Shortage Of Trade Finance Reaches $1.6 Trillion US

Trade Finance Shortage Pressuring Small Businesses The worldwide shortage of trade finance has reached $1.6 trillion US according to a recent study by the Asian Development Bank. The International Chamber of Commerce ICC 2016 Global Survey on Trade Finance, which reflects the issues and trends of the trade finance industry, reveals that 61% of national, regional and global banks that provide trade financing reported a worldwide trade finance shortage. While the worldwide shortage of trade finance impacts businesses across the globe, small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are being squeezed the hardest. According to the survey, a disproportionate 58% of rejected trade finance proposals are from SMEs, even though only 40% of […]

US Penalizes Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank $12 Billion For Toxic Debt

ZURICH/FRANKFURT Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank have been hit with a combined penalty of more than $12 billion over the sale of U.S. toxic debt, further hampering two of Europe’s leading investment banks as they grapple with falling profits. The penalty puts them at a further disadvantage to larger U.S. rivals. Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) agreed in principle to pay U.S. authorities $2.48 billion to settle claims it misled investors in residential mortgage-backed securities it sold in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis, the Swiss bank said on Friday. Credit Suisse will also provide $2.8 billion from the settlement over five years to offset the impact on consumers, it said […]

Credit Suisse agrees $5.3 billion U.S. mortgage settlement

ZURICH Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) had agreed in principle to pay US authorities $2.48 billion to settle claims it misled investors in residential mortgage-backed securities it sold in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis, the Swiss bank said on Friday. Credit Suisse will also provide $2.8 billion in consumer relief over five years from the settlement, it said in a statement, adding the deal was subject to negotiation of final documentation and approval by its board of directors. “Credit Suisse will take a pre-tax charge of approximately $2 billion in addition to its existing reserves against these matters. This will be taken in our 4Q 2016 financial results,” it added. […]

Aleppo Update: UN Passes Resolution To Probe Syrian War Crimes; Evacuation Complete

Evacuations from Aleppo were completed in the aftermath of the resurgent Syrian Army’s success in establishing complete control, even as the United Nations passed a resolution Wednesday to establish an independent panel to investigate possible war crimes in Syria. The resolution passed in the General Assembly with 105 countries in favor, 15 against and  52 abstentions, aims to establish an impartial and independent mechanism to assist in investigation and prosecution in order to punish perpetrators of serious and heinous crimes committed in Syria since March 2011. The mechanism is set to work with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, established by the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2011, which […]

Deutsche Bank agrees to $7.2 billion mortgage settlement with U.S.

NEW YORK/FRANKFURT Deutsche Bank has agreed to a $7.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over its sale and pooling of toxic mortgage securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. The agreement in principle, announced by Deutsche Bank’s Frankfurt headquarters early Friday morning, offers some relief to the German lender, whose stock was hit hard in September after it acknowledged the Justice Department had been seeking nearly twice as much. It also highlights the Justice Department’s recent efforts to hold European banks accountable for shoddy securities that contributed to the U.S. housing market collapse. The department sued Barclays PLC on Thursday over similar claims, after having […]

Volkswagen reaches deal with 80,000 U.S. 3.0-liter vehicle owners

WASHINGTON A federal judge said on Thursday that Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) has reached an agreement in principle to provide “substantial compensation” to the owners of about 80,000 3.0-liter polluting diesel vehicles, a key hurdle to resolve the German automaker’s emissions scandal. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer did not disclose the amount of owner compensation, which is not included in a $1 billion settlement announced earlier this week between VW and U.S. regulators. Half of the compensation will be paid at the time Breyer gives final approval of the settlement. Some fixes for the 3.0 liters may not approved until 2018, Breyer said. Earlier this week, Volkswagen reached the $1 billion […]

U.S. sues Barclays, ex-executives for mortgage securities fraud

NEW YORK The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday sued Barclays Plc (BARC.L) and two former executives on civil charges of fraud in the sale of mortgage-backed securities during the run-up to the 2008-09 financial crisis. The lawsuit was filed after Barclays resisted a penalty the U.S. government had sought in settlement negotiations, a person familiar with the matter said. The person would not disclose the government’s demand. Major U.S. banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), have paid tens of millions of dollars to settle similar claims over misconduct in the sale and pooling of mortgage securities, which helped to cause the financial […]

