Aug 14, 2013 05:33 UTC

Zhu Rongji merits China’s admiration not imitation

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By John Foley

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

China is channelling its old leaders. A new book of speeches by Zhu Rongji has focused attention on the ex-premier who slashed state-owned enterprises, tamed banks and curbed runaway inflation in the 1990s. The current incumbent, Li Keqiang, faces some similar challenges. He would do well to imitate Zhu’s style, though not his methods.

Aug 14, 2013 03:03 UTC

Carl Icahn makes #activism look easy at Apple

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By Robert Cyran 

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

Apple may be Carl Icahn’s easiest activist campaign ever. The 77-year-old billionaire disclosed a big position in the iPad maker on Twitter in what may be one of the most valuable tweets to date, at $142 million a character based on the roughly $20 billion it added to the company’s market value on Tuesday. His message was as simple as the medium – Apple should buy back more stock and fast. It would be a smart, relatively effortless move.

Aug 13, 2013 05:20 UTC

Indian banks teeter on asset-quality abyss

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

India’s banks are staring into an abyss. Loans are souring rapidly as the economy stalls. Meanwhile, rising bond yields are making it harder for lenders to absorb credit losses from current earnings.

Aug 12, 2013 13:43 UTC

Sterling flirts with safe-haven status

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By Ian Campbell

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

Is sterling now a safe haven? Not exactly – the pound has too much going against it for that, including dovish rhetoric on monetary policy from Mark Carney, the new head of the central bank. But in the currency contest, the UK looks less handicapped than most of its major rivals.

Aug 12, 2013 07:32 UTC

Li Ning hits gruelling part of TPG fitness plan

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By John Foley

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

Most fitness plans come down to two things: burning fat and building muscle. Li Ning has managed the first, but not yet the second. In the first half of 2013 the Chinese sportswear brand closed stores and shed inventory, narrowing its operating losses to 39 million yuan ($6.3 million). But Li Ning has yet to prove it can follow this up with sustainable top-line growth.

Aug 9, 2013 01:47 UTC

Two-child policy may be too late for China

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By Robyn Mak

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

China needs more babies to counter its ageing population and shrinking workforce. But relaxing the country’s one-child rule may not be enough to convince increasingly prosperous Chinese women to have more children. Even if effective, the shift would only have a marginal impact on the economy.

Aug 8, 2013 13:38 UTC
Edward Hadas

Carney should worry about why Britain is different

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By Edward Hadas

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

Mark Carney can look in the mirror to see one example of British exceptionalism. No other major economy’s government would let a foreigner run its central bank. But in his first major policy announcement, the Canadian governor of the Bank of England studiously ignored a more relevant national exception: the inflation rate.

Aug 8, 2013 03:55 UTC

Japan Index: A second setback for Abe’s experiment

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

The Breakingviews Abenomics Index has fallen for a second successive month, hitting its lowest level this year in June. Japan’s jittery bond markets and sliding inflation expectations were the culprits. But other indicators still suggest the end of deflation is near.

Aug 8, 2013 03:50 UTC

India’s rupee rescue is more prayer than plan

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

India’s plan to rescue the rupee is sinking.

On Aug. 6, three weeks after the central bank began engineering an increase in short-term money market rates to attract speculators, the Indian currency slid to a new record low against the U.S. dollar. This happened as rising overnight rates led to higher long-term borrowing costs, threatening to cause a fresh spate of bad loans.

Aug 7, 2013 13:56 UTC

Gold warns markets of an anxious September

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By Ian Campbell

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

Gold may again be sending a warning to markets. Its price is again on a losing run, the most sustained since its spring cataclysm. The likely reason is that fears of a September tightening in U.S. monetary policy are reviving.