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One World Market, baby / The Private Global Equity Order

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:49 am
by Gouda
May only be of interest to those (but should be of interest to us all) who have noticed how quickly corporations and markets and bourses
are rushing to merge into increasingly giant enities. One world market, baby.

May also be of interest to those who were following the Clearstream scandal, tinged with an anglo-american vs. old europe flavor.
Clearstream's main clearing competitor is as of yet scandal-free "Euroclear," owned by Euronext.

And much, much more.

NYSE CEO John Thain, who would head NYSE Euronext, intends to use the combination to form the world's first global stock market, with continuous trading of stocks and derivatives over a 21-hour time span.


NYSE wants Italy bourse to join Euronext deal-paper
MILAN, Aug 27 (Reuters) - The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) wants Borsa Italiana to be part of its merger with Euronext and Italy's bourse should try to decide before shareholder votes which may occur at the end of November, NYSE's chairman told a newspaper.

"It's in the interest of Borsa Italiana to join with Euronext and be part of our deal ... We have already anticipated this possibility in the structure of our accord," John Thain said in an interview published in Corriere della Sera on Sunday.

Euronext agreed in June to be bought by NYSE Group Inc. instead of rival suitor Deutsche Boerse .

Both Deutsche Boerse and Euronext have made indicative all-share offers with cash components for Milan-based Borsa, which said last month it wanted to help start a federation of European exchanges with Euronext and Deutsche Boerse.

Borsa Italiana's other options include its own stock market listing or a tie-up with the London Stock Exchange .

Sources familiar with the matter said last month that Borsa Italiana was unlikely to decide on its future before September.

"To be included before the shareholders' vote, Borsa must decide quickly," Thain told Corriere, although he added that he thought that could be difficult for the Italian market and "we would accept them after (the vote) as well".

Thain said shareholder meetings to vote on NYSE's Euronext deal could be called for the end of November or early December.

He added that involving the Tokyo stock market in a tie-up would be "a really good idea".

Re: there could go the city of london theory

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:20 pm
by Gouda
NYSE swallows Euronext, eyes Japan. NASDAQ hungry for London Stock Exchange. Should be interesting to see where this goes. <br><br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong> Nasdaq 'eyes hostile bid for LSE'</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Nasdaq Stock Market is considering making a hostile bid for the London Stock Exchange, in which it has amassed a stake of over 25 percent, weekly UK newspaper The Observer said on Sunday, without citing any sources.<br><br>The U.S. exchange made an initial $4.2 billion takeover offer in March but was rebuffed by the LSE, which it considers the <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>"crown jewel"</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> of European equities markets...<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>The LSE, Europe's biggest stock market and a long-time bid target, said in July it would oppose any deal that weakened London as a financial center.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br>...<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Financial markets have been swept by a wave of consolidation </strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->as they look to cut costs in an increasingly competitive and commoditized environment. Earlier this year NYSE Group sealed an agreement to buy the pan-European exchange Euronext for $10 billion.<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--> <p></p><i></i>

Re: there could go the city of london theory

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 5:20 pm
by bvonahsen
Is it such a bad thing? Aside from the means for getting there where they, you know, destroy all in their path. But a one world wide free market would be a good thing no?<br><br>I've been thinking much the same about the Rockefeller quote in another thread. I mean, it seems like a laudable goal on the surface to me. If the goal is a free market that is. It kind of all hangs on if that is the goal or if the goal is a world wide feudalism. <br><br>And it should go without saying that the end never justifies the means. <p></p><i></i>

RE: One World Market, baby

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 5:50 pm
by Seamus OBlimey
May be a laudable goal if the one, the world and the market were not so regulated and therefore restricted. A really free market would not need the protection of laws. It would be free of such things. <p></p><i></i>

Re: RE: One World Market, baby

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:53 am
by Gouda
bvon, I think you answered your own question.<br><br>Q: "Is it such a bad thing?"<br><br>A: "It kind of all hangs on if that is the goal or if the goal is a world wide feudalism...And it should go without saying that the end never justifies the means."<br><br>***<br><br>The means <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>are</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> the ends; and has there ever been an elite that did not construct or seek to erect a privileged, feudal-like system in the end? I won't assume that will be changing any time soon, like voluntarily at their whim. <p></p><i></i>

Re: there could go the city of london theory

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 6:35 am
by FourthBase
<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>I've been thinking much the same about the Rockefeller quote in another thread.<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--><br><br>You should re-read it.<br><br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->, characterizing my family and me as "internationalists" and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure—-one world, if you will. <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> <br><br>Whatever he <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>wanted</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> to say, he ended up pleading guilty to he and his family being "part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States". Syntactical freudian slip. <p></p><i></i>

