Mar 3, 2014 16:18 UTC

West can hurt Russia – if there’s a will

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By Pierre Briançon

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

Western powers seem to consider that Crimea is gone, that Russia is there to stay, and that their main option is to increase the “cost” – Barack Obama’s word – that Vladimir Putin must pay for his actions in the Ukrainian territory.

COMMENT

Trade is a 2 way process that benefits both parties. The West cannot hurt Russia unless USA exports more energy to Europe.

Posted by WJL | Report as abusive
Mar 3, 2014 00:42 UTC

Deadly assault brings new kind of risk to China

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By John Foley

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

The shocking knife attack that left at least 33 dead in Kunming railway station brings a new kind of risk to China. Investors’ belief in the relative stability of the People’s Republic has allowed it to weather political purges and border disputes without upsetting asset prices or capital flows. But rising ethnic tension could lead to a damaging recalculation at a fragile time.

Feb 28, 2014 16:20 UTC
Edward Hadas

Review: GDP and its discontents

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By Edward Hadas

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

Gross domestic product is both a useful measure and a terrible one. Diane Coyle explains why in “GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History.” Despite some cogent arguments in support of its use, readers may struggle to share the British economist’s fondness.

Feb 28, 2014 06:04 UTC

Macau casino stocks are priced for perfection

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By Ethan Bilby

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

Macau’s casino stocks are priced for perfection. A building boom will expand capacity in China’s gambling enclave. But to justify their valuations, gaming operators not only need to attract more punters but encourage them to spend more at the tables. Any slowdown or increased competition could test excited multiples.

Feb 27, 2014 15:19 UTC

Investors take note: low inflation isn’t deflation

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By Swaha Pattanaik

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

The theory says that bonds benefit and stocks suffer when there’s deflation. In the real world, disinflation has yet to turn into persistent price declines. Sluggish price rises are no bar to equities doing quite well, just so long as there is growth. It’s too early to write off stocks.

Feb 27, 2014 06:56 UTC

SoftBank’s Alibaba stake both blessing and burden

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By Una Galani

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

SoftBank’s investment in Alibaba must be one of the most successful of all time. Billionaire chief Masayoshi Son injected just $20 million into the Chinese e-commerce giant in 2000. Today, the 36.7 percent shareholding accounts for a large chunk of Japanese group’s market value. As Alibaba heads toward an initial public offering, however, Son’s investment blessing may become a burden.

COMMENT

Not sure I buy your conclusion, but a great analysis up to that point. While you are right of course that when Alibaba goes public, investors can simply go there. But surely that doesn’t mean that the valuation of Softbank, affected as it is by Alibaba, will decrease?
If anything, it should increase since the valuation will be straightforward.

As of now there are widely varying estimates of Alibaba’s value, including yours. That uncertainty will no longer be present once the IPO is filed. On top of that, there is a good chance that Alibaba shares will rocket up after listing, since interest in it as well as projections of its future value, are huge. All of this should allow Softbank to lessen that 16% conglomerate discount.

We shall see.

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Feb 26, 2014 06:31 UTC

Japan bond investors’ overseas trip may flop again

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By Andy Mukherjee 

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

Japanese bond investors’ latest overseas trip might flop, just like last summer’s foray. That’s bad news for the investors and for Tokyo’s anti-deflation campaign.

Feb 25, 2014 22:01 UTC

At least Venezuela’s unrest is simply economics

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By Martin Hutchinson

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

Of all the countries in the world currently undergoing serious unrest, Venezuela’s problems look the easiest to resolve. It’s just economics. Broadly speaking, Ukraine’s rupture is ethnic, Thailand’s regional and Syria’s religious. By contrast, Venezuela is ethnically and religiously united. It even has oil wealth. But high inequality and growing chaos bedevil the Latin American nation – problems that can be alleviated even without wrenching political upheaval.

Feb 25, 2014 18:33 UTC
Edward Hadas

Who bails out bitcoin depositors?

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By Edward Hadas

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

Imagine that the leading stockbroker in a country closed its doors without giving any reason. Its clients would be in a panic and customers of rival firms would be very nervous. That is exactly what has happened to bitcoin, the leading pseudo-currency.

Feb 25, 2014 16:51 UTC

Italy’s Renzi has big dreams and small mandate

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By Neil Unmack

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

Italy’s new prime minister has big dreams and a small mandate. Matteo Renzi has announced ambitious reforms on a tight deadline. But his position in parliament is weaker than even his sleepy predecessor’s.