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Thursday, 18 December 2014


Thomas Jordan, chairman of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) delivers a public speech at a church in the town of Uster, near Zurich November 23, 2014.

Swiss give positive lesson in negative rate policy

18 December 2014

A safe-haven currency can invite economic trouble. The Swiss central bank is up to the challenge. It started with market intervention and has now introduced a negative overnight rate. The Swiss realise that money is more of a policy tool than a store of value.

Daniele Nouy, chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank, speaks at a Thomson Reuters newsmaker event at Canary Wharf in London November 28, 2014.

Europe’s bank supervisor constricted by slump

18 December 2014

The ECB wants to follow its stress test with further harmonisation of European lenders. But as the central bank toys with QE, financial stability may take a back seat. The reform agenda of supervisory chair Danièle Nouy will have to accommodate fears for the area’s growth. 

Chief Executive of WPP Group Martin Sorrell

WPP chair should be vertical as well as horizontal

17 December 2014

Martin Sorrell says the ad group’s Chairman-designate Roberto Quarta will help its “horizontality.” The word also sums up the partnership aspect of good CEO-chair relations. But given the WPP CEO’s run-ins with investors, Quarta will want to be a degree higher, not on a level.

A reflection of a yearly chart of U.S. dollars and Russian roubles are seen on rouble notes

Russia’s foreign banks have varying pain barriers

17 December 2014

With the Russian banking system hobbled by sanctions, Raiffeisen, UniCredit and SocGen are well placed to grab market share in commercial lending. The vital factor will be how insulated they are against the current turmoil. Some look better placed to tough it out than others.

European court

Europe could edge past U.S. in race to courthouse

17 December 2014

New rules and bank scandals boost financial fraud and class-action filings in Britain. Patent combatants flock to German judges. And spats over failed investments clog EU courts. The upshot: a lawsuit boom that may topple America as the world’s business litigation capital.

Ferdinand Kirchhof (L), vice-president of Germany's Constitutional Court and judge Reinhard Gaier arrive for an inheritance tax law trial at Germany's Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) in Karlsruhe July 8, 2014.

German Mittelstand will survive higher death tax

17 December 2014

The country’s constitutional court has shot down the privileges benefitting the heirs of family firms. Bigger companies face a higher burden, but they can cope. The tax code will be fairer and fiscal revenue could be higher – all without harming Germany’s economic backbone. 

Dollar signs are seen alongside the signs for other currencies at a currency exchange shop in Hong Kong November 1, 2014.

The too-big-to-fail club will shrink in 2015

17 December 2014

The list of global banks deemed systemically important has hardly changed since 2011. But membership now comes with ever-larger capital requirements and increased regulatory meddling. In an attempt to escape, some lenders will decide to become smaller or less interconnected.