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Barring a freakish turn of events, it had to happen eventually. And so, at last, the date for invoking Article 50 and launching Britain’s two-year exit from the EU has been set for March 29. “We are on the threshold of the most important negotiation for this country for a generation,” Brexit Secretary David Davis said in a statement. What happens now? We explain it all. Plus, check out our Brexit timeline, catching you up on everything that we’ve been through from the referendum to today. — Andy Reinhardt
Welcome back. Now behave. Less than a week after capital controls were lifted in Iceland, Goldman Sachs and a bevy of hedge funds piled back into the country by snapping up a $450 million stake in one of its reconstituted banks. “This is a milestone in the settlement of the failed banks,” Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson said in an interview.
Haven’t we been here before? Greece is set to miss yet another deadline for unlocking bailout funds this week, edging closer to a repeat of the 2015 drama that pushed Europe’s most indebted state to the edge of economic collapse.
The long, slow nightmare drags on. Deutsche Bank plans to shore up its finances by selling $8.6 billion in equity at a 35 percent discount to last week’s closing price. This is the fourth capital infusion for the bank since 2010. Meanwhile, investors may have to wait longer for the bank to return to modest growth promised by CEO John Cryan.
Fresh political winds blowing. French voters will be treated this evening to an unprecedented, five-way debate among major-party and independent candidates running in the country’s presidential election. Front-runner Emmanuel Macron will likely be in the cross-hairs. Who are his rivals and what do they stand for? Read our guide.
Happy, healthy, and poised for economic growth. It was a big day for global rankings, including the world’s happiest countries (dominated by the Nordics, as usual), the world’s healthiest countries (a surprise winner—and don’t even ask about the U.S.) and a list of the economies set for the biggest improvement in growth this year.
How to ID the really rich in Switzerland: Forget about their bling. Check out their license plates. The Swiss don’t allow vanity plates, so status seekers instead pour vast sums into buying prestigious used plates at auction. Just last week, industrialist Otto Ruppen forked over $160,400 for a plate reading VS 1, the No. 1 registration from the Canton of Valais.
Porsche’s profit machine just shifted up. The Volkswagen brand delivered 238,000 vehicles last year and posted an operating profit of $4.1 billion, up 14 percent from 2015. Put those numbers together and it’s on pace to net about $17,250 a car. That dwarfs the profitability of rivals Daimler-Benz and BMW.