U.S. consumer spending slows; business investment perking up

WASHINGTON U.S. consumer spending increased modestly in November as household income failed to rise for the first time in nine months, suggesting the economy slowed in the fourth quarter after growing briskly in the prior period. The economy, however, remains on solid footing as other data on Thursday showed new orders for capital goods rising last month amid demand for machinery, indicating that some of the oil-related drag on business spending was fading. And while the number of Americans applying for unemployment aid hit a six-month high last week, it remained below a level that is associated with labor market strength. The slowdown in growth is likely to be temporary […]

Poll: As 2016 ends, ‘Trumponomics’ tempts investors back to equities

LONDON Global investors’ equity holdings rose to six-month highs in December on bets that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s promised fiscal splurge would spur higher growth and inflation, a Reuters monthly poll showed on Thursday. Trump’s plans to cut taxes and boost spending have sent Wall Street to record highs in December as investors pile into everything from banks, to energy and materials and other infrastructure-related names. The last Reuters asset allocation poll of 2016 surveyed 45 fund managers and chief investment officers in mainland Europe, the United States, Britain and Japan. It showed equity holdings at 45.3 percent, the highest since June, capping an eventful year that saw a significant […]

Regtech Startups See More Business In Trump Era

NEW YORK President elect Donald Trump is pro-business and anti-red tape. But what if your business is red tape? Companies whose technology helps banks and investors cope with the welter of post-financial crisis regulations and avoid increasingly hefty fines – a sector known as “regtech” – are sanguine about Trump’s pledge to dismantle some of those reforms. Their equanimity is based on a belief that if regulations are replaced rather than scrapped and the overall system of rules becomes more fragmented, financial firms will need their systems to navigate the new landscape. “Change is itself a driver of regtech adoption,” said David Buxton, the chief executive of compliance startup Arachnys. […]

China Launches Satellite To Monitor Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions

As part of its effort to monitor and curb greenhouse gas emissions, China on Thursday launched an atmospheric carbon dioxide monitoring satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert. The TanSat satellite, launched on board a Long March-2D rocket, was sent to a sun synchronous orbit roughly 435 miles from the surface of Earth. The 1,400-pound satellite will measure global carbon dioxide levels every 16 days over the next three years. China hopes doing so would help policy makers and scientists gather “independent” climate change data. “Since only the United States and Japan have carbon-monitoring satellites, it is hard for us to see first-hand data,” Xinhua quoted […]

Will Republicans Keep Obamacare Taxes? Repeal and Replace Needs Funding

Maybe not all of the Affordable Care Act needs to be repealed. Congressional Republicans may hold off repealing some of the taxes associated with the measure to provide funding for whatever replacement legislation is developed, sources told the Hill Wednesday. “Members are still reviewing all options on the table and no decisions have been finalized about how we will smoothly transition away from this failing law and toward reforms that deliver affordable, quality, health care choices based on what patients and families need,” a House GOP aide said. More than 6.4 million Americans have signed up for ACA coverage beginning Jan. 1, 400,000 more than signed up for policies last […]

Services bring new opportunities for banks

As the dollar value of global merchandise reduces, the value of cross-border services is rising, creating new opportunities for banks to innovative by embracing the change. In an analysis of bilateral trade between 25 key trading nations, Global Trade Forecast, HSBC and research partner Oxford Economics found that growth in services exports has outstripped growth in goods trade since the global financial crisis. Services’ share of total world trade rose from 20% in 2011 to 23% in 2015, with outsourcing of intermediate business services to specialized suppliers driving much of this growth. In 2016, the dollar value of goods is expected to contract by about 3%, while cross-border sales of […]

How Do Banks Use Your Money? Morgan Stanley Fined $7.5M For Mishandling Depositors’ Funds

