Posts Tagged ‘Bloomberg Markets’

USAElizabeth Warren är presidentkandidaten som demokraterna aldrig fick. Om hon kandiderat hade hon utgjort ett rejält hot mot Hillary Clinton.

Bloomberg Markets June 2015.

Till skillnad från Barack Obama har hon lyckats samarbeta med republikaner. Detta trots att hon uppfattas ligga på sitt partis vänsterkant.

Om inte attityden hos republikanerna förändras kommer alla demokrater, inklusive Hillary Clinton, att få en svår tid i Vita huset.

Och om Bernie Sanders mot förmodan skulle vinna kommer han att få det än svårare med en republikansk majoritet i kongressen.

Warren har blivit den mest kända politikern när det gäller att kritisera banker som är så stora och inflytelserika att ingen vågar låta dem gå omkull.

Hon har till och med , enligt Katrina Brooker i Bloomberg Markets, hänvisat till Teddy Roosevelt, “her favorite trust-busting president, who took on the big corporations of his day”.

När man läser Brookers artikel om Warren i Bloomberg Markets från förra året så förstår man varför hon inte är populär på Wall Street.

Barney Frank, the former congressman from Massachusetts and co-author of the Dodd-Frank legislation, says Warren has protected the act. “She can raise hell and make clear to people they will pay a political price if they try to attack it,” says Frank. In particular, he says, Warren has helped make modifying Dodd-Frank politically untenable for Democrats, without some of whom Republicans can’t hope to roll back the law. “I think it is safe until 2016,” Frank says.

“A Republican Senate would not take up Wall Street deregulation now,” says Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of Better Markets, a watchdog organization that monitors Wall Street’s influence in Washington. “Nobody wants to be seen as siding with the big Wall Street banks.”


For Warren, the fight is definitely not over. In April, in a speech titled “The Unfinished Business of Financial Reform,” she laid out how she hopes to move her agenda forward. Among other things, she called for the breakup of the big banks; they are still too big to fail, she said, and bailing them out of the next crisis would cost billions. And she wants jail time for managers who violate the law. “It’s time to stop recidivism in financial crimes and to end the ‘slap on the wrist’ culture that exists at the Justice Department and the SEC,” Warren said.

An important part of her legislative agenda is the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, which she and three co-sponsors introduced in 2013. The bill is a modern version of the 1933 law that split commercial and investment banks. (The original Glass-Steagall was effectively repealed in 1999.) So far, 21st Century Glass-Steagall hasn’t gained traction on Capitol Hill, but for Wall Street, this will be one to watch.

“There are only two things I’m looking for from the biggest financial institutions in this country,” Warren says one cool spring night in New York. She’s standing before a packed crowd on the fourth floor of a Barnes & Noble bookstore on 17th Street. She’s come here, while the Senate is in recess, to promote the paperback version of her autobiography, A Fighting Chance.


Those two things she wants from the banks: “No. 1, I don’t think they ought to be able to cheat people,” Warren says. “Second thing, I don’t think they ought to be able to risk destroying this economy. Too big to fail has got to end.” The room erupts.


Warren isn’t the only politician tapping into the public’s frustration and anger at the financial system. Other lawmakers have been vocal supporters of tighter regulation. David Vitter, a Republican senator from Louisiana, sided with Warren and other Democrats in December in their fight against Citi. “I know it surprised a lot of people,” he says, explaining that he also fears the risks posed by large institutions. “Too big to fail is alive and well.” In late April, Bloomberg reported that Vitter and Warren were working together on another piece of legislation, this one designed to curb the authority of the Fed to bail out banks in a crisis. John McCain, the senator from Arizona and former Republican presidential candidate, is a co-sponsor of the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, along with Democrat Maria Cantwell and independent Angus King.

Last fall, Clinton tried to mimic Warren’s populism, declaring in a speech, “Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.” This was way off the mark Warren hit when she famously argued during her Senate campaign in 2011 that businesses owe some part of their success to citizens and to the government. (Obama echoed Warren’s rhetoric in his 2012 “you didn’t build that” speech.)

The Warren version is worth examining. It gives, in plain language, her view of American capitalism: “You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.”

Tidskriftsomslag: Bloomberg Markets, juni 2015.

Read Full Post »

IDEOLOGI | Vad rör sig i huvudet på president Vladimir Putin?  Frågan är speciellt relevant med tanke på vad som händer i dagens Ukraina.

Bloomberg Markets march 2014

Ryssland under Putin har aldrig dragit sig för att blanda sig i sina grannars inre angelägenheter. På den punkten avviker han inte nämnvärt från sina företrädare.

Men när spänningen nu ökar i och omkring Ukraina kan det var idé att studera vad det är för idéer som egentligen format Putin och hans medarbetare.

Irina Reznik, Stephen Bierman och Henry Meyer har för Bloomberg Markets skrivit en längre artikel om Igor Sechin, en av nyckelfigurerna kring presidenten, som är ganska avslöjande för hela Putins styre.

When Igor Sechin was working as President Vladimir Putin’s deputy chief of staff a decade ago, visitors to his Kremlin office noticed an unusual collection on the bookshelves: row after row of bound volumes containing minutes of Communist Party congresses.

