Article Digest - February 2014

Europe’s Banks Poised to Return to Acquisition Trail

LONDON—European banks, still nursing their wounds from the continent’s financial crisis, are starting to look for opportunities to expand internationally through acquisitions. Bank executives in Spain and Italy, two of the countries hit hardest by Europe’s economic woes, say they are scouting for potential targets abroad. And in France, central-bank officials have suggested privately that lenders look at possible acquisitions in Southern Europe, according to a person familiar with the Bank of France‘s thinking. Read More…


What Would Happen if People Used the Same Earnings Reporting Methods as Corporations?

As I do every year at this time, I will be sitting down with my wife to talk about how we did versus our budget last year. After reading through all of the fourth-quarter earnings releases, however, I have decided that this year I am going to present our results to her not using cash-flow measures or GAAP, but rather using the same non-GAAP principles that were liberally applied by the world’s largest corporations this year. If they can do it, and the world’s most sophisticated investors seem to think it is okay, I should be able to do it, too. Read More…


Jeff Saut: Expect More Failed Rally Attempts This Week

Last week I was inundated with questions from the media about why the rise in our interest rates, and the Fed’s “tapering” announcements, had roiled the world’s markets. After stating that the Federal Reserve should likely only be concerned with domestic policy, the reality is the US dollar remains the world’s reserve currency and therefore the Fed is the world’s de facto central banker, I then asked the question, “How can we all eat at the same table and disagree about what’s been served?!” Read More…


Factory Weakness Hits Stocks

A round of weak manufacturing reports Monday reignited fears about the health of the U.S. economy, fueling the sharpest one-day decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average since June. After weeks of focusing on economic and political troubles in emerging markets, investors shifted their attention to domestic concerns. Factory output expanded more slowly in January as manufacturers dialed back on adding to their inventories, while weakness abroad and unusually cold weather at home muffled activity. Read More…