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Thursday, 27 November 2014


A billboard advertisement of Takata Corp is pictured in Tokyo September 17, 2014.

Faulty air bags puncture Takata financial cushion

27 November 2014

The Japanese group has set aside $660 mln to replace car parts linked to at least five deaths. Regulatory demands for a US-wide recall could double the bill. Lawsuits and fines will mean more pain. Takata’s survival may depend on the support of its customers – or the government.

A city worker passes a street sign in the Canary Wharf financial district in east London

Bank misdeeds show lack of "should we"

26 November 2014

A Citi analyst settlement and a probe into an HSBC hedge fund leak aren’t about grey areas. The alleged transgressions break clear rules. As in a recent experiment reported by Nature, they betray bankers’ tendency to eschew what they should do for what they can get away with.

Rob Cox

Rob Cox: American banking has its own Tea Party

25 November 2014

Like the anti-establishment wing of the GOP, the Independent Community Bankers of America has emerged as a highly vocal opponent of all things Wall Street, including a Lazard banker’s nomination for a Treasury role. These are the plaintive cries of a dying breed of banker.


Private equity shows signs of pre-crisis brio

25 November 2014

Canada’s Onex has bought Swiss packager SIG for up to $4.7 bln in a secondary buyout. It’s one of Europe’s biggest LBOs in five years and deploys pre-crisis levels of leverage. Private equity restlessness and a shortage of big targets created the conditions for a landmark deal.

Wells Fargo: first big bank simple enough to fail

26 November 2014

The $1.6 trln lender secured a provisional stamp of approval from regulators for its living will. Less credible plans from 11 other titans suggest size isn’t the issue. Wells ranks fourth in assets and first in market cap. The real problems are complexity and interconnectedness.

Louis Chenevert, former Chairman and CEO of United Technologies Corporation.

United Technologies endures irrelevant CEO

25 November 2014

Louis Chenevert decamped abruptly from the $100 bln conglomerate without explanation. Unlike with many other corporate shakeups, including Sotheby’s last week, its stock hardly budged. UTC may yet be put on the defensive, but having a dispensable boss is a sign of strength.

A rainbow is seen over an advertising sign for the insurance provider Suncorp atop a building in central Sydney.

U.S. spectrum auction raises ghost of 3G sales past

24 November 2014

Bidding on a big chunk of U.S. bandwidth has passed $35 bln – and the sum is still climbing. The previous biggest total was $19 bln. The auctions’ cloaked nature makes it hard to tell exactly what’s driving prices. But history suggests the frenzy could bring a financial hangover.