BARC.L - Barclays PLC

LSE - LSE Delayed price. Currency in GBp
122.62
+2.78 (+2.32%)
At close: 4:35PM BST
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Previous close119.84
Open121.52
Bid122.60 x 0
Ask122.66 x 0
Day's range118.40 - 124.93
52-week range73.04 - 192.99
Volume88,193,431
Avg. volume90,650,390
Market cap21.259B
Beta (5Y monthly)1.21
PE ratio (TTM)10.57
EPS (TTM)11.60
Earnings date29 Jul 2020
Forward dividend & yieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-dividend date27 Feb 2020
1y target est221.84
  • U.S. judge orders 15 banks to face big investors' currency rigging lawsuit
    Reuters

    U.S. judge orders 15 banks to face big investors' currency rigging lawsuit

    A U.S. judge on Thursday said institutional investors, including BlackRock Inc <BLK.N> and Allianz SE's <ALVG.DE> Pacific Investment Management Co, can pursue much of their lawsuit accusing 15 major banks of rigging prices in the $6.6 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market. U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield in Manhattan said the nearly 1,300 plaintiffs, including many mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, plausibly alleged that the banks conspired to rig currency benchmarks from 2003 to 2013 and profit at their expense. "This is an injury of the type the antitrust laws were intended to prevent," Schofield wrote in a 40-page decision.

  • CoCo Bond Investors Face a Covid-19 Reckoning
    Bloomberg

    CoCo Bond Investors Face a Covid-19 Reckoning

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The Covid-19 pandemic is even starting to affect the highly specialized world of bank capital.Lloyds Banking Group Plc, a large British lender, has just become the third European bank this year to do what was once unthinkable and decline to redeem an outstanding “CoCo” bond at its first call date. This form of hybrid debt — also known as additional tier 1 (or AT1) regulatory capital — is especially risky because the investor bears the losses if the bank fails, and it usually pays a generous interest rate.Because of their special status, there had always been a tacit understanding — though not a legal obligation — that investors would be able to cash in the bonds at the first redemption date, if they so chose, at least with European CoCos. But that tradition looks to be well and truly over among the stronger banks.Lloyds cited “extraordinary market challenges presented by Covid-19” as the reason to extend its own AT1s. With its dividend payments to equity holders suspended currently at the behest of the U.K. financial regulator, because of the coronavirus crisis, it would have looked rum indeed if the bank had cut its equity capital for the benefit of a small group of bondholders. This select bunch ought to have known the risk.The financial savings for Lloyds are just as relevant. By retaining the 6.375% 750 million-euro ($824 million) CoCo, it will switch to paying a floating coupon just above 5%. If it had redeemed the AT1 and issued a replacement bond, it would have had to offer a higher coupon to reflect the current market, probably one above 7%.Lloyds has a solid Tier 1 capital base of 16.9%, so in normal times it would have been expected to keep its bond investors happy. But regulatory pressure and the increase in yields on risky debt during the current crisis has forced even the better capitalized banks to prioritize their financing costs.Spain’s Banco Santander SA set the precedent last year of a blue-chip lender not redeeming its AT1 debt out of pure economic self-interest. That’s standard practice in the U.S. market, but Santander’s action caused a storm here in Europe. Germany’s Deutsche Bank AG and Aareal Bank AG have also skipped calls this year.This Americanization of the European CoCo market looks like a trend. ABN Amro Bank NV and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc both have AT1 bonds with calls due this summer, and Barclays Plc is due later in the year. They may follow the Lloyds example and retain cheap AT1 capital raised at lower yields.Banks have benefited hugely from AT1 issues as regulators count it as permanent equity (although it was almost always redeemed), meaning it counts toward capital buffers. And the cost is much lower for the issuer than true perpetual debt. Investors have been happy to play along as the yields far exceed those on bank debt with legally enforceable redemption dates.The Lloyds move is a wake-up call for AT1 investors.While the bigger banks’ CoCo bonds will probably still be popular, even if the call date is no longer guaranteed implicitly, the change might do more damage to weaker lenders. If investors no longer feel confident that their money will automatically be returned at the first redemption date, they’ll demand a higher return for the risk.The CoCo market only reopened tentatively this month with a new Bank of Ireland Group Plc deal. The Irish lender did what Lloyds refused to do and redeemed its existing AT1 and reissued at a higher cost. At least it managed to keep its investors happy and on board.This new separation between large stable banks being able to act according to their own economic advantage, while smaller rivals have to offer chunkier premiums, is a worry for the health of the financial system. It ought to be an urgent matter for consideration by European regulators. Forcing the strong banks to keep capital has consequences for their less illustrious peers.  This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Marcus Ashworth is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering European markets. He spent three decades in the banking industry, most recently as chief markets strategist at Haitong Securities in London.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Coronavirus: Non-essential spending down 42%
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Coronavirus: Non-essential spending down 42%

