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May 14, 2012

Dimon’s ‘stupid’ admission: catnip for lawyers?

WILMINGTON, Del, May 14 (Reuters) – Jamie Dimon sounded more
like a plaintiff’s attorney than a chief executive when he
described JPMorgan Chase & Co over the weekend as
“stupid” and “sloppy” for its $2 billion trading loss.

But for any shareholder seeking to seize on those comments
as grist for a securities lawsuit against the bank and its
executives, it likely will be tough to use Dimon’s words against
him, according to lawyers and legal experts.

May 10, 2012

Ford jests CEO Mulally will stay until he’s 80

, May 10 (Reuters) – If Warren Buffett can
run a company in his 80s, why can’t Ford’s Alan Mulally?

Top executives at Ford Motor Co have fielded questions
for months about just when Mulally, 66, plans to retire as the
company’s chief executive. So far the No. 2 U.S. automaker has
kept his plans quiet – mostly.

May 10, 2012
via Breakingviews

Dresdner bonus ruling thankfully won’t spark trend

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By George Hay

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

Investment bankers have just found a way to make themselves even less popular. Over a hundred former Dresdner Bank employees on May 9 won their claim in London’s High Court against Commerzbank, for non-payment of almost 52 million pounds of bonuses awarded in 2008. The case is likely to enrage taxpayers. Thankfully, though, it won’t spark a trend.

May 4, 2012

Court halts Martin Marietta’s bid for Vulcan

By Tom Hals

(Reuters) – Martin Marietta Materials Inc (MLM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is barred for four months from pursuing its proxy contest and $5.3 billion hostile bid for construction materials maker Vulcan Materials Co (VMC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), a Delaware judge ruled on Friday.

Delaware Judge Leo Strine found that Martin Marietta had violated a nondisclosure agreement with its larger rival and used confidential information in forming its bid and proxy fight.

May 4, 2012

CalSTRS says Wal-Mart top leadership in question

May 4 (Reuters) – The second-largest U.S. public pension
fund said that allegations of bribery in Mexico and a cover-up
by top management at Wal-Mart Stores Inc raise the
question of whether top leadership should remain in place at the
company.

But officials with the California State Teachers’ Retirement
System, which sued current and former Wal-Mart executives on
Thursday, stopped short of calling for CEO Mike Duke to step
down.

May 4, 2012
via Breakingviews

State stranglehold on RBS now only slightly looser

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By George Hay

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

Royal Bank of Scotland is about to achieve a milestone. Chief Executive Stephen Hester’s five-year plan to remove the bank from intensive care by shrinking its balance sheet is entering its final phase. Better still, the UK group’s first quarter results held up despite it performing open-heart surgery on its battered investment banking arm. But while RBS is heading the right way, it remains in a state headlock.

May 2, 2012
via Breakingviews

Lloyds investors’ long wait may soon be over

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By George Hay

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

Lloyds Banking Group’s battered investors may be nearing redemption. Before the financial crisis, the UK’s biggest mortgage lender was the epitome of a stolid, dividend-paying stock. Since 2008, when it agreed to rescue HBOS and wound up 40 percent state-owned, its shareholders have not received a single payout. But an end to the drought is in sight.

Apr 30, 2012

Aviva provokes subtly different shareholder spring

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

By George Hay

LONDON, April 30 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The “shareholder
spring” has, to date, been squarely about pay. Barclays’
(BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research) shareholders who failed to support the bank’s
remuneration report at its annual general meeting on April 27
were angry about the principles of pay more than people or
long-term performance. The less audible revolt against Aviva’s
(AV.L: Quote, Profile, Research) remuneration report has subtly different origins and
ramifications.

Apr 27, 2012
via Breakingviews

Shareholder rage at bank pay reaches tipping point

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

Bank investors’ anger at bank pay is boiling over. Less than two weeks after a third of Citigroup shareholders threw the company’s remuneration report back in its face, shareholders at Barclays and Credit Suisse have done exactly the same. Reforms that now flow from what is a genuine “shareholder spring” could be far reaching.

Apr 26, 2012

Deutsche and Barclays’ fortunes could yet converge

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

By George Hay and Peter Thal Larsen

LONDON, April 26 (Reuters Breakingviews) – When Germans take
on Brits at soccer, the Germans tend to win. Not so for the
countries’ largest investment banks in the first quarter of the
year. Yet Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) and Barclays’ (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
fortunes could yet converge.

    • About George

      "George Hay writes about the banking and property sectors. He joined from Thomson Financial News, where he was a companies correspondent. Before that he worked at United Business Media, where he was news editor of Building Magazine. He has a first in English Literature from Edinburgh University, and was nominated in two categories at the 2009 Business Journalist of the Year Awards."
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