Fallout from financial meltdown could last a decade, says ‘Dr Doom’

DAVOS – New York University economist Nouriel Roubini, nicknamed Dr Doom for his gloomy predictions in the run-up to the financial meltdown four years ago, says the fallout from that crisis could last the rest of this decade.

Until Europe radically reforms itself and the United States gets serious about its own debt mountain, the world economy will continue to stumble along, said Dr Roubini, who is widely acknowledged to have predicted the crash of 2008, in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

He painted a grim picture of the euro zone in recession and key emerging markets in China, India, Brazil and South Africa slowing down. The biggest uncertainty is the possibility of a conflict with Iran over its nuclear programme – which could lead oil prices to spike to US$150 per barrel, and lead to a global recession, he said.

Calling for a major change in policy priorities, Dr Roubini said: We have to shift our investment from things that are less productive like the financial sector and housing and real estate to things that are more productive like our people, our human capital, our structure, our technology, our innovation.

Slow growth in advanced economies will likely lead to a U-shaped recovery rather than a typical V, and could last up to 10 years if there is too much debt in the public and private sector, he said.

At a panel discussion yesterday, Dr Roubini also said Greece will probably leave Europes single currency within 12 months and could soon be followed by Portugal.

The euro zone is a slow-motion train wreck, he said. Not only Greece, other countries as well are insolvent.

Dr Roubini said he sees a severe recession in Europe and a 50 per cent probability that over the next three to five years the euro zone will break up. Agencies

ESB Financial Corporation Announces Record Earnings for 2011

ELLWOOD CITY, Pa., Jan 27, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) —
ESB Financial Corporation

/quotes/zigman/67481/quotes/nls/esbf ESBF
+3.60%



, the parent company of ESB
Bank, today announced earnings of $1.02 per diluted share on net income
of $14.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2011, which represents
a 4.1% increase in net income per diluted share as compared to earnings
of $0.98 per diluted share on net income of $14.2 million for the year
ended December 31, 2010. The Company’s return on average assets and
return on average equity were 0.76% and 8.40%, respectively, for the
year ended December 31, 2011 compared to 0.73% and 8.26%, respectively,
for the year ended December 31, 2010.

For the three months ended December 31, 2011, the Company announced
earnings of $0.21 per diluted share on net income of $3.0 million, which
represents an 8.7% decrease in net income per diluted share as compared
to earnings of $0.23 per diluted share on net income of $3.4 million for
the quarter ended December 31, 2010. The Company’s annualized return on
average assets and return on average equity were 0.61% and 6.65%,
respectively, for the quarter ended December 31, 2011 compared to 0.71%
and 7.86%, respectively, for the quarter ended December 31, 2010.

Commenting on the quarter and year end results, Charlotte A. Zuschlag,
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, stated, “The Board
of Directors, senior management and I are pleased with the record
earnings for the year ended December 31, 2011, making 2011 the third
consecutive year that the Company has reported record earnings.” Ms.
Zuschlag continued, “The past several years have presented a challenging
time for the banking industry. Our philosophy has been to manage the
interest rate margin without compromising asset quality or future
earnings potential while continuing to offer quality products to our
customers. We accomplished this philosophy by challenging our employees
to actively pursue new customers through commercial, public and personal
checking account relationships. The results continue to be outstanding.
The overall deposit growth for the year ended December 31, 2011 was
$143.8 million or 14.2% when compared to December 31, 2010. Included in
the $143.8 million is growth of approximately $111.0 million in low cost
core deposits.” Ms. Zuschlag continued by stating “these results as well
as the prior year growth of approximately $51.2 million in core deposits
has fueled the improvement to our cost of funds which decreased 39 basis
points to 2.00% when compared to 2.39% for the year ended December 31,
2010 and has contributed towards our ability to maintain our net
interest margin which increased slightly in 2011 to 2.67% when compared
to 2.62% at December 31, 2010. This steadfast policy in managing and
growing our interest rate margin has minimized the effect of impairment
related charges on securities and joint ventures on our income in 2011.”
Ms. Zuschlag concluded by stating, “Management will continue to strive
to pursue investment and growth opportunities that will provide a sound
investment return to our shareholders, such as the recent construction
of our 25th office in Cranberry Township, Butler County,
which opened in the fourth quarter of 2011.”

Consolidated net income for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased
$679,000 or 4.8% to $14.9 million from $14.2 million as compared to the
year ended December 31, 2010. This increase was a result of an increase
in net interest income of $1.1 million as well as decreases in provision
for loan losses and income taxes of $274,000 and $173,000, respectively,
partially offset by a decrease in noninterest income of $161,000 and
increases in noninterest expense and noncontrolling interest of $249,000
and $478,000, respectively.

