Portugal has hired Societe Generale, HSBC Holdings, Citigroup and other banks to underwrite its first bond issuance since it requested financial assistance from the EU two years ago, a source says. "It's a further sign of normalization in the euro-area sovereign-bond market," said Ciaran O'Hagan of Societe Generale. "Investors have been actively seeking to add long-dated, high-yielding, duration."
With the U.K. economy still struggling to recover from the 2008 financial crisis, political leaders are supporting economic policies that Germany has long pursued. The Conservative-led coalition government is moving to support apprenticeship, assistance for small and midsize businesses, state-backed guarantees to help exporters and an emphasis on engineering. The opposition Labor Party wants to establish regional banks that back strong family-owned businesses.
Greece isn't working hard enough to collect tax owed by the affluent and the self-employed, according to the International Monetary Fund. "Notorious tax evasion" means most of the burden of austerity is falling on salaried workers and pensioned retirees, the IMF says.
A pension fund for sheet metal workers in Ohio has filed a class-action antitrust lawsuit against Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and other banks, saying they have engaged in "anti-competitive conduct" regarding credit default swaps.
This editorial points out that financial-transaction taxes usually end up with unintended consequences, but the idea continues to enjoy support. "Some Democrats in Congress have long desired to impose a tax on financial transactions, and their proposals may find new life if some members of the European Union proceed with plans to impose such a tax," according to the editorial.