Senator Warren Wants Big Banks Reigned In

US Senator Elizabeth Warren
US Senator Elizabeth Warren

In order to get the financial system in the US to work better for average people, US Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat from Massachusetts, is calling on Republican law makers to take steps to reign in big banks.

Warren is calling on Republicans to break up big banks, put limits on bank executive bonuses and change tax laws to encourage financial institutions to take fewer risks with their capital. She is using the interest spurred by the current tax season to make her points, and added that her suggestions would not be hard to implement. The overall result of her talking points would be to create a more stable financial environment that would be less prone to the kind of disaster that befell the country between 2007 and 2009.

She would like to see a break-up of the largest banks by elected officials. Placing restrictions on the Federal Reserve on their lending policies to banks during financial crisis should also be implemented so banks understand that they cannot turn to the government for a bailout when things go south for them. Perhaps that realization will help the banks to act more responsibly.

Changing the tax code would also help banks and other financial bodies to refrain from taking too high risks, or indulging in unfair banking practices. Lawsuits filed have shown that many bankers had persuaded homeowners into mortgages that they could not afford and would not qualify for. The bankers said that they could skip paying their mortgage or pay a lower amount until they went through the process. Then the banks turned around and tried to foreclose on the home when the homeowners were disqualified from the program, according to the lawsuits.

Sequeira Appointed President of Takeda Pharm

Japan Headquarters of Takeda Pharmaceuticals
Japan Headquarters of Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Ramona Sequeira has been selected to become president of the US Business Unit of Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan-basedTakeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited.

As president Saqueira will head all business operations for the US. He will workd directly under Christophe Weber, President and CEO of Takeda.

“The U.S. is a critical market for Takeda’s future growth, and I am confident that with her strong commercial experience and knowledge of the U.S. healthcare environment, Ramona is the right person to lead this important business unit and play a key role on my

leadership team,” said Weber. “Her more than 20 years of leadership experience and track record of success across multiple healthcare markets, as well as her demonstrated passion for patient centricity, will serve as a critical foundation during Takeda’s global transformation.”

Sequeira was previously Vice President of Lilly USA at Eli Lilly and Company as well as the General manger of Lilly’s UK Hub. She is experienced in a wide range of therapeutic disciplines including neuroscience and primary care. She has experience working in the US, Canada and the UK.

North American Head of Electrolux Quits After Poor Q1 Report

Electrolux Oven Photo credit: Dean Beeler
Electrolux Oven Photo credit: Dean Beeler

Jack Truong, Head of the North American major appliance division of Electrolux, and a vice president, resigned on Wednesday after the Swedish company released a profit warning for the unit.

According to the company, data from the first quarter of 2015 demonstrates that profits would be significantly lower than what had been predicted for their refrigeration and freezer-manufacturing business. They said that the reduced profits are due to new US energy-efficiency requirements in addition to a lagging production increase in its Memphis, Tennessee factory, where ovens are produced.

The company added that it will most likely need almost the rest of 2015 to return to its past profitability level as well as improve efficiency to profitable levels.

Electrolux’s troubles in North America started last year during the third quarter last year. Despite the company developing a plan for improvement, Electrolux has still suffered from slow growth. They are hopeful that things at the company will begin to show improvement during the second quarter of this year.

“If you look at how the company has communicated this, it is clear that they have not had full insight into the developments in North America,” said Mr. Rinta of the Swedish bank Handelsbanken.

Majid Jafar Supporting Others Through the GEI

Crescent Petroleum with Majid Jafar is making a global impact, highlighted, amongst other things, by Majid’s election in 2013 as the deputy chairman of the Global Energy Initiative (GEI) which is a major international non-profit that helps to promote sustainable energy to fight energy poverty and to protect the environment.

Upon his appointment Majid Jafar commented:

“Like food, shelter, and medicine, access to affordable energy for all people must be viewed as an international objective that will require cooperation and coordination on a global scale to achieve in a sustainable manner that encourages development.”

Among their vast array of activities, the GEI is, this week, co-organizing 1 of the 3 strands of the  APO International Conference in Taiwan.

Called “How will green energy shape our future?” this segment of the conference is taking place on March 13th from 1:30-5:10. As GEI describes on its website: “Traditional energies had provided the backdrop for the last century’s industrial rapid growth. But, in view of the negative impact these energy sources have to our environment, we question: will they be able to sustain us for another century? How are we going to satisfy the increasing demand from our population and industrial growth? History has taught us that a diverse energy portfolio is better than a single energy source for a nation. However, are the other energy sources ready for the main stage? How can we nurture the growth of renewable energies? In this keynote, we hope to address this intractable topic through policy, technology and market place.”

Crescent Petroleum’s history ensures it is well placed to contribute to the GEI. It has been working in the sector since the 1970s, at a time when Saddam Hussein was both unofficially and then officially in power in the Iraqi government. Indeed, the company is the longest-established private gas and oil company in all of the Middle East, boasting experience as a global operator in countries like: Argentina, Canada, Egypt, Iraq, Montenegro, Pakistan, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Upcoming Conference in Hong Kong

For those in the financial sector and interested in Latin American fixed-income securities and other investment opportunities, this upcoming conference is worth a look. The Latin America Asia Fixed Income Workshop will take place on May 26, 2015 in Hong Kong at the Grand Hyatt. The conference has been launched in close connection with the Development Bank of Latin America and plans to connect Asian portfolio investors with Latin American corporate and other issuers.

Certainly, this could be an interesting opportunity for companies with interest in Latin America. Latam Securities for instance, with Jorge Pepa and Diego Marynberg, purchases and sells corporate and sovereign debt and equity securities. They also provide investment advisory services to institutional investors about investments in fixed-income securities in the US and in foreign markets.

Another company that could benefit from such a conference is the US power company ContourGlobal. They are planning to expand their wind operations in Brazil, Peru and Chile and are looking for new opportunities all the time. As the ContourGlobal executive vice-president and CEO for Latin America Alessandra Marinheiro said, “These markets are becoming very attractive and aligned with our strategy.”

Confirmed speakers for the conference include Gabriel Felpeto, Director of Financial Policy and International Issuances, CAF; Marco Aurélio Crocco Afonso, President, Minas Gerais Development Bank (MGDB);  Hugo Sarmiento, CFO, CAF; and Rogerio Sobreira, Director – Credit and Risk, Minas Gerais Development Bank (MGDB).