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Mixed Jobs Report Sets Fed Up for Close Rate Call

U.S. employment growth slowed in August but the jobless rate fell to the lowest level since 2008, a mixed labor-market reading less than two weeks before a crucial Federal Reserve meeting. 160

Migrant Chaos Grows in Hungary

Hundreds of fed-up migrants began walking along a highway toward Austria and a migrant died amid a standoff at a suburban train station near a refugee camp, as Hungary appeared increasingly overwhelmed in its efforts to keep a firm grip on thousands hoping to reach Western Europe.

Refugees Find Smooth Welcome in Germany, but Strain Shows

Refugees meet a well-oiled system that gets them off the street and into emergency shelters fast, but some say it is already under strain and is struggling to offer newcomers long-term prospects.

The American Veterans Who Fight ISIS

A former Army Ranger and a decorated Marine are among U.S. veterans volunteering to join Kurdish fighters against Islamic State in Syria.

Chinese Navy Ships Passed Through U.S. Waters

The Pentagon said that five Chinese navy ships operating off Alaska entered U.S. territorial waters, but they complied with international law. 214

Inside Israel’s Bid to Derail Iran Pact

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has undertaken a high-stakes campaign to persuade Congress to scuttle the Iran nuclear agreement, leaving the White House infuriated and many Democrats resentful. 607

G-20 Seeks Reassurances China Plans to Calm Markets

Global finance leaders meeting in Turkey are seeking reassurances from Chinese officials on Beijing’s capacity to calm turbulent markets and prevent a collapse in the world’s second-largest economy.

Putin Pitches for Foreign Investment in Russia’s Far East

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a pitch for greater investment in his country’s resource-rich Far East region, despite a slowdown in the Chinese economy that has shaken global markets.

Saudi King’s Visit a Chance to Invigorate U.S. Ties

King Salman of Saudi Arabia arrives Friday for his first White House visit at a pivotal time, when the two allies are trying to maintain their lukewarm agreement on the Iran nuclear deal while striving for new commitments.

U.A.E. Loses 22 Military Personnel

The United Arab Emirates has lost 22 military personnel since it joined a Saudi Arabia-led coalition to defeat Iran-backed rebels in Yemen, military officials said.

U.S. Will Help Military, Diplomatic Families Leave Turkey

The U.S. has offered to help relatives of American military and diplomatic personnel stationed at Incirlik Air Base and a nearby consulate to leave Turkey, a cautionary move following the start of military operations directed against Islamic State.

Heard on the Street

This Plastics IPO Is Timed Right – For the Seller

Bayer’s material science division, now called Covestro, had a strong first-half ahead of a planned initial public offering. That looks hard to keep up.

An Online Bank With a Personal Touch

Live Oak Bancshares is betting that its hybrid model can be an example for how to expand small-business lending.

Chinese Companies Share Investors’ Pain

China’s listed companies joined in the market mania, buying up shares in one another; now the holdings that padded earnings as prices boomed threaten to gut them as they plunge.

UBS Building Virtual Coin For Mainstream Banking

Swiss bank UBS is working on a prototype virtual currency that it hopes will be used by banks and financial institutions as a basis to settle mainstream financial markets transactions.

Brussels Beat

EU Displaces U.S. as Top Antitrust Cop

The European Union’s antitrust activism has put it in prime position to shape the Internet and is encouraging some U.S. technology executives to focus on Brussels.

Daimler, Renault Reboot Tiny Car

Daimler is taking another crack at the U.S. market for ultra-compacts with a retooled version of its ForTwo Smart car built through a collaboration that could become a benchmark for other auto makers. 66

Volkswagen CFO Nominated as Board Chairman

The largest shareholder of Europe’s biggest auto maker nominated the company’s CFO to become the next chairman of VW’s supervisory board.

BASF, Gazprom Renew Abandoned Asset-Swap Plan

Germany’s BASF and Russia’s Gazprom will complete an asset-swap deal signed in December 2013 but called off late last year amid mounting political tensions between Russia and the West.

GVC Wins Race to Acquire Bwin.Party

Sports betting and online gambling operator GVC Holdings PLC said it had clinched a deal to buy Bwin.Party digital entertainment PLC after beating an offer from online gambling peer 888 Holdings PLC.

Fashion

How Fashion Experts Shop the High Street

Despite the crowds, the lines and the overpacked rails, there are real gems to be found in mainstream stores—you just need to know how to find them.

Will Lyons on Wine

What’s the Point of Scoring Wines?

A wine’s taste and character change almost daily, and taste is subjective—so is giving them marks a pointless exercise?

Theater

Michael Grandage: A Director’s DNA

With ‘Photograph 51’ at London’s Noël Coward Theatre, the acclaimed director coaxes Nicole Kidman back onstage for an exploration of the passion and poetry of science.

Going Native in NYC: 8 Things to Do as an Expat in the Big Apple

You’re relocating to the Center of the Universe, a.k.a. the Capital of the World, a.k.a. the City That Never Sleeps. So what do you do to embrace New York?