Re: there could go the city of london theory

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 1:08 pm
by bvonahsen
No, I understand it. I just wanted to make the point about the difference between means vs ends. Frankly, in much of conservative america you could get lots of people who would agree that a one world financal market is a good idea. It would depend how you put it of course.<br><br>BTW, is that quote accurate? Lots of quotes get passed around on the internet, doesn't mean they are true though. <p></p><i></i>

Re: there could go the city of london theory

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 3:19 pm
by johnny nemo
<br>Here's some actual, verifiable quotes to think about.<br>Ask yourself.... do the companies that rip off investors, poison our water and air and exploit workers worldwide, suddenly want to create a Utopia? <br>Ask yourself.... does this sound like a happy global village or a universal gulag?<br><br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>"We shall have world government whether or not you like it, by conquest or consent."</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <br><br>Statement by Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) member James Warburg to The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on February 17th, 1950 <br><br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>"The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes."</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <br><br>Benjamin Disraeli, first Prime Minister of England, in a novel he published in 1844 called Coningsby, the New Generation <br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>"The governments of the present day have to deal not merely with other governments, with emperors, kings and ministers, but also with the secret societies which have everywhere their unscrupulous agents, and can at the last moment upset all the governments' plans. "</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <br><br>British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, 1876 <br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>"Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the Field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it."</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--><br><br>Woodrow Wilson,The New Freedom (1913) <br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>"The real menace of our republic is this invisible government which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy length over city, state and nation.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> Like the octopus of real life, it operates under cover of a self created screen....<!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>At the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both political parties."</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--></em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <br><br>New York City Mayor John F. Hylan, 1922 <br><br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>"From the days of Sparticus, Wieskhopf, Karl Marx, Trotsky, Rosa Luxemberg, and Emma Goldman, this world conspiracy has been steadily growing. This conspiracy played a definite recognizable role in the tragedy of the French revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the 19th century. And now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their head and have become the undisputed masters of that enormous empire."</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--></em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <br><br>Winston Churchill, stated to the London Press, in 1922. <br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>"We are at present working discreetly with all our might to wrest this mysterious force called sovereignty out of the clutches of the local nation states of the world."</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <br><br>Professor Arnold Toynbee, in a June 1931 speech before the Institute for the Study of International Affairs in Copenhagen. <br><br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>"The government of the Western nations, whether monarchical or republican, had passed into the invisible hands of a plutocracy, international in power and grasp. It was, I venture to suggest, this semioccult power which....pushed the mass of the American people into the cauldron of World War I." </strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--></em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--><br><br>British military historian Major General J.F.C. Fuller, 1941 <br><br><br>"<!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>For a long time I felt that FDR had developed many thoughts and ideas that were his own to benefit this country, the United States. But, he didn't. Most of his thoughts, his political ammunition, as it were, were carefully manufactured for him in advanced by the Council on Foreign Relations-One World Money group. Brilliantly, with great gusto, like a fine piece of artillery, he exploded that prepared "ammunition" in the middle of an unsuspecting target, the American people, and thus paid off and returned his internationalist political support. <br><br>"The UN is but a long-range, international banking apparatus clearly set up for financial and economic profit by a small group of powerful One-World revolutionaries, hungry for profit and power. <br><br>"The depression was the calculated 'shearing' of the public by the World Money powers, triggered by the planned sudden shortage of supply of call money in the New York money market....The One World Government leaders and their ever close bankers have now acquired full control of the money and credit machinery of the U.S. via the creation of the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank."</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--></em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <br><br>Curtis Dall, FDR's son-in-law as quoted in his book, "My Exploited Father-in-Law" <br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>"The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson."