Reuters blog archive
from Data Dive:
Radio Shack is considering bankruptcy. The electronics retailer has struggled in the digital age, and announced today that its CFO, John Feray, resigned last week. He will be replaced by Holly Etlin, a managing director at AlixPartners, which has been advising Radio Shack financially since 2013. Even with outside help, the company's share price has tumbled since 2010:
Bankruptcy isn't quite as helpful for a company as it used to be. While retailers used to be able to use Chapter 11 as a shelter to devise new business plans, with around half emerging from bankruptcy, a 2005 law has changed all of that. Reuters reports that if Radio Shack files for Chapter 11, it isn't likely to recover, thanks to the nine-year-old law that only gives companies 210 days to turn things around. Now, only 12 percent of companies emerge from bankruptcy without going out of business. "Circuit City Stores, Borders Group, Filene's Basement, Linens 'n' Things, Coldwater Creek and plenty of smaller chains have gone out of business after filing for Chapter 11," write Tom Hals and Nick Brown.
In reality, they add store chains do not even have seven months. "Lenders will typically only offer companies about three or four months of financing during bankruptcy to ensure that, if things do not work out, there is enough time to conduct a going-out-of-business sale." That might make it a good time to stock up on those items for your home office.
from Global Markets Forum Dashboard:
The Federal Reserve’s policy-setting committee meets this week to discuss the outlook for the U.S. economy and for rates. It’s something of a shame for Janet Yellen & Co that the event will be mostly overshadowed by the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum two days later. The dollar is around its highest in over a year and logic would dictate that this is a function of the growing expectations for the Fed to signal its first rate rise in almost a decade. At least that’s the theory.
The practice is a lot less dollar-centric, according to BNY Mellon chief currency strategist, Simon Derrick. The dollar has gained more than 5 percent so far in 2014 against a basket of currencies, putting in track for its largest increase in a year since 2008, the year the financial crisis exploded. But this has a lot less to do with the Fed gradually inching towards tighter monetary policy and a lot more to do with just about everything else. “It seems to me that expectations about Fed have actually been least important element in USD performance over past month,” Simon said. “Look over the past month and each USD move has really been about external factors Mid-August - that was about Japan and (its pension fund); early September – that was about the ECB and then Scotland. It feels very much as if the dollar has been the funding currency of choice over past 12 months and that what we are really seeing is a variety of factors that are denting confidence in carry trade.”
By Robert Cole
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
A $130 billion Anglo-Dutch beer monster could leap antitrust hurdles. Heineken has rebuffed a takeover approach from SABMiller as “non-actionable.” As you might expect from a combination of the world’s second- and third-biggest brewers, there are major competition concerns. But these could be fixed and the result would be an emerging markets titan. The rejection suggests family control of Heineken is the real sticking point.
from Photographers' Blog:
Guatemala City, Guatemala
By Jorge Dan Lopez
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
The clock had only just struck seven in the morning and the sound of heavy hammers pounding cement had already begun to interrupt the silence in Guatemala City’s General Cemetery. As the sun’s first rays dipped the graveyard in light, they cast shadows on the wall from exhumers.
The men were opening and cleaning graves after people had stopped paying the lease or the lease had expired. The bodies, or what was left of them, were pulled out one by one by the grave cleaners and placed in clear, plastic bags.
from The Great Debate:
There are hours to go until people in Scotland answer the question posed to them in an historic referendum: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
Some weekend polls revealed a lead for No, while others put Yes ahead. With the race too close to call, what is clear is that a pro-independence vote, once considered fanciful, now is a serious possibility.
from The Great Debate:
Some myths are so powerful that they change our perception of reality. Under their influence even the most obvious truths -- or crimes -- can be rendered invisible. Such as rape.
Hidden in Plain Sight is an aptly titled new study by the United Nations International Children’s Fund. It shows that one in 10 girls and young women interviewed reported being sexually abused before age 20. “These are uncomfortable facts,” one UNICEF official said of the report, the largest study on global child abuse to date. “No government or parent will want to see them.”
from Hugo Dixon:
By Hugo Dixon
Hugo Dixon is Editor-at-Large, Reuters News. The opinions expressed are his own.
One of the biggest projects for the next European Commission, which takes office in November, will be to create a “capital markets union.” President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker last week gave Britain’s Jonathan Hill the task of creating such a union “with a view to maximising the benefits of capital markets and non-bank financial institutions for the real economy.”