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Aug 9, 2012
via Breakingviews

How to take the lies out of Libor


By George Hay and Agnes T Crane

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

Libor has become a dirty word. Attempts to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate benchmark have already claimed the scalps of three Barclays executives. With further fallout likely, regulators need to fast-track reforms.

Aug 2, 2012

Barclays’ Qatari baggage gets even heavier

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

By Una Galani and George Hay

DUBAI/LONDON, Aug 2 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Barclays’
(BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research) Qatari baggage is getting heavier. A costly capital
injection by Gulf funds spared the UK bank from a state bailout
in 2008. But if a probe by the UK’s Financial Services Authority
into the disclosure of fees discredits one of the few remaining
members of Barclays’ top executive team, the bank’s decision to
seek salvation in the Middle East will look even more like a
Faustian pact.

Aug 1, 2012
via Breakingviews

StanChart finds buffer against Asia slowdown risk


By George Hay

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

Standard Chartered has found a new way to exploit an old advantage. Since the 2008 financial crisis, the emerging markets lender has made considerable hay trumpeting strong growth in its Asian markets. But even investors worried about a slowdown can take comfort from the fact that StanChart is taking a bigger slice of the cake.

Jul 27, 2012

Icahn wins legal fight over Forest Labs books

WILMINGTON, Del, July 27 (Reuters) – Billionaire investor
Carl Icahn scored a court victory in his proxy fight with
drugmaker Forest Laboratories Inc on Friday after he was
granted access to some of the company’s records.

Icahn has accused the maker of antidepressant drug Lexapro
of mismanagement and is seeking court documents to aid in his
fight to elect four members to the company’s 10-member board at
its Aug. 15 annual meeting.

Jul 26, 2012

Lloyds weighed down by familiar bugbears

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

By George Hay

LONDON, July 26 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Chief Executive
Antonio Horta-Osorio will one day be able to present a shiny new
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research), shorn of duff non-core assets and
boasting a dominant position in a recovering UK economy. A 439
million pound first-half loss is evidence that not all of the
engines required to get him there are working.

Jul 25, 2012
via Breakingviews

Deutsche Bank’s profit miss isn’t temporary hiccup


By George Hay

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

Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen are having a baptism of fire. Investors had been hoping the new Deutsche Bank co-chief executives would unveil roughly 1 billion euros of second-quarter net income when they present the group’s first results under their leadership next week. Instead, the numbers have come early and it’s not good news.

Jul 24, 2012
via Breakingviews

BarCap shrinkage can’t wait for new CEO


By George Hay

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

Barclays can’t afford to wait around for a new chief executive. Normally, companies that lose their way find a new boss before forging a new strategic direction. Yet the UK bank, which has come horribly unstuck following attempts to manipulate Libor, is doing both at the same time.
The scandal has already claimed Chairman Marcus Agius, CEO Bob Diamond and Chief Operating Officer Jerry del Missier. Rather than wait some six months for their replacements, the remaining top brass – Barclays Capital CEO Rich Ricci and the head of retail operations at Barclays, Antony Jenkins – are leading a major internal review, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Jul 19, 2012

U.S. court upholds Pfizer’s Lyrica patent protection

July 19 (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc beat back a challenge from
generic drugmakers to a patent that protects its pain medicine
Lyrica, its second-best selling drug when a federal judge ruled
in its favor on Thursday.

Judge Gregory Sleet of the U.S. District Court in Delaware
issued an order preventing the manufacture of generic versions
of Lyrica before its patent protection expires in 2018. Some
generic drugmakers had hoped to launch their versions as soon as
this year.

Jul 16, 2012

U.S. judge declines to grant lead role in Wal-Mart suits

WILMINGTON, Del (Reuters) – A Delaware judge refused to choose which of two large pension funds would lead a lawsuit against the board of Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for allegedly allowing bribery to flourish in Mexico.

The chief judge of Delaware’s Court of Chancery, Leo Strine, encouraged the public pension funds from California and New York to investigate the allegations more thoroughly and find a way to work together.

Jul 16, 2012

Analysis: Wall Street may face Libor legal threat from small banks

By Tom Hals

(Reuters) – The thousands of community banks have often said their much larger counterparts have trampled on them. Now some hope the latest Wall Street scandal could give them ammunition to strike back.

Big banks’ alleged manipulation of interest rates has become the subject of a deepening global investigation by regulators. It has also led one small bank in Wisconsin to file a lawsuit accusing JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc and other major banks of colluding to set rates artificially low.

    • 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"
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