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Feb 29, 2012
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No winners from Barclays tax crackdown

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Barclays’ UK rehabilitation is proving a struggle. Just a few months after chief executive Bob Diamond set out the lender’s credentials for good corporate citizenship, it has been whacked for avoiding UK tax. The episode is another reminder that banks face higher levels of scrutiny. But the UK government’s willingness to jeopardise Britain’s predictable tax system is more worrying.

Feb 9, 2012
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Credit Suisse’s pain is clearer than its gain

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Credit Suisse is hurting. Cost cuts and balance-sheet shrinkage have combined with weak markets to drag the Swiss bank to its first quarterly loss since 2008. Chief Executive Brady Dougan thinks he can get ahead of the pack by restructuring now. But payback still depends on business picking up.

Jan 31, 2012
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Fred Goodwin’s title clawback sets bad precedent

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

It’s not just bankers’ bonuses that are subject to clawback. By stripping Fred Goodwin of his knighthood, the British government has elevated banker-bashing to a new level. But further humiliation for the already-disgraced former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive may stoke, not sate, anger against financiers. Besides, the move devalues one of the few non-financial rewards that might motivate future bank chiefs.

Jan 27, 2012
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De-globalisation of finance looks here to stay

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

The global financial system is becoming more national. Three years after Western taxpayers were forced into a mass bailout of banks, Western lenders are in full retreat, encouraged by regulators and governments.

Jan 10, 2012
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Hildebrand shows stark exposure of central bankers

By Peter Thal Larsen
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Philipp Hildebrand’s downfall is a warning to the world’s central bankers. The Swiss National Bank chief has been forced out after his wife engaged in ill-advised currency trades. In less turbulent times, he might have escaped with a slap on the wrist. But central bankers’ controversial policies have made them political targets.

Jan 6, 2012
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Currency deals put Swiss central bank on the spot

By Peter Thal Larsen
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Philipp Hildebrand has a Julius Caesar-style problem. The Roman emperor wanted his spouse to be above suspicion. Following revelations about his wife’s currency trading, the chairman of the Swiss National Bank must wish he could say the same.

Dec 22, 2011
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Bond market will grow at banks’ expense in 2012

By Peter Thal Larsen
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own

Can the bond market take the place of banks? That question will be partially answered in 2012, as borrowers seek to bypass strained lenders in search of cheaper sources of credit. For big companies, tougher regulation of banks has accelerated a long-term shift to seeking funds directly from investors. But small companies and consumers won’t find it so easy to make the switch.

Dec 12, 2011
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RBS shows watchdogs need power to stop M&A

By Peter Thal Larsen
The author is a Retuers Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The failure of Royal Bank of Scotland shows bank reform still has some way to go.

Dec 9, 2011
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UK’s euro isolation may backfire on City of London

By Peter Thal Larsen
The author is a Retuers Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The City of London may regret David Cameron’s euro isolation. Britain’s prime minister opted out of a pan-European deal to save the euro zone after failing to secure special protection for the UK financial services industry. But his stand leaves Britain’s dominant economic sector exposed – both in Europe and at home.

Nov 21, 2011
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Forget PIGS, Europe’s problem is broken EEGs

By Peter Thal Larsen
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The euro zone needs a new acronym. For the past three years, PIGS has served as a catchall for the cash-strapped states on the single currency’s periphery. But now that the crisis has moved to the core, a change is overdue.

    • About Peter

      "Peter is Assistant Editor of Reuters Breakingviews, based in London. He oversees coverage of financial services and regulation. Prior to joining Reuters, Peter spent 10 years at the Financial Times. From 2004 to 2009 he was the FT’s banking editor, leading the paper’s award-winning coverage of global banking during the credit crunch. Between 2000 and 2004 Peter reported for the FT from New York. He played a leading role in the paper’s coverage of the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath. A Dutch national, Peter has degrees from Bristol University and the London School of Economics."
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