Feb 25, 2014 18:33 UTC
Edward Hadas

Who bails out bitcoin depositors?

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By Edward Hadas

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

Imagine that the leading stockbroker in a country closed its doors without giving any reason. Its clients would be in a panic and customers of rival firms would be very nervous. That is exactly what has happened to bitcoin, the leading pseudo-currency.

Feb 25, 2014 16:51 UTC

Italy’s Renzi has big dreams and small mandate

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By Neil Unmack

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

Italy’s new prime minister has big dreams and a small mandate. Matteo Renzi has announced ambitious reforms on a tight deadline. But his position in parliament is weaker than even his sleepy predecessor’s.

Feb 25, 2014 06:02 UTC

Weibo IPO plan stretches financial logic

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By Robyn Mak 

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

Weibo’s planned initial public offering stretches financial logic. Listing a $500 million stake in China’s version of Twitter looks like a response to sky-high tech valuations – most recently Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp. But investors can already buy shares in parent Sina, whose value is mostly made up of Weibo already. They should be skeptical about the idea that two plus two is five.

Feb 24, 2014 17:18 UTC

Facebook stock is not so different from bitcoin

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By Rob Cox

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

With its extraordinary $19 billion swoop on WhatsApp last week, Facebook proved its stock is not so different from the crypto-currency of the moment, bitcoin. They can both be used for certain, specific purposes. Neither is backed by a government. Both depend on vast networks of individuals. And their worth reflects demand, which is based on murky fundamentals. The trick: monetize them while they still have value.

Feb 24, 2014 14:55 UTC

Ukraine, the bailout Europe cannot shirk

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By Pierre Briançon

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

The European Union brokered the deal that triggered the end of the Yanukovich regime. With Russia angry and the United States absent, it must now lead the rescue of Ukraine’s bankrupt economy – and first decide when to act, and how.

Feb 21, 2014 20:58 UTC

Modern financial arts get special exhibition

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Modern financial arts have been given a special exhibition. Washington’s estimable Corcoran Gallery, with its de Koonings and Twomblys, is being carved up like a common conglomerate. Los Angeles played host to a hostile museum takeover bid and Detroit’s restructuring features the paintings and sculptures of the city’s art institute. A blank spreadsheet is proving just as able to inspire as a canvas.

Feb 21, 2014 03:49 UTC

Thai telco bets on yield to defy political turmoil

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By Una Galani

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

Thailand’s telecom operators are relying on yield to defy the country’s political turmoil. Escalating protests and low valuations make it an odd time for a financially healthy company like Jasmine International to pursue a $1.4 billion spinoff. Though the plan to give its broadband infrastructure assets a separate listing makes financial sense, investors may need to be tempted with sweeteners.

Feb 20, 2014 15:26 UTC
Edward Hadas

G20 can get past angry stares and platitudes

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By Edward Hadas

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

The G20 risks becoming a particularly pompous talking shop. As finance ministers and central bankers from the world’s largest economies gather for their weekend summit in Sydney, Australia, they might plan to get out of a potentially dangerous rut.

Feb 20, 2014 03:34 UTC

No algorithm makes Facebook-WhatsApp deal compute

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By Robert Cyran

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

No algorithm based on terrestrial mathematics can make Facebook’s WhatsApp deal compute. Mark Zuckerberg’s social network is committing to spend $19 billion for the 55-employee, 450 million-user, ad-free messaging service. Facebook says growth is the point, not making money. That’s the kind of magical thinking shareholders signed up for when they surrendered control to the founder.

Feb 19, 2014 05:23 UTC

Fear and loathing in China’s trust industry

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By John Foley

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

China’s trust sector is the financial system’s enfant terrible. It’s a 10.9 trillion yuan ($1.8 trillion) industry built on taking short-term funding and channeling it into longer-term investments. That mismatch has already led some trust products to unravel, and more will follow. What causes concern isn’t so much trusts failing as them being foolishly rescued.