May 17, 2013 15:31 UTC

Hollande gets serious on Europe – at last

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By Pierre Briançon

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

François Hollande knows that the widening Franco-German divide lies at the heart of the euro zone crisis. In a press conference on Thursday, the French president showed that he wants to find a way to work with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to take Europe forward. He suggested the creation of an “economic government” of the monetary union, while addressing a key German concern: Paris seems ready to accept sovereignty transfers of a sort that would make such a centralised body effective.

May 16, 2013 05:44 UTC

Rest of world wishes for Australia’s economic woes

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By Antony Currie

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

Listening to the Australians, you could be forgiven for thinking their economy is dead in the water – or about to be. The land Down Under has its problems, including a China-driven commodities downturn and an A$18 billion deficit ($17.9 billion) in this week’s budget announcement from Treasurer Wayne Swan, months after he projected a surplus. But the economy, now in its 22nd year of unbroken economic growth, still boasts the stability other countries only dream of.

May 15, 2013 09:11 UTC

Japan’s yield spike is no canary in the debt mine

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

The recent spike in Japan’s bond yields is not a canary in the country’s debt mine. Though the yield on 10-year government bonds has almost doubled since the Bank of Japan announced its aggressive money-printing pledge on April 4, it’s still less than 0.9 percent. Before the 2008 financial crisis, yields were twice as high.

May 13, 2013 04:41 UTC

Abenomics pulls Japan from its post-Lehman slump

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policies have beaten back the Japanese economy’s post-Lehman blues. Breakingviews’ Abenomics Index was at its highest level in March since September 2008. And that was before the Bank of Japan launched its bold money-printing pledge.

May 10, 2013 04:58 UTC

Polls give strife-hit Pakistan a shot at stability

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Pakistan’s election may just give the troubled country a shot at stability. Investors will discount much of the hyperbole from political parties about the economic possibilities ahead. The question is whether the poll – the first proper democratic transfer of power in Pakistan’s history – can provide stable, effective leadership that keeps the army out of politics while uniting the country in dealing with Taliban-sponsored sectarian violence.

May 9, 2013 06:57 UTC

India’s bickering lawmakers test investors’ faith

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

The $12 billion foreign investors have poured into Indian equities this year is not a gift: it’s a bet that Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram will keep his promise to lift the country’s GDP growth from its 10-year low. But the government can’t deliver without lawmakers doing their part. The problem is that India’s national parliament, never a bastion of efficiency, has simply stopped working.

May 8, 2013 12:10 UTC

UK minus EU is another loser from Lawson

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By Ian Campbell

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

Nigel Lawson is back in the ring and as sharp as ever. The UK chancellor who dismissed his critics as “teenage scribblers” in the 1980s – as he fomented a housing bubble that weighed on the economy for half a decade – is now throwing his weight behind a UK exit from the EU. It will make Britain stronger, he jabs. Someone should throw in his towel.

May 8, 2013 04:52 UTC

Record aircraft orders point to global growth bump

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

The aviation industry’s incurable optimism is like a seatbelt sign for investors. That’s the conclusion of a Breakingviews study of global airline orders and economic growth. Aggressive aircraft orders have an inverse relationship with expansion in global GDP a year later. If that affiliation holds, big orders by Asian airlines point to rising risks of economic turbulence next year.

May 7, 2013 07:25 UTC

Hong Kong dockers’ pay sets tone for future strife

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Hong Kong’s port strike is over, but the tensions that sparked it remain. Dockers are feeling the squeeze of Hong Kong’s rising living costs, while port operators face challenges from China’s slowing and shifting economy. Labour relations look set to stay tense.

May 6, 2013 07:43 UTC

Malaysia poll offers only short-term relief

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Malaysia’s ruling coalition has narrowly survived a strong challenge to its 56-year-old rule. While the results of the country’s general election on May 5 came as a relief for investors, the poll showed a widening racial divide. That doesn’t portend well for the economy.