George's Feed
Dec 6, 2011
via Breakingviews

UK banks need government to solve funding squeeze

By George Hay
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.The Bank of England is tooling itself up. The UK central bank announced on Dec. 6 a new facility to help domestic lenders if the euro zone crisis causes a fully-fledged freeze in short-term funding markets. But banks may still need more help.

The BoE already has two ways to combat liquidity squeezes. It allows banks to borrow against liquid collateral for three or six months through its Indexed Long-Term Repo (ILTR) auctions. And it allows desperate banks to swap illiquid collateral for gilts for up to a year via its Discount Window Facility (DWF) – in return for a fat fee and big haircuts.

Dec 5, 2011

American Airlines must find own Chapter 11 path

By Tom Hals

(Reuters) – The lawyer who piloted United Airlines through the largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy case in that industry’s history cautioned that American Airlines cannot just rely on the restructuring path cut by competitors.

“Every case is different, and they should beware of assuming that past cases are a road map. They should be aware of their own set of facts,” said James Sprayregen, a partner with Kirkland & Ellis LLP, in a telephone interview with Reuters on Sunday.

Dec 5, 2011
via Breakingviews

Monte dei Paschi’s independence looks shaky

By George Hay and Peter Thal Larsen
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressesed are their own.

Monte dei Paschi is in a real fix. To survive the euro zone meltdown, lenders need two things: sufficient capital, and a solid base of solvent shareholders that can put up more cash if needed. Italy’s third-largest bank has neither.

Dec 1, 2011

Del Monte’s $89 million shareholder settlement approved

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) – A judge approved an $89.4 million settlement for shareholders of Del Monte, who claimed they were shortchanged in the food company’s $4 billion sale to private equity investors led by KKR and Co (KKR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Delaware Chancery Court judge Travis Laster on Thursday overruled an objection by a Cleveland pipe fitters union pension fund, which had sought to opt out of the settlement to pursue a similar lawsuit in a California federal court.

Nov 28, 2011

DOJ probes Del Monte sale for antitrust violations

Nov 28 (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice has
opened a probe into the $4 billion takeover of Del Monte Corp
by private equity investors led by KKR and Co ,
according to court papers regarding an investor settlement over
the transaction.

The department’s antitrust division “has been investigating
the facts and circumstances surrounding the sale of Del Monte,”
Stuart Grant, a lawyer for Del Monte shareholders, wrote in a
Nov. 23 court filing. He said he has provided documents to the
division and is cooperating with the investigation.

Nov 28, 2011
via Breakingviews

ECB funding aid needs to be wider, not just longer

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

The European Central Bank is shaping up to slaughter some sacred cows. The rate-setter, which has already lent more than 500 billion euros to liquidity-starved banks for up to a year, is considering offering longer-term loans. Yet some observers, most notably UniCredit chief executive Federico Ghizzoni, also want it to loosen collateral rules.

Nov 25, 2011

Breakingviews-ECB funding aid needs to be wider, not just longer

By George Hay

LONDON, Nov 25 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The central bank is
considering offering longer-term loans to the euro zone’s
stricken lenders. Bankers also want it to broaden the pool of
collateral it will lend against. Though the ECB will not want to
get swamped, easing some rules might help prevent small banks
going bust.





— The European Central Bank is considering extending its
long-term refinancing operations to last two or three years,
people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Nov 24.

Nov 23, 2011
via Breakingviews

Europe’s great bank balance sheet fiddle

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

European banks are about to indulge in some sleight of hand. Though they have been told by regulators to raise 106 billion euros of capital by next summer, that doesn’t mean they will issue that amount of new equity. Lenders are also planning to fiddle with the way they calculate risk-weighted assets (RWAs). They may end up shooting themselves in the foot.

Nov 22, 2011

Solyndra eyes fallback plan to sell machinery

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) – Solyndra LLC, the bankrupt solar panel maker that owes $500 million to the U.S. government, plans to auction off its machinery in January if it does not get bids for the entire business by an extended deadline.

Solyndra said last week that an initial deadline passed without any satisfactory bids to buy the entire company and restart production, damping hopes that some of its 1,000 idled workers might be rehired.

Nov 18, 2011

Dallas Stars win OK for bankruptcy plan, team sale

Nov 18 (Reuters) – The Dallas Stars hockey team won court
approval of its bankruptcy reorganization, clearing the way for
the team to be sold for $265 million to Vancouver businessman
Tom Gaglardi.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Peter Walsh approved the plan at a
hearing on Friday, court records show.

    • 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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