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Market Rally Loses Steam

A rally spurred by optimism over the U.S. economy and a rebound in commodity prices lost some steam Friday, as European shares and U.S. stock futures slipped.

China’s Turbulence Exposes Risks to Europe’s Growth

The eurozone’s heavy reliance on exports leaves the region vulnerable as emerging markets stumble.

Austria Says 71 Migrants Found Dead in Truck

Austrian police said 71 migrants were found dead in a truck off a highway outside Vienna and that three alleged human traffickers had been arrested in Hungary.

Fed Urged to Press Ahead With Rate Rise

After months of forewarning by the Federal Reserve that it is preparing to raise short-term interest rates, some international officials have a message: Get on with it already. 50

IMAGE 1 of 9

‘Craft’ Bourbon Is in the Eye of the Distiller

“Craft” distilleries have mushroomed in the U.S. to 588 from 51 over the past decade. Feeling the heat from the new competition, global liquor conglomerates are getting in on the act, and not letting definitions get in the way.

Hacker Killed by Drone Was Islamic State’s ‘Secret Weapon’

That Islamic State’s Junaid Hussain was targeted directly by the U.S. and U.K. shows the extent to which digital warfare has upset the balance of power on the modern battlefield. 79

Big Oil Faces Prospect of Lower Refining Profits

For much of the past year, the world’s biggest energy companies suffered through an oil-price rout with one silver lining: Their little-loved refineries were churning out big profits again. Now, that bright spot could be fading, even as oil prices sink.

Anger Over Garbage in Lebanon Blossoms into Demands for Reform

Calls for political reform, however, collide with country’s entrenched, sectarian-based political system.

Ukraine’s U.S.-Born Finance Minister Praised for Persistence

Natalie Jaresko led months of tense negotiations with creditors, clocking thousands of air miles to reach a debt-relief deal that should help secure further bailout funds from the International Monetary Fund.

Ex-Archbishop Dies Ahead of Vatican Child Abuse Trial

The former papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic, who was under house arrest on charges of child abuse and possession of child pornography, has died, according to the Vatican.

Swiss Economy Beats Expectations

Switzerland’s economy grew in the second quarter, defying expectations that it would slip into its first recession in six years.

Greece Names George Chouliarakis Interim Finance Minister

Greece named George Chouliarakis as the country’s interim finance minister, handing him control of the country’s purse strings until next month’s elections.

How Do You Short China?

Traders are scouring stock, bond and currency markets for ways to make money on the malaise afflicting China. Some are piling into insurance-like contracts that would pay out if the country defaulted on a small pool of its foreign-denominated bonds.

Soured Wagers Hurt Highflying Fund

Market turmoil in China has further derailed the money-management industry’s flagship effort to bring more-sophisticated—and riskier—investment strategies to small investors.

Heard on the Street

Stock Market Investors Should Watch the Credit Canary

The corporate bond market could give vital clues to equities investors about the outlook for growth and inflation.

China’s Banks Face Worst Year in More Than a Decade

China’s biggest lenders are scrambling to clear rising bad loans from their books, as a faltering economy weighs on loan repayments and sets banks on pace for their worst year since they began listing shares 13 years ago.

U.K. E-Cigarettes Report Blasted by the Lancet

A recent U.K. government report that called electronic cigarettes 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes has been criticized by the Lancet medical journal for relying on “flimsy” evidence.

Sanctions Bite Massive Gas Project in Russian Arctic

A race to shore up funding for the $27 billion Yamal LNG energy project in the Russian Arctic has emerged as a test of Moscow’s ability to weather Western sanctions.

As China Celebrates Victory, Businesses Cope With Loss

Beijing ordered more than 10,000 factories to close or reduce output ahead of a high-profile military parade, crimping many businesses in the capital and leaving some workers without wages.

Hermès Warns of Currency Pressure

French luxury-goods company Hermès International warned that volatile currencies will erode its profitability in the second half of the year with profit seen rising more slowly than sales.

Mansion

A Swedish Couple’s Lakeside Oasis

Entrepreneur Olof Sköld and his partner, Helene Carson, build a retreat for their family

Technology

Pentagon Advances Partnership with Tech Firms for Flexible Electronics

The Pentagon is announcing that it will contribute seed money to a consortium of Silicon Valley firms to develop what defense officials say is a promising new technology incorporating “flexible” electronics.

China’s Moves Won’t Help U.S. Tech Firms

China’s moves to spur its slowing economy are having an important but less obvious effect on the tech sector: Strengthening local companies that were already making life difficult for U.S. rivals.

Video

Body Count Rises in Migrant Effort to Reach Europe

1:38

Buzz Aldrin Developing Plan to Colonize Mars

1:09

Facebook's 'M' Takes on Siri and Google Now

3:36

On Wine: Will Lyons

Why Gin Is Back With a Flourish

Gin is experiencing the kind of boom the wine industry experienced in the mid-1980s, as boutique-distilled bottles with names like Half Hitch, Opihr and Ransom Old Tom give the classic G&T a new—and flavorful—twist

Music

Foals’ ‘What Went Down’ Is a Visceral Confessional

Yannis Philippakis, the lead singer whose energetic stage presence and novelistic lyrics have made Foals one of British rock’s most compelling propositions, talks about the band’s fourth album.

