FT markets round-up:“Stock barometers eased back from recent multiyear highs, though moves were mild as optimism over the global economy and corporate profits still provided some support to certain so-called growth assets. The FTSE All-World equity index edged higher as the FTSE Eurofirst 300 fell 0.2 per cent, after the Asia-Pacific region climbed 1 per cent. Wall Street’s S&P 500 ended the session fractionally higher at 1,510, leaving the benchmark just 3.6 per cent shy of record territory. Despite the softness on Wednesday, it appeared that Monday’s risk asset wobble on a spark of eurozone political fears was treated by many investors as simply an opportunity to buy back into a rally that has left the All-World flirting with its best levels since June 2008.” (Financial Times) Read more
World’s oldest bank puts out a late-night statement confirming “the presence of errors” in three structured transactions. Click for the full release… (it’s in Italian)
*NOONAN SAID TO PLAN ANGLO IRISH SPEECH IN PARLIAMENT
A few hours later… Read more
Yeah, so “stupid Libor emails” is now an established sub-genre in banker literature.
Though the funny thing about Wednesday’s RBS revelations is that attempts at manipulation generally, at least at the start, weren’t written down. The whole problem was that people trading rates were sat right next to people in charge of submitting rates for Libor. That’s due to the “Short-Term Markets Desk”, RBS management’s October 2006 bid to “facilitate more communication”. Oops. Read more
Presenting the CFTC order against RBS, as part of the bank’s $325m settlement with the regulator over allegations of “hundreds” of attempts at manipulation of Libor (notably Yen Libor):
We’ve recently heard an interesting suggestion that China’s ageing population — generally a bad thing for growth — might also have the positive side-effect of inducing a transition away from the country’s unusually high ratio of investment to consumption. But will it? Read more
The first one probably needs no introduction:
Live markets commentary from FT.com
US DoJ accuses S&P of $5bn fraud || BlackBerry’s Z10 enjoys strong reception || Google wins landmark Australian legal case || Liberty Global confirms Virgin Media bid || Cable revives RBS privatisation plan || Claims may push BP’s spill bill to $90bn || UK house prices dip on month in January || Abe blasts China over maritime incident || Markets: Stock indices inching back to recent multi-year highs Read more
Just how bad could the Rajoy slush fund scandal get? What we have so far is a little confusing. From El Pais on Monday:
Answering reporters’ questions for the first time since details emerged late last week about an alleged slush fund his Popular Party (PP) controlled, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Monday in Berlin that all the information that has been published by the media “is untrue — except for some things.”
Hmm. Rajoy reportedly didn’t clarify which things were true and which were not — although he had already denied allegations he took cash payments from a secret slush fund paid for by construction companies. Read more
After eight years and much delay, China’s State Council has released its long-awaited plan for addressing income inequality. It seems everyone agrees it hits all the right notes, without persuasively committing to many concrete changes. Read more
Elsewhere on Wednesday,
– Why Japan’s progress isn’t that bad if you account for the lack of Japanese.
– They’re still taking our (post office) jobs.
– Why Dell is going private. Read more
Cable revives RBS privatisation plan: “Business secretary Vince Cable will today revive a radical plan to return Royal Bank of Scotland to private sector hands by distributing free shares to the public as the majority state-owned bank announces a £390m Libor settlement with UK and US regulators… That proposal was dismissed by George Osborne when it was floated by Nick Clegg in 2011 but the chancellor’s aides now say the idea is “interesting”.” (Financial Times)
Asian stocks rose and the Nikkei was heading for the highest close in four years, as Toyota raised its profit forecast and the weaker yen boosted the earnings outlook for exporters. The MSCI Asia Pacific was 1.1% higher in early afternoon, Tokyo time. (Bloomberg) Read more