Antony's Feed
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

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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

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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

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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.

Feb 22, 2013

Breakingviews-Citi pay plan raises the bar, just not enough

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

By Antony Currie

NEW YORK, Feb 22 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Citigroup’s (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research)
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.

Feb 20, 2013

Breakingviews-U.S. debit-card deal recalls value of subprime

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

By Antony Currie

NEW YORK, Feb 20 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Just when U.S.
banks are finally working through all the bad loans, along comes
a deal to remind them of the value of subprime. Since the
crisis, mainstream lenders have all but abandoned customers with
middling to poor credit history. Yet prepaid debit-card provider
NetSpend (NTSP.O: Quote, Profile, Research) is selling itself to payment processor Total
System Services (TSS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) for a cool $1.1 billion.

Feb 19, 2013

Bank firewalls: a guide for the perplexed

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

By George Hay and Antony Currie

LONDON/NEW YORK, Feb 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Regulators
in Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States all agree on
the need to protect their lenders from the casino-like antics of
investment bankers. That’s no great surprise: who wouldn’t want
to shield regular customers from the billions of pounds of
losses caused by rogue traders like Kweku Adoboli of UBS
(UBSN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research)? But beyond this shared objective, there’s little
agreement.

Feb 12, 2013

Breakingviews-Nasdaq both good and too good as LBO target

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

By Antony Currie

NEW YORK, Feb 12 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Nasdaq (NDAQ.O: Quote, Profile, Research)
is a good target for a leveraged buyout – but in one way,
perhaps too good. The U.S. bourse, which also operates exchanges
in Europe, recently held fruitless talks with private equity
firm Carlyle Group (CG.O: Quote, Profile, Research). A sum of the parts suggests it may be
worth at least $7.5 billion – almost 50 percent more than its
public market value. That kind of gap ought to lend itself to an
LBO.

    • 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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