George's Feed
Jul 13, 2015
via Breakingviews

Greek bank salvation may still have sting in tail

Photo

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

Greek banks have been dragged back from the edge of the precipice. Had marathon euro talks on the night of July 12-13 failed to produce an agreement, Greece’s four big banks would have collapsed. Instead, they will get 25 billion euros in recapitalisation resources. But there’s still plenty to fret about.

Jun 30, 2015
via Breakingviews

Willis-Towers Watson insure against market turmoil

Photo

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

Willis Group and Towers Watson have taken out a spot of insurance against future troubles in the sectors they serve. Willis, an Irish-domiciled broker big in the United States and the UK, is joining forces with Towers Watson, a U.S.-based risk and healthcare consultancy. The tie-up has a defensive logic, but carries positive rationale as well.

Jun 10, 2015
via Breakingviews

UK blithely signs up to Germany’s worst idea

Photo

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

George Osborne is about to put UK fiscal flexibility in another straitjacket. Fresh from pledging not to raise taxes in the next parliament, the chancellor will use a speech on June 10 to announce legislation committing governments to run budget surpluses – a move reminiscent of the German government’s self-defeating “debt brake”. It’s further proof of the increasing bifurcation between public opinion and mainstream economic principles.

Jun 10, 2015
via Breakingviews

UK blithely signs up to Germany’s worst idea

Photo

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

George Osborne is about to put UK fiscal flexibility in another straitjacket. Fresh from pledging not to raise taxes in the next parliament, the chancellor will use a speech on June 10 to announce legislation committing governments to run budget surpluses – a move reminiscent of the German government’s self-defeating “debt brake”. It’s further proof of the increasing bifurcation between public opinion and mainstream economic principles.

May 19, 2015
via Breakingviews

UK taxpayers hurt more by EU split than HSBC exit

Photo

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

Another day, another big bank threatens to leave London. At first sight, news that Deutsche Bank could move operations out of the City in the event that Britons vote to quit the European Union may sound little different from HSBC’s decision over whether to shift its head office. But for UK taxpayers, the former would be more painful.

May 19, 2015
via Breakingviews

UK taxpayers hurt more by EU split than HSBC exit

Photo

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

Another day, another big bank threatens to leave London. At first sight, news that Deutsche Bank could move operations out of the City in the event that Britons vote to quit the European Union may sound little different from HSBC’s decision over whether to shift its head office. But for UK taxpayers, the former would be more painful.

Mar 20, 2015
via Breakingviews

ECB torn between two roles in Greek bank support

Photo

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

The European Central Bank is responsible for the stability of both the euro and the single currency zone’s biggest banks. The two goals are not perfectly aligned, as a spat over Greece is making clear.

Mar 6, 2015
via Breakingviews

UK retreat from RBS is more important than value

Photo

By George Hay

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

Re-privatising Royal Bank of Scotland used to mean creating a world-class universal bank and selling out at a profit. The first objective has already fallen by the wayside – RBS is well on the way to becoming a UK-focused retail bank. Happily the second, judging by comments by Chancellor George Osborne on March 5, could soon follow.

Mar 6, 2015
via Breakingviews

UK retreat from RBS is more important than value

Photo

By George Hay

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

Re-privatising Royal Bank of Scotland used to mean creating a world-class universal bank and selling out at a profit. The first objective has already fallen by the wayside – RBS is well on the way to becoming a UK-focused retail bank. Happily the second, judging by comments by Chancellor George Osborne on March 5, could soon follow.

Feb 27, 2015
via Breakingviews

Lloyds investment case hinges on its next dividend

Photo

By George Hay

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

The last time Lloyds Banking Group paid a dividend, Gordon Brown was UK prime minister, Lehman Brothers still existed, and “banker” was yet to become a term of abuse. The fact the UK bank is making its first shareholder payout since August 2008 is therefore an encouraging milestone. But in valuation terms, this year’s dividend is more important.

    • About George

      "George Hay coordinates European financial coverage and writes about macroeconomics, the euro zone and UK/European financial policy. He covered European banks for Breakingviews during the financial crisis, and has also worked as a correspondent for AFX News and at United Business Media. He attended Edinburgh University and his work has been recognised at the UK’s Business Journalist of the Year Awards. Follow George on Twitter @gfhay"
    • Follow George