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– S&P Downgrades Numerous European Banks, Warns Deutsche Bank May Be Next (ZeroHedge, Feb 3, 2015):
Just hours after apparently settling its suit with the USA (not at all retaliation for downgrading them), S&P has taken the big red marker out on a slew of European banks:
- Downgrades: Credit Suisse, Barclays, Lloyds, Bank of Scotland, RBS, HSBC, and Ulster Bank
- On Watch Negative: Raiffeisen Zentralbank, MBank, Unicredit, Commerzbank, and Deutsche Bank
The driver of the shift in perspective is the apparent removal of the ‘bailout put’, as the prospect of “extraordinary government support” appeared less likely under recently passed bail-in legislation.
One of Britain’s biggest banks has cost victims of the payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal tens of millions of pounds by wrongly cutting their compensation awards, a new investigation claims.
Lloyds Banking Group, which is 33 per cent owned by the taxpayer after a £20bn bailout, has been unilaterally reducing payouts to people who were mis-sold the notorious policies. The bank’s behaviour has been described by one expert as “a scandal coming out of a scandal”.
– Chinese insurer buys landmark Lloyds of London skyscraper (Reuters, July 8, 2013):
Chinese insurer Ping An has bought the landmark London home of insurance market Lloyds of London for 260 million pounds, the first in a predicted wave of property deals by Chinese companies in London.
A German fund managed by Commerz Real (part of Commerzbank) sold the building to the Chinese company in a deal that represents a rental yield of 6.1 percent, broker Savills said in a statement on Monday.
– Mark-To-Market Manipulation Hides $90 Billion Losses For UK Banks (ZeroHedge, March 12, 2013):
Some have attributed the resurrection of the financial markets (or more appropriately the banks) from the March 2009 lows to the IASB/FASB changes to factual to fantasy accounting. The Telegraph reports today that from PIRC’s and the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee that while banker bonuses continue to rise (for now), ‘hidden’ losses among UK banks could total GBP60 Billion (USD 90 Billion). HSBC topped the list with GBP10.4 Billion in bad debts that have yet to be written off and while the ‘accounting’ bodies are suggesting they will address criticism of this farce, as one analyst notes, they “can still make unprofitable lending appear profitable.” Regulators expect to hear plans from lenders on how they intend to fill these holes before the end of the month to coincide either with the FPC’s meeting on March 19 or a statement scheduled for March 27. While outright recaps are unlikely, banks are expected to
restructure and set out plans to raise their capital levels over the next
couple of years. More fantasy…
PIRC has calculated the amount of bad debts the banks may have to write off in coming years but have yet to subtract from profits, together with other items such as deferred bonuses not booked.
HSBC, which is the biggest bank by assets, was shown to have £10.4bn of hidden losses, the Royal Bank of Scotland has £9.4bn, and Barclays has £7.3bn. Lloyds Banking Group has £2.5bn and Standard Chartered £2.2bn. Together the undeclared losses total £31.8bn.
– Mainstream Media Finally Awakens to the Fact that Big Banks Are Criminal Enterprises (ZeroHedge, Dec 16, 2012)
– Lloyds online fraud chief admits £2.4m fraud (Guardian, Aug 7, 2012):
A former Lloyds bank boss in charge of online security has admitted a £2.4m fraud.
Jessica Harper took the money over a four-year period while working as head of fraud and security for digital banking at Lloyds Banking Group.
Harper stood in the dock at Southwark crown court, in London, and admitted a single charge of fraud by abuse of position by submitting false invoices to claim payments totalling £2,463,750.
She also admitted a single charge of transferring criminal property, the money, which she had defrauded from her employers.
The chief executive of the multi-billion pound Lloyd’s of London has publicly admitted that the world’s leading insurance market is prepared for a collapse in the single currency and has reduced its exposure “as much as possible” to the crisis-ridden continent.
– Lloyd’s of London preparing for euro collapse (Telegraph, May 27, 2012):
Richard Ward said the London market had put in place a contingency plan to switch euro underwriting to multi-currency settlement if Greece abandoned the euro.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph he also revealed that Lloyd’s could have to take writedowns on its £58.9bn investment portfolio if the eurozone collapses.
Europe accounts for 18pc of Lloyd’s £23.5bn of gross written premiums, mostly in France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The market also has a fledgling operation in Poland.
– Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world (New Scientist, Oct. 19, 2011):
AS PROTESTS against financial power sweep the world this week, science may have confirmed the protesters’ worst fears. An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.
The study’s assumptions have attracted some criticism, but complex systems analysts contacted by New Scientist say it is a unique effort to untangle control in the global economy. Pushing the analysis further, they say, could help to identify ways of making global capitalism more stable.
The idea that a few bankers control a large chunk of the global economy might not seem like news to New York’s Occupy Wall Street movement and protesters elsewhere (see photo). But the study, by a trio of complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, is the first to go beyond ideology to empirically identify such a network of power. It combines the mathematics long used to model natural systems with comprehensive corporate data to map ownership among the world’s transnational corporations (TNCs).
“Reality is so complex, we must move away from dogma, whether it’s conspiracy theories or free-market,” says James Glattfelder. “Our analysis is reality-based.”
– Europe’s ‘Lehman Moment’ Looms as Greek Debt Unravels Markets: Euro Credit (Bloomberg, Jun 16, 2011):
The European Union’s failure to contain the Greek debt crisis is sending fresh shockwaves through currencies, money markets, equities and derivatives.
The euro lost more than 2 percent against the dollar in the past two days and the cost of protecting corporate bonds soared to the highest level since January, with credit-default swaps anticipating about a 78 percent chance that Greece won’t pay its debts. Equities declined around the world, while a measure of fear in fixed-income markets jumped the most since November.