Aug 15, 2013 06:51 UTC

Why Japan’s corporate tax rate should remain high

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Japan’s prime minister should stop fretting about the country’s high corporate tax rate. Easing the burden on companies in an attempt to stimulate investment might seem appealing, but could prove both unnecessary and fiscally reckless. A temporary investment tax credit would be a better alternative.

Aug 14, 2013 05:33 UTC

Zhu Rongji merits China’s admiration not imitation

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By John Foley

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

China is channelling its old leaders. A new book of speeches by Zhu Rongji has focused attention on the ex-premier who slashed state-owned enterprises, tamed banks and curbed runaway inflation in the 1990s. The current incumbent, Li Keqiang, faces some similar challenges. He would do well to imitate Zhu’s style, though not his methods.

Aug 9, 2013 01:47 UTC

Two-child policy may be too late for China

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By Robyn Mak

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

China needs more babies to counter its ageing population and shrinking workforce. But relaxing the country’s one-child rule may not be enough to convince increasingly prosperous Chinese women to have more children. Even if effective, the shift would only have a marginal impact on the economy.

Aug 8, 2013 03:55 UTC

Japan Index: A second setback for Abe’s experiment

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

The Breakingviews Abenomics Index has fallen for a second successive month, hitting its lowest level this year in June. Japan’s jittery bond markets and sliding inflation expectations were the culprits. But other indicators still suggest the end of deflation is near.

Aug 8, 2013 03:50 UTC

India’s rupee rescue is more prayer than plan

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

India’s plan to rescue the rupee is sinking.

On Aug. 6, three weeks after the central bank began engineering an increase in short-term money market rates to attract speculators, the Indian currency slid to a new record low against the U.S. dollar. This happened as rising overnight rates led to higher long-term borrowing costs, threatening to cause a fresh spate of bad loans.

Aug 7, 2013 04:00 UTC

How Raghuram Rajan can end India’s mini-crisis

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Raghuram Rajan must show he is as good at managing financial crises as he is at predicting them. When he was chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, Rajan was a prescient critic of a finance-fuelled credit boom, warning of “hidden tail risks” as early as 2005. His first task as India’s new central bank governor will be to avert the country’s looming currency crisis.

Aug 5, 2013 08:54 UTC

Milk scare exposes New Zealand’s dairy dependency

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By Peter Thal Larsen 

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

New Zealand’s dairy scare has exposed its dependence on milk. A warning about contaminated products at Fonterra, the country’s largest producer, has triggered recalls and temporary import bans around the world. The immediate fallout may be limited. But it’s a reminder that, with milk generating a quarter of its exports, New Zealand remains vulnerable to food scares.

Aug 2, 2013 15:52 UTC

Berlusconi verdict weakens Italian reform drive

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By Neil Unmack

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

Berlusconi’s conviction leaves Italy’s government weaker, but not broken. The media mogul-cum-politician lost his final appeal on his conviction for tax fraud, which will exacerbate tensions within Rome’s ruling coalition of the centre left and right. Yet neither party wants to face their electorate for now. That means a crisis isn’t imminent – but the prospect of a political consensus that would allow serious reform is now more remote.

Aug 2, 2013 15:36 UTC

Review: Venezuela’s revolutionary leaves chaos behind

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By Ian Campbell

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

“Comandante” sounds like the title of a wide-eyed hagiography. But the book by Rory Carroll, the Guardian’s Venezuela correspondent, is something far more welcome: a clear-eyed account of the whims, machinations and follies of Hugo Chavez, the late Venezuelan leader. It leaves the reader wondering just how the country can find a way forward. The book’s weakness is that the account is far from atmospheric and its structure might have been dreamed up by Chavez’s planning ministry.

Jul 31, 2013 09:40 UTC

Mongolia’s economic fairytale faces reality check

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Mongolia’s fairytale economic boom is developing cracks. The failure of the country’s fifth-largest bank and delays to the development of its giant copper mine underscores fears that its growth potential is built on shaky foundations. Yet greater economic realism may ultimately be welcome.