Rob Cox: EU’s new trustbuster begins with a bang

April 21, 2015

Since becoming Brussels’ antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager has taken action against the twin monsters of the digital and energy worlds: Google and Gazprom. But her battles on the Eastern and Western fronts of market abuse may leave Europe’s M&A boom plenty of room to flourish.

Grenada offers debt restructuring model for Greece

April 9, 2015

The Caribbean island is close to agreeing a deal with creditors after years of wrangling. The deal structure, including warrants and phased debt relief, is equitable, and provides incentives for reform. It looks like a decent model for Ukraine—or even Greece.

Rob Cox: Race to bottom of global subprime begins

April 7, 2015

A new Chinese-led financial world order is emerging to challenge the IMF and World Bank. Republican U.S. presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are in a way enabling the fledgling framework. The possible competition in the market for national aid money could be worrisome.

M&A world could teach niche U.S. colleges

March 16, 2015

The collapse of liberal arts enclave Sweet Briar is bad news for cash-strapped schools across the country. Sagging enrollment has pushed some institutions to offer debt-shy students big discounts on tuition. But that risks a spiral. Merging may be one way to ease the pressure.

U.S. student loans could need $500 bln bailout

February 27, 2015

Borrowing for education has soared over the past decade, ballooning to $1.2 trln and growing far faster than GDP. With serious delinquencies at 11 pct and Washington on the hook, there’s a mess in the making. A Breakingviews calculator shows how big Uncle Sam’s exposure could get.

Time for Greece’s Alexis Tsipras to keep his nerve in debt battle

By Hugo Dixon
February 21, 2015

The new Greek PM has crossed a Rubicon in asking for an extension to the country’s hated bailout programme while abandoning many election promises. Tsipras should realise there is no turning back. But he can snatch victory from defeat if he embraces radical reforms with vigour.

Costco customers look like winners in Amex scrum

February 13, 2015

Severing an exclusive deal with the U.S. warehouse retailer has swiped some $8 bln from the card company’s shareholders. Gains at MasterCard and Visa offset only part of that. True to form, Costco shoppers will reap the remaining benefits – at least according to Mr. Market.

Mortgage freeze could hasten Greek bank reform

January 28, 2015

Before Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras gets any euro zone deal on Greece’s public debt, he could make good on his promise of a permanent mortgage moratorium. That would inflict pain on the country’s banks – but ultimately force them to restructure.

Swiss give scary lesson on central banks’ limits

January 15, 2015

The monetary authorities are expected to control inflation, deflation, growth and the financial system. But the Swiss National Bank, an above-average institution, has managed to mess up badly by breaking its word. Others may not do much better.

Guest view: Banks need to lead on cultural change

By Guest Contributor
January 6, 2015

While lenders have boosted capital, reduced leverage and added liquidity, they have not shown the same commitment to adjusting their core behaviors, including their risk cultures, argues former Citigroup executive and author William Rhodes.