Global business

The Financial Stability Board, which advises the G-20 group of countries, said the world's 30 biggest banks should raise up to $1.2 trillion in loss-bearing debt on top of their equity capital. In compelling banks to issue debt that can be written down in times of trouble, the goal is to make creditors, rather than taxpayers, liable for a bank's failure. Under the proposals a bank would fund at least 18 percent of its risk-weighted assets with such debt and equity by 2022. Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, who also chairs the FSB, said the plan, if adopted, would "support the removal of the implicit public subsidy" enjoyed by banks that are "too big to fail."

Seven years after the financial crisis, the Dutch government was set to sell the first tranche of shares it owns in ABN AMRO in an IPO that should fetch at least $3.2 billion. ABN AMRO's spectacular collapse in 2008 cost Dutch taxpayers $23.5 billion; the Dutch finance minister has acknowledged this is unlikely ever to be fully recovered.

Unicredit, Italy's biggest bank, announced that it would cut 18,200 staff, in part by selling its Ukrainian subsidiary, as one element of a revised plan to boost profit and improve its capital position.

Rolls-Royce greatly reduced its estimated income for next year, and lowered its profit forecast for this year, because of the "speed and magnitude of change" in its markets. The engineering firm anticipates sharply lower sales of business jets powered by its engines and reduced demand for maintenance on large turbines. Its share price swooned on the London exchange.

Square, a mobile-payments firm, set the price range for its IPO at $11-13 a share. This values Square around $3.9 billion, well below the $6 billion figure talked of earlier. More questions were raised about the true worth of "unicorns," technology start-ups that are privately valued at more than $1 billion, when it emerged that an investor had marked down its stake in Snapchat, a messaging app, by 25 percent.

Microsoft said it would give European customers the option of storing data at cloud-server facilities in Germany. Last month Europe's highest court struck down an agreement that had governed the transfer of private data between Europe and America, finding that it left Europeans susceptible to snooping by America's intelligence agencies. Microsoft says it will not be able to gain access to data in the new centers, which will be run by Deutsche Telekom, without permission from a customer and DT.

Sifiso Dabengwa resigned as chief executive of MTN, Africa's biggest mobile operator, amid the furor caused by Nigeria's decision to slap it with a $5.2 billion fine. Nigeria's telecoms regulator claims MTN, based in South Africa, was too slow in disconnecting 5.1 million unregistered SIM cards, which was ordered as part of the country's fight against Islamist insurgents. MTN says it complied with the law, but its handling of the situation has been criticized.

Another poor month for Chinese trade sparked debate about whether the government will have to do more to stimulate the economy. Exports fell by 6.9 percent, in dollar terms, in October from the same month last year and imports were down by 18.8 percent. The figures for both measures were much worse than analysts had forecast. Industrial production also grew by less than had been expected.

The sharp downturns in trade and in emerging markets were factors behind the OECD's downward revision to its estimate of global growth. The organization now expects the world economy to expand by 2.9 percent this year, well below the long-run average. Growth should bounce back, but this "requires a smooth rebalancing of activity in China and more robust investment in advanced economies."

Political economy

Myanmar held its first freely contested general election in 25 years. The National League for Democracy, an opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, appeared to have won a convincing victory over politicians supported by the army, which has ruled the country for half a century. The army-drafted constitution, however, prevents her from becoming president. A quarter of the seats in the parliament are reserved for the armed forces.

India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered a heavy defeat in an election in Bihar for the state assembly. The ballot was an important test of the popularity of Narendra Modi, the country's prime minister, who campaigned widely in Bihar for the BJP's candidates. It was his biggest political setback since taking office last year.

The FARC, a leftist guerrilla army that has been fighting Colombia's government for more than half a century, says it has stopped buying arms. The group's leader, Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, also known as Timochenko, said on Twitter that he issued the order in September.