</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--></em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <br><br>A letter written by FDR to Colonel House, November 21st, l933 <br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>"The real rulers in Washington are invisible, and exercise power from behind the scenes."</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--></em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <br><br>Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, 1952 <br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>"Fifty men have run America, and that's a high figure."</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--></em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <br><br>Joseph Kennedy, father of JFK, in the July 26th, 1936 issue of The New York Times. <br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>"Today the path of total dictatorship in the United States can be laid by strictly legal means, unseen and unheard by the Congress, the President, or the people. Outwardly we have a Constitutional government. We have operating within our government and political system, another body representing another form of government - a bureaucratic el</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--></em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->[/b] <br><br>Senator William Jenner, 1954 <br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>"The case for government by elites is irrefutable"</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--></em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <br><br>Senator William Fulbright, Former chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, stated at a 1963 symposium entitled: The Elite and the Electorate - Is Government by the People Possible? <br><br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>"The powers of financial capitalism had another far reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements, arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> The apex of the system was the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the worlds' central banks which were themselves private corporations. The growth of financial capitalism made possible a centralization of world economic control and use of this power for the direct benefit of financiers and the indirect injury of all other economic groups."</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <br><br>Tragedy and Hope: A History of The World in Our Time (Macmillan Company, 1966,) Professor Carroll Quigley of Georgetown University, highly esteemed by his former student, William Jefferson Blythe Clinton. <br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>"The drive of the Rockefellers and their allies is to create a one-world government combining supercapitalism and Communism under the same tent, all under their control.... Do I mean conspiracy? Yes I do. I am convinced there is such a plot, international in scope, generations old in planning, and incredibly evil in intent."</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--></em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <br><br>Congressman Larry P. McDonald, 1976, killed in the Korean Airlines 747 that was shot down by the Soviets <br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>"The most powerful clique in these (CFR) groups have one objective in common: they want to bring about the surrender of the sovereignty and the national independence of the U.S. They want to end national boundaries and racial and ethnic loyalties supposedly to increase business and ensure world peace.<!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong> What they strive for would inevitably lead to dictatorship and loss of freedoms by the people. The CFR was founded for "the purpose of promoting disarmament and submergence of U.S. sovereignty and national independence into an all-powerful one-world government."</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--></em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <br><br>Harpers, July 1958 <br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>"The old world order changed when this war-storm broke. The old international order passed away as suddenly, as unexpectedly, and as completely as if it had been wiped out by a gigantic flood, by a great tempest, or by a volcanic eruption. The old world order died with the setting of that day's sun and<!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong> a new world order is being born while I speak, with birth-pangs so terrible that it seems almost incredible that life could come out of such fearful suffering and such overwhelming sorrow."</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--></em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <br><br>Nicholas Murray Butler, in an address delivered before the Union League of Philadelphia, Nov. 27, 1915 <br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>"The peace conference has assembled. It will make the most momentous decisions in history, and upon these decisions will rest the stability of the<!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong> new world order</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> and the future peace of the world."</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <br><br>M. C. Alexander, Executive Secretary of the American Association for International Conciliation, in a subscription letter for the periodical International Conciliation (1919) <br><br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>"If there are those who think we are to jump immediately into<!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong> a new world order, actuated by complete understanding and brotherly love, they are doomed to disappointment.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> If we are ever to approach that time, it will be after patient and persistent effort of long duration. The present international situation of mistrust and fear can only be corrected by a formula of equal status, continuously applied, to every phase of international contacts, until the cobwebs of the old order are brushed out of the minds of the people of all lands."</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <br><br>Dr. Augustus O. Thomas, president of the World Federation of Education Associations (August 1927), quoted in the book International Understanding: Agencies Educating for a New World (1931) <br> <p></p><i></i>

