.’s next prime minister, took a sharp and unexpected turn Thursday, as former London Mayor Boris Johnson said he wouldn’t run.

The move came after Justice Secretary Michael Gove, the man who had been due to help chair Mr. Johnson’s leadership bid, announced his own candidacy.

Home Secretary Theresa May also announced her candidacy.

Mr. Johnson, the figurehead of the successful Leave campaign for Britain to exit the European Union, had been seen as having a strong claim to the job.

Mr. Gove had been helping Mr. Johnson with his leadership campaign and had previously said he didn’t want to be prime minister. Before his announcement, Mr. Johnson had been largely quiet in the week since the vote plunged the country into political and market turmoil.

Mr. Gove said he was running because he had “come, reluctantly, to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead,” according to a statement. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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European Commission has moved to focus on using French and German in communications

Posted by hkarner - 29. Juni 2016

Date: 28-06-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Subject: English Loses Currency as Europe’s Lingua Franca After Brexit Vote

BRUSSELS—The U.K.’s departure from the European Union will erode the status of the English language in EU institutions to the benefit of French and German, with the bloc’s executive arm already moving to ditch English from some of its official communications.

Even before the British government has officially lodged its intention to leave, the European Commission has made a symbolic decision to focus on French and German in statements to the press and speeches, according to two EU officials.

Although the EU has 24 official languages, only English, German and French are recognized working languages in the bloc’s executive arm. “We will use more French and German,” said one of the officials.

In his speech to the European Parliament Tuesday, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is expected to address lawmakers in just French and German, the two officials said. That breaks with a long tradition of trilingual speeches by Mr. Juncker. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A U.K. Revolution With No End in Sight

Posted by hkarner - 28. Juni 2016

Date: 27-06-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal by Simon Nixon

The longer the political chaos lasts, the greater the risk that events slide beyond anyone’s control.

The people have spoken. But what exactly did they say? The U.K.’s decision to quit the European Union in last week’s referendum has thrown British politics into chaos. Prime Minister David Cameron’s inevitable announcement that he will resign has created a political vacuum just as Britain’s entire foreign, defense, economic and commercial strategies have been thrown into doubt. The Leave campaign may have won, but it wasn’t a government in waiting and didn’t put forward any coherent strategy for what should happen next. Now the rejected British establishment must improvise a way forward against a backdrop of economic uncertainty, volatile markets and diplomatic isolation. It won’t be easy.

The country is split at least three ways. First, there are the “Liberal Leavers,” which include many of the leaders of the campaign to exit the EU. They insist the U.K. will remain an open and engaged global player and reject any suggestion that a “Brexit” was another populist antiestablishment revolt fired by hostility to immigrants. They insist their campaign was solely motivated by a love of democracy and a desire to regain parliamentary control over powers currently held by Brussels. Although the leading Leave campaigners have been curiously silent since Friday, other liberal leavers have seized the moment to push their vision of a gradual exit strategy in which little changes initially and the U.K. retaining full membership in the EU single market, even if that means continued payments into the EU budget and continued respect for EU rules on free movement. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A Peasant Revolt Upends Britain’s Ruling Elite

Posted by hkarner - 27. Juni 2016

Date: 26-06-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal By QUENTIN LETTS

Politicians, academics, big-business leaders and journalists are aghast: Democracy has spoken.

What indignation we had from London liberals when the result of Britain’s referendum on the European Union became clear early on Friday. By a majority of 52% in a high turnout, voters had opted to leave the Brussels-based union of 28 European countries.

“Catastrophic!” spluttered Keith Vaz, chairman of the parliamentary select committee on home affairs. Tony Blair suggested the public—the ill-educated dimwits—did not understand what it had just done. A former national political party leader, Lord Ashdown, was so aghast at the result that he lamented: “God help our country.”

The name of the party Mr. Ashdown once led? The Liberal Democrats. Yet here he was complaining after 17.4 million voters gave a clear democratic order to quit the EU, a federalizing union that was unpopular chiefly because, ahem, it was so undemocratic. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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