Oct 23, 2014 06:24 UTC

Robots may spell “Control-Alt-Delete” for workers

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Human beings can never run out of work. Adam Smith held that cheery view, and so far he has been proved right. But can the invisible hand match up to the robotic arm? About 47 percent of existing U.S. jobs are at risk from computerisation, according to an Oxford University study published last year. If wage incomes were to disappear in a short time, the results could be cataclysmic for prosperity and peace.

Oct 21, 2014 07:18 UTC

Hong Kong tycoons can be part of protest solution

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By Una Galani

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

Hong Kong’s tycoons could be part of ending the standoff with pro-democracy activists. The city’s business leaders have an outsize influence over local politics. Relaxing their grip on special corporate votes could ease divisions over electoral reform as well as tensions over rampant inequality.

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 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.

Oct 10, 2014 06:36 UTC

Hong Kong weathers Occupy’s financial disruption

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By Robyn Mak

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

Hong Kong’s economy is coping with pro-democracy protests, now heading into their third week. Some retailers and other businesses have suffered and traffic is bad, but the city’s financial system is undisturbed. A prolonged standoff between protesters and the government matters less to investors than the slowdown in consumption and spending in mainland China. Warnings that the movement would threaten Hong Kong’s financial health look misplaced.

Oct 9, 2014 21:54 UTC

Twitter free-speech chirps carry overtone of risk

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By Reynolds Holding

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

Twitter’s chirping about corporate free speech carries an overtone of risk. After its UK super-injunction tiff, the microblogging service is fighting for the right to disclose secret U.S. demands for data. The two cases show firms have power to resist being muzzled – or forced to speak. That helps check judicial and government overreach, but it could also undermine useful regulation.

Oct 8, 2014 21:08 UTC

A creative NFL would lean in to Sheryl Sandberg as commissioner

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

The latest uproar over the National Football League may have died down, but team owners convening this week are fooling themselves if they think the backlash is over – or that Commissioner Roger Goodell won’t bungle the next big controversy that comes along. An unconventional idea for a replacement is Facebook No. 2 Sheryl Sandberg.

COMMENT

I like your idea here, however the commissioner has more important thing to do then taking on technological expertise. I don’t think a new commissioner is going to misstep with regard to this because he or she didn’t have a background. Actually, Former Secretary Of State Condileeza Rice says its her dream job. She has the depth the diplomatic and mediation skills and knowledge of the sport. Likewise, she has a sense of what entertainment is having been a concert pianist herself.

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Oct 8, 2014 06:55 UTC

Asian fight against capital flight helps dollar

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

The U.S. dollar could be the winner of Asia’s fight against capital flight. The world economy might be the loser.

Oct 2, 2014 07:26 UTC

Occupy misses real threats to Hong Kong’s future

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By Robyn Mak

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

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement misses the real threats to Hong Kong’s future. While tens of thousands of protesters led by students have taken to the streets demanding electoral reform, most of the former British colony’s 7.2 million residents have shied away. Universal suffrage deserves public support, but the gradual erosion of rule of law and free speech poses a greater threat to the city’s prosperity. It’s unlikely these concerns can unite the region in open confrontation with Beijing.

COMMENT

There’s a ton of support for the movement in HK, and contrary to what you write they don’t seem afraid of the CCP or PLA. The right to peacefully protest is something that should be a civil right. It’s something, along with free speech, that people in China don’t have, and that people in HK are afraid of losing should they no longer be able to select their own leader.

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Oct 1, 2014 18:03 UTC

Cameron takes deficit amnesia to a new level

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By Ian Campbell

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

David Cameron crowed when UK opposition leader Ed Miliband forgot the deficit in a keynote speech last week. Yet Britain’s prime minister has now taken deficit amnesia to a new level, insisting on the need to tackle the country’s biggest problem while simultaneously pledging a tax giveaway. It’s an electoral bribe he can’t afford.