Tuesday 24 April 2018

EU banking union deal workings to be cleared up

EU leaders will descend on Brussels on Thursday and Friday for a summit expected to be dominated by talks on the proposed EU banking union, as well as the growth and jobs pact agreed at the June summit.

In September, EU commission President Jose Manuel Barroso unveiled ambitious plans to establish the Frankfurt-based ECB as the single supervisor for the eurozone banking sector.

The move offered a glimmer of hope for Ireland's future as any deal would mean Irish taxpayers would no longer have to shoulder the enormous €64bn bank debt. However, some European officials appear to have rowed back on the exact workings of the deal. This week's summit should clear it up once and for all.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti will be in Brussels tomorrow alongside EU President Barroso as the European Parliament hosts a press seminar to mark the 20th anniversary of the EU Single Market. The next day, the commission will propose rules on biofuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to petrol or diesel.

Earnings season is heating up, but investors' feet are getting cold. US stock gains took markets within reach of five-year highs in September, but market participants are shifting their focus back to corporate outlooks, and the picture is not pretty.

Profits of S&P 500 companies are seen dropping 3pc this quarter from a year ago, the first decline in three years.

Corporate results are expected to have been hurt by China's slowing growth and Europe's debt crisis.

Facebook's floundering IPO continues to make headlines with letters showing that when Facebook filed its proposal on February 1 to go public, it touted the effectiveness of ads linked to customers' friends, citing research from Nielsen.

Barbara Jacobs at the US Securities and Exchange Commission was sceptical as she vetted the filing to ensure Facebook had disclosed all material information to investors.

The claim appeared to be drawn from marketing materials, not a Nielsen study, she told chief financial officer David Ebersman

She gave him an ultimatum: produce the study and provide Nielsen's consent for use of the data -- or don't use it. Facebook dropped the reference after initial resistance.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke tried to refute arguments that the US central bank's stimulus package is causing destabilising flows of capital to emerging-markets.

"It is not at all clear that policies in advanced economies impose costs on emerging market economies," Mr Bernanke said .

His comments contrasted with those of IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, who told the same audience that such decisions were likely to cause large and volatile flows that risked leading to "overheating, asset-price bubbles and the build-up of financial imbalances".

Irish Independent

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