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.

Nov 13, 2013 03:46 UTC

Japan index: Risks to GDP growth recede

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Breakingviews’ Abenomics Index rose the most in six months in September. The gain would have been higher but for Japan’s unusual current account deficit. Higher revised values for July and August suggest the risk of a significant slowdown in third-quarter GDP growth has ebbed.

Nov 12, 2013 08:03 UTC

Asian tsunami offers lessons for Philippine repair

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By Andy Mukherjee 

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

The Philippines could learn some lessons from the Indian Ocean tsunami. Like the 2004 tidal wave, typhoon Haiyan has caused death and destruction. The next challenge is to manage the economic distortions caused by rebuilding.

Nov 11, 2013 08:01 UTC

Doubly dysfunctional press hinders China cleanup

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By John Foley

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

Graft hurts growth; transparency helps. It sounds simple, but in China, the arrest of a domestic journalist for defamation and heavy-handed treatment of foreign news organisations suggest the message isn’t getting through. A free press can’t make corruption go away on its own. Without one, however, the economic benefits of any clean-up will be limited.

Nov 11, 2013 05:30 UTC

White male banker jabs at finance’s glass ceiling

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

A white male banker is trying to tackle the finance industry’s glass ceiling. HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver has spent the past few years trying to cut costs and raise ethical standards. Now he wants the bank to change its culture in order to attract and retain more senior women. Though the insight is hardly new, it’s significant that a male CEO is publicly acknowledging the problem.

Nov 8, 2013 18:12 UTC

Review: Frackers needed long view to make history

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

The revolution in U.S. energy came from an unlikely source, as Gregory Zuckerman recounts in “The Frackers: the Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters.” Tiny drillers like George Mitchell and Harold Hamm persisted with shale while deep-pocketed giants such as Chevron gave up. It was a triumph of leadership over short-term shareholder value.

Nov 8, 2013 12:47 UTC

ECB adds to bubbly markets’ risky lack of fear

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By Ian Campbell

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

The European Central Bank rate cut on Thursday is yet another bit of monetary policy loosening. The aim is not to make markets frothy – but that is the result. There may seem no catalyst for bubbles to burst. But the absence of fear is itself a warning.