China's crackdown on shadow banking by unregulated institutions might be missing the fact that traditional, state-dominated banks drive the activity, according to a report from the Bank for International Settlements. "The 'shadow banking' sector in China has expanded enormously, not in spite of the state but because of it," writes Douglas Bulloch.
An increase in inflation and broad acceleration of the US economy justify further, gradual increases in interest rates, according to minutes from the January meeting of the Federal Reserve. Policymakers made it clear they intend to nudge rates higher.
US bank regulators should keep the power to liquidate large, complex failed financial institutions in an orderly manner, the Treasury Department said in a report. However, this authority should be employed "as an emergency tool for use under only extraordinary circumstances," the report said.
Asian-Pacific stock markets were mixed Thursday after US markets declined in response to Federal Reserve minutes that envisioned higher interest rates. Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 1.1%; Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 1.5%; Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.1%; China's Shanghai Composite advanced 2.2%; South Korea's Kospi fell 0.6%; and India's Sensex was down 0.1%.
General Electric has a clearer picture of about $4 billion in assets it intends to sell under a long-term plan to divest assets worth $20 billion, Chief Financial Officer Jamie Miller said. The company hasn't considered a public offering to bring in capital, she said.
Apple is negotiating directly with mining companies to ensure it has a long-term supply of cobalt, which is essential to the manufacture of batteries in Apple devices, sources said. Surging demand for cobalt for electric vehicles has led to fears of a shortage, causing the market price to more than triple during the past 18 months.
Qualcomm said Broadcom's decision to cut the price it is ready to pay for the company by $4.10 a share "has made an inadequate offer even worse." Broadcom lowered its offer in response to Qualcomm's move to take over NXP Semiconductors.
New Zealand has released the official text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which had to be revised after President Donald Trump pulled the US out of negotiations. Trade Minister David Parker said making the document public would allow scrutiny before the deal is signed March 8 in Santiago, Chile.
The US Supreme Court unanimously sided with Digital Realty in a whistleblower-retaliation case, saying employees exposing wrongdoing have no protection unless they report allegations to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The court said that because the employee in this case did not provide information to the SEC before his termination, "he did not qualify as a 'whistleblower' " under the Dodd-Frank Act.
Maryland is the latest US state to consider legislation imposing a fiduciary rule that requires brokers to put clients' interests ahead of their own. The Maryland Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Thursday on the bill.