George's Feed
Oct 22, 2015
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Aussie banks may need fresh capital hikes

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

Australian banks may need to repeat their 2015 capital-raising feats. The government on Oct. 20 endorsed the view of its Financial System Inquiry that domestic lenders need to be “unquestionably strong”. A strict interpretation of this aspiration would see institutions having to outdo the A$20 billion ($14.4 billion) or so they raised already, chiefly via selling shares.

Oct 12, 2015
via Breakingviews

EU needs better capitalised banks, not bigger ones

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By George Hay and Dominic Elliott

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

European investment banks are being bested by their U.S. rivals. The bosses of Societe Generale and Barclays warned on Oct. 11 that they were losing the battle for capital markets, trading and advisory fees. They are right, but there is no easy solution. Europe needs better capitalised banks more than it needs dominant, globally competitive institutions.

Oct 9, 2015
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StanChart takes bet on management incompetence

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

Standard Chartered has to hope that a quarter of its top brass really aren’t very good at their jobs. That is the portion of the UK-listed emerging markets bank’s 4,000 most senior staff who will find themselves surplus to requirements, Reuters reported on Oct. 9. Although StanChart could gain from a big cull, it’s a risky move.

Sep 18, 2015
via Breakingviews

Corbyn’s good idea on EU outweighs the bad

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

Jeremy Corbyn has chosen the smart route on Europe. The new leader of the United Kingdom’s opposition Labour party pledged on Sept. 17 to stay in the European Union. For investors fearful of an increasingly powerful “Out” campaign, and previously unsure where Corbyn stood, it’s good news.

Sep 18, 2015
via Breakingviews

Corbyn’s good idea on EU outweighs the bad

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

Jeremy Corbyn has chosen the smart route on Europe. The new leader of the United Kingdom’s opposition Labour party pledged on Sept. 17 to stay in the European Union. For investors fearful of an increasingly powerful “Out” campaign, and previously unsure where Corbyn stood, it’s good news.

Sep 10, 2015
via Breakingviews

Bank watchdogs tie themselves in knots over TLAC

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

Global bank supervisors are tying themselves in knots over TLAC. This ugly acronym – short for total loss-absorbing capacity – is supposed to mean regulators ensure creditors pay for cross-border bank busts. The emerging rules look set to be watered down for banks like HSBC, to make sure they aren’t disadvantaged against their less-sprawling rivals. But what’s being proposed will make the final system even more prone to political standoffs.

Sep 10, 2015
via Breakingviews

Bank watchdogs tie themselves in knots over TLAC

Photo

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

Global bank supervisors are tying themselves in knots over TLAC. This ugly acronym – short for total loss-absorbing capacity – is supposed to mean regulators ensure creditors pay for cross-border bank busts. The emerging rules look set to be watered down for banks like HSBC, to make sure they aren’t disadvantaged against their less-sprawling rivals. But what’s being proposed will make the final system even more prone to political standoffs.

Sep 10, 2015
via Breakingviews

Osborne finds right outlet for political ambition

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

George Osborne has found the right outlet for his political ambitions. The UK chancellor, a serious contender to succeed Prime Minister David Cameron, has a habit of proposing ideas inimical to his conservative political base. Witness, for example, July’s announcement of a national “living wage”. Making a big play to better protect the UK financial sector in Europe is a better way to spend his time.

Sep 10, 2015
via Breakingviews

Osborne finds right outlet for political ambition

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

George Osborne has found the right outlet for his political ambitions. The UK chancellor, a serious contender to succeed Prime Minister David Cameron, has a habit of proposing ideas inimical to his conservative political base. Witness, for example, July’s announcement of a national “living wage”. Making a big play to better protect the UK financial sector in Europe is a better way to spend his time.

Aug 6, 2015
via Breakingviews

Zurich can justify a swoop on RSA

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

Zurich Insurance Group can justify going the extra mile if it really wants RSA. Disappointing results from the Swiss insurer on Aug. 6 – and expectation-beating ones from the UK-based rival it says it might bid for – make it harder for Zurich to offer less than the 515 pence at which RSA has been trading since a deal was first mooted. Fortunately, it could offer up to 600 pence without destroying value.

    • 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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