Agnes's Feed
Jan 28, 2013
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Markets’ new-year euphoria looks overdone

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By Agnes T. Crane
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

The new-year euphoria in financial markets looks overdone. The S&P 500 is up 5 percent, investors are throwing record sums into equities and Treasuries are flirting with 2 percent yields. But fiscal cliff diving can still hurt the economy and at least one incentive to put money to work may wear off.

Jan 23, 2013
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U.S. companies need to get real about pensions too

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By Agnes T. Crane
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Corporate America ought to get real about pensions, too. As lawmakers wrestle over how to fix the nation’s ailing retirement plans, AT&T and Verizon took a whopping $17.2 billion of charges related to theirs in the fourth quarter. Return expectations remain too rosy and deficits are rising. The private sector isn’t leading the way on this issue.

Jan 17, 2013
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JPMorgan board goes soft on Jamie Dimon over whale

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By Agnes T. Crane

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

JPMorgan has gone soft on Jamie Dimon over the so-called whale trade. The bank’s 132-page report into $6.2 billion-worth of losses dishes out blame to several now departed managers. But it just echoes the chairman and chief executive’s own mea culpa. The more than $10 million docked from Dimon’s pay will sting, but the board could do more – like removing one of his hats.

Jan 11, 2013
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Big U.S. banks have plenty to prove in 2013

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By Agnes T. Crane
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Big U.S. banks have plenty to prove in 2013. Wells Fargo aside, valuations have languished below book value. After a strong 2012 for stock markets and with fourth-quarter earnings reports imminent, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are again near that level. But when they get there, it will be a relief rather than anything to crow over.

Jan 10, 2013

Breakingviews-Big U.S. banks have plenty to prove in 2013

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are her own.)

By Agnes T. Crane

NEW YORK, Jan 10 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Big U.S. banks
have plenty to prove in 2013. Wells Fargo (WFC.N: Quote, Profile, Research) aside,
valuations have languished below book value. After a strong 2012
for stock markets and with fourth-quarter earnings reports
imminent, JPMorgan (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) are again
near that level. But when they get there, it will be a relief
rather than anything to crow over.

Dec 27, 2012
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U.S. doesn’t need Washington for economic stimulus

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By Agnes T. Crane and Christopher Swann
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

America doesn’t need Washington for an economic stimulus. President Barack Obama lobbied Congress for a $50 billion investment in infrastructure as part of the fiscal cliff battle, but it’s been stymied by gridlock. A contentious corner of the energy industry is having much more success, though. Shale gas and oil production pumped three times that amount into the economy in 2012, with more to come. It won’t cure America’s ills, but it should ease the pain.

Dec 26, 2012
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US housing doesn’t need another government bailout

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By Agnes T. Crane

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

America’s housing market doesn’t need another government bailout. But the White House is mulling plans to rescue homeowners trapped by underwater mortgages and above-market mortgage rates by allowing them to refinance into cheaper government-backed loans. Luckily, its latest musings look like a pipe dream.

Dec 20, 2012
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Fed’s foreign bank crackdown is price of stability

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By Agnes T. Crane and Daniel Indiviglio

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

The Federal Reserve’s unilateral crackdown on foreign banks is necessary. The regulator’s requirement that overseas lenders properly capitalize their U.S. arms is a prudent way to protect the local and global financial system. The Fed’s approach could prompt other regulators to follow suit. But the fear that fragmentation could stifle global banking looks overblown.

Dec 19, 2012
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Sulzbergers will make headlines in New York Times

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By Agnes T. Crane

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The views expressed are her own.

Expect the Ochs-Sulzbergers to make headlines in their own New York Times in 2013. The family that controls the U.S. paper of record has loyally seen it through some dark days. With the Gray Lady now on sturdier financial ground, they have a better chance to find a safe custodian at a decent price – maybe someone like billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The window of opportunity could close quickly.

Dec 10, 2012

Fannie, Freddie employees don’t need outsized pay

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are her own.)

By Agnes T. Crane

NEW YORK, Dec 10 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Fannie Mae
(FNMA.OB: Quote, Profile, Research) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB: Quote, Profile, Research) employees don’t need
outsized pay. Whatever their quasi-private sector past, they’re
now managing the U.S. government’s money – and they’re paid by
Uncle Sam, too. The Treasury secretary and the Federal Reserve
chairman take home just under $200,000. There’s no reason for
dozens of housing agency staff to pocket multiples of that.