Apr 17, 2015 18:26 UTC

Bloomberg outage highlights another bank weakness

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

Bloomberg’s global outage on Friday highlights yet another banking sector weakness. The financial data network’s downtime may have been a problem only for the richest fraction of the top 1 percent. But it prompted enough worry for the Bank of England to remind banks that it’s there as a lender of last resort, raising questions about traders’ heavy reliance on a few fallible systems.

Apr 17, 2015 15:47 UTC
Edward Chancellor

Review: Some of what is wrong with economics

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The response of the dismal scientists to their collective failure to anticipate the global financial crisis has been dispiriting. Economists have refused to set aside their abstruse models, even though these models failed to predict the economic catastrophe. During the boom years, almost all economists applauded Alan Greenspan’s easy money policy. After the bust, the same people continue to deny – in the face of common sense – that the low interest rates of Greenspan’s Federal Reserve were largely responsible for the debt bubble. In short, economics has failed to address its intellectual weaknesses.

In “Hubris: Why Economists Failed to Predict the Crisis and How to Avoid the Next One,” Meghnad Desai, a retired professor at the London School of Economics, relishes exposing the flaws of his field. Unfortunately Desai’s attempt to point the way forward is vitiated by his own weaknesses as an economist.

Apr 16, 2015 15:22 UTC

Bernanke musters maximum revolving-door dignity

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

Ben Bernanke is following a well-worn path to the private sector. The Federal Reserve chief turned economics blogger is going to advise Ken Griffin’s $25 billion hedge fund firm, Citadel Investment Group. Critics may cry foul. But even former public servants are entitled to work for pay.

COMMENT

Revolving-door dignity is an oxymoron.

Posted by Greenspan2 | Report as abusive
Apr 16, 2015 11:11 UTC

Europe’s credit boom locks in mediocre returns

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

Credit investors are locking in mediocre returns. With official interest rates near zero, inflation moribund and defaults low, investors are throwing money at corporate Europe. A new Breakingviews calculator shows how this generosity could backfire.

Apr 7, 2015 18:15 UTC

Rob Cox: Race to bottom of global subprime begins

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U.S. Senator Paul announces candidacy for president during an event in Louisville

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

During the go-go years of America’s housing boom, borrowers had it made. As property prices zoomed upwards, even the most unworthy credits among them saw lenders throwing money at them. Banks reduced their demands for collateral, ignored the need for documentation of income and generally let down their guard. It didn’t work out so well.

Apr 7, 2015 13:14 UTC
Edward Hadas

Iran deal moves oil closer to long bear market

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

Ultimately, a fully rehabilitated Iran could help bring stable and relatively high oil prices. But the wait following an April 2 framework agreement on Iran’s nuclear programmes is likely to be long. And between now and then, the predominant direction of pressure on the oil price is likely to be downward.

COMMENT

On the Iran deal and the impact on oil, what is more important is not the depressing of oil of prices, but the flow of billions in hard currency that will now be flooding into Iranian state coffers to help defray the costs of building its nuclear infrastructure and funding proxy wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon. The one thing we shouldn’t be giving the mullahs over there is a new credit line to spread more of its noxious radicalized ideas.

Posted by ChangeIranNow | Report as abusive
Apr 2, 2015 16:43 UTC

Review: Choking on digital exhaust

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To match feature UNPLUGGED/

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

Mass surveillance by governments and corporations is comparable to child labor or environmental pollution. That is the largely persuasive claim of security expert Bruce Schneier in his new book “Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World.” Resistance is not futile, Schneier thinks, although it will be tricky to fight overreaching securocrats and snooping online advertisers without giving up at least some of the genuine advantages of Big Data.

Apr 1, 2015 23:09 UTC

California drought may find relief from Down Under

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Drought-related cactus installation called "Desert of Cantareira" by Brazilian artist and activist Mundano is seen at Atibainha dam

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

California Governor Jerry Brown may want to look Down Under for relief from the state’s years-long drought. The amount of water stored in reservoirs and snowcaps is so low that on Wednesday he ordered an unprecedented 25 percent cut in statewide use. It’s a wise though belated move. Now he needs a comprehensive plan to help turn California’s water woes around.

COMMENT

Obama gave Brown a billion dollars to use as needed for this crisis. A desalination plant and water recycling plants at major farming locations is the best advice. I pray he makes the correct use of those funds…and he most definitely waited way too long to act on conservation mandates….dumb

Posted by AdamBaum | Report as abusive
Mar 31, 2015 17:49 UTC

Silicon Valley’s noble goals hit home in Indiana

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Salesforce.com CEO Benioff delivers keynote address at company's annual Dreamforce event in San Francisco

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

Silicon Valley’s noble goals are hitting home in Indiana. Apple, Google and other technology companies often fall short of promises to make the world a better place. Opposing discriminatory laws in the Hoosier State and elsewhere could help make up for lost ground.

COMMENT

Silicon Valley has always been morally hypocritical. Thanks for mentioning that.

Posted by myeke | Report as abusive
Mar 30, 2015 07:47 UTC

Clipping Indian central bank’s wings is bad idea

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RBI Governor Rajan attends a joint news conference with India's Finance Minister Chidambaram in New Delhi

 

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

India’s central bank is facing an assault on its authority. Powerful opponents in New Delhi want to set up a tribunal to second-guess the Reserve Bank of India’s decisions. They also want to hand over supervision of bond trading to the stock market watchdog. Undermining the monetary authority would be a mistake. Investors would rather live with a bossy RBI than a weak one.