Sep 3, 2014 21:24 UTC

Home Depot hack scarier than Hollywood breach

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By Richard Beales

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

It’s no surprise that stolen nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence attract more attention than a nerdy report on Home Depot’s security breach. But it’s an unfortunate reality that Hollywood celebrities need to guard their privacy, whether threatened by paparazzi or hackers. Corporate breaches that expose millions of people to financial loss are, on the other hand, in a different league.

With Home Depot, it’s not yet clear what the scale of any hacking may have been, or whether the company’s systems were violated despite strong defenses. But security blogger Brian Krebs said he had received information suggesting the Home Depot episode could be larger than last year’s hack of Target. That attack, which he first publicized, exposed the credit card data of at least 40 million customers.

COMMENT

Easier to pay cash when you go to Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s and other stores. Of course, you are sometimes considered old-fashioned if you do so, but better safe than sorry.

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Sep 3, 2014 08:22 UTC
Breakingviews Columnists

E-book: Alibaba and the twelve digits

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By Breakingviews columnists

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

 

China’s e-commerce colossus is hitting the road for a $100-billion-plus IPO. But a spectacular growth story comes with quirks, including bizarre governance and founder Jack Ma’s penchant for offbeat deals. Breakingviews offers a punchy primer on the risks and rewards.

Read the e-book online (English)

Download the PDF (English)

Download the PDF (Chinese)

Sep 3, 2014 08:17 UTC

Tianhe fraud claims hit at China free-rider effect

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By John Foley

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

Fraud allegations and China are seemingly inseparable. Tianhe Chemicals, an industrial group that listed in Hong Kong less than three months ago, is under fire from a group alleging it cooked its books. This challenges not just the company’s integrity, but investors’ belief that when big names have pored over an initial public offering, they don’t have to.

Sep 2, 2014 07:20 UTC

Six steps to Alibaba’s twelve-figure valuation

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By Peter Thal Larsen 

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

How do you value a tech company? What about a dominant, fast-growing, profitable tech company with no peers that operates in an opaque economy? Fund managers need to decide as Alibaba kicks off the roadshow for its long-awaited initial public offering. Breakingviews offers a six-step guide to sizing up China’s biggest e-commerce group.

COMMENT

I would not say Alibaba is out. It’s a brand has several sub brands underneath, such as Taobao, Tianmao, and probably more. Taobao targets small business vendors, Tianmao is for Brands. What was the number of cash flow Taobao + Tianmao made within 24 hrs on the 11th of last November? 6 billion dollars. It’s a win win for both sides, for example brand Jack Jones made 2 million dollars within just one hour, that’s just insane. It’s hard to believe a giant thing like this is out when there’s nothing replaceable.

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Sep 1, 2014 12:36 UTC

Gold’s geopolitical ledge won’t hold up

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By Ian Campbell

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

The Ukrainian crisis and Middle Eastern conflict have provided a respite for the price of gold. After going over a cliff and dropping from heights of $1,700 an ounce during 2013, it has found a ledge at around $1,300. The ledge is eroding.

Sep 1, 2014 06:32 UTC

Democracy snub leaves Hong Kong only bad choices

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Hong Kong’s narrowing options over future leadership elections could have broad repercussions. Voters in the former colony face only bad choices after Beijing proposed a tightly controlled system for choosing its chief executive. The decision escalates the risk of a showdown with protestors. It also suggests China’s leaders care ever less about the rest of the world’s opinion.

COMMENT

Maybe the EU will impose sanctions on China, along with the US like they did when Ukraine attacked the East. This should be real interesting…..

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Aug 29, 2014 17:40 UTC

TV broadcasters missing big picture in Aereo fight

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By Reynolds Holding

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

Television broadcasters are missing the big picture in their courtroom spat with Aereo. CBS, Disney-owned ABC and others don’t want the streaming startup backed by media mogul Barry Diller reborn as a cable company. But conceding now could put online services and the likes of Time Warner Cable on equal legal footing, creating more competition – and higher fees – for content.

Aereo seemed doomed only two months ago. The U.S. Supreme Court decided it violated copyright law by leasing to each subscriber a dime-sized antenna that received broadcasting signals for free and streamed them over the internet. Like a cable operator, the court ruled, it had to pay for programming.

Aug 29, 2014 10:20 UTC
Edward Hadas

Review: A pained call for radical financial reform

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By Edward Hadas

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

Martin Wolf is still recovering from the financial crisis. In his new book, the Financial Times economics commentator admits to being surprised at the depth, breadth and length of the economic malaise which followed the near collapse of the global financial system in 2008.

Aug 29, 2014 06:16 UTC

Global poverty needs a post-industrial definition

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Global poverty needs a new, post-industrial definition.

The $1-a-day threshold, the most-often cited marker of penury, is an anachronistic legacy from the time when being able to fill a human stomach could be reasonably equated with putting raw manpower to productive use in farms, factories and on construction sites.

Aug 28, 2014 06:57 UTC

Bland Lagarde will escape the Bretton Woods curse

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By Christopher Swann

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

Christine Lagarde may soon reap the benefits of being bland. The IMF chief is under investigation for signing off on a 403 million euro ($531 million) payout to a French tycoon when she served as the country’s finance minister. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, her predecessor at the Washington-based lender, and former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz were both ousted for misconduct. Lagarde, though, has few enemies.