Oct 16, 2013 03:29 UTC
Guest Contributor

Guest column: Why China’s bad banks are a bad idea

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By Joe Zhang

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

At the end of the 1990s, China’s banks faced a rising tide of bad debts, and Beijing came to the rescue. Financial insiders still see that move as necessary, wise and courageous. On the contrary, bailing out the banks was a bad idea. It would be a mistake to repeat the trick.

Oct 15, 2013 09:25 UTC

Britain can gain from China’s empire builders

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By John Foley

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

Britain once had nothing to offer China but silver and opium. Now it has holidays, banks and building sites. George Osborne, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, and London’s mayor Boris Johnson are using visits to Beijing to say just how welcoming the UK is likely to be. It’s a triumph of openness, and provided the UK chooses its partners carefully and the Chinese are tactful, both sides will benefit.

Oct 10, 2013 01:35 UTC

Dear Mr President: Dodges for the U.S. debt ceiling

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By Swaha Pattanaik

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

With almost no official data to analyse, economists who follow the United States have little to discuss nowadays. Many of them are keeping busy thinking about how the U.S. government could delay default if lawmakers refuse to raise the nation’s maximum borrowing limit. Breakingviews imagines a letter from one of them to President Barack Obama.  

Oct 9, 2013 11:57 UTC

Italy’s corporate zombies haunt Letta reboot

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By Neil Unmack

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

Italy’s corporate zombies are testing Prime Minister Enrico Letta’s reform intentions. The sagas of Alitalia and Telecom Italia share a common theme: both the airline and the telecom operator are suffering under shareholder structures derived from past attempts to block foreign ownership. For Letta, they offer a chance to prove that he can make tough decisions – or that he’s happy with business as usual.

Oct 9, 2013 05:19 UTC

Obama’s Fed chair pick looks timed to calm market

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By Daniel Indiviglio

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

U.S. President Barack Obama’s pick to be the next Federal Reserve chair looks timed to calm the market. Janet Yellen appears set to get the nod on Oct. 8 to run the central bank. That will mark a safe, boring end to a wild nomination process. But a little certainty is what global investors need from a politically chaotic Washington. A debt ceiling deal remains elusive, but at least there’s some predictability on Fed policy.

Oct 8, 2013 06:10 UTC

For China, U.S. debt ceiling is a paper tiger

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By John Foley

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

For China, the U.S. debt ceiling is what Mao Zedong might have called a paper tiger: terrible to behold, but in reality not so scary. Provided Washington doesn’t actually default on Oct. 17, when the Treasury has warned it could run out of cash unless allowed to borrow more, Chinese concern looks needless, and even self-serving.

Oct 3, 2013 14:02 UTC

UK’s Help to Buy scheme is a no-brainer for banks

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By George Hay

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

The UK’s Help to Buy scheme is a no-brainer for banks. On Oct. 8, the UK government is likely to disclose final details of its questionable policy encouraging homebuyers to take on large, taxpayer-backed debts at the bottom of the interest-rate cycle. There are good reasons for banks to feel wary. But there are hard financial reasons for them to sign up.

Oct 2, 2013 04:09 UTC

An Abenomics lesson on politics for Uncle Sam

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

Two years ago, there was no gloomier place than Japan. The country was recovering from the horrific devastation of the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami. Fearful of radiation poisoning, Tokyoites were purchasing Geiger counters and eschewing vegetables. The government was a thicket of finger-pointing, evasion and paralysis.

COMMENT

So other than focus, what’s really improved in Japan? Your article does not give cause for hope for Japan or the US.

Posted by BuffaloGirl | Report as abusive
Sep 30, 2013 14:34 UTC

UK’s politicians race to the bottom on policies

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By Ian Campbell

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

The next UK general election is in 2015, and the country’s politicians are already engaged in a classic pre-electoral sport: the race to the bottom. They are desperate for policies which please voters and the competition is fierce. Popularity is the aim, populism is the method. None of it is going to do the economy any good.

Sep 30, 2013 04:48 UTC

China Tea Leaf Index: Hanging on for reform

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

China’s rail shipments and steel drove our alternative growth index up to 96.3 in August, the highest since January. That looks like enough to give leaders the benefit of the doubt ahead of November’s party plenum, when the tone for future economic growth will really be set.