The (U.K.) Guardian charts the meteoric rise of French Economy MinisterEmmanuel Macron, who was mostly unknown before taking up the post in 2014. Now,however, the former Rothschild banker is among the favorites to succeed hisboss, François Hollande, as French president next year. But Macron's backgroundis rather unusual for someone who serves under a Socialist president. "Helooks like a globalized capitalist, he mixes with capitalists, sometimes heeven talks like a capitalist," the newspaper writes, pointing out thatMacron's mindset is not so different from the philosophy of Britain's NewLabour movement of the 1990s.
TheOrganized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, part of the Panama Papersconsortium, details the relationship between Ukrainian central bank GovernorValeriya Gontareva and an official of Russia's , which, the report notes,has done relatively well amid the turmoil in Ukraine. Before moving intogovernment, Gontareva served as head of the ICU financial group, of which herhusband is a former shareholder and co-founder, and whose main holding companyis registered through a company in the British Virgin Islands. Until sanctionstook hold, ICU had a close cooperation and millions of dollars of creditrelationships with companies owned by the family of Yuri Soloviev, VTB's firstdeputy chairman. The central bank noted that Gontareva sold her ICU shares inJune 2014 but declined to comment on the firm's relationship with Soloviev'sfamily.
Meanwhile,the president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, writes in The New York Times
Meanwhile,the president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, writes in The New York Timesthat the Panama Papers are unfairly namedbecause they are not primarily concerned with Panamanian companies."Panama does not deserve to be singled out on an issue that plagues manycountries," he says, adding that the country does not make specialallowances for offshore structures. Indeed, Varela says, Panama has takenrecent steps to increase financial transparency, enhancing "know yourclient" regulations and requiring identity certification of shareholdersof all Panama companies. The country even ranks ahead of Japan, Germany and theU.S. in terms of financial transparency, he adds, citing information from theTax Justice Network. Still, the president writes, there is more to do.
Figuresfrom the European Banking Authority show that the number of high-earningbankers in the EU grew sharply in 2014. Bankers earnings more than €1 millionincreased to 3,865, up from 3,178 in 2013. Also, the percentage of those highearners identified as key employees who have a potential impact on banks' riskprofiles grew — to 87% from 59%. In the U.K., the number of high earnersincreased to 2,926 from 2,086 — which, TheGuardian noted,was more than three times as many as the rest of the EU combined. This waspartly down to exchange rate movements, benefiting U.K. bankers paid insterling. The figures also showed that one U.K. banker was paid the equivalentof between €24 million and €25 million in 2014.