Dec 12, 2013 21:49 UTC

Uruguay’s weed spoils could get even higher

Photo

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

Legalizing marijuana should provide a lift to the Uruguay economy but there’s scope for it to get even higher. The South American country is the first to legalize marijuana trade, with production from cooperatives, sales to locals only and prices fixed. The Dutch did well from cannabis tourism, but agribusiness could ultimately be the winner in Uruguay.

Dec 12, 2013 12:57 UTC

EU hits bank creditors and hopes for the best

Photo

 By Pierre Briançon

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

European authorities have taken a decisive step in addressing their past banking crises. Whether their new set of rules to hit failed banks’ creditors and depositors will solve future ones is another matter.

Dec 11, 2013 12:22 UTC

Why the UK is growing and the euro zone isn’t

Photo

By Ian Campbell

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

British growth is forging ahead of the euro zone’s. UK austerity has been more effective, the pound is cheap, the housing market suddenly all too lively. But British simplicity also helps. A Germanically strong euro weighs heavily on a still systemically challenged zone.

Dec 11, 2013 06:43 UTC

Private equity taps happy hour at Oriental Brewery

Photo

By Una Galani

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

Oriental Brewery may produce a happy hour for its private equity investors. Belgium’s Anheuser-Busch InBev has started discussions over buying back the South Korean brewer, which it sold to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in 2009 for $1.8 billion. A back-of-the-beer mat calculation suggests that would earn OB’s private equity backers a 34 percent annualized return.

Dec 11, 2013 06:33 UTC

Japan index: Abenomics momentum masks weakness

Photo

By Andy Mukherjee

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

A second straight gain in October pushed the Breakingviews Abenomics index to its highest since the 2008 crisis. But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe must worry about the durability of the recovery. Wage gains aren’t yet large enough to compensate households for rising prices.

Dec 10, 2013 12:04 UTC
Edward Hadas

Mandela’s successors can shape his economic legacy

Photo

By Edward Hadas

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

As world leaders gather to remember Nelson Mandela, they may ponder South Africa’s middle-income trap, with economic growth held back by poor education, inadequate investment and excessive corruption. Yet compared with other post-colonial economies, even stagnation would be a tribute to Mandela’s peace-making.

COMMENT

The threat of industrial and mineral “nationalization” is ever present in SA, and that specter is already hurting developmental momentum of its economy. Investors don’t like uncertainty.

Unfortunately, the wide-eyed idealists who initially occupy the political halls of emerging nations such as South Africa, reach too readily, heavily, and often into the pockets of what should be their economy’s saviors…its capital investors.

Then the politicians point fingers, blame conspiracies in general, and the U.S. or Eurozone specifically when capital-flight sets in.

My guess is South Africa will soon go the way of Venezuela and others.

Posted by kbill | Report as abusive
Dec 10, 2013 07:44 UTC

Narendra Modi could be India’s Shinzo Abe

Photo

By Andy Mukherjee

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

Narendra Modi could be India’s Shinzo Abe. If the recent state polls are any indicator of the electorate’s mood, the opposition politician will be prime minister of the world’s largest democracy by May next year. Just like his Japanese counterpart, Modi would oversee higher asset prices and revive growth, but struggle with structural reforms.

Dec 9, 2013 13:08 UTC

FX increasingly slave to other markets’ moves

Photo

By Swaha Pattanaik

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

Currencies have been especially tough to call in the past year. New analysis suggests that when global interest rates are uniformly low, moves in the mammoth foreign exchange market seem to be a by-product of what is happening in stocks or bonds. That makes predictions almost impossible.

Dec 9, 2013 08:35 UTC

Banks’ taper rehearsal gives emerging markets hope

Photo

By Andy Mukherjee

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

The banking industry’s dress rehearsal for tapering by the Federal Reserve has given emerging markets hope.

Dec 6, 2013 13:49 UTC
Edward Hadas

Cheap money wrong cure for West’s long-term stasis

Photo

By Edward Hadas

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

When distinguished economists come close to defending asset price bubbles, something has gone badly wrong. Larry Summers, for example, overestimates the power of monetary policy and underestimates the importance of economic trends.