Dec 2, 2013 13:40 UTC

BoE’s small-firm stimulus is blueprint for Draghi

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By Neil Unmack

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

The euro zone is no longer collapsing, but credit is. The European Central Bank is reportedly considering giving banks cheap loans to stimulate lending. The Bank of England’s so-called Funding for Lending scheme shows that’s tricky, but the euro zone shouldn’t hold back.

Dec 2, 2013 06:33 UTC

China index: Sober lending, spending slows growth

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By Katrina Hamlin

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

Our alternative index shows China’s growth prospects at a four-month low. Lack-luster exports played a part. But the dip also reflected a healthy slow-down in new loans, sales of property and Audis, as well as a sharp fall in luxury liquor stocks.

Dec 2, 2013 06:21 UTC

Bangkok’s fiscal bias fans Thai political angst

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Thailand’s turmoil has its roots in extreme inequality. The most recent protests – the latest in an ongoing political crisis – is at least partly a reflection of a deeper chasm worsened by a biased fiscal policy.

Nov 29, 2013 15:59 UTC

Dutch downgrade is a lagging indicator

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By Viktoria Dendrinou

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

And then there were three. Standard & Poor’s decision to strip the Netherlands of its triple-A credit rating leaves only Germany, Finland and tiny Luxembourg enjoying top-notch status in the euro zone. It is hard to argue with the assessment, but it would be wrong to see the downgrade as a red flag about the country’s economic health. While the Netherlands’ recovery from its housing bust is all too slow, property prices are bottoming, debt is low and reform is underway. Other euro zone members are bigger worries.

Nov 29, 2013 05:37 UTC

Australia too mealy-mouthed on protectionism

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By John Foley

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

Australia is being mealy mouthed about protectionism. Treasurer Joe Hockey blocked the A$3.4 billion ($3.1 billion) takeover of agricultural trader GrainCorp by U.S. rival ADM on Nov. 29, on the grounds that Australia’s grain market is only just getting used to competition, five years after the national wheat monopoly was disbanded. For Australia’s foreign investment prospects, the decision itself is less bad than the ambiguity over why it was made.

Nov 28, 2013 08:08 UTC

Giant Interactive’s $2.9 bln buyout hard to resist

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By Una Galani

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

Giant Interactive’s $2.9 billion buyout is hard to resist. Chairman Shi Yuzhu is leading a consortium with Baring Private Equity Asia to take the U.S-listed Chinese computer gaming group private. At almost 13 times this year’s earnings, the group’s offer to buy the 53 percent that it doesn’t already own is a chunky premium to peers. Besides, independent investors have few alternatives.

Nov 27, 2013 17:31 UTC

Give thanks for the pope’s anti-free market views

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

Wall Street bigwigs often lean economically right and socially left. In what looks like a manifesto for his papacy, Pope Francis takes the opposite stance. He might not, however, object to the relatively uncommercialized American Thanksgiving holiday. And over their turkey on Thursday, the rich might ponder a financial system that the pope says “rules rather than serves.”

COMMENT

Its also interesting to me how the IMPROVING plight of the poor and hungry in the world can be so thoroughly ignored by the Church, the other representative NGO’s, and the media.

The absolute numbers and percentages of humans living in abject poverty, and living with food insecurity have dropped significantly since the 1970′s. The number of people with a living wage, adequate food, clean water, and basic medical services has RISEN significantly — in most cases thanks to the largesse of free-enterprise and its benefactors.

There is still work to do, but as the presumed leader of the Catholic church once declared to one of his female followers, “The poor you’ll have with you always.”

Meanwhile, if one is in the business of selling guilt and despair as ‘free-market’ commodities (as are the Church, the NGO’s, and the media) it’s expedient to ignore the numbers and the improvements so that the soft intellect of their followers (and contributors) continue to obsess on the decreasing need as though it were at crisis proportion still.

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Nov 27, 2013 03:11 UTC

How Cinda squares China’s debt triangles

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By John Foley

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

China Cinda has spotted a clever arbitrage. The Chinese “bad bank”, which is revving up for a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO), has recently been doing brisk business by borrowing cheaply from other banks and using those funds to buy up companies’ short-term loans to each other. In doing so, it has found a way to square China’s dreaded “debt triangles”.

Nov 25, 2013 15:17 UTC

Sub-zero ECB rates could be made to work

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By Swaha Pattanaik

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

The European Central Bank has discussed charging lenders for the privilege of putting money on deposit. It would be a radical move, enacted through negative interest rates, aiming to encourage banks to lend to the real economy. But such a policy should be embraced with care.

Nov 25, 2013 07:03 UTC

Iran deal offers the world a ray of hope

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By Una Galani

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

Iran’s nuclear deal offers the world a ray of hope. It won’t be easy to turn the agreement to curb Tehran’s nuclear activities from a six-month accord into a lasting solution that assures the world the country’s nuclear programme is peaceful. But the resulting diplomatic goodwill should make it harder to go backwards.