Re: there could go the city of london theory

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 5:57 am
by Gouda
Tom Waits: "What's he building in there? We have a right to know."<br><br>***<br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Blurring the investment lines</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br>By Jenny Anderson <br>The New York Times<br><br>Follow the money.<br> <br>That has been the mantra on Wall Street for years, and it is now taking financial firms deep into private equity and hedge funds.<br> <br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>But in that pursuit, the lines have sometimes blurred among hedge funds, private equity firms and investment banks.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> Wall Street firms are rushing into private equity, but to avoid any appearance of conflict, some are tying themselves in knots to make clear that they will not compete with clients, merely co-invest with them.<br> <br>Lehman Brothers, for example, is in the process of closing on a $1.5 billion private equity fund, called a co-investment fund, according to people briefed on the deal. The fund will only co-invest, an attempt to console private equity firms - valuable Lehman clients - who might wonder why their bank is getting into their business. Citigroup is wrapping up a $2.5 billion fund, according to a person briefed on its fund-raising. That fund will also focus on, not surprisingly, co-investments.<br> <br>For their part, private equity firms have been dipping into hedge funds. The Blackstone Group and the Texas Pacific Group have started hedge funds.<br> <br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>On Tuesday, the Carlyle Group, once known chiefly for its political connections, indicated that it was putting together a hedge fund.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong> <br>Hedge funds, flush with cash, are also piling into private equity, raising funds as an alternative way of deploying capital. That is a deviation from their traditional focus on public markets and short-term gains.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br> <br>The allure of private equity and hedge funds, "alternative investments" in the parlance of Wall Street, is obvious. <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Both private equity and hedge funds - private pools of capital that generate very high fees for those funds - promise rich returns at a time when equity markets lack luster.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br> <br>In 1990, 55 private equity funds raised $2.2 billion. In the first half of 2006, 50 funds raised $77.1 billion. Last year, 105 funds raised $105.5 billion. Growth in hedge funds has been no less spectacular. Today there are 8,800 hedge funds, managing about $1.2 trillion in assets, an increase of nearly 3,000 percent during the past 16 years.<br> <br>"Institutional investors have been clamoring for private equity," said Erik Hirsch, chief investment officer at Hamilton Lane, which acts as a consultant to institutional investors. <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>"It's natural - the banks are providing what clients are asking for."</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br> <br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Nearly every Wall Street bank is eager to get into private equity.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> Deutsche Bank, which left the business in 2003, is edging back in with deals, but does not have a dedicated fund. The Credit Suisse Group tied itself in knots last year trying to decide if it was in or out. It remains in, but has limited itself to midmarket deals. Morgan Stanley, which shuttered its business years ago, is rebuilding.<br> <br>The approach of only co-investing stands in contrast to the strategy at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, both of which have bid for and invested in some of the year's biggest and most sought-after deals. Goldman Sachs has barreled through investing its most recent $8.5 billion private equity fund and is preparing to raise as much as $15 billion, according to people inside the firm who cannot speak publicly about it because it has not been formally announced.<br> <br>Merrill Lynch's private equity arm contributed $1.5 billion to a group that is buying the hospital chain HCA for $31.6 billion. That equity check, which comes from Merrill's balance sheet and not from a fund raised with outside money, is equal to Merrill's second-quarter earnings.<br> <br>In deals like HCA, the banks have been forced to confront the conflicts inherent to acting as adviser, investor and financier.<br> <br>Merrill Lynch was advising HCA on the merits of going private until it looked like a deal might be viable. Then it switched sides, joining Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Bain Capital and the Frist family as a buyer. HCA retained Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse while Merrill then chose to advise its own group. When Kinder Morgan, the gas and pipeline company, did a management buyout, Goldman Sachs acted as adviser, principal and helped finance the deal.<br> <br>While both Goldman and Merrill prefer co-investments, neither is limited to investing that way. And neither has shied away from megadeals - the ones that their clients are most likely focused on today. Lehman's portfolio, on the other hand, is filled with companies with names that few on Main Street would recognize.<br> <br>Still, even Lehman is being more aggressive. At the same time it is closing its co-investing fund, it is starting its fourth merchant banking fund, a $2.5 billion fund that will invest directly in companies. That fund can invest as a principal, taking board seats and participating in the governance of the companies.<br> <br>But the fund will not compete with its own clients and will resign from deals that clients may want to bid on alone, which raises the question as to whether investors in the fund will always get the best deal.<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> <!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href=""></a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--> <p></p><i></i>

Citibank, HSBC and Bank of Franks (America) in China

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:32 am
by Gouda
Sometimes the act of positioning yourself for a transition aids the transition itself. Even if it takes a century.
Capital domination is patient as hell. Citibank has been in China since 1902.

Will China be in any position to leave the dollar if the US ends up running their banks?

Citigroup expected to take control of Guangdong Development Bank ... s/citi.php

BEIJING: Citigroup, the biggest U.S. financial-services company, plans to sign an agreement Thursday to take control of Guangdong Development Bank in a $3 billion deal, two people with knowledge of the decision said.


HSBC Holdings and Bank of America are among the overseas companies that have spent over $17 billion in the past two years to buy stakes in Chinese banks.


"GDB is a pretty major bank and it's close to Hong Kong," said Jim Antos, an analyst in Hong Kong with Bear Stearns Asia. "For Citibank and any foreign bank that has a presence in Hong Kong, that's a very good location. You could leverage off the two economies."


Citigroup established its first office in China in 1902 and bought 5 percent of Shanghai Pudong Development Bank in 2003.


PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:32 pm
by Gouda

1. London Stock Exchange rebuffs Nasdaq's takeover bid (for now).
LONDON, England (Reuters) -- The London Stock Exchange on Monday rejected a 2.7-billion-pound ($5.1 billion) takeover bid by U.S. stock exchange Nasdaq.

2. But all is clear for the The NYSE's takeover of Euronext
Also last week Deutsche Boerse dropped a $10 billion bid for Euronext, dashing French and German hopes for an all-European mega-exchange and clearing the way for New York Stock Exchange operator NYSE Group's agreed bid for Euronext, operator of the Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon stock markets.