Morgan Stanley faces a $7.5 million fine from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC announced Tuesday, for using illegal levels of customers’ cash and securities in swap trading. From March 2013 to May 2015, the megabank used its affiliate, Morgan Stanley Equity Financing Ltd., to serve as a client to its U.S. securities brokerage, the SEC said. In doing so, the affiliate could use funds from the brokerage, or broker-dealer, to finance its trades. The only problem: The broker-dealer’s customer deposit reserves are required to be maintained at a certain level, in case customers want to pull out their money — in, say, the case of bank failure — and […]

Immigrants In Europe 2016: Swedish Police Hire Immigrants Amid Growing Ethnic Diversity In The Country

The police force in Sweden wants hire a greater number of immigrants to adjust to the increasingly diverse population in the country. Law enforcement authorities are optimistic Swedes seeing more immigrants in police uniforms will give the force new “street cred.” The initiative called the World Integrated into Swedish Police Project aims to increase ethnic diversity in every level of law enforcement. “We need a lot more diversity in the police, applying to everything from ethnicity to different experiences and backgrounds,” Carin Götblad, who leads the World Integrated into Swedish Police project, said in a press release. Only 6 percent of Swedish police officers had an immigrant background as of Tuesday, compared to 17 percent of […]

Exclusive: U.S. proposed $5 billion – 7 billion penalty on Credit Suisse on toxic debt – source

ZURICH/NEW YORK The U.S. Department of Justice has asked Credit Suisse to pay between $5 billion and $7 billion to settle a probe over its sale of toxic mortgage securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis, a source with knowledge of the matter said, but the bank has resisted settling for that amount. The size of the suggested settlement indicates that the cost to the bank may be higher than analysts had expected and explains why Credit Suisse management, according to a second source, has been seeking a smaller penalty. “Credit Suisse is confident of reaching a better solution,” said the second person. Should talks break down, U.S. legal […]

Who Is Christine Lagarde? 6 Things To Know About The IMF Chief Found Guilty Of Negligence

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde may soon lose her job. A French court found her guilty of criminal negligence charges Monday, based on her preferential treatment of a businessman in 2008, when she was serving as France’s finance minister, Reuters reported. The court did not, however, hand Lagarde any sentence, with the main judge on the case noting that “the context of the global financial crisis in which Madame Lagarde found herself should be taken into account,” according to the newswire. Read on for five facts about the possibly outgoing IMF chief. Her predecessor was ousted for much worse. Elected to the managing director position in 2011, Lagarde replaced […]

HSBC: protectionism will hit trade with US$1.2tn loss

A global trade forecast by HSBC that factors in a new cycle of protectionism following Brexit and Donald Trump’s recent US election victory predicts trade could be hit by the equivalent of a 3%, or US$1.2tn, loss in exports by 2030. In its base case, the bank, which has drafted the forecast together with Oxford Economics, projects global trade will remain slow in the coming years and stand at around US$50tn in 2030. The ‘protectionism’ loss would see that drop to US$48.8tn. The imposition of protectionist trade policies would act to reduce global competitive pressures, distort the allocation of resources in the EU, US and emerging markets, thus undermining efficiency, […]

‘One China’ Policy And US-China Relations: Beijing Says Interference In Taiwan Matters Will Hamper Peace

Any interference with the “one China” policy would impact peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and hamper Beijing’s relations with the U.S., China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said Wednesday. The comments were in response to President-elect Donald Trump who said Washington did not have to agree with the policy which has formed basis of diplomatic relations between the two nations since 1979. “Upholding the ‘one China’ principle is the political basis of developing China-U.S. relations, and is the cornerstone of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” An Fengshan, a spokesman for China’s policy-making Taiwan Affairs Office, said. “If this basis is interfered with or damaged then the healthy, stable development […]

Climate Change: Global Alliance To Fight Ocean Acidification Formed

Carbon emissions have a clear impact on Earth’s atmosphere, trapping heat and contributing to global warming, which is one of the various facets of climate change. However, a lot of that carbon also gets absorbed by the water bodies on Earth, especially the oceans, where it contributes to increasing the acidic component of their waters. Oceans cover 70 percent of our planet, and seawater is actually basic, not acidic, but as an estimated 30-40 percent of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere due to human activity is dissolved in the oceans, the basicity of seawater reduces and moves toward being pH-neutral, like pure water. That process is referred to as […]