Asia can give the West a bubble-popping lecture

May 16, 2014

Regulators in Asia have been developing tools to smooth economic cycles for years. Yet the debate over “macroprudential” policy in the U.S. and Europe largely ignores this experience. Western regulators haven’t overcome the intellectual myopia that led them into the crisis.

CITIC goes slowly on reform with $5.1 bln placing

May 15, 2014

The Chinese group’s Hong Kong subsidiary will sell shares to 15 investors as part of a union with its state-owned parent. That allows CITIC to keep its stock market listing. Yet most of the buyers are also backed by the government. A deep overhaul of state firms looks a way off.

Good German growth covers up bad economic policies

May 15, 2014

Higher domestic consumption and investment boosted Germany’s GDP in the first quarter, a reminder that the old export-led growth model is giving way to something more helpful for Europe. But current strength allows Berlin to get away with policies that will hurt in the long term.

What Lagarde should’ve told Smith College’s grads

By Christopher Swann
May 14, 2014

The fund’s boss wimped out of speaking at the women’s college’s commencement after a petition accused the IMF of supporting “patriarchal systems.” That critique is old hat. Lagarde’s IMF has fostered social spending and female rights. Here’s what she ought to have said.

FCC needs thick skin to weather its moment in sun

May 14, 2014

The U.S. telecom watchdog is tackling flashy issues on mergers, net neutrality and wireless spectrum. Resolving them won’t be easy, given the agency’s mandate to spark competition while also promoting efficiency and consumer choice. Current commissioners seem up to the task.

Macau casino stocks have further to fall

May 14, 2014

A crackdown on the use of China UnionPay cards in the gambling enclave is the latest scare for investors. Restrictions on cash transfers will dent growth. Though casino stocks are down 19 pct since early March, earnings multiples still don’t leave much room for disappointment.

Japan index: Wages bigger worry than spending

May 13, 2014

With the sales tax rising from April 1, the shopping spree that pushed the Breakingviews Abenomics Index to a 12-year high in March has ended. But sluggish wages are a bigger threat than a consumption freeze. If pay disappoints, the spending gloom may become more persistent.

China’s other e-commerce giant is priced to go

May 13, 2014 sorely lags Alibaba in online retail, and its mooted $23 billion IPO valuation reflects that. But it doesn’t factor in greater mobile market share from an alliance with Tencent, or the potential for making a decent profit. Either would leave the shares with room to rise.

Review: A crisis-like evaluation of “Stress Test”

By Breakingviews Columnists
May 12, 2014

To judge the merits of Tim Geithner’s reflections, six Breakingviews columnists digested different pieces in a short amount of time. Like the regulators who often lacked broader context, the assessments vary. Yet there’s also consensus it’s a useful tome for the financial library.

Australia’s mistimed austerity could boomerang

May 12, 2014

Prime Minister Tony Abbott wants to raise taxes on top incomes and cut welfare. But tightening the government’s belt as the mining boom fades could prompt people to consume less, or borrow more against fickle housing wealth. With public debt low, a fiscal correction is untimely.