Italy Just Bailed Out Another Failed Bank, May Use Pension Funds For Future Bank Rescues

Despite – or perhaps due to – Italy’s failed attempt to slide a state-funded €40 billion recapitalization attempt past Angela Merkel while blaming it on Brexit, and coupled with a bailout proposal to provide €150 billion in liquidity to insolvent banks, overnight we got yet another confirmation that the biggest risk factor for Europe is not Brexit but Italy, where yet another failed bank was bailed out. As the FT reports overnight, Atlante, Italy’s privately backed €5bn bank bailout fund which was created in April to stem the threat of contagion from struggling lenders and whose assets turned out to be woefully inadequate, took control of Veneto Banca after a €1bn capital increase demanded by EU bank regulators attracted zero interest.

This is good news for Veneto Banco and bad news for all other insolvent banks, because the fund, known as Atlas in English, was intended to hold up the sky for Italian banks. Instead it is now practically out of funds, having depleted more than half of its war chest after taking control of Popolare di Vicenza, another regional bank, last month.

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U.S. system designed to prevent financial crisis ‘likely to fail,’ say experts

“The current U.S. institutional set-up is likely to fail in a crisis, and will be doing less to prevent a crisis than it should be,” said Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, at a two-day conference on financial stability sponsored by the Boston Federal Reserve.

Posen said that U.S. regulators, including the Fed, don’t have the tools or the mandates from Congress that they need. Continue reading

Central Banker Urges Lying To The Public About Bank Health

For years, many – and certainly this website – had mocked both European and US stress tests as futile exercises in boosting investor and public confidence, which instead of being taken seriously repeatedly failed to highlight failing banks such as Dexia, Bankia and all the Greek banks, in the process rendering the exercise a total farce. The implication of course, is that regulators, thus central bankers, openly lied to the public over and over just to preserve what little confidence in the system has left.

Now we know that far from merely another “conspiracy theory”, this is precisely the policy intent behind the “stress tests” – as Reuters reports citing a paper co-authored by a Bundesbank economist, “banking supervisors should withhold some information when they publish stress test results to prevent both bank runs and excessive risk taking by lenders.”

In other words: lie. Continue reading

Europe’s Latest Export to America: Internet Censorship

American Web users’ access to Internet content may soon be limited, thanks to a recent decision by French regulators. France’s National Commission on Informatics and Liberties (known by its French acronym CNIL) ordered Google to apply the European Union’s bizarre “right-to-be-forgotten” rules on a global basis in a June ruling. The search engine announced at the end of July that it would refuse to comply. If it is nevertheless forced to do so, the result could be unprecedented censorship of Internet content, as well as a dangerous expansion of foreign Web restrictions on Americans.

The European Union’s “right-to-be-forgotten” rules were first imposed in May of last year in a case decided by the European Court of Justice. The plaintiff, a Spanish citizen named Mario Costeja González, had his house repossessed in 1998 due to a tax debt. A notice of the sale was duly printed in a local paper. A decade later, concerned that the newspaper notice still appeared in search results when his name was Googled, he sued the search engine under the EU privacy law, to force it to filter the story from future search results. Continue reading

What Is Going on in the NY Fed? Will They Break Apart Big Banks?

“The problems originate from the culture of the firms, and this culture is largely shaped by the firms’ leadership.” 

Dudley’s main message was a warning: If nothing changed, regulators would have to conclude that large financial institutions are too big to manage, and “that your firms need to be dramatically downsized and simplified so they can be managed effectively.” Continue reading

California moves to restrict water pumping by pre-1914 rights holders

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For the first time in nearly 40 years, state regulators are telling more than 100 growers and irrigation districts with some of the oldest water rights in California that they have to stop drawing supplies from drought-starved rivers and streams in the Central Valley.

The curtailment order, issued Friday by the State Water Resources Control Board, has been expected for weeks. Earlier this spring, the board halted diversions under some 8,700 junior rights. With snowmelt reduced to a trickle this year, there simply isn’t enough water flowing in rivers to meet the demand of all those with even older rights predating 1914.

And as flows continue to decline this summer, board officials said, they expect to issue more curtailments, stopping river pumping by more senior diverters. Continue reading

Bank of International Settlements Forges ‘Simple Plan’ to Avoid Bank Bailouts in Market Crash

The Bank for International Settlements has crafted a plan to inject major lenders with more cash, in the event of financial failure, while avoiding market chaos and the need to use taxpayers’ money.

According to BIS’ paper, the central bank forum laid out blueprints on how to recapitalise banks quickly and easily, while also allowing authorities to give an ironclad guarantee that insured depositors would not lose savings. Continue reading

Chinese Group Buys 80% of AIG Plane Unit for $4.2B

A Chinese group agreed to buy 80.1 percent of American International Group Inc. (AIG)’s plane-leasing unit (0067543Q) for $4.23 billion in the nation’s largest acquisition of a U.S. company.

The acquisition gives the group control of the world’s second-largest aircraft lessor as rising travel in China and Asia spurs demand for planes. AIG, which counts the U.S. government as its largest investor, is selling the Los Angeles- based unit as Chief Executive Officer Robert Benmosche focuses on insurance operations and works to reduce debt. Continue reading