    Essential spending dropped 6% in April year-on-year whilst non-essential spends dropping by 42%.

  • BlackRock Made Emerging Markets. So It Can Break Them
    Bloomberg

    BlackRock Made Emerging Markets. So It Can Break Them

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Not too long ago, BlackRock Inc. was super bullish on the prospect of exchange-traded bond funds. While it took 17 years for these passive vehicles to reach $1 trillion in assets under management, doubling that would take a fraction of the time, the investment manager predicted. These funds have become “disruptors” of the once opaque and difficult-to-access global bond market, it said. Passive funds have indeed become popular. More than 60% of institutional investors used debt ETFs last year, up from 20% in 2017. Meanwhile, emerging market bond ETFs represent the fastest growing segment, rising at an annualized rate of 38% over the last decade, to $82 billion in assets under management.  As much as BlackRock’s marketing executives may tout “disruption,” instability is one thing developing markets can do without — especially now that they’re issuing debt left and right. Investors are understandably starting to ask who will pay when things go pear-shaped. If they bail, the passive funds they’ve gobbled up could well kill emerging-market investing. Take a look at BlackRock’s $13 billion iShares J.P. Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF. It’s well-liked by investors because it tracks sovereign dollar issues, which takes the problem of currency volatility off the table. But its exposure doesn't accurately reflect the gross domestic product of its constituents. China, for instance, has a weighting of just 3.8%, making it the eighth-largest component of the ETF. Meanwhile, Argentina, Turkey, South Africa, Egypt and Colombia — the new Fragile Five according to Bloomberg Intelligence — together have a 14% weight, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Add the next five in line, and about 35% of your ETF’s holdings are vested with the most vulnerable nations.(1) BlackRock is simply tracking the widely followed J.P. Morgan index, which is by no means the only one with a heavy tilt toward troubled countries. The Bloomberg Barclays EM USD Aggregate Sovereign Index, for instance, also has more than a third of its weight behind the Fragile 10. Since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., quantitative easing has driven billions of dollars of capital into emerging markets. With rates near zero in the developed world, investors have eagerly  taken on extra risk in the pursuit of yield. As a result, nations with current account and fiscal deficits, such as Indonesia, ended up issuing plenty of dollar bonds. Meanwhile, healthier ones, like export-oriented China and South Korea, developed their domestic government bond markets instead. After all, it’s cheaper to raise money in your own currency. Beijing only raises dollar bonds when it feels like showing off its prime rating abroad.Now, the virus is raising uncomfortable questions. Economies big and small are on lockdown, facing large shortfalls in government revenues and big fiscal spending plans. How will the most vulnerable ones meet their debt obligations?In mid-April, the Group of 20 agreed to halt repayments for the poorest countries. That won’t be enough. African economies, for instance, have the largest external funding gap among the low-income group analyzed by Moody’s Investors Service Inc. That amounts to around $40 billion to $50 billion this year, or about 4% to 5% of their combined GDP. The G-20 debt relief is worth only $10 billion.If, say, a few African countries lit up the global news headlines by walking a tad too close to default, would ETF investors sell out of their positions altogether? It wouldn’t be irrational. Thanks to passive funds’ transparency, we know at least one-third of our positions are vested with some of the most fragile emerging economies.BlackRock created retail products from an asset class once preserved for professionals. This great democratization experiment is a double-edged sword. Sure, it helps struggling nations raise money. But in times of distress, contagion becomes the word. Stock pickers — value investors, in particular — have long argued ETFs distort equity markets. That assessment isn’t far off for fixed income, either.(1) Bloomberg Intelligence has assigned a vulnerability rating based on current account balance, short-term external debt, reserve coverage, government effectiveness and deviation from inflation targets.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Shuli Ren is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Asian markets. She previously wrote on markets for Barron's, following a career as an investment banker, and is a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Band of England Keeps Options on Negative Rates, Bailey Says
    Bloomberg