3. And this remains the bottom line:
The world's stock markets are rushing to consolidate, under pressure from customers to cut fees and offer global services and a group of banks added to the pressure last week by announcing plans to create their own pan-European equity trading platform next year. ... index.html

The IHT adds:

Pressure is growing on local stock exchanges to find new partners, as international markets grow and domestic rivals pair up. Exchanges in the United States are under particular pressure, because regulatory requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation has driven companies to list elsewhere. Both Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange are seeking European partners as a way to continue to profit from fees generated by trading shares.

Completing a deal quickly could help him beat Nasdaq's cross-town rival, New York Stock Exchange, in Europe. NYSE and Euronext - a network of European exchanges including the Paris and Amsterdam stock markets - are expected to ask shareholders for final approval of their planned merger in December.

Nasdaq and NYSE are not just fighting each other to gain market share in Europe, though.

They also face the prospect of new rivals for a share of the global equities market after seven major global investment banks - Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and UBS - formally introduced a plan in September to start an electronic pan-European exchange. Predictions that the plan could take business away from the London Stock Exchange have weakened its stock price in recent weeks.

Meanwhile Asia has attracted many of the world's biggest deals. Hong Kong, buoyed by the huge offering of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, is poised to be the biggest market for initial public offerings this year.

Highlighting the increasingly global market for stocks and futures and a growing demand for cheap trading across time zones, NYSE and the London exchange also are in talks with the Tokyo Stock Exchange over possible alliances. ... change.php

LSE, you nasty coquette!

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 8:01 am
by Gouda
Nasdaq, in true alpha male form, shall not relinquish its bid to own the fair and wealthy LSE. But she is not so easily had. Is it unrequited love, or a clever game of 'hard to get'? How coquettish. I just love the amorous suitor language of potentially merging families employed here.


Nasdaq may raise bid for LSE ... index.html

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (Reuters) -- The Nasdaq Stock Market will consider raising its bid for the London Stock Exchange if the LSE recommends an offer at a higher price or a rival bid emerges, the president of Nasdaq International said on Tuesday.

Nasdaq, which holds a 28.75 percent stake in the LSE, said on Monday it would pay 1,243 pence per share in cash for the rest of Europe's biggest stock market.

"It's the best final offer," Charlotte Crosswell told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai.

"There are two circumstances for any change. If the LSE makes a recommendation or if there is competing bid," she said.

The LSE rejected Nasdaq's offer within seven hours, with Chief Executive Clara Furse saying the bid "fails to recognize the outstanding growth record and prospects of our group on a stand-alone basis."

Crosswell declined comment on any specific price.

Monday's Nasdaq offer sent LSE shares up 6 percent to 1,291 pence, valuing it at about 3.2 billion pounds, amid speculation that Nasdaq or another party would bid the price higher.

The LSE has long been viewed as a takeover target because it is relatively small and growing rapidly. It has rejected approaches from OMX, Deutsche Boerse, Macquarie Bank and Nasdaq since 2000.

The offer will officially be made to LSE shareholders this week.

Nasdaq said the deal would create the world's largest exchange by number of listings, more than 6,400 companies with a market value of $11.8 trillion, and the most active exchange with average daily volume of 7.4 billion shares traded. This was Nasdaq's second offer since March.

Credit-driven consolidation and deregulation

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 7:35 am
by Gouda
More on HOW private firms and shady banks are able to merge markets and buy out the public sector in an attempt to get it all under ultra-elite private control.

Partially re-posted from another thread on debt:

USA (and global public): beyond broke. Downgraded to “junk” status, at best.

High finance, investment banks, private equity firms, hedge funds, multinational conglomerates: obscenely flush.

(A side-question: How did that transfer of wealth happen?)

When the United States of America formally admits/declares that it is ruined financially, who might pick up the tab...with strings attached? Look to Carlyle's Baker III & House of Saud picking up the diplomatic tab right now on Iraq, for an example.

Publicly traded stocks and public, regulated markets will be a thing of the past. One, there is a dwindling "public" able to participate. So it's all going private and upscale, where the real capital is - and where it can remain in the shadows.

Here's the understated scoop from The Economist which actually tries to make central banks the good guys in all this:


The credit markets - In the shadows of debt ... id=7941780

Sep 21st 2006

Business is being reshaped by a massive borrowing binge, but much of it is unseen, unregulated and little understood

IN THE mid-1990s Spain's “King of Bricks”, the construction magnate Rafael del Pino, received a most unusual commission. His company, Ferrovial, was hired to work with Frank Gehry, a Los Angeles-based architect, to build a work of art: Bilbao's stunning titanium-skinned Guggenheim Museum, which dapples the waters of the Nervión river.

