Breakingviews

REIT scandal could be good test for Sarbanes-Oxley

October 30, 2014

American Realty Capital Properties says its false financials were intentionally left uncorrected. Details are scant, but that sounds tailor-made for the Enron-inspired law. After more than a decade as an afterthought for U.S. prosecutors, the reform may have a chance to shine.

QE gave emerging markets brief gains, lasting pain

October 30, 2014

Six years of money-printing in the United States have ended. The $4 trillion splurge may have averted a deeper slump. But for developing countries it fueled a credit binge while bringing only a fleeting boost to growth. Many will now struggle to boost output and repay the debt.

Train merger could be China’s ticket to elite club

October 29, 2014

Coupling together two big train-builders into a domestic monopoly sounds like a step backwards. But it would help China better compete against an oligopoly of big, rich-world rivals. For a growing superpower, that probably seems a good enough reason to bend the market norms.

Rob Cox: Zuckerberg’s Chinese lessons are scalable

October 28, 2014

Bilingual CEOs should be the norm, not fuel for the kind of media frenzy that greeted the Facebook founder’s Q&A in Mandarin last week. Learning a foreign language doesn’t just help conquer new markets. It fosters risk-taking and new thinking, and helps eliminate biases.

Hong Kong protests reach polite impasse

October 28, 2014

The “umbrella movement” has lasted a month, confounding predictions of apathy, chaos, or a Beijing crackdown. A compromise on democratic reform is as distant as ever. Yet Hong Kong’s mostly civil activists have changed the city’s political geography for good.

EU bank stress-test winners still short of capital

October 27, 2014

Most European banks passed the exam, at least on a headline level. But the accompanying disclosures make them look less robust up close. Investors can use the new clarity to push for extra capital buffers. These would help lenders cope with the risks of euro zone deflation.

Missed stock connection hurts China’s reform drive

October 27, 2014

Regulators have delayed a flagship scheme to connect the Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges. Protests, market jitters and tax issues may have been factors. The problem is that investors are in the dark. The uncertainty damages confidence in the plan, and in other Chinese reforms.

Review: World needs agreed ground rules for peace

October 24, 2014

Henry Kissinger’s “World Order” bemoans the lack of one, as the West’s prevailing approach of nation states with limited conflict isn’t reflected in non-Western traditions. However the Vienna Congress innovation allowing intervention only to protect stability might work better.

Zuckerberg’s Chinese chat leaves CEOs tongue-tied

October 24, 2014

The Facebook founder surprised and delighted a Beijing audience by answering questions in Mandarin. His linguistic skills probably won’t make the social network any more welcome in the People’s Republic. But other corporate chiefs could learn from his efforts to friend China.

Zuckerberg’s Chinese chat leaves CEOs tongue-tied

October 24, 2014

The Facebook founder surprised and delighted a Beijing audience by answering questions in Mandarin. His linguistic skills probably won’t make the social network any more welcome in the People’s Republic. But other corporate chiefs could learn from his efforts to friend China.