Nov 18, 2013 18:58 UTC

Derivatives detail could sink bank wind-down plans

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

A seemingly small derivatives detail could sink global bank wind-down plans. American and European regulators want to standardize contracts to help cross-border lenders fail smoothly. If the problem isn’t fixed, investors could undermine financial stability by calling in swaps. It’s a reminder of how much work still needs to be done to end too big to fail.

Nov 18, 2013 17:04 UTC

Markets may underrate ECB’s propensity to act

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By Swaha Pattanaik

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

It is as if the European Central Bank’s unexpected rate cut had never happened. Within a fortnight, markets seem not to be counting on any further easing of monetary policy in the foreseeable future. Perhaps investors don’t believe the key people at the ECB can deliver on commitments to do more if necessary. If so, they’re missing something. The majority is starting to rule at the ECB.

Nov 18, 2013 04:24 UTC

The ‘Abe put’ will keep Japanese equities buoyed

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Say sayonara to the “Bernanke put” and hello to Shinzo Abe’s alternative. While the Federal Reserve chairman developed a reputation for supporting the price of bonds, the Japanese prime minister’s reforms are designed to push up stock prices.

Nov 15, 2013 15:30 UTC

China fuels optimists, leaves room for pessimists

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

China’s long-awaited blueprint for reform is epic, ambitious, detailed and vague. A sixty-point document issued by the ruling Communist Party on Nov. 15 covers everything from relaxing the hated one-child policy to opening up the financial sector and squeezing more dividends out of state-owned enterprises. It’s enough to restore investors’ faith, if not yet to help them allocate their assets.

Nov 15, 2013 03:54 UTC

Banks’ bad IPO habits spread to China bond deals

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By Una Galani

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

Asia’s investment bankers’ bad habits from initial public offerings have spread to Chinese bond deals. A scarcity of new equity offerings has forced underwriters to crowd onto a dwindling number of issues. Though bond issuance is booming, the pile-up is happening on the debt side too.

Nov 14, 2013 15:22 UTC

QE’s surprising beneficiaries: taxpayers

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Central bank money-printing has produced winners and losers. The biggest beneficiaries may be taxpayers. That’s the conclusion of the McKinsey Global Institute’s new study of who’s up and who’s down after five years of ultra-low interest rates. Though the exercise has its limitations, it’s a welcome antidote to the common idea that quantitative easing has only benefitted the rich.

Nov 14, 2013 04:26 UTC

Nirvana eludes Japan after one year of Abenomics

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

The economic nirvana promised by Shinzo Abe when launching his bid to become prime minister a year ago continues to elude Japan.

Nov 13, 2013 21:54 UTC

A trio of finance lessons from Bacon’s triptych

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By Richard Beales and Rob Cox

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

The record-busting $142 million sale by Christie’s of Francis Bacon’s triptych of Lucian Freud on Tuesday – not to mention the unprecedented New York auction total of almost $700 million – shows a contemporary art market in heady territory. It’s possible, if a tad tenuous, to extract a matching trio of lessons for the broader world of finance.

Nov 13, 2013 15:44 UTC

BoE can escape its self-made forward guidance trap

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By Swaha Pattanaik

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

The Bank of England made a rod for its own back in August when it first linked the outlook for monetary policy with the fortunes of the labour market. It now admits it was too pessimistic about how quickly unemployment would fall. However, the central bank seems no keener to raise interest rates than it was then. Governor Mark Carney is trying to nuance the message. But he might do better just to simplify it.

Nov 13, 2013 07:44 UTC

Four ways to tell China is serious about markets

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By John Foley 

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

China’s new buzzword is “decisive”. That’s how the ruling party described the role it wants markets to play in the economy. It’s hard to see whether it’s more than just talk. But there are four visible ways to tell whether China means business.