Oct 16, 2014 18:41 UTC

Goldman pulls every lever to make machine run

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By Antony Currie

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

Goldman Sachs pulled every lever to ensure its machine ran properly over the summer. The bank earned $2.1 billion in the three months to September, blowing past Wall Street expectations. Its dealmakers and traders played their part, as did the firm’s own investments. The real fillip, however, to the bank’s annualized 11.8 percent return on equity came from socking away less for pay.

Oct 16, 2014 13:25 UTC

Netflix stock horror follows familiar script

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Netflix is sticking to the script. The film and TV streaming service lost $7 billion of market value in after-hours trading on Wednesday following news that it had signed up fewer new subscribers last quarter than originally forecast. Even for one of the most-shorted and volatile stocks, a 25 percent decline is notable. And yet investors have seen this movie before.

Oct 15, 2014 06:47 UTC

CICC loses a princeling, gains investment appeal

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By John Foley

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

To lose a princeling looks careless, but no worse. That should reassure backers of China International Capital Corp, the Chinese investment bank whose well-connected chief executive has just resigned.

Oct 13, 2014 14:13 UTC
Edward Hadas

Markets finally side with economy on bad news

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By Edward Hadas

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

Market historians could call the last five years the QE period. Quantitative easing, a polite term for money creation by central banks, has pushed free and ultra-cheap money into almost all financial markets, supporting or pushing up prices. The era is coming to a close. As investors overcome their monetary dependence, they have to look at the real economy. It’s not encouraging.

Oct 13, 2014 06:50 UTC

China’s Agile Property only the worst of the best

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By John Foley

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

Agile Property is crumbling. The Chinese real estate developer needs urgent financial assistance after the authorities detained its chairman and it had to cancel a $360 million rights issue. The shares fell by as much as 30 percent on Oct. 13. Yet in China’s property sector, it is just the worst of the best.

Oct 10, 2014 19:18 UTC

Blackstone sale may kick off next deal trend

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

It’s the end of the beginning for Blackstone. The M&A advice business that Steve Schwarzman and Pete Peterson used as a cornerstone to build their buyout firm three decades ago is being offloaded. Merging it with a fledgling shop run by former Morgan Stanley investment banking chief Paul Taubman potentially heralds the start of something else. The rise in global mergers could spawn a super-boutique or even entice a big bank to buy an indie firm.

Oct 9, 2014 07:15 UTC

Tianhe investors sell first, ask questions later

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Investors in Tianhe Chemicals are selling first and asking questions later. Shares in the Chinese company plunged by as much as 45 percent when they resumed trading after anonymous fraud allegations. Despite the company’s detailed rebuttal, some of the dirt has stuck. Big shareholders may have to reach into their pockets to restore confidence.

Oct 7, 2014 06:48 UTC

Jumbo $6 bln bank IPO shows Saudi too big to miss

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By Una Galani

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

Saudi Arabia’s jumbo bank offering shows the soon-to-open emerging market is too good to miss. The kingdom’s top lender by assets is planning to sell shares worth $6 billion, making it the biggest-ever initial public offering in the Middle East and second only to China’s Alibaba in the world this year. For most outsiders, it’s a reminder of the opportunities that will open up when foreign investors are granted direct access to the country’s $584 billion stock market next year.

Oct 6, 2014 15:57 UTC

Meg Whitman at last splits Hewlett from Packard

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By Rob Cox

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

Hewlett and Packard are finally going their separate ways. Not literally, of course, as the founders of the Silicon Valley technology conglomerate that bears their names have long shuffled off this mortal coil. But the company now led by Meg Whitman is breaking in two.

Oct 3, 2014 18:17 UTC

Sears’ Canada stake sale merits a discount

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By Kevin Allison

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

Eddie Lampert is at it again. Less than three weeks after the hedge fund world’s Icarus figure-turned-retail boss announced he would lend Sears Holdings $400 million, the struggling store chain has announced a plan to raise more cash by selling down its stake in a Canadian subsidiary through an uncommon operation.