Reuters blog archive
from Hugo Dixon:
By Hugo Dixon
Hugo Dixon is Editor-at-Large, Reuters News. The opinions expressed are his own.
The markets are right to worry about the euro zone, the epicentre of last week’s fright. Its three big economies – Germany, France and Italy – are, in their own ways, stuck.
There is, in theory, a grand bargain that might shift the malaise. This would involve deep structural reform by Berlin as well as Paris and Rome; quantitative easing by the European Central Bank to boost inflation; and some loosening of fiscal straitjackets.
But such a deal – hinted at by Mario Draghi, the ECB president, in his Jackson Hole speech in August - is unlikely to materialise soon, if at all.
The big question of the week is whether financial market gyrations continue, worsen or calm. European stocks are being called higher at the open.
Greece has been effectively shut out of the bond market. If it and others on the euro zone’s southern flank come under persistent market pressure, in a way that hasn’t happened for two years, the onus on the European Central Bank to act will grow and grow.
from The Great Debate:
America -- proudly dubbed the “indispensable nation” by its national-security managers -- is now the entangled nation enmeshed in conflicts across the globe.
President Barack Obama, scorned by his Republican critics as an “isolationist” who wants to “withdraw from the world,” is waging the longest war in U.S. history in Afghanistan, boasts of toppling the Muammar Gaddafi regime in Libya, launches airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State and picks targets for drones to attack in as many as eight countries, while dispatching planes to the Russian border in reaction to its machinations in Ukraine, and a fleet to the South China Sea as the conflict over control of islands and waters escalates between China and its neighbors.
from John Lloyd:
The most important and tragic speech of these times was given earlier this week, though the author was too busy to voice it herself. Dr. Margaret Chan, who leads the World Health Organization, sent her chief of staff to a WHO regional conference in Manila to spotlight something we rarely keep in our conscious mind and don't, collectively, do much about: Inequalities can be a matter of ever-longer life, or a most miserable death.
Chan’s speech was given by proxy because she, her aide explained, had stayed in the organization’s Geneva base to refine WHO’s response to what is “unquestionably the most severe, acute public health emergency in modern times.” That’s certainly at the top of most minds, if for no other reason than Ebola is creeping into the richer parts of the globe. But Chan wasn't about to reassure us that her organization can keep the incidence of the disease tiny. As the world's most senior medical figure, she had decided to use the horror to make a moral point -- one that had, she said, fallen on deaf ears till now.
from Amlan Chakraborty:
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The jury is still out on whether the Indian Super League (ISL) can wake the world's second most populous nation from its football slumber but the first week of the eight-team competition has at least made people sit up and take notice.
Some 70,000 fans thronged the Salt Lake Stadium in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata for last Sunday's spectacular opening ceremony and the social media has been abuzz with discussions about the league with celebrity owners, experienced foreign managers and a sprinkling of high-profile players.
from Mark Jones:
Clear-eyed dissent from Supreme Court’s ruling to allow Texas voter ID law http://t.co/fe4idu04Cw
from Jim Gaines:
Before dawn on Saturday morning, the Supreme Court issued a terse, unsigned ruling that, in effect, endorsed Texas’s voter-ID law, the most restrictive such law in the nation.
On October 9, in a 147-page opinion that followed a two-week trial on the facts, the Federal District Court in Corpus Christi had struck down the law, known as Senate Bill 14, as patently discriminatory, the equivalent of a poll tax. A week later that court’s injunction was overturned by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Appeals Court for the Fifth Circuit. It was this stay of the injunction — in effect a decision to let the voter-ID law go into effect — that the Supreme Court left in place in on Saturday with its 57-word decision. The decision did not articulate the Court’s reasoning, but a blistering dissent made clear that its basis was not Senate Bill 14, but rather the confusion that a change so close to the election might create.
from Alex Dobuzinskis:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former Los Angeles public schools Superintendent John Deasy said on Friday, a day after resigning from his post, that his testimony in a landmark case on tenure rules for teachers created a polarizing atmosphere over his leadership.
The former top official of the second-largest school district in the nation, who has been praised by reform groups seeking to hold teachers to more stringent standards, also told reporters in a conference call that he might eventually run for office.
from Alison Frankel:
If you are the most profitable corporate law firm in recorded history, with a habit of loudly defending the business judgment of corporate boards, you have to expect to take more than your share of shots. Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz is the Goldman Sachs of the law biz: When someone claims the firm has done something wrong, it's news.
I offer that observation as context for the allegations in a brief filed this week by a plaintiffs' lawyer whose client opposes Hewlett-Packard's controversial settlement of shareholder derivative claims stemming from the company's disastrous $11 billion acquisition in 2012 of the British software company Autonomy. Wachtell negotiated the settlement, which called for shareholders to release all claims against HP's directors and officers but also for plaintiffs' lawyers from Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd to team up with HP in litigation against former Autonomy officers. (Plaintiffs' lawyers were originally slated to be paid $18 million for their efforts.) HP is Wachtell's client. It does not represent HP's directors, who have their own lawyers. But according to dissenting shareholder A.J. Copeland and his lead lawyer, Richard Greenfield of Greenfield & Goodman, Wachtell was actually acting in the interest of HP's board members, not the company itself, when it made a deal to release shareholder claims against HP directors.