Antony's Feed
May 8, 2013

Shareholders wise up to Pactual’s lumpy earnings

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

By Antony Currie

NEW YORK, May 8 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Shareholders in
the Brazilian version of Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) appear to be
getting wise to its lumpy earnings. BTG Pactual (BBTG11.SA: Quote, Profile, Research), run
by Andre Esteves, missed estimates in the first quarter and
posted one of its lowest returns on equity since going public in
Sao Paulo. It’s still a decent performer. But as Pactual’s
American rival discovered in years past, investing its own money
isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be.

Apr 24, 2013
via Breakingviews

Return to glory days may elude Japan’s automakers

Photo

By Antony Currie

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

The weakening yen is good news for Japan’s automakers. The more than 20 percent drop in the currency’s value against the dollar since early October will boost profit from overseas sales – and probably market share, too. A return to the glory days of 2006, though, is likely to prove elusive.

Apr 2, 2013

Nasdaq paying price of dealmaking gone wrong

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

By Antony Currie

NEW YORK, April 2 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Nasdaq OMX
(NDAQ.O: Quote, Profile, Research) may be paying the price of dealmaking gone wrong.
Nearly two years after failing to supersize itself by acquiring
NYSE Euronext’s (NYX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) equities business, the bourse is aiming
smaller with a $750 million plan to buy eSpeed, an electronic
bond-trading operation. Investors erased 90 percent of the price
tag from Nasdaq’s market value. The excessive skepticism ignores
the target’s income and the buyer’s cost discipline.

Mar 26, 2013
via Breakingviews

Goldman and Buffett scratch each other’s backs

Photo

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

Goldman Sachs and Warren Buffett have found a way to scratch each other’s backs – again. The mutual assistance started during the crisis when the Sage of Omaha stepped in with a $5 billion rescue investment in 2008 that provided him with a healthy 10 percent yield on Goldman preferred shares. Now, they’re amending terms of warrants granted to Buffett in the same deal that also works well both ways.

Mar 15, 2013

Investing champs shoot for second year of glory

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.) (Refiles to fix formatting.)

By Antony Currie

NEW YORK, March 15 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Hitting up a
roomful of the best U.S. mutual fund managers for market
predictions after a couple of hours of cocktails seems to have
some merit. Attendees at last year’s Lipper Fund Awards ceremony
did pretty well in an after-dinner survey conducted by
Breakingviews. This year, the 247 industry champs and their
cohorts will be hoping to follow suit.

Mar 15, 2013
via Breakingviews

Fed harder to grade than banks on stress tests

Photo

By Antony Currie

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

It’s harder to grade the Federal Reserve over its handling of the stress tests than it is the 18 banks which take them. On the face of it, the regulator has devised a rigorous but fair system. This year, it rapped Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan over the knuckles for their flawed models, though still approved their plans to return capital to shareholders. It vetoed proposals by Ally and BB&T, and gave its blessing to former dunce Bank of America. But the Fed’s math and much of the results remain a secret. That makes some of the toughness seem more for show.

Mar 6, 2013

Misguided regulatory chemotherapy threatens banks

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

By Antony Currie

NEW YORK, March 6 (Reuters Breakingviews) – What’s one of
the biggest threats to the American economy? “Misguided
regulatory chemotherapy,” is the pull-no-punches answer from Bob
Wilmers, the boss of Buffalo, New York-based M&T (MTB.N: Quote, Profile, Research). That
is risqué language coming from the chief at a bank that received
money from the U.S. government’s financial industry bailout -
and only paid them back last year.

Mar 1, 2013
via Breakingviews

Tip bankers like waiters

Photo

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

Forget Europe’s bonus caps for bankers. It might make for good publicity for the politicians, but wags in the City are already joking about ways to get around it. So why not, for example, put a ceiling on salaries and let clients reward good service, just as they do in restaurants? That could allow banker pay to shrink to a more realistic level.

Mar 1, 2013

Breakingviews-Tip bankers like waiters

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

By Antony Currie

NEW YORK, March 1 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Forget Europe’s
bonus caps for bankers. It might make for good publicity for the
politicians, but wags in the City are already joking about ways
to get around it. So why not, for example, put a ceiling on
salaries and let clients reward good service, just as they do in
restaurants? That could allow banker pay to shrink to a more
realistic level.

Feb 22, 2013
via Breakingviews

Citi pay plan raises the bar, just not enough

Photo

By Antony Currie

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

Citigroup’s new executive pay plan raises the bar, just not quite far enough. The bank’s board has implemented a compensation scheme with more rigorous targets for Chief Executive Michael Corbat and his lieutenants. One important performance metric, however, keeps expectations too low.

    • 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."
    • Follow Antony