    Band of England Keeps Options on Negative Rates, Bailey Says

    (Bloomberg) -- The Bank of England is studying how low U.K. interest rates can be cut amid the coronavirus crisis and isn’t excluding the idea of taking borrowing costs below zero, according to Governor Andrew Bailey.“Given what we’ve done in past few weeks, it should come as no surprise to learn that of course, we’re keeping the tools under active review in the current situation,” Bailey told lawmakers on Wednesday when asked about negative rates. “We do not rule things out as a matter of principle. That would be a foolish thing to do. That doesn’t mean we rule things in either.”The comments come amid a growing debate about the possibility of negative interest rates in the U.K., which intensified Wednesday after a report showed inflation slowed to the lowest level since 2016 and the nation sold debt with a sub-zero yield for the first time. Bailey said his position on going below zero had changed since entering the pandemic, but the policy had received “pretty mixed reviews” elsewhere.While officials have repeatedly emphasized such a move isn’t imminent, and would be tricky to implement in the U.K., they’ve also stressed nothing is off the table in their efforts to fight the impact of coronavirus. The fallout could push the economy into the deepest recession in three centuries.Interest-rate swaps, which are used to gauge where the benchmark may be, are just below 0% for December, and get progressively lower in 2021.Still, a full 10 basis-point cut below zero is yet to be fully priced in. That means that rather than outright bets on a negative rate, those moves might represent traders hedging against the prospect of a worsening economic situation making easier policy more likely.“In investors’ minds even a small probability of negative interest rates in the dollar and pound is a big change”, said Antoine Bouvet, rates strategist at ING Groep NV. “That the possibility remains open, even if small, and might cause some investors to pre-hedge.”Read More:U.K. Inflation Rate Drops Below 1% Amid Negative Rate Debate Negative Interest Rates Are Last on BOE List, Barclays SaysU.K.’s First Negative-Yielding Bond Sale Fuels Debate Over RatesBailey said the BOE was keen to observe the impact of its previous U.K. rate cuts, bearing in mind arguments that they become less effective the closer to zero they are. It’s also examining the experience of other central banks that have cut below zero, he said, adding the financial system in an economy is an important factor.The governor has previously expressed a stronger opposition than other policy makers to the tool, saying they would present a communications challenge and prove difficult for banks. Others have been more sanguine, with Silvana Tenreyro saying they’ve had a positive effect elsewhere and Chief Economist Andy Haldane noting they were something officials were examining among other unconventional tools.Cutting interest rates below zero is the last policy option that BOE officials would currently choose to further stimulate the economy, according to Barclays, which sees more asset purchases as the most likely next step.What Our Economists Say:“Would negative rates really be a game changer if the economy needed a lift? Probably not. The reality is the BOE is at the limits of its powers to boost spending. If demand did need a lift further down the line, we think a more potent policy mix would be for the BOE to continue with QE while fiscal policy does the heavy lifting.”\-- Dan Hanson, U.K. economistAnother side effect would be to further weaken an already beleaguered pound, making imports more expensive. While exports would typically get a boost, the impact of the pandemic on trade means that’s less likely this time.“I can’t think of an economy where negative rates are a worse idea than the U.K.,” wrote Kit Juckes, a strategist at Societe Generale. “How on earth does it make sense to even consider adding negative rates to the mix?”(Adds further comments from Bailey in third paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Lira-Averse Banks Raise Concern in Turkey of Another Dollar Rush
    Bloomberg

