Mar 11, 2014 02:14 UTC

Japan index: Weak demand shows need for stimulus

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

The Breakingviews Abenomics Index inched higher in January. But manufacturing stumbled, and the trade deficit zoomed, suggesting anaemic demand both at home and abroad. With wages subdued and sales taxes about to rise, the economy may need a fresh dose of monetary easing.

Mar 7, 2014 16:01 UTC

What Putin wants matters less than what he doesn’t

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By Pierre Briançon

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

The Western governments wondering what Vladimir Putin wants in Ukraine should start by focusing on what he doesn’t. That has become a little clearer after the Russian president’s rambling press conference earlier this week, during which glimpses of rationality appeared amidst a long, disingenuous rant against the new authorities in Kiev. Putin doesn’t want Crimea – which is only a pawn in his Ukrainian game. He is not ready to take the risk of a Western-style democracy in the former Soviet republic. And he fears the disruption of the economic and financial ties that bind Russia and Ukraine.

Mar 7, 2014 05:55 UTC

Japan pension debate goes beyond bonds and stocks

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Japan’s pension reform debate is heating up. But it’s in danger of missing the wood for the trees.

Mar 6, 2014 13:57 UTC

Italy’s Renzi off to a bad start

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By Neil Unmack

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

Matteo Renzi has been forced to amend his electoral reform. The result could mean that Italy will remain ungovernable. The new prime minister’s hand is weaker, even though the risk of early elections has subsided. And serious economic reforms will be harder.

Mar 5, 2014 14:51 UTC

Bondholders will have to pay for Ukraine’s reset

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By Neil Unmack

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

Ukraine bondholders haven’t seen the end of their suffering. The country’s bonds have sunk in spite of talks of an imminent bailout by the International Monetary Fund. The country’s creditors may face either a soft debt rescheduling or more radical haircuts. The risks of austerity, devaluation and continued political uncertainty all point to the latter.

Mar 3, 2014 16:18 UTC

West can hurt Russia – if there’s a will

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By Pierre Briançon

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

Western powers seem to consider that Crimea is gone, that Russia is there to stay, and that their main option is to increase the “cost” – Barack Obama’s word – that Vladimir Putin must pay for his actions in the Ukrainian territory.

COMMENT

Trade is a 2 way process that benefits both parties. The West cannot hurt Russia unless USA exports more energy to Europe.

Posted by WJL | Report as abusive
Mar 3, 2014 00:42 UTC

Deadly assault brings new kind of risk to China

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By John Foley

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

The shocking knife attack that left at least 33 dead in Kunming railway station brings a new kind of risk to China. Investors’ belief in the relative stability of the People’s Republic has allowed it to weather political purges and border disputes without upsetting asset prices or capital flows. But rising ethnic tension could lead to a damaging recalculation at a fragile time.

Feb 26, 2014 06:31 UTC

Japan bond investors’ overseas trip may flop again

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By Andy Mukherjee 

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

Japanese bond investors’ latest overseas trip might flop, just like last summer’s foray. That’s bad news for the investors and for Tokyo’s anti-deflation campaign.

Feb 25, 2014 22:01 UTC

At least Venezuela’s unrest is simply economics

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By Martin Hutchinson

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

Of all the countries in the world currently undergoing serious unrest, Venezuela’s problems look the easiest to resolve. It’s just economics. Broadly speaking, Ukraine’s rupture is ethnic, Thailand’s regional and Syria’s religious. By contrast, Venezuela is ethnically and religiously united. It even has oil wealth. But high inequality and growing chaos bedevil the Latin American nation – problems that can be alleviated even without wrenching political upheaval.

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.