Europe’s new supervisor has divulged key details about its new review of bank balance sheets. It isn’t too specific on critical areas such as the definition of loan forbearance, partly because the exercise is complex and rushed. But lack of specifics doesn’t mean a cop-out.
Probes into possible currency market manipulation will speed up industry change. The shift to electronic trading will be accelerated, squeezing banks’ trading profits. And with traders cagier about sharing juicy titbits on flows, exchange rates may start to move differently.
Debt levels have grown, but not nearly as much as chains of interconnected borrowers and lenders. Poor capital allocation has encouraged companies and individuals to step in where banks don’t. Longer chains could magnify the effects of a default and turn confidence to chaos.
The Breakingviews Abenomics Index inched higher in January. But manufacturing stumbled, and the trade deficit zoomed, suggesting anaemic demand both at home and abroad. With wages subdued and sales taxes about to rise, the economy may need a fresh dose of monetary easing.
Mary Barra, the automaker’s CEO, has brought in lawyer Anton Valukas to investigate how faulty ignitions became a 10-year saga behind 13 deaths. Valukas unpicked Lehman’s failure and didn’t mince his words. A similar approach at GM could bring the revamp that bankruptcy didn’t.
The French owner of Parmalat wants to change its bylaws amid a fierce battle with minority investors. The statutes were put in place to prevent a repetition of the kind of abuse that almost destroyed the Italian dairy group in 2003. Scrapping them looks like a backward step.
Media group Huayi Brothers and buyout firm Hony Capital are helping fund new movies. Countless financiers have lost their shirts after being dazzled by Tinseltown. But the new arrivals are no ingénues. Chinese cinemas and local know-how are a draw for studios hoping for big hits.
The single-horned stallions have made the leap from legend to run free through Silicon Valley, New York, London and the plains of Israel. The term unicorn is now used to describe the most successful startups. In a different and unintended sense, the trope couldn’t be more apt.
Internet radio giant Pandora balks at royalties higher than terrestrial stations pay. But ASCAP says the firm plays songs more often, justifying bigger fees. The artist consortium has a point, but its tactics echo old monopoly conduct. The dated system needs a tech-savvy rewrite.