The roughly 55:45 vote against secession in a landmark referendum reduces many risks: financial instability, a UK exit from Europe and a sharp fall in trade. But the bribe to no-voters of more devolved powers creates other dangers – including a weakening of the union.
The Oracle founder is stepping down as CEO, but his 25 pct stake in the software giant – and dual role as chairman and chief technology officer – ensure he’s far from relinquishing control. Splitting his old job between two executives could, however, lead to a bumpy transition.
The U.S. watchdog is nailing petty offenders just as cops used to nab pesky windshield-cleaners. The idea is to nip wrongdoing in the bud. But complex securities enforcement isn’t like neighborhood crime prevention. The tactic may boost SEC statistics more than it deters fraud.
Europe’s No. 1 online fashion retailer is aiming for an ambitious valuation for its Frankfurt listing. Anything in the upper half of its 18 to 22.50 euro range looks rich. Zalando has yet to prove it can deliver profit as well as growth. Then there are the governance risks.
Investors added $5 bln to the German blue-chip’s market cap after it unveiled plans to float its capital-intensive MaterialScience unit. Once again, markets are rewarding sharper focus. A logical follow-up would be to quit agrochemicals, leaving a pure healthcare business.
Growing ties to China are a source of anxiety but the lop-sided relationship is here to stay. As Chinese buyers widen their horizons from resources to property and education, Australians have a chance to show they’re pragmatic. Beijing could help too, with a touch of soft power.
Banks took up 83 bln euros in the first round of the ECB’s four-year liquidity injection. That’s less than hoped. Markets are sanguine, hoping sovereign debt purchases are now more likely. The limp start will at least pressure the ECB to deliver on its pledge to buy private assets.
Reality is not being kind to Milton Friedman’s dictum that inflation is “always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” The U.S. money supply is rising faster than output, yet prices are going down. For now globalization, unemployment and aging may be the keys to wages and prices.
The budget airline has said it will now distribute 40 percent of earnings, up from one-third. That’s brave given aviation’s inherent cyclicality and the need to spend on aircraft. Still, it’s a welcome step. Management has credibility and the move will enforce discipline.