Europe Top News and Analysis Spain

  • Financial Woes

    Toxic debts racked up by banks and insurers could spiral to $4 trillion, new forecasts from the International Monetary Fund are set to suggest, British daily The Times reported on its website without citing sources.

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    With AIG set to pay $165 million in bonuses to workers at the unit that nearly brought it down, the list of the insurer's counterparties shows that big European banks were among the top beneficiaries of the taxpayer-financed bailout.

  • AIG, the insurance giant that received taxpayer-funded bailouts worth $173 billion and sparked a political storm with its plans to pay $165 million in bonuses, revealed the list of its counterparties.

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    Acres of forest have gone to the blade while the mainstream media has debated the issue of bank nationalization, but few if any seem to be prepared to address what seems obvious: the most important banks are already under government control.

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    At least two dozen US and European banks benefited from the rescue of AIG, with about $50 billion paid out to them since the Fed first gave aid to the insurance giant, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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    The figure of $1.3 trillion for the exposure of Western banks to the Central and Eastern European region reported by the Bank for International Settlements is too high, Andreas Treichl, CEO of Erste Bank, one of the biggest banks operating in CEE, told CNBC Wednesday.

  • Credit Crisis

    American International Group should be allowed to go bankrupt because keeping it and other sick financials alive on government support risks ruining the US economy, legendary investor Jim Rogers told CNBC Tuesday.

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    The unpalatable truth is that equity markets seem the purest measure of investor confidence, corporate health and economic prediction.

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    The most obvious pothole on the road to reparation is mark-to-market valuation; and it remains a mystery to me as to why this less than two-year old accounting rule remains the most ignored portion of debate.

  • Santander House

    Banco Santander quietly raised a compensation deal for clients that lost money in the alleged Ponzi scheme run by Bernard Madoff, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

  • Jim Rogers talks commodities at the World Money Show in London.

    The new financial rescue plan may not work and could even make things worse because it plunges the US further into debt and it is designed by the same people who failed to forecast the crisis and take measures, legendary investor Jim Rogers told CNBC Tuesday.

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    Why can't the banks trust each other? I mean, they can pay back their money, can't they? Don't they just make more?

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    The new bank bailouts are not likely to work because they are run by the same people who prolonged the economic agony, Marc Faber, publisher of the Gloom, Doom and Boom Report, told CNBC.

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    Like children at a funfair with a few quid in their pockets, Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling have dropped their latest coin (this one’s worth 100 billion pounds, or $146 billion) into the whack-a-mole game that is the UK financial market.

  • Standard & Poor's lowered the credit ratings and outlooks for 12 major U.S. and European banks Friday, including Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, citing increasing industry risk and a deepening economic slowdown.

  • HSBC

    HSBC said Friday it has bought back its London headquarters from Spanish real estate company Metrovacesa in an 838 million pounds ($1.2 billion) deal.

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    Northern Rock, the nationalized mortgage lender, said Wednesday it would wait at least six months before moving to repossess homes when payments fall behind.

  • Spanish gross domestic product (GDP) fell 0.2 percent in the third quarter, sending the euro zone's fourth-largest economy into contraction for the first time in 15 years, the National Statistics Institute reported on Friday.

  • Banco Santander announced a surprise 7.2 billion euro ($9.24 billion) rights issue to shore up its capital on Monday, only a week after saying it was comfortable with its core capital ratio.

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    European Union finance ministers backed on Tuesday proposals for a reform of the G8 club of major industrial nations and an end to self-regulation in global financial markets that critics say caused the credit crisis.