Breakingviews

Europe needs to ease on firewall obsession

March 26, 2012

Euro zone members may agree this week on beefing up their rescue fund. But throwing money at the crisis won’t solve it. A bailout of Italy and Spain would be tricky, however big a firewall. And Italy’s crisis last year shows that market forces may be more efficient than bailouts.

Botched BATS IPO at least good test of markets

March 26, 2012

Scrapping a public debut is embarrassing for any company. But it’s a potential killer for an upstart stock exchange already being investigated over high-frequency trading. The relief for investors is that the failure by BATS wasn’t the catalyst for a broader meltdown.

Wall Street can relate to Hollywood underdog tale

March 26, 2012

A smash debut for “The Hunger Games” makes Lions Gate the studio equivalent of a boutique bank landing the year’s biggest deal. And Disney’s $200 mln loss on “John Carter” raises questions about Tinseltown’s bulge bracket. Indies in both industries are fighting for the spotlight.

Monopolies thrive when politicians go short-term

March 26, 2012

How else to explain the likely approval of a $17.5 bln New England power merger? Northeast Utilities’ incompetence is proven, but dangling a few politically expedient goodies seems to have won authorities over to its NSTAR takeover. Captive customers may lose, but investors win.