Video

Migrants Refuse to Go to Refugee Camp in Hungary

1:59

Father of Aylan Kurdi Speaks at Funeral

0:58

Islamic State Destroys Ancient Tombs in Palmyra

0:59

Mind and Matter

The Power of Brains to Keep Growing

Not long ago, scientists thought that after infancy, our brains never added any neurons. Patricia Churchland on how brains keep growing

Film Review

‘La Jaula de Oro (The Golden Dream)’ Review: Dark Immigrant Odyssey

In Diego Quemada-Diez’s celebrated directorial debut, a trio of teenagers flee from Guatemala and make their way through a treacherous Mexico, where police and gangsters prey on vulnerable travelers.

WSJ Blogs

Real-time commentary and analysis from The Wall Street Journal
Die Seite Drei
Schnelle Analysen und Beobachtungen zum Zeitgeschehen

Schlechte Nachrichten nur noch freitags

Die Senkung der Bonität Großbritanniens durch die Agentur Moody’s zu Wochenschluss gibt einen Vorgeschmack davon, wie Länderratings ab dem nächsten Jahr mitgeteilt werden dürfen: Nur noch freitags nach Börsenschluss und maximal drei Mal im Jahr. So wollen es die EU-Gesetzgeber und so werden es die Mitgliedstaaten nach Ostern auch formal beschließen.

Die Kommission begründet die neuen Regeln in einem Memo unter anderem damit, dass die Ratingagenturen im Vorfeld der Finanzkrise die Risiken komplexer Finanzinstrumente nicht richtig eingeschätzt hätten.

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Worauf sie nicht hinweist, was aber die eigentliche Zielrichtung der neuen Regulierung ist: Die Strenge, die die Ratingagenturen bis 2008 bei strukturierten Finanzprodukten fehlen ließen, zeigten sie kurze Zeit später überdeutlich bei den Anleihen jener Staaten, die die Kosten der Finanzkrise zu tragen hatten.

In der Folge gab es etliche Herunterstufungen, die, wie die Kommission anmerkt, die Refinanzierungskosten der betroffenen Staaten unmittelbar erhöhen, die Kapitalausstattung von Banken beeinflussen und Auswirkungen für die Finanzstabilität haben können. In den vergangenen Jahren passierte es wiederholt, dass Ratings von Krisenländern wie Griechenland, Portugal oder Spanien kurz vor einer wichtigen Anleiheauktion gesenkt wurden. Die Folgen waren schmerzlich.

Für die Ratingagenturen ist die neue Freitagsregel ärgerlich, denn sie schafft unnötige Rigiditäten. Aber vielleicht lassen sich Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s und Fitch mit dem Hinweis trösten: Es hätte schlimmer kommen können. Aus dem Memo der Kommission geht nämlich hervor, dass die europäischen Gesetzgeber prinzipiell auch noch andere Möglichkeiten sahen, das Problem unerbetener Ratings zu lösen.

Erstens: Die Gründung einer eigenen Ratingagentur. Das wurde, wie bekannt ist, zwar ernsthaft erwogen, aber als zu teuer verworfen. Die EU-Kommission bezifferte die Kosten auf 300 bis 500 Millionen Euro.

Zweitens: Das Verbot von Länderratings. Diese Möglichkeit wird in dem Papier zwar allen Ernstes als Möglichkeit erwähnt, aber ebenfalls verworfen. Zur Begründung heißt es: „Es könnte der Eindruck entstehen, dass die Mitgliedsländer etwas zu verbergen haben.“

Drittens: Die Möglichkeit, schlechte Nachrichten zu überbringen (mit guten rechnet die Kommission offenbar gar nicht), wird auf drei Mal pro Jahr beschränkt.

Die Kommission entschied sich also für Variante drei. Die beinhaltet nicht nur, dass Länderratings immer freitags kommen müssen. Sie schreibt auch vor, dass die Ratingagentur das betroffene Land mindestens 24 Stunden vorher informieren muss, damit die Regierung nach Fehlern in der Urteilsbegründung suchen kann.

Außerdem muss die Agentur Ende Dezember einen Kalender veröffentlichen, in dem ihre Veröffentlichungstermine für 2014 stehen. Abweichungen von diesem Kalender sind nur in wohlbegründeten Ausnahmefällen möglich. Das Beispiel Moody’s versus Großbritannien zeigt, dass die Ratingangenturen schon für die neuen Regeln zu üben beginnen.

Ansonsten gilt für diese Reaktion auf die Finanzkrise das gleiche wie für frühere Maßnahmen auch: Sie kommt spät – die Zeit der schlimmsten Herabstufungen ist vorerst vorbei – und sie kuriert ein Symptom, nicht die Ursache. Die Ratingagenturen sind lediglich Überbringer einer häufig unangenehmen Botschaft. Und die lautet schlicht: Ihr habt zu viel Schulden.

