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.

Sep 26, 2013 09:33 UTC

Austerity is killing France’s attempt at reform

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By Pierre Briançon

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

For more than a year the French government has been trying both short-term fiscal discipline and long-term economic reforms. It is failing at both.

Sep 25, 2013 06:27 UTC

Hong Kong shouldn’t brush off Shanghai threat

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

Can Shanghai’s new free trade zone knock Hong Kong off its perch? Unless it can copy the Chinese city-state’s highly developed rule of law, it’s unlikely. But Hong Kongers can’t be complacent. Shanghai may yet turn its sights on other things the city-state holds dear – like its low taxes, and luxury-hungry tourists.

Sep 24, 2013 08:04 UTC

E-book: China’s mounting debt problem

By Peter Thal Larsen

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

 

The country’s economic rise is built on cheap finance. But with debt nearing 200 percent of GDP and much investment wasted, the foundations are looking shaky. “The East is Red” examines the origins of the boom, the current strains, and the painful choices China now faces.

Sep 23, 2013 13:39 UTC

Merkel’s triumph maintains Europe’s muddle-through

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By Olaf Storbeck

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

The German election has brought big shifts at home, but it will not shake up the country’s approach to European issues. Angela Merkel’s next government will look different to the last. However, it will be just as focused on structural reforms and fiscal discipline in the periphery. Europe’s muddle-through is not going away.

Sep 20, 2013 15:32 UTC

Review: Merkel’s hidden European agenda

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By Olaf Storbeck

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

Angela Merkel is usually described as an utterly pragmatic politician, lacking either strong convictions or a grand political vision. Stefan Kornelius, foreign editor of Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung, takes issue with this view. In his biography of the German chancellor, published in English on the eve of the Sept. 22 German elections, he claims that Merkel has a bold blueprint of Europe’s future. She just stays mum about it in public.

Sep 18, 2013 04:15 UTC

Emerging markets’ foreign debt is no time bomb

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Emerging markets are sitting on a $5.8 trillion pile of debt to foreign lenders. Yet they are far less vulnerable to sudden capital flight than they were two decades ago.