Neil's Feed
Aug 19, 2013

Breakingviews-Moody’s U-turn raises bar for choosing hybrids

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

By Neil Unmack

LONDON, Aug 19 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Moody’s (MCO.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is
exposing the shaky foundations underpinning the hottest product
in European corporate finance. The rating agency has decreed
that “hybrid” debt is still debt, even if it resembles equity.
This may sound like a statement of the obvious. But companies
and investors need to digest it.

Aug 16, 2013
via Breakingviews

Dear UK chancellor: why Help to Buy was wrong

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By Neil Unmack and George Hay

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

It is 2020, and the Bank of England’s new governor needs to have a word with the Chancellor of the Exchequer about the UK housing market.

Aug 2, 2013
via Breakingviews

Berlusconi verdict weakens Italian reform drive

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By Neil Unmack

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

Berlusconi’s conviction leaves Italy’s government weaker, but not broken. The media mogul-cum-politician lost his final appeal on his conviction for tax fraud, which will exacerbate tensions within Rome’s ruling coalition of the centre left and right. Yet neither party wants to face their electorate for now. That means a crisis isn’t imminent – but the prospect of a political consensus that would allow serious reform is now more remote.

Jul 30, 2013

Breakingviews- Barclays shows what CoCos can and can’t do

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.) (Updates to add “potentially” in final
sentence.)

By Neil Unmack

LONDON, July 30 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Barclays’ (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research)
latest “CoCo” issue is going to be a tough sell. This may not be
the first occasion the UK bank has issued so-called contingent
convertible bonds. But the 2 billion pounds of securities to be
offered are unusual, and will need to be generously priced.

Jul 16, 2013

Euro zone weakened by banks’ sovereign-debt feast

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

By Neil Unmack

LONDON, July 16 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The euro zone
crisis has been anaesthetised. Peripheral government bonds are
impervious to rating cuts or even political crises. One reason
is that sovereign debt is being increasingly swallowed up by
domestic investors and banks. The snag is that domestication
stifles lending and discourages reform. Bondholders shouldn’t
assume it makes debt safer.

Jul 10, 2013
via Breakingviews

Higher volatility is the new normal in credit

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By Neil Unmack

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

Higher volatility is the new normal in credit. For investors, it means the return of real winners and losers.

Jul 2, 2013
via Breakingviews

Cyprus bond swap is good publicity, bad economics

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By Neil Unmack

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

The creditor banks of Cyprus “voluntarily” exchanged 1 billion euros worth of sovereign debt at cheap rates. That lowers the bailout bill for the euro zone, but the burden fell unevenly on the country’s banks. Exchanging all creditors’ debt would have been fairer – but messier.

Jul 2, 2013

Breakingviews- Cyprus bond swap is good publicity, bad economics

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

By Neil Unmack

LONDON, July 2 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The creditor banks
of Cyprus “voluntarily” exchanged 1 billion euros worth of
sovereign debt at cheap rates. That lowers the bailout bill for
the euro zone, but the burden fell unevenly on the country’s
banks. Exchanging all creditors’ debt would have been fairer -
but messier.

Jun 28, 2013

Breakingview- New EU bail-in a great tool for previous crisis

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

By George Hay and Neil Unmack

LONDON, June 28 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Europe’s shiny new
bank bail-in regime looks like the perfect tool for previous
banking crises. The agreement reached this week by European
leaders would force shareholders and creditors to swallow losses
of 8 percent of their bank’s liabilities in a future banking
crash. That would have spared euro zone taxpayers from pumping
in their own resources to protect most of their biggest banks in
2008. But it doesn’t provide a guarantee that public money will
never be used to rescue banks in the future.

Jun 14, 2013
via Breakingviews

World’s oldest bank limps into 21st century

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By Neil Unmack

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

The world’s oldest bank is limping into the 21st century. Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena’s stock jumped after the Italian bank proposed removing the voting rules favouring the foundation that is currently its majority owner. The move will help the stricken lender to attract new capital. All it needs now is a buyer.