Dec 19, 2013 12:33 UTC

The wrongs and rights of the euro banking union

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By George Hay 

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

The euro zone banking union was always going to have a difficult birth. European governments finally agreed on Dec. 18 the second of three key milestones – a resolution directive establishing a common approach for dealing with struggling lenders. As with most EU compromises, it is an imperfect reform. It was criticized by European Central Bank officials, including president Mario Draghi, and doubts remain. But the euro zone at least has the beginning of a banking union.

Dec 19, 2013 05:40 UTC

Li Ka-shing IPOs could be HSBC’s breakout moment

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By Una Galani

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

Li Ka-shing may have given HSBC a breakout moment in investment banking. The Hong Kong tycoon looks to have handed the bank two juicy mandates to run initial public offerings. That’s significant. HSBC has never quite managed to turn its formidable Asian banking relationships into deal fees. Things might finally be coming together.

Dec 18, 2013 17:27 UTC
Edward Hadas

Bitcoin mania heads into the end game

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

Common sense is catching up with the bitcoin craze. In the process, it is bringing its backers financial losses and intellectual embarrassment.

Dec 18, 2013 12:27 UTC

Ukraine’s Russian lifeline means European pain

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By Pierre Briançon

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

Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich has found a friend to help keep him out of bankruptcy until election time, but by then the sponsor may find that $15 billion was a bit much to spend on a loser.

Dec 18, 2013 08:18 UTC

Swift bad loan clean-up will beef up Indian banks

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

India’s new purge on bad loans will make banks sturdier. The Reserve Bank of India has proposed rules whereby lenders would start creditor crisis talks for any company that owes more than $16 million, if it misses a single repayment for more than 60 days. It sounds strict, but that’s what India needs: 10 percent of state banks’ loans have already turned bad.

Dec 17, 2013 12:14 UTC

Shale energy deficit will hit Europe hard

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By Fiona Maharg-Bravo

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

Will the shale boom ever reach Europe’s shores?  It has had a remarkable impact in the U.S. Thanks to fracking, American chemicals and steel companies pay two-thirds less than European counterparts for natural gas, according to Eni, the Italian oil and gas firm. They pay half the cost for electricity. The International Energy Agency expects U.S. manufacturers’ share of global energy-intensive exports to grow slightly over the next two decades on the back of cheap energy, against a 10 percent decline in Europe. Thanks in part to the lower energy prices, the Boston Consulting Group reckons the U.S. will create up to 5 million factory and services jobs by 2020.

Dec 17, 2013 09:20 UTC

China web giants take the fight offline in 2014

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By Robyn Mak

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

Remember when every offline company was desperate to become an online one? In China, it’s happening the other way round. The country’s internet giants are making forays into traditional industries, from logistics to consumer electronics. The pace will increase, but what starts as disruption could turn into overreach.

Dec 16, 2013 14:06 UTC

New German government to take chances on growth

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By Olaf Storbeck

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

The most obvious symbol of the continuity Angela Merkel has wanted to showcase with her third cabinet is Wolfgang Schaeuble, who will keep his job as Germany’s Finance Minister in the new ruling coalition. That clearly shows that Berlin’s European policies will remain unchanged. Other EU governments will welcome a German team committed to keeping the euro zone together – if anything even more so, considering the pro-European Social Democrats’ influence in the new government.

Dec 16, 2013 03:41 UTC

U.S. and China will set global growth pace in 2014

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By Peter Thal Larsen and Robyn Mak 

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

The United States and China will determine the pace of global growth in 2014. Though America accounts for a quarter of the world economy and China less than a tenth, the two countries will generate roughly half the expansion in overall GDP next year. With Europe in the doldrums, Japan still recovering and emerging markets subdued, the planet heavily depends on its twin engines.

Dec 13, 2013 11:44 UTC

Who’s next for Boris Bikes? Co-op? Wonga?

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By Quentin Webb

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

 

Memo, Dec. 13 2013

Status: Confidential

To: Mayor Boris Johnson

From: Blue Sky Thinking Department

Subject: Candidates for Cycle Hire Scheme

 

Dear Boris,

As requested – a list of potential replacements for the cycle hire scheme, which seems to have no place in Antony Jenkins’ cuddly new Barclays. No matter. There are many impressive potential candidates out there.