May 20, 2014 06:08 UTC

Alibaba tries out role of the noble monopolist

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By Ethan Bilby

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

Alibaba is trying out a new role: the noble monopolist. With an apparent 84 percent share of online consumer goods spending, it effectively owns the country’s Internet shoppers. Its payment affiliate is the biggest game in town. Both are attractions for its upcoming initial public offering. Alibaba’s long-term challenge is to keep showing that dominance helps the market rather than restricts it.

May 16, 2014 05:56 UTC

Asia can give the West a bubble-popping lecture

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

It’s time for Asian regulators to give the West a lecture on popping financial bubbles. Policymakers in the United States and Europe have spent the past few years earnestly debating new methods to smooth out the ups and downs in economic cycles. They should pay more attention to Asia’s experience.

May 15, 2014 13:39 UTC

Good German growth covers up bad economic policies

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By Olaf Storbeck

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

Germany’s pleasant growth surprise comes with a hidden cost. The stronger-than-expected upswing allows Angela Merkel, the chancellor, to carry on with some misguided policies.

May 15, 2014 05:53 UTC

CITIC goes slowly on reform with $5.1 bln placing

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By Una Galani 

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

CITIC Pacific is going slow on reform with its $5.1 billion placing. The Chinese group’s Hong Kong subsidiary will sell new shares to 15 investors as part of a union with its state-owned conglomerate parent. The placing allows CITIC Pacific to keep its stock market listing. Yet most of the money is coming from buyers also backed by the Chinese government. A deeper overhaul of state firms looks a way off.

May 14, 2014 20:30 UTC

What Lagarde should’ve told Smith College’s grads

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By Christopher Swann and Rob Cox
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

International Monetary Fund boss Christine Lagarde wimped out of speaking at Smith College’s commencement after a student petition accused the fund of supporting “patriarchal systems.” The fund has made many mistakes over the years. But that critique is mostly old hat. The IMF, particularly under Lagarde, has fostered social spending and championed female rights. Here’s what she ought to have told the 672 women graduating from the university in Northampton, Massachusetts on May 18.

May 14, 2014 17:24 UTC

FCC needs thick skin to weather its moment in sun

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By Daniel Indiviglio and Robert Cyran
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will need thick skin to weather its moment in the sun. The usually low-profile telecom watchdog is tackling flashy issues involving mergers, internet 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 challenge.

COMMENT

There is no way any deal can be in the consumers interest. Bandwidth is a zero sum game, you give to one person you take from another. Just plain selling out to big business here at the expense of small business and pretty much everyone else on the internet except users of major sites. This will create significant barriers to entry for any potential challengers to these firms because you’ll need existing capital to purchase access that doesn’t suck.

Posted by Schmobbyist | Report as abusive
May 14, 2014 06:22 UTC

Macau casino stocks have further to fall

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By Ethan Bilby 

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

Macau casino stocks are still too high. A crackdown on Chinese payment card UnionPay is the latest threat to the gambling bonanza in the former Portuguese colony. Though casino stocks have fallen by almost a fifth in a few months, there’s not much room for disappointment.

May 13, 2014 06:49 UTC

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

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

Being second has its advantages. JD.com, China’s number two e-commerce company, has set an indicative range for its initial public offering that values it at around $23 billion. That’s far behind the $100 billion-plus price tag attached to rival Alibaba. But it leaves room for a decent performance.

May 13, 2014 04:02 UTC

Japan index: Wages bigger worry than spending

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

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.

May 12, 2014 20:37 UTC
Breakingviews Columnists

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

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By Breakingviews columnists
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

To judge the merits of Tim Geithner’s crises reflections in “Stress Test,” six Breakingviews columnists digested different pieces of the book 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.