Jan 27, 2015 12:24 UTC

ECB, Syriza have broken euro zone’s German spell

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By Pierre Briançon

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

For the euro zone, the victory of the anti-austerity Syriza party in the Greek election is not just a political test. It marks the beginning of a new, more promising phase of the monetary union’s history, the end of a five-month transition period that saw the monetary union break the German spell. Austerity at all costs cannot, will not be at the heart of Europe’s crisis-resolution mechanism, as it has been for the last five years.

COMMENT

The rise of a government not ready to let unbridled capitalism have a free run is the need of the hour. People’s welfare / wellbeing is bound to emerge as a focal point in planning for governance. Austerity does not make sense in the overall context of ‘living on tomorrow’s income’ rather than relying on savings made already. Denying stimulus amounts to denying work and income–based on an assumption of fatalism, that is, the poor and poverty are ‘attached to them’. The fatalistic theory has long been discarded and discredited. Let us help people find meaning in their life.
kaliappan

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Jan 26, 2015 14:46 UTC

Greek banks will have to live hand to mouth

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By George Hay

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

Greek banks have had a hell of a year. In January 2014, the sector’s shares were trading at almost double where they are now, buoyed by inflows of foreign capital. Holders of National Bank of Greece, Piraeus, Eurobank and Alpha Bank could anticipate a future of decreasing government stakes and healthy credit growth. Following the election of the anti-austerity party Syriza, everything is now on ice.

Jan 26, 2015 09:16 UTC
Hugo Dixon

Hugo Dixon: Grexit still unlikely after Syriza win

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By Hugo Dixon

Hugo Dixon is Editor-at-Large, Reuters News. The opinions expressed are his own.

Syriza’s resounding election victory has pushed Greece closer to quitting the euro zone. But a so-called Grexit is still not the most probable outcome, as the radical left group should be able to cut a deal with its European creditors to avoid bankruptcy provided both sides show maturity.

Jan 23, 2015 16:04 UTC

Review: The Mad Men are watching you

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By Martin Langfield

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

A lot happens in a split second online, much of it good for the advertising business but worrying for privacy advocates. Lightning-quick auctions to push tailored ads to individual web users are growing fast, writes Mike Smith, a digital publishing executive, in his new book “Targeted.” Smith predicts such auctions will be a big part of the industry’s future. Ad men will need ever more personal data to fuel them.

Jan 23, 2015 15:56 UTC

Italy gets its mojo back – at least in Davos

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By Rob Cox

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

For the first time in recent memory, the World Economic Forum has a distinctly Italian accent. After keeping a lower profile of late as its economy – once larger than Britain’s – contracted, the actual sick man of Europe struck “la bella figura” at the annual gathering of plutocrats in Davos, Switzerland. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s disruptive style has put a spring in the step of Italy’s business leaders. Real reform, however, is only just beginning.

Jan 23, 2015 12:19 UTC

Putin, Piketty and Draghi hit Davos in spirit only

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb 

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

It can feel like everyone who’s anyone in politics and finance is in Davos, Switzerland this week. World leaders and most of the titans of industry and finance again are swapping ideas in public sessions and over private cocktails at the World Economic Forum’s 45th annual meeting. Conversations are buzzing up and down the Promenade about rampant inequality, the European Central Bank’s plan to flood markets with money and Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. Notably missing from the Alpine retreat are the three people actually inspiring those debates.

Jan 20, 2015 11:46 UTC

Climate feels right for certain deals in Davos

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb

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

Torrid trade winds are blowing through Switzerland’s crisp mountain air. Global business leaders and bankers convene this week for the World Economic Forum fresh off a $3.5 trillion year of mergers, the biggest tally of the post-financial crisis era. While the momentum creates an ideal climate for corporate dealmaking, it’s less clear the atmosphere is conducive to strike the more important political accords for which Davos has become renowned.

Jan 13, 2015 18:08 UTC

MetLife’s Snoopy takes on the regulatory Red Baron

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By Rob Cox

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

Challenging regulators can often come back to bite you in the rear. JPMorgan proved this by publicly questioning the reforms of the Dodd-Frank Act and then privately failing to rein in some particularly naughty behavior by some of its traders. That’s what makes MetLife’s decision to take its watchdogs to court so surprising.

Jan 9, 2015 16:18 UTC
Guest Contributor

Review: Trade can bring war

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By Edward Chancellor

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

Few doubt that international trade usually increases the wealth of nations. Does it also bring peace? Many think so, but economic historian James Macdonald points out in “When Globalization Fails: The Rise and Fall of Pax Americana” that the last high point of globalization ended just over a century ago in a devastating world war – between countries which were also each other’s largest trading partners.

New York Times Columnist Thomas Friedman writes about the “Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention,” positing that no two countries that are part of a global supply chain have ever fought a war with each other. Macdonald decries such thinking as simplistic and unhistorical.

Jan 8, 2015 15:35 UTC

Response to Paris attacks caught between two risks

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By Pierre Briancon

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

It is safe to assume that Charlie Hebdo would not have hesitated to extract satire even from the depths of its own tragedy. Only the murder of its editor and some of its most celebrated cartoonists, in a shooting rampage that left 12 dead in and near the French weekly’s office on Wednesday, will prevent the magazine from doing its job this week – lampooning powers-that-be and all forms of authority, steering clear of anything resembling tact or conventional good taste.

COMMENT

the aftermath of this attack is straight out of Fahrenheit 451, appropriately enough. we may never know who was behind those balaclavas and ‘spoke perfect French’ …

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