Mr Gehry, with his shock of Einstein-white hair, was a stickler for detail. No two parts of the 24,000 square metre (258,000 square foot) leviathan could be the same—or even symmetrical. The museum's cavernous halls would embrace one of Bilbao's gritty industrial-era bridges. And it had to project a sense of peace, an image the Basque authorities badly needed to send to the world.

Less than a decade later, Ferrovial, flush with the success of its Basque masterpiece, is engaged in engineering wizardry of a different sort—finance. This summer it obtained huge, privately issued loans to buy control of BAA, the world's largest airports operator and owner of London's Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports. Though Ferrovial was much smaller than BAA, the consortium it led beat buy-out specialists, such as Goldman Sachs. Of the £16.4 billion ($30 billion) it paid for BAA, more than half was borrowed.

Ferrovial is among a growing number of companies exploiting a sophisticated grasp of the debt markets to make acquisitions that only a few years ago would have seemed impossible. “The market has changed,” says Richard Bartlett of Royal Bank of Scotland, one of Ferrovial's main creditors. “Twelve or 24 months ago this would have been a very challenging deal to pull off.”

Indeed, the market has changed so fast that regulators are not sure if it is spinning out of control. On one hand, innovations in the credit markets have helped to provide a remarkable period of stability in the world's financial system. In recent years, markets have lived through the end of the internet bubble, the collapse of Enron, the terror attacks of September 11th 2001, debt downgrades in the car industry and a stampede out of risky assets in May and June. Any one of these might once have triggered a financial crisis. But none did.

Cheap and liquid financing has enabled companies to make more efficient use of their balance sheets, potentially boosting returns to shareholders and allowing managers to concentrate on profits and cashflow. Despite the increased lending, banks have increased the cushions of capital that they rely on to be a safeguard.

On the other hand, as the debt and derivatives markets have grown out of all recognition, they have moved increasingly into the shadows. Regulators worry that some of the complex financial instruments conjured up around the lending and borrowing of money—worth trillions of dollars—may sow the seeds of the next financial crisis.

The credit markets are the motor for three of the big trends of the decade and some people find them unsettling. First, companies are raising more and more capital through privately issued loan instruments, as opposed to public equity—such as selling stocks or issuing bonds, which can be openly traded. Private deals are harder for regulators and ordinary investors to keep tabs on.

Second, the lending is increasingly being orchestrated from outside the regulated banking industry, by hedge funds and other credit investors that are often supervised only indirectly, if at all. These are especially big in the booming market for credit derivatives, which are also traded outside public exchanges.

Third, although some of this capital is available to public companies, such as Ferrovial, most of it is being gobbled up by leveraged buy-out firms, which use the money to buy public companies and remove them from the stockmarket.

Central bankers and supervisors increasingly worry about the risks to financial stability that may be lurking in the complex debt instruments dreamt up by the finance industry. One of their biggest concerns is how much danger there may be to regulated banks from the faceless institutions they now do much of their debt trading with: hedge funds.

Regulators are beginning to ask themselves whether hedge funds are adequately monitored through the supervision of the banking industry. Pressure is growing on the banks to deal sensibly with their trading counterparties. Equally, some question whether over-zealous supervision may have had the perverse consequence of driving business and finance away from the public eye.

At the forefront of concerned regulators is Timothy Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and one of the financial world's most powerful voices. In a speech in Hong Kong on September 14th, Mr Geithner praised the banking industry for becoming more robust, overseeing growth in the number and size of lending firms and innovating in credit instruments. These, he said, had “strengthened the efficiency and resiliency of the overall financial system.”

But he gave warning: “The same factors that may have reduced the probability of future systemic events, however, may amplify the damage caused by, and complicate the management of, very severe financial shocks. The changes that have reduced the vulnerability of the system to smaller shocks may have increased the severity of the larger ones.”

For most regulators, the safest thing you can have to protect against such shocks is liquidity, and this has been abundant for years. But as the old adage goes, a banker is someone who lends you an umbrella when it is sunny and asks for it back when it starts to rain. Liquidity in the debt markets has an annoying habit of disappearing just when you most need it.

The main drivers of innovation in the debt markets have been the buy-out specialists. The private-equity firms seized on cheap credit to buy $300 billion of businesses in the first half of the year (see chart 1). If they carry on at that pace, they could theoretically beg and borrow enough money in 2006 to buy almost a fifth of all companies listed on America's NASDAQ, or nearly a quarter of Britain's FTSE 100. Citigroup, one of the cheerleaders of the borrowing boom, says buy-outs, foreign takeovers and debt-funded share buybacks have removed shares from stockmarkets, especially in Britain, faster than companies could issue them. The decline is still small and you can argue over which shares should count in the calculation, but Citigroup says this year is the first in more than 20 years that European stockmarkets have shrunk in this way.

