Nov 14, 2014 15:17 UTC
Edward Hadas

Euro zone stuck between health and healing crisis

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By Edward Hadas

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

If the euro zone economy were in truly dire condition, someone might do something dramatic. In fact, gross domestic product in the third quarter increased by a paltry 0.2 percent. That is not healthy, but neither is it bad enough to convince governments or central bankers to take the risks of a radically new approach to fiscal, monetary or regulatory policy.

Nov 13, 2014 16:13 UTC

Heady Topper points to beer business peak

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By Rob Cox

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

John Kimmich sparked a Twitter mini-sensation last month when he posted a picture someone had sent him of a four-pack of Heady Topper, the unfiltered double IPA he produces at his Vermont brewery, The Alchemist. The photo showed four 16-ounce cans sitting unrefrigerated, with a $42 price tag. “Shameful,” he tweeted.

COMMENT

What? Back to the ’80s? Microbreweries have been in fashion and out of fashion; some population centers can support an “x” number of them but not above a certain number. The concept of “artisanal” beers is note worthy and commendable but, again, nothing new. Investment-wise, they should only be considered by hobbyists who are not looking to build empires that support workers and their families and not to generate any IPO.

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Nov 12, 2014 08:24 UTC

Japan index: Tightening the purse strings

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By Katrina Hamlin

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

Unexpected growth in manufacturing output helped our alternative economic index to a new high in September. But it wasn’t enough to lift consumers: stagnant wages and higher sales taxes left spending in the doldrums. No wonder the central bank decided to ramp up bond purchases.

COMMENT

please explain how giving billions to currency traders and bankers helps the average person. Bond buy and ramping stock market actually hur people

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Nov 12, 2014 06:06 UTC

Chinese flirt app seeks undiscerning IPO investors

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By Robyn Mak

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

China’s latest tech initial public offering looks like a date from hell. Social network Momo has a fast growing user base and puts a flirtatious twist on location-based chat apps. But a recent history of widening losses and very peculiar governance risks suggest investors should commit at their own risk.

Nov 11, 2014 07:47 UTC

China embraces troublesome cult of consumption

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By John Foley 

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

China has no more potent symbol of consumer power than “Singles’ Day”. Alibaba, the e-commerce giant that invented the shopping frenzy which takes place every Nov. 11, shifted $2 billion of goods on its websites in the first hour of trading. If consumers kept that up all year, retail sales in the People Republic would be five times bigger than they actually were in 2013. Fortunately, they don’t.

Nov 10, 2014 07:18 UTC

Obama and Xi compete to put the “I” in “APEC”

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By John Foley 

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

There is no “I” in “APEC”. Yet the leaders of China and the United States are both using the Beijing round of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation this week to push their own agendas. Using the global stage to play domestic political games leaves room for dangerous mistakes.

Nov 7, 2014 14:15 UTC

America: land of phantom job openings

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By Stephanie Rogan

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

The vacancies are posted, the workers are there but U.S. employers are hiring at a slower rate. Welcome to America, land of phantom jobs.

COMMENT

In Germany we’ve these fake openings since decades. It makes the company look better, if they offer jobs. ‘Bla Bla recruits again!’ in huge letters in the local newspaper is just another kind of advertising, which makes customers believe the company has a good time and is doing good for the community.

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Nov 7, 2014 13:19 UTC

Only Putin can stop rouble’s fall

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By Pierre Briançon

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

The rouble is down 28 percent since the beginning of the year. The Central Bank of Russia has not been able to cushion the fall against its chosen dollar-euro reference basket. It is not at fault.

Nov 7, 2014 07:12 UTC

Japan’s banks may swap old nemesis for new foe

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Japan’s banks may end up swapping their old nemesis with a new enemy.

The central bank’s bulked-up bond-buying plan will relieve lenders of the burden of financing Japan’s overextended government. Shrinking their portfolio of Japanese government bonds (JGBs) helps to reduce the risk that even small increases in interest rates will leave banks with big losses. But if Japanese companies remain reluctant to invest, the lenders’ spare cash may stoke bubbles in stocks and property. In that case, banks could arguably end up living more dangerously than before.

Nov 6, 2014 14:41 UTC

Gold bulls have precious little to cling to

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By Ian Campbell

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

The golden metal is being crushed by the paper it despised. The dollar index is at a four-year high and the gold price at a four-year low, having fallen nearly 40 percent from its peak to below $1,200 an ounce. It is hard to see gold avoiding a swift plunge below $1,000 unless turmoil in other markets turns the precious metal into a temporary haven.