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31 October 2012
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  • Disney will pay $4.05B for LucasFilm
    Walt Disney said it signed a deal with George Lucas to take over LucasFilm and its "Star Wars" franchise in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $4.05 billion. Disney will acquire Industrial Light & Magic, Skywalker Sound and video-game-maker LucasArts. Disney said it will release in 2015 a seventh live-action "Star Wars" film. Los Angeles Times/Company Town blog (tiered subscription model) (30 Oct.), Wired.com/Underwire blog (30 Oct.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fiat reportedly presses for merger with Opel and Peugeot
    Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne urged France's PSA Peugeot Citroen to agree to a merger with Fiat and Opel, the German-based automaker owned by General Motors, people familiar with the matter said. Such a combination would replace Germany's Volkswagen as the biggest car manufacturer in Europe. Bloomberg (30 Oct.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Investors are buying claims against Lehman's London unit
    Claims against Lehman Brothers Holdings' London unit have been a hot ticket, as investors pay more than 100% of their original value. Claims against other Lehman units are not attracting the same kind of interest. The difference is optimism that enough assets will be assembled to pay the London unit claims in full, plus interest, as required by U.K. law. The Wall Street Journal (29 Oct.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Activity 
 
  • Asian-Pacific markets advance after earnings reports
    Asian-Pacific markets rose Wednesday as traders took encouragement from strong earnings news for big-name companies. Japan's Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index each gained 1%. South Korea's Kospi and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 each added 0.7%. China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.3%. India's Sensex was up 0.4% after midday. MarketWatch (31 Oct.), The Economic Times (India) (06 Nov.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SWIFT backs bigger role for yuan as global currency
    The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication said in a report that improved systems should be put in place to encourage increased use of China's yuan as a global currency. Use of the yuan has surged in recent years, rising from the 35th-most-important currency in trade in October 2010 to 14th in August, according to SWIFT's report. China Daily (Beijing) (31 Oct.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • BlackRock is bullish on commodity markets
    Catherine Raw, co-manager of BlackRock's BGF World Mining Fund, said commodity markets won't be too affected by Europe's financial woes. A strengthening U.S. economy and strong Chinese demand will provide support needed for growth, she said. "The share prices today, we believe, are factoring in a pessimistic outlook, one in which commodity prices are going to average lower than what we see today," she said. "From our point of view, this creates a huge amount of value and a huge amount of opportunity." Reuters (30 Oct.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Economics 
  • WTO's Lamy: French competitiveness has been waning for years
    Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organization, said France has become uncompetitive with neighbors during the past decade and has been losing market share for years. The best thing France can do in the short term is to reduce business tax "so [companies] regain a bit of margin for maneuver," he said. CNBC (31 Oct.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Politician leads economic rebirth of northeastern Brazil
    Eduardo Campos, governor of Brazilian state Pernambuco, which has one of the nation' fastest-growing economies, has brought prosperity and near-full employment to a region once known for poverty and desperation, according to The Economist. "As both the main parties that have run Brazil since 1995 lack new faces, Mr Campos's success in Pernambuco has turned him into the country's most-watched politician," the magazine notes. The Economist (27 Oct.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Financial advisers become more optimistic
    Financial advisers' confidence, as measured by Rydex AdvisorBenchmarking, increased modestly this month. Meanwhile, State Street's Global Investor Confidence Index showed that institutional investors were the most negative since the index launched in 1998. Advisers' optimism uptick reversed a three-month decline. InvestmentNews (free registration) (30 Oct.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Geopolitical/Regulatory 
  • FSB urges more bank transparency
    The Financial Stability Board called for more transparency from banks regarding how well they stand up to Basel III capital rules and internal stress tests. "Rebuilding investors' confidence and trust in the banking industry is vital to the future health of the financial system," said a task force of the FSB, which also urged disclosure of off-balance-sheet entities. Complex accounting practices and such entities have been used in the past to avoid regulatory scrutiny. Bloomberg (29 Oct.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CFTC nears final cross-border swaps rules
    The U.S. approach to cross-border swaps trading will be finalized soon, said Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He noted that the CFTC has always honored regulations of other countries when those rules made sense. Concerns were raised this year when Gensler hinted that entities doing business with U.S. companies and all overseas U.S. entities would be subject directly to the Dodd-Frank Act. AutomatedTrader.net (29 Oct.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.K. has no qualms challenging eurozone banking rules
    The U.K., with the largest financial center in Europe, says it is prepared to legally challenge any banking rules effectively imposed by eurozone nations that would be perceived as a threat. "We should be vigorous in making use of the European Court of Justice to defend the positions that we have," Financial Services Minister Greg Clark told a parliamentary panel reviewing banking-union plans. Reuters (30 Oct.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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6–7 December 2012
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