    Lira-Averse Banks Raise Concern in Turkey of Another Dollar Rush

    (Bloomberg) -- Turkey’s push for faster credit growth is inadvertently eroding returns on lira savings, a consequence of pro-growth policies that officials fear might fuel demand for dollars.The government last month set ambitious targets for banks to boost lending and mitigate the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.But instead of rolling out new loans, some private lenders began aggressive cuts to interest rates on deposits after the banking regulator said they must raise a newly defined asset ratio to above 100%. Policy makers are now concerned lower rates might result in a rush for more dollars and create another source of imbalance as they try to stimulate the $750 billion economy, according to officials with direct knowledge of the matter.“Lira deposit rates follow policy rates very closely,” Barclays Plc economist Ercan Erguzel said in an emailed note. “Bigger cuts on top of current levels, without a further drop in inflation expectations and/or actual inflation, would likely affect the dollarization trend, which has been stable for a while.”Sudden changes in saving patterns can act as a destabilizer for emerging economies such as Turkey, where more than half the savings in the banking sector is already denominated in foreign currencies. Additional demand for foreign exchange could present a particular challenge at a time of declining reserves, which is putting pressure on the currency and amplifying the burden on companies holding foreign debt.Central bank data on deposits underscore officials’ growing concern. Following the new regulation, the average rate lenders offer for lira accounts dropped to 8.4%, the lowest level since November 2013, according to most recent data.The drop was driven by private lenders, where lira deposits fell 3.4% within the first 3 weeks of the new asset-ratio requirement. State banks saw their local-currency deposits rise 7.9% during the same period as they chased credit growth more aggressively.Deposit rates well below consumer inflation are only one factor among many that determine how much foreign exchange Turks might want to hold. But lower rates for a sustained period might eventually force savers to buy more dollars, according to the officials, who asked for anonymity to discuss policy makers’ concerns.Officials at the regulator and the treasury declined to comment.President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak have repeatedly slammed private banks for failing to support companies even before the coronavirus outbreak paralyzed economic activity. With the economy likely falling into a recession, the focus remains on credit even at the risk of growing vulnerabilities elsewhere.(Updates with economist comment in fourth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    JPMorgan Hires Barclays’ Credit Trader Schaefer

    (Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. has hired Barclays Plc credit derivatives trader Benjamin Schaefer, according to people familiar with the matter.Schaefer will join the U.S. bank in London before later relocating to New York, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing personnel moves. At Barclays, he also held roles on both sides of the Atlantic, including head of the high-grade credit-default swaps team, the people said.A spokeswoman for Barclays and a JPMorgan spokesman declined to comment on the hire. Schaefer also declined to comment.He joins following an eventful period for JPMorgan’s credit team. Earlier this year, the bank punished more than a dozen traders for using WhatsApp at work, firing one and cutting bonus payments for the rest. Edward Koo, who was known as one of the bank’s main traders of credit-default swaps tied to individual companies, was dismissed after JPMorgan concluded he broke company rules by creating a WhatsApp group and using it to discuss market chatter with colleagues.Credit swap indexes have been particularly volatile in recent months as the measures taken to stem the coronavirus sent shockwaves through credit markets, causing a gauge of U.S. corporate credit risk to surge by the most since Lehman Brothers collapsed. The cost of credit insurance has declined in recent weeks but remains elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels.(Updates with credit trader departure in fourth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Brokers bullish on Barclays shares
    Stockopedia

    Brokers bullish on Barclays shares

    The Barclays (LON:BARC) share price has risen by 16.0% over the past month and it’s currently trading at 105.18. For investors considering whether to buy, hold...