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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Die Seite Drei – Über uns

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

Market Rally Loses Steam

A rally spurred by optimism over the U.S. economy and a rebound in commodity prices lost some steam Friday, as European shares and U.S. stock futures slipped.

China’s Turbulence Exposes Risks to Europe’s Growth

The eurozone’s heavy reliance on exports leaves the region vulnerable as emerging markets stumble.

Austria Says 71 Migrants Found Dead in Truck

Austrian police said 71 migrants were found dead in a truck off a highway outside Vienna and that three alleged human traffickers had been arrested in Hungary.

Fed Urged to Press Ahead With Rate Rise

After months of forewarning by the Federal Reserve that it is preparing to raise short-term interest rates, some international officials have a message: Get on with it already. 50

IMAGE 1 of 9

‘Craft’ Bourbon Is in the Eye of the Distiller

“Craft” distilleries have mushroomed in the U.S. to 588 from 51 over the past decade. Feeling the heat from the new competition, global liquor conglomerates are getting in on the act, and not letting definitions get in the way.

Hacker Killed by Drone Was Islamic State’s ‘Secret Weapon’

That Islamic State’s Junaid Hussain was targeted directly by the U.S. and U.K. shows the extent to which digital warfare has upset the balance of power on the modern battlefield. 79

Big Oil Faces Prospect of Lower Refining Profits

For much of the past year, the world’s biggest energy companies suffered through an oil-price rout with one silver lining: Their little-loved refineries were churning out big profits again. Now, that bright spot could be fading, even as oil prices sink.

Anger Over Garbage in Lebanon Blossoms into Demands for Reform

Calls for political reform, however, collide with country’s entrenched, sectarian-based political system.

Ukraine’s U.S.-Born Finance Minister Praised for Persistence

Natalie Jaresko led months of tense negotiations with creditors, clocking thousands of air miles to reach a debt-relief deal that should help secure further bailout funds from the International Monetary Fund.

Ex-Archbishop Dies Ahead of Vatican Child Abuse Trial

The former papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic, who was under house arrest on charges of child abuse and possession of child pornography, has died, according to the Vatican.

Swiss Economy Beats Expectations

Switzerland’s economy grew in the second quarter, defying expectations that it would slip into its first recession in six years.

Greece Names George Chouliarakis Interim Finance Minister

Greece named George Chouliarakis as the country’s interim finance minister, handing him control of the country’s purse strings until next month’s elections.

How Do You Short China?

Traders are scouring stock, bond and currency markets for ways to make money on the malaise afflicting China. Some are piling into insurance-like contracts that would pay out if the country defaulted on a small pool of its foreign-denominated bonds.

Soured Wagers Hurt Highflying Fund

Market turmoil in China has further derailed the money-management industry’s flagship effort to bring more-sophisticated—and riskier—investment strategies to small investors.

Heard on the Street

Stock Market Investors Should Watch the Credit Canary

The corporate bond market could give vital clues to equities investors about the outlook for growth and inflation.

China’s Banks Face Worst Year in More Than a Decade

China’s biggest lenders are scrambling to clear rising bad loans from their books, as a faltering economy weighs on loan repayments and sets banks on pace for their worst year since they began listing shares 13 years ago.

U.K. E-Cigarettes Report Blasted by the Lancet

A recent U.K. government report that called electronic cigarettes 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes has been criticized by the Lancet medical journal for relying on “flimsy” evidence.

Sanctions Bite Massive Gas Project in Russian Arctic

A race to shore up funding for the $27 billion Yamal LNG energy project in the Russian Arctic has emerged as a test of Moscow’s ability to weather Western sanctions.

As China Celebrates Victory, Businesses Cope With Loss

Beijing ordered more than 10,000 factories to close or reduce output ahead of a high-profile military parade, crimping many businesses in the capital and leaving some workers without wages.

Hermès Warns of Currency Pressure

French luxury-goods company Hermès International warned that volatile currencies will erode its profitability in the second half of the year with profit seen rising more slowly than sales.

Mansion

A Swedish Couple’s Lakeside Oasis

Entrepreneur Olof Sköld and his partner, Helene Carson, build a retreat for their family

Technology

Pentagon Advances Partnership with Tech Firms for Flexible Electronics

The Pentagon is announcing that it will contribute seed money to a consortium of Silicon Valley firms to develop what defense officials say is a promising new technology incorporating “flexible” electronics.

China’s Moves Won’t Help U.S. Tech Firms

China’s moves to spur its slowing economy are having an important but less obvious effect on the tech sector: Strengthening local companies that were already making life difficult for U.S. rivals.

Video

Body Count Rises in Migrant Effort to Reach Europe

1:38

Buzz Aldrin Developing Plan to Colonize Mars

1:09

Facebook's 'M' Takes on Siri and Google Now

3:36