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Dec 20, 2013
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Wells will knock louder on bulge bracket’s door

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

Wells Fargo will start knocking more loudly on the bulge bracket’s door. The California lender is already one of the top 10 global investment banks by fees, according to data from Thomson Reuters. Much of that comes courtesy of middle-market clients. But if the bank run by John Stumpf starts going after bigger fish, it could put Wall Street’s bigwigs on the defensive.

Dec 10, 2013
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GM navigates smart route to CEO succession

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

 

General Motors has navigated a smart route to succession. Dan Akerson, who has run the company since mid-2010, is stepping down in January. Replacing him as chief executive is Mary Barra, who despite 33 years of service at the automaker, has mostly sidestepped the taint of pre-bankruptcy failures. GM, freshly liberated from the U.S. government on Tuesday, also appointed an independent chairman for good governance measure.

Dec 6, 2013
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Deutsche ditch divines commoditized commodities

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

Deutsche Bank’s decision to ditch commodities portends just how commoditized the business may be. The German lender is quitting energy, agriculture, base metals and dry bulk trading. That should free up capital without hurting results. And while it ought to ease the pain from a deep swoon in commodities, profits remain elusive for almost all banks involved.

Nov 25, 2013
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Chrysler IPO delay edges Fiat into driver’s seat

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

Fiat may have slipped into the driver’s seat. An autoworkers fund that owns 41.5 percent of Chrysler has been pushing for an initial public offering of the company as part of talks with its Italian partner. Chrysler’s board has now decided to delay the stock sale until next year, suggesting Fiat’s negotiating position has improved.

Nov 15, 2013
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GE finally puts Jack Welch era out to pasture

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

General Electric is finally putting former Chief Executive Jack Welch’s ghost out to pasture. On Friday the conglomerate said it intends to spin off its North America retail finance business. That will help return GE Capital to its roots lending to mid-market companies and its parent’s industrial concerns.

Oct 30, 2013
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Chrysler needs $18 bln valuation to justify IPO

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By Antony Currie

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

Chrysler’s valuation needs to hit $18 billion to justify an initial public offering. That’s the point where the union trust fund that owns 41.5 percent of the Detroit automaker would reap more than it could get from controlling shareholder Fiat. But it’s also way more than either owner has ever considered to be a reasonable price.

Oct 24, 2013
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Activist bet on Evercore would have beaten Lazard

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

Nelson Peltz must be happy with his stake in Lazard. The activist investor jumped into the stock early last year. Since then, Lazard’s stock has gone up 50 percent and its third-quarter results on Thursday show the firm is on track. There’s just one wrinkle for Peltz: he would have done even better, doubling his money, owning smaller advisory outfit Evercore.

Oct 15, 2013
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Corbat’s Citi takes a step backward

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

Mike Corbat’s Citigroup has taken a step backward. The mega-bank’s chief executive ends his first year in charge with third-quarter earnings below estimates and a meager 6.4 percent return on equity. Granted, markets over the summer were hardly amenable. But the breaks Citi got elsewhere make the bank’s overall performance look that much worse.

Sep 26, 2013
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We need to talk about Jamie Dimon

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By Antony Currie and George Hay
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

JPMorgan has shelled out some $20 billion in legal costs since 2010. Billions more are possibly coming to settle a raft of outstanding U.S. government charges. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon is part of the problem, but also presides over one of the best-performing firms in the industry. Breakingviews imagines how Lee Raymond, JPMorgan’s lead independent director and former chief executive of Exxon Mobil, might lay out the dilemma for the bank’s two new board members.

Sep 18, 2013
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Jefferies shows fixed income isn’t for everyone

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

Jefferies shows that fixed income isn’t necessarily for everyone. The revenue the U.S. investment bank generated from trading bonds, currencies and commodities slumped 85 percent, to just $33 million, in the three months to September. That’s a far bigger drop than its larger rivals across Wall Street are expecting. As a relative newcomer, Jefferies appears to be struggling with volatility. The same may prove true for others that are downsizing their FICC businesses.

    • 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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