Nov 14, 2013 04:26 UTC

Nirvana eludes Japan after one year of Abenomics

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

The economic nirvana promised by Shinzo Abe when launching his bid to become prime minister a year ago continues to elude Japan.

Nov 13, 2013 07:44 UTC

Four ways to tell China is serious about markets

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By John Foley 

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

China’s new buzzword is “decisive”. That’s how the ruling party described the role it wants markets to play in the economy. It’s hard to see whether it’s more than just talk. But there are four visible ways to tell whether China means business.

Nov 13, 2013 03:46 UTC

Japan index: Risks to GDP growth recede

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Breakingviews’ Abenomics Index rose the most in six months in September. The gain would have been higher but for Japan’s unusual current account deficit. Higher revised values for July and August suggest the risk of a significant slowdown in third-quarter GDP growth has ebbed.

Nov 12, 2013 16:58 UTC

China plenum is far cry from what might have been

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By John Foley

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

China’s third plenum was a study in anti-performance. This meeting of the ruling party’s top figures traditionally gives each new generation of leaders an opportunity to make big gestures. What emerged on Nov. 12 was only promising policies wrapped up in bland talk. Yet there is an important message: big economic changes may come, but politics remains a matter for Party insiders only.

Nov 12, 2013 08:03 UTC

Asian tsunami offers lessons for Philippine repair

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By Andy Mukherjee 

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

The Philippines could learn some lessons from the Indian Ocean tsunami. Like the 2004 tidal wave, typhoon Haiyan has caused death and destruction. The next challenge is to manage the economic distortions caused by rebuilding.

Nov 11, 2013 08:01 UTC

Doubly dysfunctional press hinders China cleanup

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By John Foley

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

Graft hurts growth; transparency helps. It sounds simple, but in China, the arrest of a domestic journalist for defamation and heavy-handed treatment of foreign news organisations suggest the message isn’t getting through. A free press can’t make corruption go away on its own. Without one, however, the economic benefits of any clean-up will be limited.

Nov 11, 2013 05:30 UTC

White male banker jabs at finance’s glass ceiling

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

A white male banker is trying to tackle the finance industry’s glass ceiling. HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver has spent the past few years trying to cut costs and raise ethical standards. Now he wants the bank to change its culture in order to attract and retain more senior women. Though the insight is hardly new, it’s significant that a male CEO is publicly acknowledging the problem.

Nov 8, 2013 02:07 UTC

Suntech casts shadow over China capital raisings

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By John Foley 

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

Suntech has gone from solar panel maker to financial black hole. The stricken company is fighting with creditors who want to see it liquidated after it defaulted on interest payments in March. Proposals to sell assets and take Chinese government cash seem unlikely to help investors avoid huge losses. For investors it’s a lesson in what happens when things really go wrong with Chinese companies.

Nov 7, 2013 07:35 UTC

China’s Singles’ Day shows market power of one

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By John Foley

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

China’s retail sector is about to be plunged into collective madness. On Nov. 11, online shoppers are likely to snap up over $4 billion of goods when prices halve in celebration of “Singles’ Day”. Billed as a celebration of unmarried people, the event is actually a cue for massive online discounting. Consumers benefit, but the best deal goes to Alibaba, which reinforces the dominance of its Tmall and Taobao online marketplaces while leaving sellers to do the heavy lifting.

Nov 6, 2013 09:37 UTC

France won’t meet its deficit target. No problem

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By Pierre Briançon

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

The French government will not meet its target of shrinking the budget deficit to 3 percent of GDP by 2015, according to the European Commission’s latest forecasts. Some voices will again call for the Commission to show some nerve, and dare to discipline one of the EU’s big powers for once. This won’t happen, for political reasons. But it shouldn’t – for economic ones. The only sensible response to the projected higher deficit should be: “so what?”