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The latest business and finance news from around the world from the BBC


European Bank Giants Settle With US Over Toxic Assets

December 23rd, 2016

Episode 911 of 1091 episodes

Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay $7.2 billion to the United States to settle charges that it misled investors by selling toxic mortgage securities, at the onset of the financial crisis. Shareholders in the German bank will be relieved because the US originally wanted Deutsche to pay double that amount. Credit Suisse has joined its German rival to settle with the US authorities, paying a penalty of more than $5.2 billion, which is likely to mean the bank will suffer a second consecutive annual loss. Peter Hahn, Dean of the London Institute of Banking and Finance, explains why the German and Swiss financial groups decided to pay the penalties. Italy has given a green light to a state funded rescue of the world's oldest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, as part of efforts to shore up the country's troubled financial system. The plan is a relief for investors in Italy's third largest bank, but the rescue of BMPS is fraught with political and economic complications. James Politi, the chief of the Financial Times bureau in Rome, outlines the challenges facing Italian banks. Christmas is a time to celebrate for many people, often eating and drinking to excess, but that is not in keeping with the religious aims of the festive period. Church leaders often complain about the commercial takeover of Christmas, as businesses seek to capitalise on a festival that has religious origins. The link between religion and consumption has not been missed by food companies and retailers, as increasingly food, marked as kosher or halal for instance, goes mainstream. How did kosher and halal become as common as vegetarianism in the food industry? Elizabeth Hotson finds out in London. Christmas is often a time when developments in the corporate world slow down, but we are at the end of another busy week for the BBC's Business News Team. We have reported events like the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, being found found guilty of misusing public funds when she was France's finance minister and President Barack Obama putting a permanent ban on new oil and gas drilling in Arctic and North Atlantic. We also focused on the movies and how the latest Star Wars film is proving the franchise is still a big money spinner. Rebecca Byrne, from the Wall Street Journal in London and Keri Geiger, from Bloomberg in New York, join us to reflect on the week's events.

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