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Thursday, 02 October 2014

Americas

U.S. one hundred dollar notes are seen in this picture illustration taken in Seoul February 7, 2011.

Keep faith with the dollar rally

02 October 2014

The greenback is wobbling a bit after a stellar run. It’s a temporary setback. Dollar strength is supported by economic fundamentals, suits the euro zone, and is susceptible to a bandwagon effect. And the currency doesn’t look expensive on a long-term view. The rally will resume.

Bank of America Corp Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan smiles during the Charlotte Chamber's Economic Outlook Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina December 19, 2011.

BofA delivers good governance a kick in the teeth

02 October 2014

The mega-bank has given CEO Brian Moynihan the additional title of chairman. The move not only puts too much power in one person’s hands, it reduces the position to a perk that can be granted or taken away, depending on performance. That’s a lousy governance deal for investors.

GM

General Motors starts to pull ahead of itself

01 October 2014

The car maker seems to have avoided the potholes Ford hit in Russia and Latin America. Now CEO Mary Barra is promising bumper margins. Trouble is, these rely on sales or pricing power GM has yet to demonstrate – and on the lack of geopolitical risk, which it cannot control.

A logo is seen on a Coca-Cola bottle in Zurich, February 16, 2011. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Coke challenge goes beyond revising pay plan

01 October 2014

The beverage giant has backed off its controversial executive compensation scheme. That’s a win for Warren Buffett, investor David Winters and the company’s other shareholders. But the quibbles with Coke don’t end with excessive pay. Costs loom as the next activist target.

Ralph Whitworth, principal of Relational Investors LLC, speaks at the Reuters Investment Summit in New York.

Relational closure emphasizes cult of fund bosses

01 October 2014

The $6 bln firm, one of the more prolific and measured U.S. activists, is shuttering as founder Ralph Whitworth battles cancer. Just days earlier, Bill Gross roiled markets by leaving Pimco. Such individual power is rare in banking, but big names reign in the world of investing.

Good Fannie-Freddie verdict bad for housing reform

01 October 2014

A federal judge rightly tossed out a shareholder suit to recoup $72 bln of profit from the bailed-out mortgage firms. That means Fannie and Freddie earnings will keep flowing into Uncle Sam’s coffers. For as long as that continues, revamping housing finance looks a non-starter.

A volunteer health worker practises using a personal protective equipment (PPE) suit at a newly-constructed Ebola virus treatment centre in Monrovia, Liberia, September 21, 2014.

Ebola sets clock ticking on West African economy

01 October 2014

Growth may yet survive the deadly epidemic. The last four years’ 28 pct pace isn’t realistic, but controlling the outbreak soon should at least preserve investment. That won’t be easy, given the virus has now spread to the U.S. In saving lives and the economy, every day counts.

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