  • Goldman Sounds the Death Knell for High-Yield Savings Accounts
    Bloomberg

    Goldman Sounds the Death Knell for High-Yield Savings Accounts

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Goodbye, high-yield savings accounts. We hardly knew you.For years, the oxymoronic products were a resounding success for both consumers and financial institutions alike. After getting almost zero interest from big U.S. banks, individuals who parked their excess cash with the likes of Ally Financial Inc., Barclays Plc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s consumer bank, Marcus, or HSBC Holdings Plc’s HSBC Direct were suddenly bringing in a comparatively bountiful 2% or more around this time last year. At that point, the Federal Reserve had raised its short-term interest rate for what would be the final time this cycle in December 2018. The rest is history. First, the Fed felt compelled to lower interest rates three times from July through October to offset the economic impacts from the Trump administration’s trade wars. That, as I noted in an October column, brought prevailing high-yield savings rates dangerously close to the fed funds rate. And yet, in early 2020, Marcus users could still lock in that 2% magic number by opting for a no-penalty certificate of deposit.Then the coronavirus happened. This chart says it all: As it’s plain to see, there’s now a chasm between the fed funds rate and the going rates on some top high-yield savings accounts. The banks have so far moved lower gradually, likely to avoid sticker shock that would cause their customers to take their deposits elsewhere. But even with online banking’s cost-saving advantages over more typical brick-and-mortar institutions, they can’t defy gravity forever. Eventually, rates will have to head closer to the zero lower bound. These savings accounts will still hang around but will hardly seem to fit the moniker of “high yield.”Marcus announced the cut to its savings rate on May 8 with this message:“Effective today, the rate on our Marcus high-yield Online Savings Account has been adjusted down to 1.30% from 1.55% APY. We understand that this isn’t welcome news. During this unprecedented time, please know that the rate on our Marcus Online Savings Account remains highly competitive with an APY that’s still 4X the national average. You can rest assured that we continue our commitment to providing value and helping your money grow.”“For a guaranteed return, consider adding a fixed-rate No-Penalty CD. You’ll earn a high-yield rate with the flexibility to withdraw you balance beginning 7 days after funding. Our 7-month No-Penalty CD currently earns 1.55%.”The marketing is top-notch. First, it’s transparent about being bad news, but then quickly pivots to play up that Marcus still provides comparatively more interest than accounts at Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. The announcement also wastes no time suggesting a no-penalty CD to make up for the lost interest (and, in a benefit to Goldman, create a “stickier” deposit). Marcus is a relatively new venture for Goldman, and it seems reasonable to assume the investment bank will operate it with Chief Executive Officer David Solomon’s “evolutionary path” in mind. Goldman is looking to diversify away from historically volatile trading revenue, much like its Wall Street rival Morgan Stanley. If it means running Marcus with tight margins to keep customers in the fold, so be it.A bank like Ally, on the other hand, may have less flexibility. Heading into this year, it was fresh off of an upgrade by S&P Global Ratings to BBB-, one step above junk. That upswing didn’t last long; it was one of 13 banks that S&P put on negative outlook earlier this month. Analysts said it “could be more sensitive to the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic than the average U.S. bank. We attribute this sensitivity to Ally's sizable concentration in auto lending that may face heightened risk of financial distress in the current economic environment.” Also a risk: “Ultra-low interest rates will weigh on net interest income,” which accounts for more than 70% of Ally’s net revenue.Ally, for its part, also knows how to sell itself. “People don’t want to hear messages that are depressing and that add to their anxiety,” Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing officer at Ally, told the Financial Brand in an article published last week. “They want to hear optimism and they want to hear about purposeful ideas that make them feel like the world is going to kind of get back to normal.” The theme of a campaign promoting its savings options: “Is your money not sure what to do with itself?”Whether Ally, Barclays, Marcus or HSBC are the answer to that is an open question. As it stands, these interest rates barely cover the market-implied inflation rate over the next 10 years. That’s somewhat by design, of course — the Fed cuts rates in part to encourage borrowing and purchases of riskier assets, both of which boost the economy more than parking cash in a high-yield savings account. Stocks, however, seem increasingly detached from the current economic reality. In that sense, Ally’s focus on being unsure might resonate with individual investors.Future interest rates on high-yield savings accounts are on equally shaky ground. While there’s not much in the way of precedent, it’s safe to say they’ll continue to offer more than the rock-bottom rates on money-market funds. Banks will probably do whatever they can to delay going below 1%, a round number that could be the last straw for some individuals. Other than those parameters, though, anything is possible; such is life at the zero lower bound.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Investors Don’t Share Trump’s Scorn for Blue States
    Bloomberg

