George's Feed
Jul 21, 2011

Dodgers’ judge sees “bare-knuckled” fight looming

, July 20 (Reuters) – The judge overseeing
the Los Angeles Dodgers bankruptcy case said he would try to
decide by the end of Thursday the contentious question of which
loan the team should take to stay afloat — but said he
expected even rougher battles ahead.

Judge Kevin Gross declined to rule late on Wednesday on
whether the Dodgers could borrow $150 million from a hedge
fund, as they prefer, or should take a cheaper loan from Major
League Baseball that the team has called a “deal with the
devil.”

Jul 20, 2011

Dodgers, MLB lock horns over bankruptcy loan

, July 20 (Reuters) – The Los Angeles
Dodgers fought on Wednesday to keep control of their finances
while in bankruptcy, arguing Major League Baseball’s offer to
provide a $150 million loan was a “deal with the devil.”

The Dodgers want to borrow the money from a hedge fund and
told a Delaware Bankruptcy Court that the league wants to use
its cheaper loan as a way to strip the team from owner Frank
McCourt.

Jul 18, 2011

Hedge fund denies insider trading in WaMu case

, July 18 (Reuters) – A hedge fund accused
of trading on confidential information gleaned from the
Washington Mutual Inc bankruptcy went so far as to sound-proof
an office to prevent the information from reaching its traders,
a managing director of the fund testified.

Aurelius Capital Management LP even hired a sound engineer
to test if traders could eavesdrop on confidential talks about
the bankruptcy led in part by the fund, managing director Dan
Gropper said in his defense in a bankruptcy court on Monday.

Jul 18, 2011
via Breakingviews

Europe’s banks could cope with a Greek haircut

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

LONDON — Europe’s banks can mostly deal with a fat haircut on their holdings of Greek sovereign debt. That’s the conclusion of a Breakingviews analysis of data disclosed by lenders under the European Union’s latest stress tests.

Jul 18, 2011

Hedge fund rejects claims of WaMu insider trading

, July 18 (Reuters) – A hedge fund accused
of trading on confidential data gleaned from the Washington
Mutual Inc bankruptcy went so far as to sound-proof an office
to prevent inside information from reaching its traders, a
managing director of the fund testified.

Aurelius Capital Management LP even hired a sound engineer
to test if traders could eavesdrop on confidential talks about
the bankruptcy led in part by the fund, managing director Dan
Gropper said in his defense in a bankruptcy court on Monday.

Jul 11, 2011
via Breakingviews

Italian banks caught in sovereign crossfire

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

LONDON — Italy can’t just blame speculators for its bank sell-off. Shares in UniCredit and Intesa Sanpaolo, the country’s two biggest lenders, dropped sharply on July 11 despite new disclosure requirements for short-sellers. The reason: banks are getting caught in the sovereign crossfire.

Jul 5, 2011

Insurers get euro stress tests off to a duff start

By George Hay

LONDON, July 5 (Reuters Breakingviews) – A tenth of Europe’s
insurance companies have flunked this year’s stress test, though
the regulator won’t name them. The tests were based on rules
that don’t take force until 2013. But they also weren’t tough
enough. European authorities would have been better off doing
nothing.

Full view will be published shortly.

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Jun 8, 2011

Feature: What’s Greek for default?

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

By Neil Unmack and George Hay

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) – When is a country in default? In Greece’s case, the answer depends on who you ask. Euro zone politicians want holders of the country’s bonds to help contribute to another bailout. However, they also want to avoid the wider market fallout that a default would bring. Getting accountants, rating agencies, derivative traders and the European Central Bank to agree will be hard. But not all opinions have equal weight.

Feb 9, 2011
via Breakingviews

UK banks got better end of government showdown

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

LONDON — UK banks have got the better of their showdown with the government. After months of discussions, the UK coalition finally revealed details of “Project Merlin” on Feb. 9. It may look as if George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has won major concessions from lenders. Almost the exact opposite is true.

Jan 27, 2011

Lloyds’ defence against surgery doesn’t convince

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

By George Hay

LONDON, Jan 27 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Lloyds Banking
Group (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research) has failed to find a magic bullet that could kill
off the threat of radical surgery. The UK lender, whose
acquisition of rival HBOS pushed its share of the current
account market to 30 percent, has made a fulsome submission to
the Independent Commission on Banking, arguing why this dominant
position doesn’t matter. But it isn’t convincing.

    • 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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