Correspondent, Brussels
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Oct 13, 2013

Europe prepares to come clean on hidden bank losses

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Euro zone countries will consider on Monday how to pay for the repair of their broken banks after health checks next year that are expected to uncover problems that have festered since the financial crisis.

Nobody knows the true scale of potential losses at Europe’s banks, but the International Monetary Fund hinted at the enormity of the problem this month, saying that Spanish and Italian banks face 230 billion euros ($310 billion) of losses alone on credit to companies in the next two years.

Oct 8, 2013

EU lawyers warn of limits in building banking union

LONDON/BRUSSELS, Oct 8 (Reuters) – European Union lawyers
have raised concerns about proposals for banking union, warning
that plans aimed at drawing a line under years of financial
crisis could fall foul of EU law.

In an opinion issued this week and seen by Reuters, the
legal service of the European Council said EU law would only
allow limited powers to be given to an agency to close or
salvage troubled banks, potentially undermining a central
element of the scheme.

Oct 8, 2013

Exclusive: EU lawyers warn of limits in building banking union

LONDON/ BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Parts of Europe’s proposals for a banking union may fall foul of European Union law, lawyers have said in a fresh setback to plans aimed at strengthening the financial system after the debt crisis.

The opinion from the European Council’s legal service is a blow to efforts to break the link between indebted European countries and their banks via the creation of a banking union that would jointly deal with stressed lenders.

Oct 7, 2013

Split on finance overshadows Europe-U.S. trade talks

BRUSSELS, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Aqua or water? These words mean
the same thing, and yet illustrate a divide that European and
U.S. negotiators must bridge in free-trade talks to integrate
half the global economy.

From fragrances to finance, creating common rules is vital
for reaching a deal between the European Union and United States
that officials say can boost economic output by more than $100
billion a year on each side of the Atlantic.

Oct 6, 2013

Analysis: Canceled EU-U.S. talks complicate trade ambitions

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Even before the cancelation of the latest round of EU-U.S. talks, negotiations to create the world’s largest free-trade deal were getting into difficulty territory.

France won a concession to leave European movies and entertainment out of the pact, to shield them from Hollywood and Silicon Valley, raising concerns Washington may pursue opt-outs for its shipping industry on security grounds.

Oct 6, 2013

Cancelled EU-U.S. talks complicate trade ambitions

BRUSSELS, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Even before the cancellation of
the latest round of EU-U.S. talks, negotiations to create the
world’s largest free-trade deal were getting into difficulty
territory.

France won a concession to leave European movies and
entertainment out of the pact, to shield them from Hollywood and
Silicon Valley, raising concerns Washington may pursue opt-outs
for its shipping industry on security grounds.

Oct 2, 2013

Brussels to pare back EU regulation to quell criticism

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission will review EU laws and be careful when writing new ones, the EU’s executive said on Wednesday, in an effort to answer intensifying criticism of what many in member states see as overregulation by Brussels.

In countries such as Britain critics have pilloried the Commission for European Union rules such as one preventing drinkmakers from claiming that water can treat dehydration.

Sep 27, 2013

Europe’s plan to address weak banks risks unraveling

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank’s (ECB) plan to test the health of the euro zone’s largest lenders without the means to plug any holes it uncovers risks foiling what some see as the bloc’s final chance to put its financial crisis behind it.

Unlike in the United States, where rapid infusions of capital put its banks quickly back on track, Europe’s financial system remains frozen, with lenders in countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy hurt by weak demand and soured loans.

Sep 27, 2013

Britain’s EU bonus challenge offers scant hope for bankers

LONDON/BRUSSELS Sept 27 (Reuters) – Britain’s challenge to
European Union rules capping bankers’ bonuses is likely to get
bogged down in court long beyond their implementation, and
critics say it is more about pleasing domestic voters
unimpressed by the loss of powers to Brussels.

The UK, which houses Europe’s biggest financial centre, was
outvoted when the European Union agreed that bonuses must be no
more than a banker’s fixed pay, or twice that amount with
shareholder backing.

Sep 18, 2013

Europe sets out plans to stop benchmark rigging

BRUSSELS, Sept 18 (Reuters) – European Union regulators
proposed new rules on setting commodity and interest-rate
benchmarks on Wednesday that backed away from their earlier
plans for sweeping EU oversight of the multi-trillion-euro
markets.

The draft law would regulate benchmarks for the first time
at the European level and aims to prevent scandals such as the
rigging of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), used to
price some $300 trillion of products including home loans and
credit cards globally.

    • About John

      "I am a Reuters correspondent in Brussels, writing about the European Union. I moved here last year from Germany, where I had reported about the financial crisis, turning up numerous scoops and even winning a prestigious business reporting award. Beforehand, I worked with The Sunday Times in London."
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