    Investors Don’t Share Trump’s Scorn for Blue States

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- President Donald Trump seems to think that states led by Democratic governments are profligate and don’t deserve federal coronavirus relief aid. “I don't think the Republicans want to be in a position where they bail out states that are, that have been mismanaged over a long period of time,” he told the New York Post earlier this month. The worst offenders, he said, mentioning Illinois, New York and  California, are debt-burdened places “run by Democrats in every case.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said much the same thing.Actually, no. Governors of both parties have been quick to push back, and commentators pointed out that historically Republican-dominated states like McConnell’s Kentucky tend to receive more from the federal government than they contribute to the national coffers, while states where Democrats usually prevail suffer the reverse fate.When it comes to debt performance, one way to measure fiscal responsibility, blue Democratic states have done better than Republican red ones in the municipal bond market, where their debt was coveted. That’s because they adopted unpopular policies such as raising taxes to shore up underfunded pensions and other burdensome imbalances accumulated after the 2008 financial crisis.Government fiscal policies also helped blue states contribute more to U.S. growth and prosperity than red ones before the pandemic struck, measured by their gross domestic product, personal income, tax revenue, total employment, job growth and labor participation rate.Of the 30 states that voted for Trump in 2016, eight now have Democratic governors; four of the 20 states that went for Hillary Clinton are led by Republicans. But the 2016 presidential balloting generally reflects the states’ partisan leanings, with a smattering of exceptions.The Trump-voting states saw their output grow by a collective $1.775 trillion in the previous five years, to $10.5 trillion at the end of 2019. That’s less than the $2.092 trillion growth in the less numerous Clinton states, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The more numerous red states, led by Florida and Texas with a combined GDP of $567 billion, generated $317 billion less to the American economy than blue states, led by California and New York with a comparable GDP of $1.046 trillion.Each blue state added 246,000 new jobs on average during the past five years; their red counterparts added 192,000. Employment in blue states increased 6.7% versus 5.4% for red states. Labor participation rose 0.34 percentage points for the blue states and declined 0.07 percentage points for red states. Personal income surged 22.1% for the blue states against 18.8% for the red states. While tax revenue increased 22.2% on average for each blue state, it advanced 19.9% for each red state, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.When he was elected to the third of his four terms as California governor in 2011, Jerry Brown simultaneously reduced spending and raised taxes to the extent that his state perennially outperformed every country and state in the credit default swap market, which measures a borrower's creditworthiness. The largest state's 4.7% increase in GDP last year was more than the 2.3% gain for the U.S. and enabled the state's jobless rate to decline to 3.9%, the lowest on record since such data was first compiled in 1976.As Rhode Island state treasurer and then governor, Gina Raimondo helped transform a small state with the nation’s most unemployment in 2011 by tackling the worst unfunded pension liability in the U.S. She also took the political risk of raising taxes on truckers. When she became governor in 2015, Rhode Island ranked in the lower half of the U.S. in economic health, according to the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of the States Index, which tracks employment, tax revenue, personal income and other measures. Before her first term ended, Rhode Island climbed to above average and the state's unemployment rate declined to 3.4%, the lowest in 31 years.Investor confidence in these and other blue states is reflected in the change in yield, or how much creditors charge each state during the past five years. California, New York and Illinois saw their borrowing costs decline 55 basis points, 48 basis points and 36 basis points, respectively, compared to declines of 33 basis points for Texas and 21 basis points for Florida, according to Bloomberg Barclays indexes.Maybe Trump and McConnell could learn something about state governments by watching where creditors and investors are putting their money.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Matthew A. Winkler is Co-founder of Bloomberg News (1990) and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus; Bloomberg Opinion Columnist since 2015; Co-founder of Bloomberg Business Journalism Diversity Program in 2017. During his 25 years as Editor-in-Chief, Bloomberg News was a three-time finalist and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting and received numerous George Polk, Gerald Loeb, Overseas Press Club and Society of Professional Journalists and Editors (Sabew) awards.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Coronavirus: Food and drink retailers buck consumer spending slump
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Coronavirus: Food and drink retailers buck consumer spending slump

    Consumer spending dropped 36% year-on-year in April but food and drink retailers saw a surge in custom as Brits supported local shops during lockdown.

