Antony's Feed
Jul 19, 2011
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BofA boss needs to kick it up a notch — or two

By Antony Currie
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

NEW YORK — Brian Moynihan needs to kick it up a notch or two. The Bank of America boss has spent much of his 18 months in the corner office cleaning up the mess left by predecessor Ken Lewis. But despite the yeoman efforts, he has failed to persuade investors he’s turning the firm around.

Jul 11, 2011
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Morgan Stanley should keep two at the top

By Antony Currie
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

NEW YORK — Morgan Stanley should keep two at the top. John Mack is due to retire as chairman at the end of the year and the board may well grant the title to James Gorman, adding to his duties as chief executive. Combining the two roles is far more common in the United States than in Europe. But the directors should resist the temptation.

Jul 11, 2011
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Carmakers indulge in sales pipe dreams again

By Antony Currie
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

NEW YORK — The world’s carmakers are indulging in pipe dreams again. Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s chief executive, last week predicted the company would sell 82 percent more vehicles globally in 2016 than last year. Ford boss Alan Mulally earlier targeted a 50 percent bump, while Volkswagen’s Ferdinand Piech is shooting for just a tad less growth than that. If the rest of the industry is as optimistic, in about five years’ time manufacturers will be producing almost 20 million more cars between them than market forecasters currently expect to be sold.

Jun 30, 2011
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Fed’s debit-card U-turn doesn’t mean it’s caving

By Antony Currie
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The Federal Reserve’s U-turn on debit-card charges doesn’t mean it’s caving on financial regulation. It’s true the agency’s decision to double the cap on swipe fees it first proposed in December makes it look as if it can be cowed by the kind of intense lobbying the banks unleashed. It raises fears the Fed might go soft on other parts of Dodd-Frank. But its new debit fee plan is actually a decent compromise.

Jun 29, 2011
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Maybe now BofA boss Moynihan can open Moynihan era

By Antony Currie
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Maybe Brian Moynihan can finally start Bank of America’s Moynihan era. The $21 billion of mortgage-related charges just unveiled by the beleaguered megabank’s chief executive doesn’t quite clear the decks. But it removes one of the biggest stains left by his predecessor Ken Lewis.

Jun 27, 2011
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Wall Street may get temporary stay of execution

Wall Street is once again aflutter with talk of impending job cuts. But jittery traders may have a few months more grace before the knives come out. With trading revenue falling, the pressure is growing for investment banks to lay off staff. But executives are still debating whether the current slump is a blip. Nobody wants to slash ranks right before a turnaround. The summer could be safer than many think.

It has happened before. Morgan Stanley scaled back its fixed-income operations after the 2008 crisis, leaving an already-damaged franchise unprepared for the bailout-fueled market recovery the following year. The firm has since hired 400 or so people in interest rates and other more liquid markets, but has not yet made much progress toward its goal of increasing revenue by around a third to 8 percent of the top 10 players’ share.

Jun 23, 2011
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Why the World Bank is hiring Lehman’s ex risk boss

By Antony Currie
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The World Bank is hiring Lehman Brothers’ former head of risk management. It might sound like a bad joke. After all, the Wall Street firm collapsed precisely because it placed too many bad bets. But Madelyn Antoncic, who is now joining the international lending institution as treasurer, was one of the few senior Lehmanites who consistently warned top brass they were playing too fast and loose.

Jun 21, 2011
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Jefferies’ results should have Wall Street quaking

By Antony Currie
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The latest results from Jefferies should have the rest of Wall Street quaking. The smaller investment bank’s shareholders were spooked by a 17 percent jump in non-compensation expenses since February — and the stock tumbled more than 3 percent before partly recovering mid-morning. But investors in other banks should worry more about the 30 percent fixed-income revenue decline at Jefferies since February.

Jun 20, 2011
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PNC’s $3.45 bln deal shows banks’ growth dilemma

By Antony Currie
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

PNC’s $3.45 billion swoop on Royal Bank of Canada’s U.S. retail branches highlights the growth dilemma facing American banks. Thanks to improving balance sheets and regulatory pressure, financial institutions have been building up capital. But there are few new lending opportunities on which to deploy the money. That leaves consolidating with rivals and cutting costs as the primary avenue to juice returns.

Jun 13, 2011
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Suitors offer TMX owners uninspiring choice

By Antony Currie
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Pity TMX Group’s poor shareholders. The owners of the Toronto stock exchange face an unenviable choice of suitor. Neither the London Stock Exchange nor Maple Group, which went hostile with its C$3.7 billion ($3.8 billion) counteroffer on Monday, has made a compelling bid for the bourse.

    • About Antony

      "Antony Currie has more than a decade of experience as a financial journalist, having worked with Euromoney since 1996, most recently as a U.S. editor. He has worked on assignments in the major financial centers of Europe and the U.S. and written stories on capital markets, global economies and the investment banking industry. He holds a bachelor's degree in German language and literature and a master's degree in politics and international relations from the University of Bristol."
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