Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Bank of Japan Fights Deflation: The Bank of Japan took steps toward a "monetary regime change" this Monday, announcing plans "to enact an ambitious program of further monetary easing" and raise its inflation target to 2%. The plan is intended to end "years of corrosive deflation" and was enacted under pressure from Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. It involves (and this will sound familiar) "open-ended" asset purchases and a near-zero interest rate policy "as long as it is deemed necessary to achieve its price target." Asset purchases, however, are not set to begin until January 2014. The delay is one reason some analysts are ambivalent about whether this move will help curb deflation and bolster the economy. And, according to the Post, "popular magazines are already forecasting an 'Abe bubble' in share and real estate prices, driven by the money being pumped into the economy through government spending and monetary easing."
Wall Street Journal
Here's a story that will sound familiar to American Banker readers: Shelter Insurance Co. is closing its small bank, citing Dodd-Frank regulations as the reason. The closure, as American Banker noted earlier this month, marks a trend in which insurers, including Hartford Financial Services Group, Prudential Financial, MetLife and Allstate are bailing on banking rather than dealing with expensive Dodd-Frank accounting principles. The Journal writer acknowledges this trend, but expresses doubt about whether the problem will affect community banks that are not owned by an insurance company. Additionally, "an immortal law of finance states that the next crisis will erupt somewhere different from the previous one, so investors and regulators should train their sight on the entire financial landscape," he writes.
The paper reports what amounts to more bad news for Barclays. A High Court judge rejected a plea from 106 current and former employees seeking anonymity during the first British damages claim trial over the manipulation of Libor. Additionally, the bank's wealth management unit's chief operating officer Andrew Tinney resigned a week ago, following allegations he suppressed a critical report on the unit's culture in the U.S. The report, written by consultancy Genesis Ventures, cited a "revenue at all costs" strategy and "fear and intimidation" culture at the bank, which is already trying to revamp its tarnished reputation following its involvement in the Libor scandal.
Andrew Haldane, the Bank of England's financial stability director, has proposed tougher bank bonus rules that would defer payouts for five to ten years in an effort to promote the long-term health of financial institutions.