Consolidated net income for the quarter ended December 31, 2011
decreased $417,000 to $3.0 million from $3.4 million, as compared to the
quarter ended December 31, 2010. This net decrease was the result of a
decrease in noninterest income of $1.6 million and increases in
provision for loan losses and noncontrolling interest of $30,000 and
$14,000, respectively, partially offset by an increase in net interest
income of $553,000 and decreases in noninterest expense and provision
for income taxes of $83,000 and $624,000, respectively.

The decrease in noninterest income for the quarter ended December 31,
2011 was primarily the result of impairment charges on real estate joint
ventures, investment securities and derivatives of approximately $1.3
million, $364,000 and $148,000, respectively, as well as decreases in
fees and service charges and net gain on sale of loans of $62,000 and
$25,000. During the quarter ended December 31, 2010, the Company’s real
estate joint ventures had net income of $116,000 after incurring write
downs of $750,000 related to land acquisition and development costs as
well as unit construction costs.

The Company’s consolidated total assets increased $50.9 million, or
2.7%, to $1.96 billion at December 31, 2011, from $1.91 billion at
December 31, 2010. Securities increased $52.4 million, or 4.9%, to $1.1
billion and net loans receivable increased $8.0 million, or 1.3%, to
$648.9 million. Total liabilities increased $39.2 million, or 2.2%, to
$1.8 billion at December 31, 2011. Deposits increased $143.8 million, or
14.2%, to $1.2 billion at December 31, 2011 while borrowed funds
decreased $108.5 million, or 15.2%, to $607.0 million.

Total stockholders’ equity was $179.1 million or 9.11% of total assets,
and book value per share was $12.34 at December 31, 2011 compared to
$167.4 million or 8.74% of total assets, and book value per share of
$11.63 at December 31, 2010.

The Company also announced that its annual meeting of stockholders will
be held on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. at the Connoquenessing
Country Club in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania.

ESB Financial Corporation is the parent holding company of ESB Bank, and
offers a wide variety of financial products and services through 25
offices in the contiguous counties of Allegheny, Lawrence, Beaver and
Butler in Pennsylvania. The common stock of the Company is traded on The
NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol “ESBF”. We make available on our
web site, which is located at
http://www.esbbank.com ,
our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and
current reports on Form 8-K, on the date which we electronically file
these reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Investors are
encouraged to access these reports and the other information about our
business and operations on our web site.

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements with
respect to the financial condition, results of operations and business
of the Company. Forward-looking statements are subject to various
factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from these
estimates. These factors include, but are not limited to, changes in
general economic conditions, interest rates, deposit flows, loan demand,
competition, legislation or regulation and accounting principles,
policies or guidelines, as well as other economic, competitive,
governmental, regulatory and accounting and technological factors
affecting the Company’s operations.

ESB FINANCIAL CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
————————————————————————————————————–
Financial Highlights
Unaudited
(Dollars in Thousands – Except Per Share Amounts)
OPERATIONS DATA:
——————————————————————–
Year Ended Three Months
December 31, Ended December 31,
2011 2010 2011 2010
———- ———- ————— —————
Interest income $ 79,227 $ 84,864 $ 19,256 $ 20,207
Interest expense 35,140 41,897 8,300 9,804
—— —— ——— ———
Net interest income 44,087 42,967 10,956 10,403
Provision for loan losses 1,130 1,404 330 300
—— —— ——— ———
Net interest income after provision for
loan losses 42,957 41,563 10,626 10,103
Noninterest income 4,306 4,467 (59) 1,574
Noninterest expense 28,062 27,813 7,154 7,237
—— —— ——— ———
Income before provision for income taxes 19,201 18,217 3,413 4,440
Provision for income taxes 3,380 3,553 314 938
—— —— ——— ———
Net income 15,821 14,664 3,099 3,502
Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interest 911 433 98 84
—— —— ——— ———
Net income attributable to ESB Financial Corporation $ 14,910 $ 14,231 $ 3,001 $ 3,418
== ====== == ====== ==== ========= ==== =========
Net Income per share:
Basic $ 1.03 $ 0.99 $ 0.21 $ 0.24
Diluted $ 1.02 $ 0.98 $ 0.21 $ 0.23
Net Interest Margin 2.67% 2.62% 2.64% 2.59%
Annualized return on average assets 0.76% 0.73% 0.61% 0.71%
Annualized return on average equity 8.40% 8.26% 6.65% 7.86%
FINANCIAL CONDITION DATA:
——————————————————————–
12/31/11 12/31/10
————— —————
Total assets $ 1,964,791 $ 1,913,867
Cash and cash equivalents 38,848 35,707
Total investment securities 1,130,116 1,077,672
Loans receivable, net 648,921 640,887
Customer deposits 1,156,410 1,012,645
Borrowed funds (includes subordinated debt) 606,960 715,456
Stockholders’ equity 179,075 167,353
Book value per share $ 12.34 $ 11.63
Average equity to average assets 9.08% 8.87%
Allowance for loan losses to loans receivable 0.98% 1.00%
Non-performing assets to total assets 0.88% 0.75%
Non-performing loans to total loans 2.00% 2.00%

SOURCE: ESB Financial Corporation

ESB Financial
Charles P. Evanoski, 724-758-5584
Group Senior Vice President
Chief Financial Officer

Copyright Business Wire 2012

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EU to seize more financial control

THE EUROPEAN Union is to gain dramatic new powers to control tax and spending in crisis-hit eurozone countries under a deal to save the currency.

