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Global Stocks Try to Regain Footing

Global stock markets steadied, but deepening worries about China kept investors on edge.

Investors Betting on More ECB Stimulus

Six months after the European Central Bank launched its blockbuster bond-buying program to rouse the region’s economy, some investors are betting that authorities will crank stimulus efforts even higher.

Masked Gunmen Kidnap 18 Turkish Workers in Baghdad

Identities of gunmen in early-morning raid on sports stadium weren’t immediately known, as Turks in Iraq seized for a second time in the past year.

Hungarian Police Struggle to Control Migrants

A standoff between migrants and authorities continued in Budapest, while train traffic in the English Channel tunnel was disrupted by migrants on the tracks.

U.S. Tech Firms Make Pilgrimage to Brussels

The giants of Silicon Valley are bulking up in the European Union’s de facto capital, hiring lobbyists and jostling for the favor of the Web’s most ambitious regulators.

Volkswagen Extends CEO Martin Winterkorn’s Contract

German car maker Volkswagen said it would extend the contract of Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn through 2018, ending speculation that he could step down as CEO and become chairman.

Goldman Sachs and its big-bank peers have sharply reduced their market exposure, making them relatively absent from trading in the latest volatility.

Market Bets Abound, but Where Are the Banks?

As Wall Street brims with tales of hedge-fund fortunes made and lost amid recent market gyrations, banks have been stuck on the sidelines, hamstrung by postcrisis rules governing what risks they can take.

China Imposes New Controls to Keep Money From Leaving Country

China is imposing fresh controls to prevent too much money from leaving the country, in an effort to keep funds at home.

Heard on the Street

Small U.K. Banks Show Big Rivals How To Travel Light

Picture a life without the baggage of the past. In the U.K., smaller banks are showing established rivals how that could be.

Commodity Drop Slows Canada Down

Canada’s woes are a harbinger of what could come for a small clutch of advanced economies that rely heavily on commodity exports, and demand from China, for their economic growth.

The Moment When Humans Matter

A string of messy market openings in recent weeks has reinvigorated a debate about the relative effectiveness of humans in the stock trade.

Tesco Closer to $7 Billion South Korea Deal

U.K. retailer Tesco has chosen Asian private-equity firm MBK Partners as the preferred bidder to buy its South Korea retail operations in a deal that could be worth up to $7 billion.

South African Gold Faces Uncertain Future

South Africa’s gold mining industry must undergo radical change to cope with falling prices, intensifying labor disputes and the surging cost of ever-deeper exploration.

Intel Bets New Chips Will Revive PC Sales

Intel is overhauling its flagship line of computer chips in a high-stakes bid to revive personal-computer sales.

Bayer Separates Material Science Business

German pharmaceuticals group Bayer has moved a step closer to floating its $12.3 billion specialty chemicals business by ‘legally and economically’ separating the unit, now named Covestro.

Greek Polls Suggest Tough Election Test for Tsipras

Opinion polls show declining support for Greece’s Syriza party and its leader, Alexis Tsipras. But Syriza retains a lead over its opponents and the Sept. 20 election could be tight.

Police Say Main Bangkok Bombing Suspect Believed to Be Uighur

A senior Thai police investigator said for the first time that the main suspect in the deadly bombing at a Bangkok shrine last month is believed to be a member of China’s Uighur ethnic minority.

EU Set to Extend Sanctions on Russians, Ukraine Rebels

The EU is set to roll over sanctions targeted against almost 200 Russian and Ukrainian-separatist individuals and firms to keep pressure on Moscow to fully implement the Minsk cease-fire terms by year end.

Pope to Make It Easier for Priests to Grant Pardons for Abortion

Pope Francis will make it easier for priests to forgive women for having had abortions, and those who assisted, during a “year of mercy” starting Dec. 8. 590

Emails Point to Large Role for Clinton Adviser Blumenthal

Longtime aide Sidney Blumenthal maintained an outsize role with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, despite being blocked from taking a job at the department. 87

Biden to Speak at Florida Events Amid 2016 Speculation

The vice president is expected to decide this month whether he will make a third bid for the White House.

Search Continues for Three Suspects After Illinois Policeman Killed

As a small northern Illinois community mourned a popular veteran police officer who was fatally shot while on duty, authorities scoured the area overnight in search of three men wanted in his slaying.

U.S. Report Sees Economic Benefit in Allowing Oil Exports

Lifting the nation’s four-decade ban on oil exports wouldn’t raise gas prices and could help lower them, a government study concludes. 51

Kentucky Clerk Denies Gays Marriage Licenses, Defying Supreme Court

A county clerk in Kentucky who is defying the U.S. Supreme Court by refusing to license same-sex marriage has been summoned to explain to a federal judge why she shouldn’t face stiff fines or jail time. 1087

Video

The Iran Nuclear Deal Explained

3:34

Hungary Stops Migrants Boarding Trains To Germany

1:46

Ukraine Protest Blast Kills Officer, Injures Dozens

0:45

Personal Tech | DxO One Review

Finally, an iPhone Camera Good Enough for a Pro

The DxO One is a tiny attachment offering a big upgrade to your iPhone camera. Geoffrey A. Fowler reviews.

