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.

Sep 17, 2013 08:08 UTC

China’s online land grab risks value mudslide

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By John Foley

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

China’s internet dealmakers are on a defensive offensive. Tencent’s $448 million purchase of a stake in search engine Sogou from its owner, U.S.-listed Sohu, is the latest attempt to stop competitors snapping up a bite-sized competitor. When cash is abundant and investors forgiving, that kind of land grab can turn into a value mudslide.

Sep 16, 2013 04:43 UTC

Shanghai trade zone may give rest of China a kick

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By John Foley

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

Shanghai’s new trade zone may be a lab for financial reform. It may be a prop for the city’s flagging economy. Or maybe it will just be fuel for property speculators. In fact, it can be all of these and more. But the real benefits may not be in Shanghai at all.

Sep 16, 2013 03:24 UTC

Summers smart enough to avoid Fed chair battle

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By Daniel Indiviglio

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

Larry Summers is smart enough to have decided to avoid a battle over the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve. Despite the support of embattled U.S. President Barack Obama, the former Treasury chief faced opposition from both liberal Democrats and plenty of his dismal scientist peers. Summers says it’s better for the economic recovery not to have the fight. That may be true – unless his exit from the race opens new fissures.