  • Coronavirus: Canary Wharf creates plan for workforce return
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Coronavirus: Canary Wharf creates plan for workforce return

    Plans to bring back thousands of workers to Canary Wharf include one way routes, lift restrictions and removing soft furnishings.

  • Coronavirus: Firms struggling to receive £50k bounce back loan
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Coronavirus: Firms struggling to receive £50k bounce back loan

    Business owners feel let down by leading banks as they struggle to access £50,000 bounce back loans.

  • Coronavirus: Canary Wharf draws up return-to-work plans for offices
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Coronavirus: Canary Wharf draws up return-to-work plans for offices

    Bankers, lawyers, and accountants will have to follow one way systems and strictly limit the number of people in elevators, among other precautions.

  • Barclays Partners with Trusted Non-Profits Across the Americas to Deliver Relief Through $125m COVID-19 Community Aid Package
    Business Wire

    Barclays Partners with Trusted Non-Profits Across the Americas to Deliver Relief Through $125m COVID-19 Community Aid Package

    Barclays today announces the latest charity partners in the Americas that the firm will be supporting through its $125 million (£100 million) COVID-19 Community Aid Package.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Acquitted former Barclays rainmaker Jenkins plots gentler comeback

    A near decade-long battle to clear his name has ended in victory, but the star rainmaker credited with playing a pivotal role in saving one of Britain's biggest banks from a government bailout in 2008 is still waiting to put his life back on track. Former Barclays executive Roger Jenkins headed to his London hotel on Feb. 28 after being unanimously acquitted in a high profile fraud trial revolving around credit crisis-era payments made by Barclays to Qatar. Jenkins had planned to tie up loose ends before preparing to return to his family in Malibu, California.

  • Investing.com

    Barclays Sticks to Their Hold Rating for CyberArk Software

    Barclays (LON:BARC) analyst Saket Kalia maintained a Hold rating on CyberArk Software (NASDAQ:CYBR) on Wednesday, setting a price target of $109, which is approximately 0.67% below the present share price of $109.74.

  • Investing.com

    Barclays Sticks to Their Hold Rating for Halozyme Therapeutics

    Barclays (LON:BARC) analyst Gena Wang maintained a Hold rating on Halozyme (NASDAQ:HALO) Therapeutics on Tuesday, setting a price target of $21, which is approximately 15.39% below the present share price of $24.82.

  • Investing.com

    Barclays Sticks to Their Hold Rating for Brookfield Infrastructure

    Barclays (LON:BARC) analyst Eric Beaumont maintained a Hold rating on Brookfield Infrastructure (NYSE:BIPC) on Tuesday, setting a price target of $46, which is approximately 8.77% above the present share price of $42.29.