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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

Global Stocks Try to Regain Footing

Global stock markets steadied, but deepening worries about China kept investors on edge.

Investors Betting on More ECB Stimulus

Six months after the European Central Bank launched its blockbuster bond-buying program to rouse the region’s economy, some investors are betting that authorities will crank stimulus efforts even higher.

Masked Gunmen Kidnap 18 Turkish Workers in Baghdad

Identities of gunmen in early-morning raid on sports stadium weren’t immediately known, as Turks in Iraq seized for a second time in the past year.

Hungarian Police Struggle to Control Migrants

A standoff between migrants and authorities continued in Budapest, while train traffic in the English Channel tunnel was disrupted by migrants on the tracks.

U.S. Tech Firms Make Pilgrimage to Brussels

The giants of Silicon Valley are bulking up in the European Union’s de facto capital, hiring lobbyists and jostling for the favor of the Web’s most ambitious regulators.

Volkswagen Extends CEO Martin Winterkorn’s Contract

German car maker Volkswagen said it would extend the contract of Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn through 2018, ending speculation that he could step down as CEO and become chairman.

Goldman Sachs and its big-bank peers have sharply reduced their market exposure, making them relatively absent from trading in the latest volatility.

Market Bets Abound, but Where Are the Banks?

As Wall Street brims with tales of hedge-fund fortunes made and lost amid recent market gyrations, banks have been stuck on the sidelines, hamstrung by postcrisis rules governing what risks they can take.

China Imposes New Controls to Keep Money From Leaving Country

China is imposing fresh controls to prevent too much money from leaving the country, in an effort to keep funds at home.

Heard on the Street

Small U.K. Banks Show Big Rivals How To Travel Light

Picture a life without the baggage of the past. In the U.K., smaller banks are showing established rivals how that could be.

Commodity Drop Slows Canada Down

Canada’s woes are a harbinger of what could come for a small clutch of advanced economies that rely heavily on commodity exports, and demand from China, for their economic growth.

The Moment When Humans Matter

A string of messy market openings in recent weeks has reinvigorated a debate about the relative effectiveness of humans in the stock trade.

Tesco Closer to $7 Billion South Korea Deal

U.K. retailer Tesco has chosen Asian private-equity firm MBK Partners as the preferred bidder to buy its South Korea retail operations in a deal that could be worth up to $7 billion.

South African Gold Faces Uncertain Future

South Africa’s gold mining industry must undergo radical change to cope with falling prices, intensifying labor disputes and the surging cost of ever-deeper exploration.

Intel Bets New Chips Will Revive PC Sales

Intel is overhauling its flagship line of computer chips in a high-stakes bid to revive personal-computer sales.

Bayer Separates Material Science Business

German pharmaceuticals group Bayer has moved a step closer to floating its $12.3 billion specialty chemicals business by ‘legally and economically’ separating the unit, now named Covestro.

Greek Polls Suggest Tough Election Test for Tsipras

Opinion polls show declining support for Greece’s Syriza party and its leader, Alexis Tsipras. But Syriza retains a lead over its opponents and the Sept. 20 election could be tight.

Police Say Main Bangkok Bombing Suspect Believed to Be Uighur

A senior Thai police investigator said for the first time that the main suspect in the deadly bombing at a Bangkok shrine last month is believed to be a member of China’s Uighur ethnic minority.

EU Set to Extend Sanctions on Russians, Ukraine Rebels

The EU is set to roll over sanctions targeted against almost 200 Russian and Ukrainian-separatist individuals and firms to keep pressure on Moscow to fully implement the Minsk cease-fire terms by year end.

Pope to Make It Easier for Priests to Grant Pardons for Abortion

Pope Francis will make it easier for priests to forgive women for having had abortions, and those who assisted, during a “year of mercy” starting Dec. 8. 590

Emails Point to Large Role for Clinton Adviser Blumenthal

Longtime aide Sidney Blumenthal maintained an outsize role with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, despite being blocked from taking a job at the department. 87

Biden to Speak at Florida Events Amid 2016 Speculation

The vice president is expected to decide this month whether he will make a third bid for the White House.

Search Continues for Three Suspects After Illinois Policeman Killed

As a small northern Illinois community mourned a popular veteran police officer who was fatally shot while on duty, authorities scoured the area overnight in search of three men wanted in his slaying.

U.S. Report Sees Economic Benefit in Allowing Oil Exports

Lifting the nation’s four-decade ban on oil exports wouldn’t raise gas prices and could help lower them, a government study concludes. 51

Kentucky Clerk Denies Gays Marriage Licenses, Defying Supreme Court

A county clerk in Kentucky who is defying the U.S. Supreme Court by refusing to license same-sex marriage has been summoned to explain to a federal judge why she shouldn’t face stiff fines or jail time. 1087

Video

The Iran Nuclear Deal Explained

3:34

Hungary Stops Migrants Boarding Trains To Germany

1:46

Ukraine Protest Blast Kills Officer, Injures Dozens

0:45

Personal Tech | DxO One Review

Finally, an iPhone Camera Good En