Ryan's Feed
Feb 25, 2013
via Felix Salmon

Counterparties: Italy’s protest vote

Welcome to the Counterparties email. The sign-up page is here, it’s just a matter of checking a box if you’re already registered on the Reuters website. Send suggestions, story tips and complaints to Counterparties.Reuters@gmail.com.

The votes in the Italian election are in — and it’s not likely that Italy will be able to form a government.

Feb 22, 2013
via Felix Salmon

Counterparties: Austerity bites

Welcome to the Counterparties email. The sign-up page is here, it’s just a matter of checking a box if you’re already registered on the Reuters website. Send suggestions, story tips and complaints to Counterparties.Reuters@gmail.com.

How long is Europe going to stay in recession, despite its experiment with austerity coming to an end some eight months ago? The European Commission today projected that the continent’s economy will shrink by 0.3% in 2013, its second straight year of contraction. In Spain and Greece unemployment will remain around 27% in 2013, with unemployment in the Eurozone as a whole rising to 12.2% from 11.4%.

Feb 20, 2013
via The Great Debate

How to do PR for banks

Big banks — at least in Europe — are putting on a new, highly branded, and more contrite face.  Barclays is embarking on something it calls “Project Transform”’; Deutsche Bank has announced its “2015+” strategy and is pushing for what its CEO has called “deliberate” “uncomfortable change”. UBS has its own 2015 strategy, and the head of its investment banking unit publicly proclaimed that the industry has become “too arrogant, too self-convinced”.

Should we buy any of this? William Cohan, for one, isn’t a fan of Barclays CEO Anthony Jenkins’s “new morality”. Cohan’s right to point out that all of this hat-in-hand talk comes after a long period of transgression at Barclays:

Feb 19, 2013
via Felix Salmon

Counterparties: Industrial-strength tax avoidance

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Everyone loves corporate tax reform these days. In his state of the union speech, Barack Obama called for closing corporate tax loopholes; the G20 and OECD say they’re also on the case. The US and Switzerland are vowing to share more information, as a part of the 2010 Foreign Tax Compliance Act, which intends to do pretty much what its title suggests.

Feb 13, 2013
via Felix Salmon

Counterparties: Corporate America’s miserly ways

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The arguments over the value of Apple’s cash are symptomatic of a much bigger issue: the corporate world’s cash hoards. According to Factset, they recently hit $1.23 trillion for nonfinancial companies, more than double pre-crisis levels.

Feb 8, 2013
via Felix Salmon

Counterparties: When two mandates aren’t enough

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Should the Fed try to use interest rates to control not just inflation and unemployment, but financial markets too?

Feb 7, 2013
via Felix Salmon

Counterparties: How do you value $137 billion?

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What do you do with $137 billion? That’s actually a serious question. David Einhorn is technically suing Apple over its voting rules — here’s the full complaint — but his real target is its ungodly cash hoard. What he ultimately wants is simple: Apple’s money. (His hedge fund owns more than $590 million in Apple shares.)

Feb 6, 2013
via MediaFile

Another blog post that won’t make any money

It’s been a strange and daunting decade for print journalism — it’s now an even stranger time for web journalism. We’ve become accustomed to reading headlines like BuzzFeed’s recent $19 million fund raising, followed by news of buyouts for veterans at the New York Times. This kind of zero sum flow of media resources from print old guard to the young online folks has started to feel inevitable — it’s not even clear that media reporters still care about the NYT.

All of this would be more comforting if the media business were headed to some cushy new world. Evangelists have long held up the web as the savior of the news business, the future of TV and the ideal for the self-expression business. They could be right. But all that digital triumphalism ignores web media’s basic economic dilemma: we’re simply producing far too much of it than is economically justified.

Feb 4, 2013
via Felix Salmon

Counterparties: Volcker with voltage

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Two years after the endlessly delayed Volcker Rule was first passed, there’s been a slow, rough convergence in how the world treats too-big-to-fail banks.

Jan 31, 2013
via Felix Salmon

Counterparties: Deutsche’s hope and “uncomfortable change”

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Today, Europe’s biggest bank posted a $3 billion net loss, but it insists it’s embarking on “deliberate”, “uncomfortable change”. Deutsche Bank’s revenue up was up 14%, and the bank’s losses came from a €1.9 billion writedown on assets and €1 billion put aside for litigation (read: likely Libor scandal-related) costs.

    • About Ryan

      "Ryan McCarthy is a Deputy Editor of Reuters.com and edits Counterparties.com with Felix Salmon. Previously, he was the Business Editor of the Huffington Post."
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