Even companies avoiding the acquisition trail have raised borrowing levels to buy back shares—if only to keep private-equity groups at bay. Such buybacks surged to $117 billion in the second quarter, according to the Bank for International Settlements, compared with a quarterly average of $87 billion last year. Such is the extent of “shareholder enhancements”—share-boosting measures that increase debt on the balance sheet—that irate bondholders have begun to fight back. Activist shareholders are now competing against activist bondholders.

Egging borrowers on are bankers, who sometimes admit to lending amounts, as a multiple of underlying cashflows, that are against their better judgment. This, they say, is partly because the competition to provide credit is so fierce, however cheap it is. Since 2003, the after-tax cost of raising debt has been much lower than the cost of issuing shares, even in the more expensive high-yield market (see chart 2).

No longer do banks have a cosy monopoly on finance. Years of low interest rates and abundant liquidity have led investors to pursue higher-yielding assets, even if that means taking on greater risk. This means new firms, such as hedge funds, have flocked into the loan market, where they can super-size yields by investing in tranches of debt with a higher risk of default, and by borrowing from banks to buy those loans.

Also, the desire of pension-fund managers to buy long-term assets to match their payout commitments has led them into most parts of the credit market. Mutual funds and insurers have flocked in to diversify their portfolios and to spice up their returns.

According to Standard & Poor's Leveraged Commentary and Data, a part of the rating agency that tracks the loan market, credit-investment institutions backed by pension funds, mutual funds and insurance companies have mushroomed in recent years, replacing banks in loan-syndication deals.

In America they bought two-thirds of all leveraged loans issued in the first half of this year, up from 45% seven years ago. In Europe the growth has been stronger still. It had just three such institutions in 1999, a tiny share of the loan-syndication market. At the end of June there were 76, or 45%, of a much bigger market. This slice of the business has been seized from banks.

Credit where credit is due

Partly thanks to the shared risk, record-breaking deals have been done with hardly a hitch. Ferrovial's acquisition, which had many of the characteristics of a leveraged buy-out, came close to the size of the largest buy-out to be agreed ever (in nominal terms)—that of HCA, an American health-care provider. It agreed to be bought earlier this year by a team of private-equity groups for $33 billion.

Though interest rates and debt have both risen around the world, this has not yet led to more defaults. Rating agencies have lowered their projected default rates for several years; Moody's Investors Service says only 12 firms that it follows have defaulted this year, compared with 19 in the same period in 2005. The dollar volume of defaults is also much lower. That is partly why in the markets for corporate debt, the interest rates at which companies can borrow are almost as low as they have ever been, according to Citigroup.

Even when companies have run into trouble, the debt markets have just hiccuped and soldiered on. In May 2005 the bonds of the two largest and most actively traded issuers in the market, General Motors and Ford, were downgraded to “junk” status as the risk of default increased, leading to fears of a meltdown in the credit markets. But far from drying up, junk bond issues increased to more than $120 billion in 2005, nearly twice as much as in the depths of the lending drought after the telecoms crash in 2002. Such is the staying power of the market that CreditSights, a consultancy, wondered this summer whether it was fair to call high-yield bonds “junk” after all.

These rated corporate bonds—whether junk or not—used to be the height of sophistication. In the days of Michael Milken and Drexel Burnham Lambert in the 1980s, junk bonds helped reshape and modernise corporate America, no matter how unpopular they were at the time. But now they are being eclipsed by privately arranged loan transactions, especially “leveraged finance” (which carries a similar risk to junk bonds, but involves loans that are not publicly traded).

Leveraged finance is growing fast. According to Merrill Lynch, the leveraged-loan market in Europe is already larger than the junk-bond market—which, admittedly, was not very deep in the first place. In America the issuance of leveraged loans is growing much faster than high-yield bonds, though the overall amounts are still smaller. The debt includes second-lien loans, which have a floating rate and give creditors lower levels of security, but potentially higher returns. In the riskiest end of the credit spectrum are mezzanine finance and payment-in-kind notes. A bit like the more toxic end of mortgage finance, nobody knows how liquid they will be when the credit cycle turns.

On a global scale, the vast syndicated-loan market, including leveraged finance and more senior debt, is also growing more swiftly than public bond and share markets. Dealogic, a data provider, says global share issuance last year was a bit less than at its peak in 2000, at almost $600 billion and corporate-bond issuance was a bit higher than in 2000, at $685 billion. Loan volumes, meanwhile, soared from $2.3 trillion to $3.5 trillion over the same period.

