NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is probing why Exxon Mobil hasn’t written down the value of its assets, two years into a pronounced crash in oil prices. To be sure, it is most likely that Scheiderman is looking for another career-boosting witch hunt, which however is not to say that Exxon is blameless in this particular case.
"Because of the low interest rate level, we note increasing demand for insurance solutions for the storage of cash," said Philipp Surholt at Zurich Insurance Group AG, among underwriters reporting a surge in such requests. "We’re seeing demand for coverage for sums ranging from 100 million to 500 million francs."
"I don’t see a reason [for the ECB not to buy stocks]" said Joseph Gagnon, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. "It isn’t obvious to me why a central bank wouldn’t always want a diversified portfolio, including equities."
According to Reuters, Morgan Stanley and Italian lenders UniCredit and Intesa SanPaolo have rebuffed a proposal by Italy's third-largest lender, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena to back its proposed 5 billion euro cash call, a development which may lead to a bail-in of the troubled lender, and potentially spark contagion across the Italian banking system.
Portuguese banks, already undercapitalised and loaded with bad debt, are bracing for heavy losses from Lisbon’s so far unsuccessful attempts to sell Novo Banco, the lender salvaged from the collapse of Banco Espírito Santo.
The Russian currency is still far below its historic average; aside from making the country dirt cheap for anyone with foreign currency, we discovered something very interesting today... Some of Russia’s coins are now worth less than their metal values.
Based on the fact that the P/S ratio has been steadily rising and has eclipsed prior peaks, we are left to select from one of two conclusions: that investors are extremely optimistic about the potential for revenue growth; or investors are once again caught in the grasp of bubble mentality and willing to pay huge premiums to avoid missing out on further gains. However, the means of magically boosting these asset prices are 'finite' in nature and eventually the "devil will be paid his due."
Standard Chartered CEO Bill Winters is fighting the battle to right the ship at the bank on two fronts. First, Winters needs to figure out a way to deal with plunging revenues and billions in NPLs. On the other front, the CEO is working to change a culture in which he is finding many bankers consider themselves "above the law."
"I can't tell you how long it's going to take but I'm anticipating an 80% drop or 70% drop, something in that neighborhood. Tobin's Q got down to 0.54 in 2009...The reason it didn't go lower is because we had the biggest fucking bailout ever orchestrated in the history of the banking system..."