Sep 13, 2013 02:54 UTC

China’s financial paradox: rescue or reform?

Photo

By Peter Thal Larsen

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

China’s financial system is a paradox. Reform demands that the authorities relax their grip on banks and capital flows. But if they do, it could trigger the debt crisis the country has so far avoided.

Sep 11, 2013 06:44 UTC

Japan’s bond market calm hides fiscal disquiet

Photo

By Andy Mukherjee

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

The calm in the Japanese government bond market is hiding growing fiscal disquiet. After briefly shooting up to 1 percent in May, yields on 10-year JGBs are back down to 0.74 percent, even as inflation expectations have firmed up. This Zen-like state of affairs is all the more striking considering that interest rates are increasing across the Western world as investors anticipate an end to the cheap money of the post-financial crisis era.

Sep 10, 2013 14:11 UTC

Beware the Italian risk in German elections

Photo

By Olaf Storbeck

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

Germany’s parliamentary elections are expected to bring continuity and stability. In fact, they may well usher in a period of paralysis and uncertainty. German politics turning Italian is a possible scenario. Europe’s biggest economy might be stuck in protracted and difficult coalition negotiations – and it could be months before there is a working government in Berlin.

Sep 9, 2013 07:54 UTC

Japan index: Wages and consumption stymie recovery

Photo

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

Photo

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?

Photo

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

Photo

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

Photo

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.

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive
Sep 4, 2013 04:22 UTC

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

Photo

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

Photo

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.