More febrile still has been the popularity of newfangled derivatives with difficult names, such as credit-default swaps (CDSs). These are as complex as they sound. But they are also among the past decade's most important financial innovations—and a cause of both regulatory hand-clapping and hand-wringing. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association said on September 19th that the notional amount outstanding of credit derivatives rose by 52% in the first six months of the year to $26 trillion (see chart 3). That number would be far smaller if banks' positions were netted out for offsetting exposures. But less than a decade ago, the credit-swaps market barely existed.

Credit derivatives, which behave a bit like insurance contracts, allow investors to buy or sell cover against default by a borrower, and the price moves depending on perceptions about the borrower's creditworthiness. Increasingly, they are being pooled into collateralised debt obligations (CDOs), another form of investment vehicle that is growing as fast as a hedge-fund manager's bank balance.

Such products, known as “structured credit”, encourage liquidity, partly because they can be created out of thin air. They also allow banks to sell on the risk of loans turning bad, possibly enabling them to lend more. Robert McAdie, head of credit research at Barclays Capital, says the change has been profound—and for the better. After the dotcom boom, when heavily indebted telecoms firms were on their knees, banks had almost no way to hedge themselves. Now they do: “The use of credit derivatives has totally liberalised the debt market,” he says. “It has created an enormous shift in the risk profile of banks. It allows them to hedge against their risk and manage their regulatory and economic capital more efficiently.”

Hedges and hedge funds

On the other hand, a recent paper by researchers at the European Central Bank says part of the problem with CDSs is that they are used for speculation, as well as hedging. “We have introduced a new product, “insurance”, that appears to be used by people not looking for insurance. It is not the instrument[s] which [are] causing liquidity concerns but the way market participants may be using them.”

On September 11th, in its semi-annual Global Financial Stability Report, the IMF warned that such “structured credit products” were one of its main concerns, especially if financial markets take a turn for the worse and liquidity dries up.

The problem, broadly identified by many regulators, is that not a lot is known about how structured-credit products behave in unusual conditions. Even if they normally mitigate risks, they might suddenly magnify them when financial conditions seriously deteriorate. The products have been developed in a decade when interest rates have been low, the appetite for risk high and liquidity ample. It is easy to assume they are always a benign influence. But it is hard to know how they will react when hard times return.

Mr Geithner, whose role at the New York Fed makes him supervisor-in-chief of Wall Street, appears to take them particularly seriously. In his speech he said that leveraged firms trading credit instruments may well improve liquidity, pricing and diversification opportunities for investors, which should lead to lower risk and ultimately cheaper capital.

But there were problems monitoring the positions taken by firms, he added, which may pose risks to financial stability. Banks, for example, may not fully understand all the positions of a hedge-fund counterparty before lending to it, he said; hedge funds are not required to give this information publicly. Banks can model future risks, but reasonable people differ widely on where those risks lie. And policies to reduce the risks of failure at banks may cause moral hazard if they dull the incentive of individual firms to police their lending criteria.

Mr Geithner encouraged banks to deepen the margin cushion they extend to counterparties and sort out back-office processing of credit-derivative trades as short-term ways to shore up the system. He hinted that regulators might have to supervise large hedge funds directly, rather than indirectly, through banks.

But more scrutiny can be a double-edged sword. Some argue that the regulatory climate is partly what first drove public firms into private hands, encouraged the brightest bank employees to move to hedge funds, and spurred companies to borrow privately.

According to Jonathan Macey, a professor at the Yale Law School, the people who such regulation is supposed to benefit—ordinary, non-professional investors—are those most likely to miss out from the trend to raise capital privately. Of course, they can always take part via their pension funds—though that will be little comfort if the credit cycle ever becomes a crunch.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:26 am
by Gouda
Some visuals from the Economist article:

Image Image

This may be beyond my pay grade, but I wonder if those sharp post-911 asset spikes (really rocketing in 2003 when all war cylinders were firing) do not also have something to do with the global security apparatus getting back into the swing of things in alliance with high finance (in alliance with the mil-intel-industrial-oil complex) with regard to the post-911 boom in global narcotics and arms trafficking, nuclear secrets, sex trade and all the rest.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:15 am
by Gouda
As I follow this, I ought qualify that these merging public markets are being set up and positioned to eventually, I think, go private. Which is how The Unaccountable like it. One Private World Market controlling every aspect of our lives, right down to your DNA.