Feb 26, 2015 15:34 UTC

Rob Cox: Welcome to the new, global Tangentopoli

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By Rob Cox

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

It seems about impossible to find a corruption-free corner of the earth. Scandals involving business and political elites have struck from Sao Paulo to Beijing, Virginia to Santiago and Madrid to Mexico, and seem to unfold daily. Welcome to a new, global Tangentopoli.

Feb 23, 2015 14:20 UTC

HSBC’s operating woes trump Swiss tax furore

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

HSBC’s financial woes trump its Swiss tax headache. Revelations about the global bank’s past fiscal fiddles – and Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver’s offshore accounts – have brought new scrutiny and raised the bar for future conduct. Investors care more about whether HSBC will be able to reach its newly reduced financial targets. These still look some way off.

COMMENT

“tax shenanigans” — Reuter’s reference to HSBC banking money for terrorists, etc? Clearly, why would investors expect poor performance from executives w/ lax ethics and unrealistic business forecasts?

Posted by TigerFalls | Report as abusive
Feb 21, 2015 20:23 UTC
Hugo Dixon

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

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Greek PM Tsipras attends a cabinet meeting at the parliament building in Athens

Greek PM Tsipras attends a cabinet meeting at the parliament building in Athens, Feb 21, 2015. REUTERS/Kostas Tsironis

Alexis Tsipras must keep his nerve. The new Greek prime minister 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 now no turning back. But he can snatch victory from defeat if he embraces radical reforms with vigour.

COMMENT

I fully agree with the comments posted by Thurlac which are accurate and to the point.
The Greek Orthodox Church is supporting the needy without taking under
consideration nationality, colour or creed. Others should follow the Church’s example.

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Feb 13, 2015 15:54 UTC

Review: Art market’s old vices go global

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By Carol Ryan

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

In “Big Bucks: The Explosion of the Art Market in the 21st Century” Georgina Adam describes how today’s contemporary art boom is reshaping the business of art. Much of what goes on in the global market, worth 47 billion euros ($65 billion) in 2013 according to the European Fine Art Foundation, is not new – from the sky-high prices paid by super-wealthy collectors to market manipulation. What has changed is its global scale.

Feb 13, 2015 12:54 UTC

Italian bad bank is worth the risk

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By Neil Unmack

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

Italy’s bad bank is a good idea. Rome wants to set up a vehicle to hoover up banks’ dud loans. It’s risky: government-funded bad banks can wind up losing taxpayer money. Yet it could also help lending, and even spur consolidation in Italy’s fragmented banking system.

Feb 10, 2015 21:22 UTC

Greece is creating room for deal with euro zone

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By Pierre Briancon

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

Greece has the choice between a climbdown and a showdown. It may be leaning towards the former. After two weeks of scaring financial markets and raising the hackles of its euro zone partners, the country’s inexperienced leaders go to Brussels this week with proposals that can at least be the basis of a reasonable discussion.

COMMENT

It is a game of poker, surely? And the Troika didn’t blink previously when Greece had the opportunity to do far more damage than now so Greece is unlikely to get much softening. But they might get some for two reasons. One is that excessive austerity and joblessness is getting the EU a bad name, and EU leaders like anyone else prefer popularity. The other is that a country with a flourishing economy is obviously better able to pay off its debts. If Syriza made a convincing case for both saving and spending money in the right places they might emerge with a face saving agreement that would also do some good.I remain optimistic!

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Feb 10, 2015 14:52 UTC

Capital controls an unpalatable option for Athens

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By Neil Unmack

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

Capital controls are a messy option for Greece. This radical policy did less harm than expected during Cyprus’ banking crisis, and would buy time for Athens and its international creditors. The snag is that Greece’s position is weaker, and the politics more toxic.

Feb 9, 2015 17:22 UTC

Today’s Wall Street can’t produce a John Whitehead

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By Antony Currie and Rob Cox

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

The storied career John Whitehead led over the past 70 years or so is virtually impossible to imagine on today’s Wall Street. The former Goldman Sachs boss, who died on Saturday at 92, was not just instrumental in developing the global investment banking model that largely still exists today. He also took on prominent positions in public service after he left.

COMMENT

Chairman Whitehead, was a great inspiration in my life, both personally and professionally. He was a World War II Hero, and he never stopped giving of his service to his Country and to his fellow citizens. He was instrumental in helping President Reagan tear down that Wall and integrating the Eastern Bloc back into the free world. He will be missed. May the Chairman of the Establishment Rest in Peace.

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Feb 6, 2015 12:53 UTC
Edward Hadas

Others will join hryvnia and rouble in FX sin bin

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By Edward Hadas

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

Ukraine has joined Russia in the extreme currency club. An intensifying conflict between Kiev’s government and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine makes this duo a special case. The former is on the brink of bankruptcy; the latter is beset by international sanctions and the tumbling price of oil. Still, other currencies could fall into a similar vicious circle.

Feb 2, 2015 12:52 UTC
Edward Hadas

Negative yields can go much more negative

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By Edward Hadas

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

The spread of negative yields in the bond market is both distressing and, in theory at least, sound. The numbers after the minus sign could become larger.