The (early) Lunch Wrap | FT Alphaville

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Good morning New York…

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All up in Bloomberg’s broker-dealer business: Meet Bloomberg TradeBook — your one-stop shop for live electronic, and alternative, trade execution. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there has been some grumbling from banks about TradeBook in the wake of the Bloomberg data scandal. Tracy notes traditional broker-dealers have long harboured the suspicion that TradeBook is out to disintermediate the banks.

That sighing sound you hear from China … is strategists everywhere cutting their GDP forecasts, notes Kate. Last week Standard Chartered’s China economist Stephen Green and his team slashed their 2013 forecast to 7.7 per cent from 8.3 per cent. Their 2014 forecast was cut to 7.5 per cent from 8.2 per cent.

Oh, my lovely Bloomberg, will we ever be the same again? Lisa defines “Bloomberg withdrawal” as (1) Removal of all meaningful work space elements other than the desk, chair, phone, and headache tablets. (2) Detachment from all those who matter in one’s work (and possibly also personal) life. Or (3) The feeling of uncertainty that accompanies the suspicion that their terminal is somehow betraying them. Typically arises from reports in the media. — Click through to her post for a review of the two main stories that have made the rounds. While both are concerning, they are entirely different beasts.

NEWS

The US budget deficit is declining faster than expected as the rebound of the world’s largest economy helps the government collect more revenue from businesses, households and the two mortgage companies it rescued in the financial crisis. The brighter fiscal outlook comes as other advanced economies are struggling to reduce their deficits through drastic spending cuts and tax rises at a time of weak or negative growth. Growth figures to be released on Wednesday are expected to show that the 17-country eurozone contracted again. (Financial Times)

France fell back into a recession in the first quarter of the year while even Germany, the strongest and biggest eurozone economy, only managed a weak swing back to growth, official data showed on Wednesday. (Financial Times)

HSBC announced another round of heavy cost-cutting on Wednesday in a programme that could lead to between 4,000 and 14,000 more job losses. The bank said it would seek $2bn-$3bn of additional annual cost savings on top of the $4bn already achieved. But Stuart Gulliver, chief executive, still had to row back from a key efficiency target. (Financial Times)

China is forecast to surpass the US as the world’s largest corporate debt market for non-financial companies in the next two years, according to a report from Standard & Poor’s. The rating agency expects the debt needs of companies in China to reach upwards of $18tn by the end of 2017, accounting for a third of the forecast $53tn in new debt and refinancing needs of global companies in the next five years. Debt includes bank loans and bonds and is drawn from public information collated by S&P. (Financial Times)

Some of JPMorgan Chase’s largest shareholders are sparing Jamie Dimon but voting against other directors in a contentious ballot on the board of the largest US bank, according to people familiar with the matter. Large shareholders and other people familiar with early voting patterns said an investor proposal to strip Mr Dimon, the chief executive, of his dual role as chairman was on track to gather less than 50 per cent of the vote. (Financial Times)

Walmart will not join a growing group of European retailers in a deal to improve factory safety in Bangladesh because it does not want to agree to the dispute resolution mechanisms it contains. The legally binding deal, drafted by two labour groups, this week gained signature pledges from retailers including Hennes & Mauritz, Zara-owner Inditex, Benetton, Primark, Mango and C&A. (Financial Times)

A top German court ruled on Tuesday that Google must heed requests to remove automatically generated search suggestions linked to people’s names if these are deemed defamatory. In the ruling, the Federal Court of Justice said that the rights of an unnamed founder of an internet nutritional supplement and cosmetics company were infringed upon, when the “autocomplete” function on www.google.de added “Scientology” and “fraud” as suggested searches related to his or her name. (Financial Times)

The private equity group run by Christopher Flowers is to acquire Britain’s leading debt collector, marking the former Goldman Sachs banker’s biggest ever deal in the country. The deal is expected to value Cabot Credit Management at about £800m including debt, according to people familiar with the asset. Mr Flowers’s last UK deal was the £50m his JC Flowers operation invested in building society Kent Reliance three years ago. (Financial Times)

Markets: Global equities are near cyclical highs as Wall Street sits in virgin territory and Japanese stocks see their best levels in five-and-a-half years. However, while shares revel in the extra liquidity provided by central banks such as the Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan – and as expectations of faster growth that their largesse may ultimately deliver also push up bond yields – many industrial commodities remain weakened by the anaemic state of the global economy. On Wednesday, the Nikkei jumped 2.3 per cent to above 15,000 for the first time since January 2008 as the yen falls to its lowest level against the dollar in four-and-a-half years. (Financial Times)