The Dutch cable firm is in bid talks with Liberty Global, already a big shareholder. Liberty is prudent and patient, and could seek creeping control via a low offer. But synergies would suffer. And there is value in moving quickly: brilliant debt markets won’t last forever.
President Mario Draghi seemed to contradict ECB executive board member Peter Praet by hinting he’s not about to demand capital against euro zone banks’ sovereign debt. Investors can expect more mixed messages. It’s hard to gee up lending while trying to become a tough regulator.
The Ukrainian president rejected a deal with the EU for fear harsh conditions would deprive him of victory in the 2015 elections. With no sign of an end to demonstrations against his turn to Russia, his days in power are numbered. He’d better stick with Europe.
A 1.1 bln euro write-down and the foundering alliance with GM show how badly Europe’s second largest carmaker needs saviours. But a 3.5 bln euro lifeline from China’s Dongfeng and the French state will be painful for existing shareholders, first of all the controlling family.
An Indian court has allowed the Finnish company to include its Chennai factory in the sale of its devices business to Microsoft. While the $7.4 billion deal wasn’t at risk, the software giant dodges Nokia’s hard-to-assess tax liability. Vodafone wasn’t so fortunate.
America is granting a record number of oil export licenses, skirting a 100-year moratorium. But with output up 56 pct since 2008, this ensures the U.S. sells only a trickle abroad. That contributes to an $11 per barrel discount that harms drillers and America’s trade balance.
European authorities have agreed to force losses on creditors of failed banks from 2016, in order to spare taxpayers the full cost of bailouts. It gives resolution authorities useful flexibility. The new regime isn’t without risks. At least banks and markets now know the rules.
Banks are paying more for their funding; so are borrowers in the bond market. Yet that’s not stopping credit from growing twice as fast as GDP. It shows how far China still is from having a properly market-driven monetary system.
The ex-Bank of Israel governor would provide a conservative balance to incoming Chair Janet Yellen. He’d also boost the Fed’s global and crisis credibility. Making Fischer vice chair would be a savvy choice by the president. Yellen would be smart to encourage him to come aboard.