The Week Unpeeled
The markets and media were caught off guard and busy on news late Thursday/Friday that GE was exiting the banking business in what James Stewart in The New York Times called “another nail in the coffin of the American conglomerate” and a reminder how tough it is for big financial-service companies to make money after the GFC and tighter regulation. Interesting juxtaposition on the WSJ “Business & Finance” section, which carried a bond-reaction story to the GE news next to the real market focus with the story, “Spotify Valued at $8.4 Billion,” a number higher than GE Capital’s operating profit for 2014.
- Stocks rallied last week with the US markets boosted late by the GE news and the Dow ending up 1.7 percent on the week to close at 18,057;
- Before the GE news, the media seemed to be focused on Fed watch (would it maybe tighten sometime soon) or Apple watch (who would be a phone-less iPhone for your wrist?); still uncertain on both;
- The US presidential ring got a little bit more crowded last week with Sen. Paul Rand and Hillary Clinton declaring their candidacies;
- Royal Dutch Shell is in talks to acquire BG Group valued as much as $50 billion, reflecting the effects of lower energy prices;
- CBS Bob Schieffer said he would retire at the end of the year;
- No Heads to Roll: The Columbia University investigation into the completely botched Rolling Stone college-rape story concluded that the story does not warrant any firings (???) because nothing dishonest happen (???).