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Monday, 18 December 2017

What we’re tracking on 18 December 2017

The Finance Ministry is reportedly soliciting proposals from banks to arrange a USD-denominated eurobond issuance, sources told Reuters. The request was made last week, the sources added. The Finance Ministry was not immediately available for comment, Reuters notes.

Who says term limits in banking are a good thing? Not Bob Wilmers, the longest-serving bank executive in the United States, who has just passed away at age 83. Wilmers had run M&A Bank from 1983 and transformed it from a sleepy local player in upstate New York into a regional powerhouse with 60x the assets and a footprint across the northeastern United States. The story is headline news in CNBC and the Wall Street Journal and even makes the homepage of the Financial Times.

Must-read this morning: The global economy is partying like it’s 2008, declares an op-ed in the New York Times, which succinctly and cogently argues we may be facing another global asset bubble. “The American economy is doing well, and emerging economies are picking up steam. But global asset prices are once again rising rapidly above their underlying value — in other words, they are in a bubble. … While in 2008 bubbles were largely confined to the American housing and credit markets, they are now to be found in almost every corner of the world economy.

** Take our end-of-year survey — get a bag of Enterprise-branded coffee and cool mugs from which to drink it: It’s that time of the year again — we want you to help us gauge how well business went during the year. What are the biggest challenges you faced during the year? Where will the exchange rate stabilise? Do you expect big raises in 2018? Are you hiring? Help us find out. You’ll get the chance to become one of 25 people who’ll get our end of year giveaway package consisting of Enterprise swag and our first-ever Enterprise-branded batch of coffee, which we’ve put together with good friends in the coffee business. (More on that in a later issue.) The survey ends this Thursday, and we’ll have the results when we’re all back from the Christmas-New Year’s-Christmas break.

Among the headlines worthy of your attention this morning:

  • Arab Bank chief Sabih Al Masri has been released from detention in Saudi Arabia. Al Masri was detained for unknown reasons while on a visit to KSA. (Bloomberg)
  • Labor action in Israel shut down that country’s stock exchange, international airport and government offices for half a day yesterday. (Bloomberg)
  • Banks, oil companies, airlines, and Warren Buffett are among those likely to benefit most from Trump’s tax cuts. The bill is expected to pass as early as tomorrow. (Financial Times, Reuters)
  • Trump and Putin held their second call in four days as the Russian leader thanked his counterpart for a CIA tip that foiled a terror plot in St. Petersburg. (New York Times, Financial Times)
  • Sometimes, columnists struggle for a starting point. When that happens, you get an analogy from John Authers that somehow likens investing in emerging markets to fearing for your life under Stalin. (Financial Times)

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