Jul 13, 2014 23:14 UTC

German soccer glory was predictable – with luck

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By Robert Cole

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Brazil’s World Cup was first-rate entertainment thanks to its many surprising results. For its part Breakingviews, also somewhat surprisingly, predicted that Germany would win the competition as long ago as last Christmas.

Jul 13, 2014 23:08 UTC

If only Argentine economy matched soccer success

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By Christopher Swann

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

If only the Argentine economy’s success matched that of its soccer team. The nation’s strong World Cup showing, making it into the final against Germany, reflects astute management of its big fan base and valuable on-field talent. That contrasts with a 100-year record of wasting its human and natural resources. It’s not too late: Avoiding policy own-goals could one day make Argentina an economic champion.

Jun 13, 2014 14:27 UTC

Review: “House of Debt” diagnosis beats remedies

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By Martin Hutchinson

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Atif Mian and Amir Sufi are better at diagnosis than cure. In their book, “House of Debt: How They (and You) Caused the Great Recession, and How We Can Prevent It from Happening Again,” the two professors make a compelling case that excess consumer debt caused the severity of the U.S. Great Recession. Unfortunately their mortgage bailout proposal would worsen future such problems. Another idea, shared value mortgages, might work partially – but tighter monetary policy would work better still.

Jun 11, 2014 20:34 UTC

Obama student loan fix spares rod, spoils borrower

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By Daniel Indiviglio

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

President Barack Obama’s latest tweak to the U.S. student loan program spares the rod and spoils the borrower. Extending repayment caps and debt forgiveness to older graduates gives too many high earners a break. Making everyone pay a flat percentage of income would be simpler, fairer – and cheaper for taxpayers. It could also deliver a valuable lesson in financial responsibility.

COMMENT

Financial responsibility!!!!!.. That went away with bank sponsored legislation that rewrote the personal bankruptcy laws back in 2005. Thanks to the GOP and George bush, banks do not share in the risk of college lending as that debt can NEVER be forgiven via bankruptcy. No risk no responsibility.. Easy profits for the banks!!!

Couple that with college counselors selling degree programs with little financial viability and you get the mess we have now. Shame on the bankers and school administrators. At the university of Texas..in 2007.. School officials were implicated in a kick back system from loan originators!!!

I’d recommend requiring the university to carry the debt and the risk… They are in the best position to know what majors bring in a salary that can pay back the debt.. If a student defaults.. The university loses.. Make it part of their pension fund portfolio and all the university employees will work harder to produce financially responsible graduates!!!!

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Jun 3, 2014 14:54 UTC

Fed fundamentalists deserve fresh listen

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By Rob Cox

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

A portrait of Milton Friedman hangs at the entrance to the Stauffer Auditorium at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. It carries no identification, and doesn’t need any. All who enter here can be counted on to recognize the patron saint of contemporary free-market economics. And so it was two days last week, when the leaders of what might be dubbed monetary fundamentalism gathered under Friedman’s watchful gaze.

COMMENT

Trickery cannot replace a merit based society. When those with real capabilities are limited by those that manipulate you demotivate the capable. Fill their spots with your vacuous minions if you like but you lose in the long term. Things like justice and liberty and law are necessary for very practical reasons, not simply to placate the masses in a fake way. Without them (and we are without them) what is the point of endeavour? The central bank and their army of manipulators are simply tricksters.

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Jan 2, 2014 04:26 UTC
Breakingviews Columnists

Predictions 2014: Reversals and Revivals

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By Breakingviews columnists

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Breakingviews’ annual compendium of financial foresight sets the agenda for the next 12 months. From Wall Street to the Great Wall, who has most potential to surprise, where are markets heading, and which are the companies to watch? Plus, we predict the winner of soccer’s World Cup.

Dec 2, 2013 13:40 UTC

BoE’s small-firm stimulus is blueprint for Draghi

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By Neil Unmack

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The euro zone is no longer collapsing, but credit is. The European Central Bank is reportedly considering giving banks cheap loans to stimulate lending. The Bank of England’s so-called Funding for Lending scheme shows that’s tricky, but the euro zone shouldn’t hold back.

Nov 13, 2013 21:54 UTC

A trio of finance lessons from Bacon’s triptych

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By Richard Beales and Rob Cox

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own. 

The record-busting $142 million sale by Christie’s of Francis Bacon’s triptych of Lucian Freud on Tuesday – not to mention the unprecedented New York auction total of almost $700 million – shows a contemporary art market in heady territory. It’s possible, if a tad tenuous, to extract a matching trio of lessons for the broader world of finance.

Oct 31, 2013 05:53 UTC

China’s banks languish in valuation twilight zone

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By John Foley

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

What if investors valued China’s big lenders the same way they do global banks? By one measure, lenders like ICBC and Bank of China would be worth twice what they are today. Instead, the country’s banks languish in a valuation twilight zone. It’s a sign of the deep scepticism facing China’s financial sector.

Oct 17, 2013 05:03 UTC

When will US stop acting like a fat spoiled brat?

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By Rob Cox

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Imagine future historians looking back at the 113th Congress of the United States. They will not judge it kindly. One day when the dollar is no longer the currency of choice for financial transactions around the world, the fictional chroniclers will ask, perhaps as Romans did in the fifth century: how did a nation that had so much going for it manage to squander everything?

COMMENT

Indeed. Unfortunately, this sad prognosis may prove to be not just right but even too optimistic.

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