RBS to cut 30,000 jobs by slashing its investment banking division

The bank, 81 per cent owned by the taxpayer, has already axed 40,000 posts since it was bailed out by the government in 2008

Royal Bank of Scotland is gearing up for further job cuts as it prepares to focus on the high street and withdraw from riskier investment banking activities.

It now aims to cut up to 30,000 more posts by offloading parts of its international business and slashing its investment banking division. Continue reading

Germany’s ascendancy over Europe will prove short-lived

Although the article has a point and the population is truly in decline, Germany should not be counted out. Germans have the know-how, a very modern infrastructure, are still the most industrious and forward thinking people with a vision that no other on the European continent has or can be compared to. It didn’t literally give its manufacturing base to the Chinese.

Germany has peaked. Its hegemony in Europe is a “power illusion”, a confluence of fleeting advantages soon to be overwhelmed by the delayed effect of error and the crush of historic forces.

If demography is destiny, it may be clear within five years that ageing Germany is going the way of Japan. Within 20 years it may equally be clear France and Britain are regaining their 19th century role as the two dominant powers of Europe, albeit a diminished prize. Continue reading

Fed clears China’s first US bank takeover

Just days after high-level US-China economic talks in Beijing, the Federal Reserve approved an application from Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to buy a majority stake in the US subsidiary of Bank of East Asia.

The transaction will make ICBC the first Chinese state-controlled bank to acquire retail bank branches in the United States.

ICBC has been the most aggressive of China’s “big four” banks in expanding overseas.

According to the Fed the bank has total assets of roughly $2.5 trillion.

It will buy up to 80 percent of the US unit of the Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia, which operates 13 branches in New York and California.

The broad expansion of China’s footprint in the US market comes amid a series of financial reforms in China that could begin to open the lucrative market to US firms.

Full article: Fed clears China’s first US bank takeover (Yahoo!)