  • Britain’s Silly Flirtation With Negative Interest Rates
    Bloomberg

    Britain’s Silly Flirtation With Negative Interest Rates

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Andrew Bailey, the Bank of England’s new governor, tried out a little bit of “whatever it takes” central banker language last week by opening up the possibility of negative interest rates in the U.K. “I don’t want to say we’re nearer” to that eventuality, he said “but we’re not ruling anything out.”For now the BOE’s focus is still on buying more bonds through its quantitative easing programs to manage the Covid-19 economic crisis, and rightly so. Negative rates would open up a dangerous pathway for Britain. They should only be used if nothing else manages to stimulate the economy. The official bank rate has been lowered twice this year already to its current 0.1%.With Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s post-lockdown plan only just published, we need to see whether it gives an adequate boost to consumer spending, which constitutes about one-third of the U.K.’s gross domestic product and is the driver of the country’s economy. There’s certainly a lot of room for improvement. Barclays Plc reported that credit card spending fell 53% in the last week of March versus the prior year comparison. And, during normal times at least, Brits don’t need much encouragement to start spending: The U.K. household savings rate is about 6%, significantly lower than the 10.5% European average.One possible advantage of a gradual and staggered reopening would be if people took their summer holidays in the U.K., providing a desperately needed leg-up to the domestic hospitality and leisure industries. Cutting deposit rates to zero or below wouldn’t make those who can afford to spend feel any more emboldened.The experience of negative rates thus far in Europe doesn’t really show that they stop citizens from saving and get them to spend more (the euro area’s household savings rate has remained elevated in recent years). They could indeed do the opposite by making savers worry about their dwindling nest eggs, leading in turn to increased hoarding. From a pure markets perspective, there’s also the peril of investors getting into riskier products to try to find yields. The European Central Bank, which has had negative rates for several years, hasn’t cut official rates during this crisis after realizing that such a move wouldn’t do much. Much of the euro area appeared to be heading into recession before the coronavirus struck and lending has been anemic at best. Sweden has reversed its negative rates back to zero.Bailey will also be mindful of not crippling those lenders who have offered their customers variable-rate mortgages — particularly less well-capitalized building societies. More than a quarter of Britain’s 1.5 trillion pounds ($1.85 billion) of home mortgages are subject to variable rates. If the BOE’s rate went sub-zero, that wouldn’t be healthy for the profit margins of lending institutions, which have been struggling for a while in a world of rock-bottom interest rates. Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the debt of the country’s largest savings deposit taker, Nationwide Building Society, at the end of April and it maintains a negative outlook on the U.K. banking system. And it’s not as though the extra savings for those mortgage customers would really change the situation. Some 73% of U.K. residential mortgages are on fixed rates anyway. Those wealthy enough to have mortgages (you have to be rich to be able to afford to borrow) often end up saving the proceeds from lower interest rates rather than spending.One reason for pushing official rates below zero is to shame lenders into passing the cuts onto their customers. But that won’t force banks to lend more, particularly as they’re having to offer mortgage payment holidays because of the Covid-19 lockdowns. The BOE is already encouraging bank lending via super-cheap loans to the industry.There are better regulatory methods for kick-starting the transmission of monetary policy, such as telling banks that they won’t be able to restart dividend payments or generous bonuses unless they start pumping money into the economy via lending. Bailey and his institution need to try to make sure banks are in a position to lend and have the right incentives. Maybe that’s an impossible task given the natural fears about bad loans. Negative rates aren’t any kind of solution.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Marcus Ashworth is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering European markets. He spent three decades in the banking industry, most recently as chief markets strategist at Haitong Securities in London.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UK retail sales plunge 19% in April as COVID lockdown hits - BRC

    British retail spending plunged by nearly a fifth in April as the government's coronavirus lockdown hammered the sector, and a broader measure of consumer spending tumbled by more than a third, surveys showed on Wednesday. The British Retail Consortium said its members reported a 19.1% drop in total sales last month compared with April last year, the biggest fall since it began its monthly index in 1995. Barclaycard, part of Barclays Bank, said credit and debit card spending plunged by 36.5% compared with a year earlier as spending on travel, pubs and restaurants collapsed.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Investment banks cut jobs despite coronavirus trading surge -Coalition

    Investments banks cut jobs at the fastest pace in six years during a first quarter in 2020 even though the coronavirus pandemic triggered a surge in volatility and boosted revenues to a five-year high, data published on Wednesday by research firm Coalition showed. While investment banks have benefited from the short-term increase in trading, they are expected to be hit hard by a global recession triggered by the COVID-19 crisis and have already imposed hiring freezes. Coalition's data showed that the banks' revenues from fixed income, currencies, and commodities had their strongest first quarter since 2015, surging 20% to 22.7 billion dollars, as the financial turmoil from the coronavirus crisis prompted a spike in trading.

  • Just 10% of promised government-backed coronavirus loans reach businesses
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Just 10% of promised government-backed coronavirus loans reach businesses

    £32bn has been lent to businesses under the state-backed schemes CBIL, Bounce Back loans, CLBILs, and CCFF. The chancellor had promised £330bn of loans.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Keep trading from the kitchen: UK bankers face months more of homeworking

    Many of the City of London's bankers and traders will be working from their kitchens or bedrooms for at least a year under some scenarios being planned by finance companies in Britain. Banks, insurance companies and asset managers have had to work remotely since the country locked down in March to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The radical shift from trading floors to people's homes has been deemed a big success in coping with record breaking volatility across financial markets.

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