The record stretched across the history of the party and its socialist predecessor — from the first meeting in March 1898 to the last one in July 1990, a year and a half before the Soviet Union collapsed, Bloomberg Markets will report in its March issue.

Sechin regularly perused the documents and took notes, says Dmitry Skarga, who at the time was chief executive officer of Russia’s largest shipping company, OAO Sovcomflot.

“He was drinking from this fountain of sacred knowledge so that Russia could restore its superpower status and take its rightful place in the world,” Skarga says.

Sechin’s back-to-the-future fascination with his country’s communist past is something he shares with Putin, who, soon after coming to power in 1999, restored the music (though not the lyrics) of the Soviet-era national anthem and later described the collapse of the USSR as the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.

Sechin himself is an open admirer of socialist icons such as Cuba’s ailing Fidel Castro, the late anti-U.S. Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and the executed Argentine Marxist Che Guevara, says Victor Mashendzhinov, who studied with Sechin at college. As a young man, Sechin served alongside Cuban fighters in the Cold War hot spots of Angola and Mozambique.

State Control

Sechin, 53, has put his careful study of communist-era documents into practice at state-run OAO Rosneft, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company by output and reserves. During a decade at Rosneft, Sechin has turned it into something resembling in size the gargantuan Soviet Union ministry that was once in charge of oil production, mainly by swallowing up rivals.


‘Firm’ Believer

Sechin is the leading exponent of Putin’s stated determination to restore the state’s role in the Russian economy. Putin used Rosneft, through its acquisitions, to return Russian oil to state control. The company, 69.5 percent government owned, controls about 40 percent of Russia’s crude output.


Sechin declined requests to be interviewed or to answer written questions. In a telephone interview on Jan. 20, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said of Sechin: “Sechin is a believer in the role of the state in his economic philosophy while at the same time not excluding a free-market approach. And he is firm in pursuing his viewpoint.”


Though politically stricken by economic stagnation, Putin is likely to stand for re-election in 2018, says Andrew Monaghan, a senior research fellow at Chatham House, a London-based research center.

“Putin’s leadership currently looks steady and sturdy enough to last until the next election,” he says.

Sechin looks well set, too. He now has his eyes on a post-communist breakthrough: In a Jan. 9 research note, Sberbank said Russian oil output will probably approach the Soviet-era peak of 11.4 million barrels a day by 2016 or 2017.

“It would be a very big psychological milestone for Russia to get back to the Soviet-era peak production,” says Julian Lee, a senior analyst at the London-based Centre for Global Energy Studies.

Tidskriftsomslag: Bloomberg Markets, mars 2014.

Read Full Post »

AFFÄRER | Tony Blair rör sig fortfarande i politiska kretsar. Numera är han en kombination av lobbyist och internationell dealmaker.

Bloomberg Markets, maj 2013

Precis som Bill Clinton ägnar sig Tony Blair både åt att tjäna pengar och idka välgörenhet. Men till skillnad från ex-presidenten är Blair betydligt populärare utomlands än på hemmaplan.

Stephanie Baker skriver i Bloomberg Markets:

In his new incarnation, Blair is taking on highly paid roles that don’t sit well with Britons still agitated by what they saw as Blair’s foreign adventurism when he was in office.

He’s a paid adviser to the Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority, which is chaired by Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He’s helping to arrange deals with China Investment Corp., the country’s $482 billion sovereign wealth fund.

Blair also is advising President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, whose administration has paid Blair’s team of advisers 8 million pounds a year since the spring of 2011, including fees to Portland Communications, a PR firm set up by his former deputy press secretary Tim Allan.

Human Rights Watch Inc., a New York-based nonprofit advocacy group, condemned the Kazakh government for the shooting deaths of 12 striking oil workers during a clash with police in December 2011.

In 2012, Blair signed an agreement with Geraldo Alckmin, governor of the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, to assemble a team of advisers to help modernize the state’s public services.


“I wanted to create a different type of post-prime ministerial career altogether,” he says. “From the outset, I had a very clear view of what I wanted to do. I wanted to create my own set of institutions.”

He’s done that. The Office of Tony Blair manages his work advising governments. Tony Blair Associates runs his financial consulting business. His charities include the Africa Governance Initiative, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and the Tony Blair Sports Foundation.


At the heart of Blair’s firms — all ultimately owned by him — are two serendipitously named London-based limited partnerships that aren’t required to publish accounts under English law, Windrush Ventures No. 3 LP and Firerush Ventures No. 3 LP.


“There’s no reason to make your life that complicated unless it’s to reduce tax or hide something,” says Adrian Huston, a former U.K. tax inspector and director of Belfast, Northern Ireland-based accounting firm Huston & Co. “The only reason you do all these intervening transactions is to create a smoke screen.”

Blair shrugs off with a laugh any suggestion that he is trying to dodge taxes.

“Anything I get, I pay full 50 percent tax on,” he says.

Unlike many rich Britons who make money overseas and devise tax avoidance strategies by spending time outside the country, Blair says he has always been resident in the U.K. for tax purposes.

The rationale for his Byzantine-looking business configuration is simple, he says.

“We wanted confidentiality,” he says. “There’s a section of the media that will go after anyone connected with me, and I can’t operate like that.”

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är Bloomberg Markets, maj 2013.

Read Full Post »