Breakingviews

StanChart hired gun Promontory shoots self in foot

August 3, 2015

New York regulators say the politically cozy firm whitewashed a probe of the bank and have suspended it from advising lenders. The penalty may curb conflicts and stings more than a mere fine. Maybe U.S. watchdogs will take the hint and stop waiving the consequences of misdeeds.

Timing looks right for RBS state selldown

August 3, 2015

Cutting its 79 pct stake in the lender would leave the UK with a paper loss, yet focusing on the exact in-price is unhelpful. Better to sell than hold on for a recovery in price that may never come. Besides, the good vibes that come from less state ownership should limit losses.

Hugo Dixon: Euro zone doesn’t need political union

By Hugo Dixon
August 3, 2015

The Greek crisis has triggered renewed calls for a euro zone government, budget and parliament. But such a political union isn’t needed, desirable or achievable. Instead, the euro zone needs more market-based solutions to thrive.

Singapore could use a fresh approach to water

August 3, 2015

The city-state built its economic success partly on carefully managing scarce H2O and reducing reliance on foreign sources. Now Singapore wants to be self-sufficient. But with the population set to double, the quest for water independence risks becoming a distracting pipe dream.

SoulCycle IPO endorphins inhibit pain potential

By Guest Contributor
July 31, 2015

The indoor cycling chain is inviting investors to join its “tribe” of athletes, renegades and rockstars. The company is profitable and sales accelerated by more than 50 pct in the first quarter to $35 mln. But management, growth plans and faddishness are weak points in the spin.

Olympics committee gets it right with Beijing 2022

July 31, 2015

The Winter Games won’t boost China’s growth, end repression, or win the country much extra respect. It might help soft power, but then most countries already do whatever China asks. Freed from such false hopes, everyone can sit back, have fun and admire the fake snow.

BNP Paribas’ M&A machine spits out growth and risk

July 31, 2015

France’s top bank by assets cranked out resurgent second-quarter earnings of 2.6 bln euros. Three takeovers in 2014 are delivering results. Yet dealmaking sprawl has tripped up rivals in the past. It might be a good time for the Belgian state to trim its 10 pct stake.

Numbers add up to HSBC leaving London

July 31, 2015

The global bank is reviewing its head office location based on 11 criteria such as economic importance, transparency and tax. A ranking based on data compiled by Breakingviews shows Singapore, Hong Kong and even Toronto are more attractive than HSBC’s current home base.

Delphi deal crudely hitches to connected-car hype

July 30, 2015

The auto supplier is paying $1.7 bln for a UK maker of “bundle management solutions.” HellermannTyton may be a solid company whose cable ties and such are integral components, but there’s a whiff of dot-com fever in the rhetoric. That’s not enough to justify the 45 pct premium.

Rob Cox: Rick Perry is running for the wrong job

July 30, 2015

The presidential candidate and ex-governor of Texas is a proponent of laissez-faire markets. Yet he has joined a global chorus of politicos and watchdogs pushing policies to break up the big banks. If he’s serious, he’d make a better Wall Street regulator than White House boss.