Sep 9, 2013 07:54 UTC

Japan index: Wages and consumption stymie recovery

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Firmer prices, stronger bank lending and higher manufacturing output helped the Breakingviews Abenomics Index reverse half the previous month’s decline in July. But unless wages and spending rise, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will struggle to win his war against deflation.

Sep 9, 2013 04:51 UTC

Japan’s Olympic boost will be mostly psychological

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Japan’s Olympic boost will be mostly psychological rather than financial. Tokyo’s victory in the race to host the 2020 summer Games will help Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to rebuild the country’s confidence. But expectations that an Olympian investment spree will lift Japan out of deflation are as misplaced as fears that it will trigger a debt crisis.

Sep 6, 2013 03:16 UTC

Review: Will the real Mao please stand up?

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By Katrina Hamlin

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

The portrait of Mao Zedong watches over Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, but it’s still impossible to know the man behind the myth. Nearly four decades after his death, China’s modern leaders invoke his name at their own risk. Consider two of the most popular English-language biographers of the Great Helmsman.

Sep 6, 2013 02:04 UTC

Australia haunted by imaginary crises

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

“Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second-rate people who share its luck.” So said academic Donald Horne in his 1964 book, The Lucky Country. Yet you wouldn’t know it from the surly mood as Australians prepare to vote in a general election on Sept. 7. Despite the country’s enviable economic track record, citizens are haunted by past turmoil and apprehensive about the future. These enemies are more imagined than real.

Sep 5, 2013 02:56 UTC

Not all Asian countries need to fear the Fed

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Falling Asian currencies have triggered a sell-off in bonds and equities. Some investors now fear a repeat of a 1997-style crisis. Yet while a new Breakingviews’ interactive risk map shows no economy in the Asia-Pacific region is entirely sober, it is India that has become most addicted to cheap money.

COMMENT

I perfectly agree with the comments,”The main problem is India, with its cocktail of slumping growth, high inflation, a creaking banking system, reckless fiscal policies and political uncertainty.

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Sep 4, 2013 04:22 UTC

China’s bad debt could leave $500 bln equity hole

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By John Foley

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

China’s bad debts could blow a $500 billion hole in bank balance sheets. That’s roughly how much extra equity the eleven biggest lenders might need if 10 percent of their loans went sour, according to a Breakingviews calculator. Though the chairman of ICBC, China’s biggest lender, thinks dismal bank valuations are “unfair”, the malaise is well deserved.

Sep 3, 2013 08:35 UTC

The lessons for China from Japan’s lost decade

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Is China condemned to suffer a Japanese “lost decade”? Its economy today has three big similarities with Japan in the late 1980s: High and rising debt, diminishing export competitiveness and an ageing society. China can avoid slipping into Japan’s deflationary hole, but only if it learns from Tokyo’s failure to cleanse its banking system.

Sep 2, 2013 08:26 UTC

Emerging market currency rescue is a pipe dream

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Can emerging markets fight back against currency speculators? An idea floated by India to mount a joint defence has a certain charm. After a rout in the rupee the past three months, New Delhi wants other developing countries to help in a coordinated intervention in offshore foreign exchange markets, Reuters reported on Aug. 31. In reality, it sounds unworkable.

Aug 29, 2013 09:28 UTC

Currency market’s rude wakeup call stirs Indonesia

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

It took a rude wakeup call from the currency market to stir Indonesia’s central bank. At an emergency meeting on Aug. 29, the monetary authority raised its benchmark and overnight deposit rates. It’s a decision Bank Indonesia should have made at its last official gathering less than two weeks ago. An obsession with economic growth stayed its hand.

Aug 28, 2013 14:27 UTC

West faces only high-cost options in Syria

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By Una Galani

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

Western powers readying to strike Syria must weigh the price of doing nothing against the likely negative impact from an intervention. The form of the military action will matter, but in this sectarian war, all options are fraught with risks.