Nov 7, 2014 14:15 UTC

America: land of phantom job openings

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By Stephanie Rogan

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

The vacancies are posted, the workers are there but U.S. employers are hiring at a slower rate. Welcome to America, land of phantom jobs.

COMMENT

In Germany we’ve these fake openings since decades. It makes the company look better, if they offer jobs. ‘Bla Bla recruits again!’ in huge letters in the local newspaper is just another kind of advertising, which makes customers believe the company has a good time and is doing good for the community.

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Nov 7, 2014 13:19 UTC

Only Putin can stop rouble’s fall

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By Pierre Briançon

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

The rouble is down 28 percent since the beginning of the year. The Central Bank of Russia has not been able to cushion the fall against its chosen dollar-euro reference basket. It is not at fault.

Nov 7, 2014 07:12 UTC

Japan’s banks may swap old nemesis for new foe

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Japan’s banks may end up swapping their old nemesis with a new enemy.

The central bank’s bulked-up bond-buying plan will relieve lenders of the burden of financing Japan’s overextended government. Shrinking their portfolio of Japanese government bonds (JGBs) helps to reduce the risk that even small increases in interest rates will leave banks with big losses. But if Japanese companies remain reluctant to invest, the lenders’ spare cash may stoke bubbles in stocks and property. In that case, banks could arguably end up living more dangerously than before.

Nov 6, 2014 14:41 UTC

Gold bulls have precious little to cling to

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By Ian Campbell

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

The golden metal is being crushed by the paper it despised. The dollar index is at a four-year high and the gold price at a four-year low, having fallen nearly 40 percent from its peak to below $1,200 an ounce. It is hard to see gold avoiding a swift plunge below $1,000 unless turmoil in other markets turns the precious metal into a temporary haven.

Nov 6, 2014 06:05 UTC

China’s next GDP goal: trash the target

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By John Foley

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

China’s days of picking a number for GDP growth and moulding the economy to fit are probably over. At the same time, its planners still seem wedded to symbolic statistical goals. Targeting a range for national output, rather than any single figure, would be an elegant way to square the circle.

Nov 5, 2014 06:56 UTC

Bank of Japan bond vault may resemble a black hole

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

The Bank of Japan’s bond vault is starting to resemble a black hole: debt keeps falling in, never to escape. At least, that’s what investors want to believe. If their expectations change, the consequences for Japan’s bond market could be ugly.

Nov 4, 2014 12:59 UTC

End of U.S. QE is actually good for world economy

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By Ian Campbell

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

It’s long been the big question. What happens when U.S. Federal Reserve quantitative easing ends? Central bankers may find the answer troubling. Ending the Fed’s injections of freshly created money could well prove difficult for addicted investors and the wealthy, but good for global consumers, especially the poor, and for global growth.

COMMENT

Typo: My reference to the big commodities consumer was to China.

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Nov 4, 2014 07:00 UTC

Xiaomi’s upward valuation hike hard to justify

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By Ethan Bilby

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

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is a hit with customers, but its upward valuation spiral seems hard to justify. A new funding round could value the group at a mooted $50 billion. That suggests investors are valuing it the same way they do tech giant Apple. Xiaomi is growing fast, but it lacks its U.S. rival’s dominance or innovation.

Nov 3, 2014 21:59 UTC

Music rally can shake off discordant Taylor Swift

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Back in 1989, the year Taylor Swift was born and the title of her latest hit album, Garth Brooks sold over 10 million copies of his eponymous record. It is a bygone era for the music industry. Until Swift released the collection that includes “Shake It Off” last week, no artist had sold even 1 million this year. That sort of popularity gives her the market power to make decisions like the one she did on Monday to pull her catalog from digital streaming service Spotify.

Nov 3, 2014 06:50 UTC

Macau’s casinos worryingly reliant on high-rollers

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By Ethan Bilby

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

A drop in Macau’s high rollers may push the Chinese territory’s gambling revenue to its first annual decline on record. Forecasts for next year seem over-optimistic. For many casinos in the coastal enclave, high-spending VIP gamblers are the biggest vulnerability. If they stop playing, the likes of Galaxy Entertainment and Wynn Macau would be particularly hard hit.