Breakingviews

StanChart hired gun Promontory shoots self in foot

August 3, 2015

New York regulators say the politically cozy firm whitewashed a probe of the bank and have suspended it from advising lenders. The penalty may curb conflicts and stings more than a mere fine. Maybe U.S. watchdogs will take the hint and stop waiving the consequences of misdeeds.

Timing looks right for RBS state selldown

August 3, 2015

Cutting its 79 pct stake in the lender would leave the UK with a paper loss, yet focusing on the exact in-price is unhelpful. Better to sell than hold on for a recovery in price that may never come. Besides, the good vibes that come from less state ownership should limit losses.

Hugo Dixon: Euro zone doesn’t need political union

By Hugo Dixon
August 3, 2015

The Greek crisis has triggered renewed calls for a euro zone government, budget and parliament. But such a political union isn’t needed, desirable or achievable. Instead, the euro zone needs more market-based solutions to thrive.

BNP Paribas’ M&A machine spits out growth and risk

July 31, 2015

France’s top bank by assets cranked out resurgent second-quarter earnings of 2.6 bln euros. Three takeovers in 2014 are delivering results. Yet dealmaking sprawl has tripped up rivals in the past. It might be a good time for the Belgian state to trim its 10 pct stake.

Rob Cox: Rick Perry is running for the wrong job

July 30, 2015

The presidential candidate and ex-governor of Texas is a proponent of laissez-faire markets. Yet he has joined a global chorus of politicos and watchdogs pushing policies to break up the big banks. If he’s serious, he’d make a better Wall Street regulator than White House boss.

Deutsche Bank smart on growth, shabby on costs

July 30, 2015

Germany’s biggest bank grew capital buffers and revenue briskly in the second quarter. But expenses devoured 85 pct of the top line – the same as a year ago. New co-CEO John Cryan needs to pull Deutsche out of some of the 60-plus countries it aims to be in, and cut headcount.

Hugo Dixon: The optimist’s guide to Greece

By Hugo Dixon
July 27, 2015

There are so many ways things could go wrong in Greece that it’s easy to miss how things could also go right. The good scenario involves the ECB buying up Greek bonds, the lifting of capital controls and a deal on debt relief – all by year-end.

John Thain leads way for U.S. regional bank M&A

July 22, 2015

The CIT boss – and last CEO of Merrill Lynch – secured regulatory approval to buy OneWest. It’s the first deal to create a systemically important financial institution. It should clear the way for more mergers for banks fearful of regulators but in need of profit boosters.

Edward Hadas: Stop knocking the euro

By Edward Hadas
July 22, 2015

Ben Bernanke thinks the single currency is failing. He is not alone. But the former Fed boss is too short term and too financial. The euro zone has tough structural economic problems. The currency is different. Its future is political, and bright.

Shouldn’t Credit Suisse and StanChart swap CEOs?

July 20, 2015

Bill Winters is beginning his tenure as new boss of the emerging markets lender at the same time that Tidjane Thiam takes charge of the Swiss investment and private bank. Both are capable executives, but their experiences seem uncannily to better suit the other’s job.