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The Wall Street Journal & Breaking News, Business, Financial and Economic News, World News and Video
Search

Mixed Jobs Report Sets Fed Up for Close Rate Call

U.S. employment growth slowed in August but the jobless rate fell to the lowest level since 2008, a mixed labor-market reading less than two weeks before a crucial Federal Reserve meeting. 166

Migrant Chaos Grows in Hungary

Hundreds of fed-up migrants began walking along a highway toward Austria and a migrant died amid a standoff at a suburban train station near a refugee camp, as Hungary appeared increasingly overwhelmed in its efforts to keep a firm grip on thousands hoping to reach Western Europe.

Refugees Find Smooth Welcome in Germany, but Strain Shows

Refugees meet a well-oiled system that gets them off the street and into emergency shelters fast, but some say it is already under strain and is struggling to offer newcomers long-term prospects.

The American Veterans Who Fight ISIS

A former Army Ranger and a decorated Marine are among U.S. veterans volunteering to join Kurdish fighters against Islamic State in Syria.

Chinese Navy Ships Passed Through U.S. Waters

The Pentagon said that five Chinese navy ships operating off Alaska entered U.S. territorial waters, but they complied with international law. 225

Inside Israel’s Bid to Derail Iran Pact

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has undertaken a high-stakes campaign to persuade Congress to scuttle the Iran nuclear agreement, leaving the White House infuriated and many Democrats resentful. 648

G-20 Increasingly Concerned About Slowing Chinese Economy

China’s market routs and a string of weak data are fueling concern among Group of 20 officials that a slowing Chinese economy could fuel further market instability and push global growth deeper into a long-term rut.

Putin Pitches for Foreign Investment in Russia’s Far East

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a pitch for greater investment in his country’s resource-rich Far East region, despite a slowdown in the Chinese economy that has shaken global markets.

Saudi King’s Visit a Chance to Invigorate U.S. Ties

King Salman of Saudi Arabia arrives Friday for his first White House visit at a pivotal time, when the two allies are trying to maintain their lukewarm agreement on the Iran nuclear deal while striving for new commitments.

U.A.E. Loses 22 Military Personnel

The United Arab Emirates has lost 22 military personnel since it joined a Saudi Arabia-led coalition to defeat Iran-backed rebels in Yemen, military officials said.

U.S. Will Help Military, Diplomatic Families Leave Turkey

The U.S. has offered to help relatives of American military and diplomatic personnel stationed at Incirlik Air Base and a nearby consulate to leave Turkey, a cautionary move following the start of military operations directed against Islamic State.

Heard on the Street

This Plastics IPO Is Timed Right – For the Seller

Bayer’s material science division, now called Covestro, had a strong first-half ahead of a planned initial public offering. That looks hard to keep up.

An Online Bank With a Personal Touch

Live Oak Bancshares is betting that its hybrid model can be an example for how to expand small-business lending.

Chinese Companies Share Investors’ Pain

China’s listed companies joined in the market mania, buying up shares in one another; now the holdings that padded earnings as prices boomed threaten to gut them as they plunge.

UBS Building Virtual Coin For Mainstream Banking

Swiss bank UBS is working on a prototype virtual currency that it hopes will be used by banks and financial institutions as a basis to settle mainstream financial markets transactions.

Brussels Beat

EU Displaces U.S. as Top Antitrust Cop

The European Union’s antitrust activism has put it in prime position to shape the Internet and is encouraging some U.S. technology executives to focus on Brussels.

Daimler, Renault Reboot Tiny Car

Daimler is taking another crack at the U.S. market for ultra-compacts with a retooled version of its ForTwo Smart car built through a collaboration that could become a benchmark for other auto makers. 66

Volkswagen CFO Nominated as Board Chairman

The largest shareholder of Europe’s biggest auto maker nominated the company’s CFO to become the next chairman of VW’s supervisory board.

BASF, Gazprom Renew Abandoned Asset-Swap Plan

Germany’s BASF and Russia’s Gazprom will complete an asset-swap deal signed in December 2013 but called off late last year amid mounting political tensions between Russia and the West.

GVC Wins Race to Acquire Bwin.party

Sports betting and online gambling operator GVC Holdings PLC said it had clinched a deal to buy Bwin.party Digital Entertainment PLC after beating an offer from online gambling peer 888 Holdings PLC.

Fashion

How Fashion Experts Shop the High Street

Despite the crowds, the lines and the overpacked rails, there are real gems to be found in mainstream stores—you just need to know how to find them.

Will Lyons on Wine

What’s the Point of Scoring Wines?

A wine’s taste and character change almost daily, and taste is subjective—so is giving them marks a pointless exercise?

Theater

Michael Grandage: A Director’s DNA

With ‘Photograph 51’ at London’s Noël Coward Theatre, the acclaimed director coaxes Nicole Kidman back onstage for an exploration of the passion and poetry of science.

Going Native in NYC: 8 Things to Do as an Expat in the Big Apple

You’re relocating to the Center of the Universe, a.k.a. the Capital of the World, a.k.a. the City That Never Sleeps. So what do you do to embrace New York?

Video

Migrants Refuse to Go to Refugee Camp in Hungary

1:59

Father of Aylan Kurdi Speaks at Funeral

0:58

Islamic State Destroys Ancient Tombs in Palmyra

0:59