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Wednesday Papers: Volcker vote heralds new era for Wall Street

Wednesday Papers: Volcker vote heralds new era for Wall Street

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The largest US banks were facing a new world order on Tuesday as regulators voted through the Volcker rule, which will make it harder for Wall Street to make risky gambles that could once again endanger the financial system.
  • Financial Times: General Motors, once an archetypal bastion of middle-aged male executives, on Tuesday became the first of the big three US carmakers to appoint a female leader when it said Mary Barra would take over as chief executive next month.
  • Financial Times: Nathan Bostock, the recently appointed finance director of Royal Bank of Scotland, is leaving after 10 weeks in the job, dealing a significant blow to the state-backed bank’s attempts to clean up its business.
  • The Independent: Twitter has climbed to a new all-time high in New York trading as investors welcomed the social network's new targeted advertising feature.
  • Daily Mail: Hedge fund guru Crispin Odey has made a £22 million bet that Manchester United’s poor performance on the field will be echoed in the stock market.
  • Financial Times: JP Morgan Chase has filed a US patent application for a computerised payment system that resembles some aspects of Bitcoin, the controversial virtual currency.
  • The Guardian: Foxtons, the estate agent that Londoners love to hate but cannot do without, is set to join the ranks of Britain's leading companies on Wednesday when it is promoted to the FTSE 250 index.

Business and economics

  • Financial Times: Andy Haldane, a top Bank of England policy maker has called for a revival in the market for bundled-up debt in Britain, saying it need not be the “bogeyman” it was during the financial crash and that it could play a role in boosting flows of credit to small businesses.
  • Financial Times: Banks taking positions with their own money will have to prove they are acting to offset “specific, identifiable” risks under the sweeping US crackdown on proprietary trading due to be unveiled on Tuesday.
  • Financial Times: US budget negotiators on Tuesday night struck a bipartisan deal to set spending levels until 2015, breaking the latest fiscal logjam in Congress and stopping a cycle of crisis-driven economic policy making in Washington.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Christine Lagarde, the IMF's managing director, says it is premature to declare the eurozone crisis over.
  • Financial Times: EADS has warned that it may have to make up to 1,450 compulsory job cuts as it sheds 5,800 positions, sparking anger from German unions and French politicians.
  • Financial Times: Two of India’s most prominent tycoons, Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries and Sunil Mittal of Bharti, have signed an unexpected telecoms infrastructure partnership, in a deal that could signal an end to a history of bitter disagreements between their business empires.
  • The Guardian: Barclays is preparing to ditch its controversial sponsorship deal for Boris Johnson's flagship bicycle hire scheme, delivering only half the £50 million the London mayor had claimed the bank would pay.
  • Financial Times: FirstGroup, the UK bus and rail operator, is under attack from one of its biggest shareholders, Sandell Asset Management, which has called for the sale of its US businesses in order to pay down debt.
  • The Guardian: Tui Travels, the company behind the Thomson and First Choice brands, said Britons' unwillingness to give up holidays despite straitened times had driven a 21% increase in underlying pre-tax profits, to £473 million in the year to 30 September.
  • Daily Mail: Santander is the latest lender to cut the cost of borrowing, reducing rates on loans of between £5,000 and £15,000 in a ten-day sale which ends on 18 December.
  • The Daily Telegraph: UK retailer Carpetright reports a 2.2% fall in revenues with like-for-likes sales flat in its stores and down 8.6% in its European business.
  • The Independent: The cost of the state pension will soar 466% in the next 50 years, according to the Office of National Statistics.
  • Financial Times: Tesco Bank intends to break into the current account market within months, a decision that will create 600 jobs but which will also restrain its profit growth for the next few years.
  • The Guardian: Costa Coffee and Premier Inn contributed to a 13.8% rise in total sales of Whitbread over the 13 weeks to 28 November; like-for-like sales were up 4.3%.
  • Financial Times: Cut-price supermarket chain Aldi sold out of its £80 tablet within 24 hours after it launched in the UK this week, in a sign of burgeoning consumer appetite for cheap mobile devices in a competitive market.
  • Financial Times: Prudential shareholders are hoping for a chunky rise in dividends and the possibility of special payouts after the insurer set a series of new targets that underscored its ambitions for further expansion in Asia.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): Ashtead reports record profits; the US focused equipment rental firm reported record sales and profits in the first half.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Questor share tip): Victrex accelerates in second half; shares in the British based world leading polymer engineer are well worth watching.
  • The Guardian (Comment): 3D printing will allow production on the small-scale to be as efficient as large scale production - its existence and growth will both challenge and complete traditional manufacturing.
  • The Guardian (Comment): America's reputation for sound economic policymaking takes a beating; now a related distorted narrative – one that in 2014 could needlessly undermine policies that are key to improving America's economic recovery – is gaining traction.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): The first, and most important, reason for falling pay in Britain is that the UK is a poorer country than it used to be.
  • Daily Mail (Comment – Alex Brummer): TUI chief executive Peter Long keeps on delivering with underlying profits a little better than expected at up 13% at £555 million.
  • Financial Times (Lex): General Motors’ valuation has caught rival Ford’s and it has the chance to push the button on capital return to shareholders. Barra needs to keep foot on the gas.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Volcker rule: Relentless specification of rules and exceptions obscures a hard fact – that the role of regulatory judgment cannot be eliminated.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Prudential: The UK-based insurance group has set out targets for 2014-17. But it is being less specific than it was last time it set out targets, in 2010.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Darden Restaurants: Weak execution and a portfolio of brands make spin-offs look appetising, but agitator’s menu of ideas is trickier than presented.

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