Nov 29, 2019

China's financial stability could be at risk

Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

China's financial stability is at risk as the number of defaults continues to rise, and weak banks threaten the world's second-largest economy, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Chinese officials are wary of stepping in because they don't want to encourage "moral hazard and reckless spending," Bloomberg writes.

The state of play: The stability of small banks is one of the major concerns as their relationship with state-owned regional companies could lead to a "downward spiral" if Beijing doesn't stop in, Bloomberg notes.

  • China's central bank and other regulators said "they are forcing troubled banks to increase capital, cut bad loans, limit dividends and replace management," Bloomberg writes.
  • A sweeping package is being floated around that would push smaller banks to merge with the support of local governments.

The bottom line: Some support measures might help China's economy and financial stability right now, but it could lead to even bigger debt problems in the future, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: China's economy grows at slowest pace since 1992

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Big American banks are doing quite well in 2019

Reproduced from Retail Banker International; Table: Axios Visuals

It has been a particularly good year for American banks. Despite historically low interest rates, which theoretically eat into their profits, the sector has enjoyed significant share appreciation.

By the numbers: 75 of the world’s largest 100 banks by market cap have seen an increase in their stock price in 2019, according to a new report from GlobalData.

Go deeperArrowDec 10, 2019

Minority-owned banks are disappearing

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Bank failures, mergers and closures have fueled a drop-off in the number of minority-owned banks.

Why it matters: The institutions seek to provide financial services to communities left behind and underserved by the mainstream banking sector.

Go deeperArrowNov 21, 2019

Mike Bloomberg makes local friends with his 2020 donations

Photo: Eric Risberg/AP

Mike Bloomberg will donate $10 million this week "to defend vulnerable Democratic House members against paid Republican attacks on their support for impeachment proceedings" in 2020, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: We're told Bloomberg sees House Democrats as a counterweight to President Trump — the reason he was the biggest outside individual spender on Democrats during the 2018 midterms.

Go deeperArrowDec 12, 2019