Breakingviews

To fix FIFA, start with the sponsors

May 28, 2015

U.S. prosecutors allege that shadowy marketing agencies diverted cash from the likes of Toyota, Santander and probably Nike to corrupt soccer officials. Big bucks are at stake. FIFA’s revenue from 2011 to 2014 was $5.7 bln. In future, contractual transparency will be paramount.

Hope yet for creditors in China property-bond saga

May 28, 2015

Defaulting developer Kaisa has lost white-knight bidder Sunac. That leaves foreign bondholders dealing with the company’s discredited chairman. However, China’s real estate market is recovering. The Shenzhen-based company may even be able to hammer together a better deal.

FIFA cover-up almost a dare for U.S. enforcers

May 27, 2015

In November, the Zurich-based World Cup organizer whitewashed an internal investigation, according to the former U.S. attorney who conducted it. Swiss authorities were alerted, but FIFA largely dismissed corruption allegations. No wonder American prosecutors have gone in hard.

Fiat boss fights for car M&A with hand behind back

May 27, 2015

Sergio Marchionne argues mergers would cut duplicative spending and boost shareholder returns. GM has already rebuffed him, probably because such deals are complex and hard to complete. But he also hurts his case by downplaying the benefits of lower costs and fewer employees.

Edward Hadas: Why Lehman Brothers lives on

By Edward Hadas
May 27, 2015

Almost seven years after the U.S. investment bank failed, the reputations of financial markets, central banks and economic theorists remain deeply tarnished. Worse, the shock permanently damaged already-weak governments, ever-fragile labour markets and the frayed social fabric.

U.S. well placed to blow whistle on soccer excess

May 27, 2015

Americans already act as the globe’s legal enforcer and financial regulator. Now a Federal prosecutor is filling soccer’s refereeing void with a direct tackle on its long-running corruption allegations. FIFA, the sport’s governing body, faces a long overdue reformation.

China’s margin trading boom nears its limits

May 27, 2015

Investors have pumped up mainland stock markets with more than $300 bln of borrowed money, prompting brokers to scramble for extra capital. But leverage is already high, while the number of eligible new customers is finite. Securities firms need more durable sources of income.

Rob Cox: Bolivarian bank dream faces Andean climb

May 26, 2015

Brazilian lender Itaú has pursued a strategy to create the first truly pan-Latin America financial institution. Its biggest effort to date is at an impasse. The merger it thought it cleverly struck with Chile’s CorpBanca is backfiring in ways that may cost it treasure and face.

Time Warner Cable finds money covers Charter flaws

May 26, 2015

CEO Rob Marcus rejected a bid from his smaller rival last year, balking at the leverage, cash and stock on offer. Those terms haven’t changed much but the price has gone up appreciably, to $56 bln. Time Warner Cable provides a reminder about what really matters in deal talks.

Hugo Dixon: Greece needs a second election

By Hugo Dixon
May 26, 2015

Most scenarios facing the country are bleak, but there is one outcome that is not too bad. This will require the prime minister not only to eat his words, but also to call a new election to get a fresh mandate. The timing is tough, but just doable.