Oct 20, 2014 07:38 UTC

Abenomics hits a speed bump, not a road block

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Shinzo Abe’s plan to lure more women into the Japanese workforce just suffered a symbolic but high-profile setback. Two female ministers resigned on Oct. 20 just two months after they were elevated in a cabinet reshuffle. It’s another headache for the current Japanese prime minister, who is already grappling with stuttering economic growth. Yet some of his other reforms are moving ahead.

Oct 17, 2014 19:54 UTC
Guest Contributor

Review: The worst of both Mao and markets

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By Edward Chancellor

The author is a financial historian, journalist and investment strategist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Has the impetus for economic reform in China ground to a halt? Many China-watchers think so, citing state banks’ favouritism of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the continuing monopoly power of state-owned “national champions,” and the effects of the massive fiscal and credit stimulus launched after the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers. Nicholas Lardy will have none of this.

Oct 17, 2014 06:46 UTC

Cheap oil is no tonic for sluggish Asian economies

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Cheaper oil won’t be much of a tonic for Asian economies. While painful for exporters, sliding prices should benefit consumers of crude. For most in the region, though, less expensive oil is mainly a sign that growth is stalling.

Oct 16, 2014 14:12 UTC

Weaker euro won’t do much to stoke inflation

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By Swaha Pattanaik

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

The European Central Bank has been egging on the euro’s slide. It has a not-so-secret hope: a cheaper currency will bring some much desired inflation into the euro zone. Good luck.

Oct 16, 2014 06:30 UTC

Real estate rescue may not help China’s developers

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By John Foley

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

If you cheapen it, they will come. China’s large real estate companies are going all-out to shift their properties, aided by recent reductions in mortgage rates and the relaxation of local restrictions on who can buy. When developers sell more for less, however, there is grief ahead.

Oct 15, 2014 20:31 UTC

Rampant market fear clarifies global divide

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By Richard Beales

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

Suddenly, fear has overwhelmed greed. Yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds slumped below 1.9 percent at one stage on Wednesday, and the 2 percent slide in the S&P 500 Index erased what remained of this year’s gains, although the index ended the trading day down just under 1 percent. It all augurs poorly for the expected end next month of the Federal Reserve bond-buying program. Yet the domestic economy has been steadily improving. Slowing growth elsewhere presents the bigger worry.

COMMENT

Gee, Fischer pulled Israel out of a similar mess. Has anyone thought about giving him more say in the Fed’s decisions?

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Oct 15, 2014 06:47 UTC

CICC loses a princeling, gains investment appeal

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By John Foley

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

To lose a princeling looks careless, but no worse. That should reassure backers of China International Capital Corp, the Chinese investment bank whose well-connected chief executive has just resigned.

Oct 14, 2014 13:38 UTC

Commodity producer/trader boundary starts to blur

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By Swaha Pattanaik

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

Commodity producers and traders were once very different beasts. But the distinctions between the two are increasingly fuzzy.

Oct 14, 2014 06:30 UTC

Japan’s low unemployment masks overtime slump

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

The canary of Japan’s demand slump is singing “overtime”. The country’s low unemployment and high vacancy rates paint a misleading picture of tranquility. A more accurate gauge of the growing nervousness in the economy is the shrinking market for extra working hours.

Oct 13, 2014 19:07 UTC

Bankers get painful and needed conflicts reminder

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By Reynolds Holding

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

Bankers just got handed a painful, and necessary, reminder about conflicts of interest. A $76 million penalty against RBC Capital Markets for working both sides of a deal is the latest blow to skewed loyalties. Even with recent knocks against Goldman Sachs and Barclays, however, it isn’t clear the message is reaching Wall Street.