Brussels will have to agree the national budgets of heavily indebted countries under a deal to be signed tomorrow at a summit in the city.

The move will mean Greece losing control over its own budget after Germany and the International Monetary Fund laid down increasingly harsh conditions for the indebted nation to receive its second euro;119bn eurozone bailout.

Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF, yesterday revealed that a fiscal compact was set to be signed by European Union leaders at the crucial leaders summit tomorrow.

In addition to having a monetary zone, the eurozone needs to develop this fiscal consolidation compact that is currently under work and that we hope will be validated on Monday at the leaders summit.

A leaked EU document revealed German plans for Greece to agree all its spending plans with a eurozone budget commissioner. The commissioner would have the power to veto tax and spending plans.

The scheme sparked anger in Athens last night. Anna Diamantopoulou, the education minister and a former EU commissioner, described the idea as the product of a sick imagination in an interview with local television.

And the European Unions executive body is also against the calls from Germany.

The European Commission said yesterday that executive tasks must remain the full responsibility of the Greek government.

Mondays meeting will also see European leaders discuss ways to help their economies grow amid fears that the continent may slide back into recession this year.

While Germany, the continents largest economy, is calling for budget cuts and greater fiscal discipline, the IMF and others warn that such austerity could strangle growth.

Some countries have to go full-speed ahead to do this fiscal consolidation, but other countries have space. They should explore what to do… in order to help themselves. It has to be tailor-made.

Tim Geithner, the American treasury secretary, has also warned of the risk that austerity could lead to a recessionary cycle.

There is a risk that every disappointment in growth will be met with an austerity that will feed the decline, and that is a cycle you have to arrest to solve financial crises, Mr Geithner said.

As Europes leaders plan to bind Europes economies closer together, Tory eurosceptics in the UK are to put pressure on their leader to harness a unique block opt-out which will allow the UK to withdraw from a raft of laws already ceded to the EU.

The mechanism would let Britain free itself from initiatives such as the European Arrest Warrants (EAWs) and greater sharing of DNA data of British nationals with foreign police forces.

It would also thwart plans to give the European Court of Justice greater jurisdiction over British courts.

Telegraph

– KAMAL AHMED and ROBERT WATTS

Originally published in

ViewPoint Financial Group, Inc. Announces Quarterly Cash Dividend, Annual …

PLANO, Texas, Jan. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ —
ViewPoint Financial Group, Inc.

/quotes/zigman/119009/quotes/nls/vpfg VPFG
+2.65%



, the holding company for ViewPoint Bank, N.A., today announced a quarterly cash dividend of $0.06 per share. The cash dividend is payable on February 23, 2012, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on February 9, 2012.

The Company also today announced that it will be holding its Annual Meeting of Shareholders on Tuesday, May 15, 2012. The record date for the meeting has been fixed as March 26, 2012. More information about the Annual Meeting will be sent to Company shareholders in April 2012.

ViewPoint Financial Group, Inc. is the holding company for ViewPoint Bank, N.A. ViewPoint Bank, N.A. operates 25 community bank offices and nine loan production offices. For more information, please visit
www.viewpointbank.com or
www.viewpointfinancialgroup.com .

When used in filings by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) in the Company’s press releases or other public or shareholder communications, and in oral statements made with the approval of an authorized executive officer, the words or phrases “will likely result,” “are expected to,” “will continue,” “is anticipated,” “estimate,” “project,” “intends” or similar expressions are intended to identify “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, including, among other things, changes in economic conditions, legislative changes, changes in policies by regulatory agencies, fluctuations in interest rates, the risks of lending and investing activities, including changes in the level and direction of loan delinquencies and write-offs and changes in estimates of the adequacy of the allowance for loan losses, the Company’s ability to access cost-effective funding, fluctuations in real estate values and both residential and commercial real estate market conditions, demand for loans and deposits in the Company’s market area, the industry-wide decline in mortgage production, competition, changes in management’s business strategies and other factors set forth under Risk Factors in the Company’s Form 10-K, that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical earnings and those presently anticipated or projected. The Company wishes to advise readers that the factors listed above could materially affect the Company’s financial performance and could cause the Company’s actual results for future periods to differ materially from any opinions or statements expressed with respect to future periods in any current statements.

The Company does not undertake – and specifically declines any obligation – to publicly release the result of any revisions which may be made to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events.

SOURCE ViewPoint Financial Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

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