Breakingviews

Hugo Dixon: Tsipras looks like he is crumbling

By Hugo Dixon
July 1, 2015

With Athens defaulting to the IMF, public opinion moving against the Greek PM and the banks closed, Tsipras seems desperate for a deal with his creditors. But it is not clear they will cut him any slack. They may prefer to deal with his successor.

Rob Cox: Uber gets a pass on its Wall Street habit

June 30, 2015

Big banks break rules and pay fines. Traditionally it’s just a cost of doing business. Uber, meanwhile, pays fines when drivers violate regulations that stand in the way of its business model. Nowadays banks attract outrage, but Uber is often forgiven in the name of disruption.

Willis-Towers Watson insure against market turmoil

June 30, 2015

The insurance broker and the risk consultant plan to merge. There’s positive logic: combining Towers’ knowhow and Willis’ client relationships could drive revenue. But $125 mln of cost synergies would also help the group weather an insurance sector wrestling with low rates.

Chinese stock markets need more than lip service

June 30, 2015

The selloff is dramatic but only affects the relatively few people who own equities. A wider risk is that a prolonged slump would slow reforms and undermine faith in China’s rulers. In the short run, overt state support may be the most effective way to avoid losing credibility.

SpaceX flameout hardly heralds failure

June 29, 2015

Space flight is like the venture capital industry in reverse: Most launches succeed, but a prominent few explode spectacularly. The formidable barriers to entry, rivals’ similar failures and SpaceX’s relatively low costs mean Elon Musk’s company remains on the right trajectory.

Capital controls hit Greek economy at worst time

June 29, 2015

Closing the stricken state’s banks would be a disaster at any time of year. But Athens’ capital controls are kicking in just as one of Greece’s main drivers – tourism – hits peak season. Even if Greeks don’t leave the euro, 2015 will be a writeoff.

Brazil needs Dilma 2.0 to shine on U.S. visit

June 29, 2015

President Rousseff’s statist policies helped put Brazil’s economy in the tank. Her task now is to convince U.S. investors the more market-friendly persona she has adopted since re-election is real and resilient. Robust backing for her finance minister would reassure Wall Street.

China taxi apps speed towards subsidy showdown

June 29, 2015

Local taxi-hailing app Didi Kuaidi is raising up to $2 bln less than a month after rival Uber said it will invest $1 bln in the People’s Republic. Both are racing for market share by spending heavily on subsidies for drivers. The question is whose investors lose patience first.

Hugo Dixon: It’s still possible to stop Grexit

By Hugo Dixon
June 29, 2015

Athens has declared a six-day bank holiday after talks with its creditors broke down. But there are several ways Greece can still avoid quitting the euro. The most obvious is to vote in the coming referendum for the terms offered by the euro zone and International Monetary Fund.

Supreme Court slices Wall Street some wedding cake

June 26, 2015

The landmark ruling approving gay marriage gives even banks reason to celebrate. Benefits for same-sex spouses will be far cheaper and easier to grant, enabling stronger competition with more progressive Silicon Valley for workers. It’s a joyous union of equality and utility.