May 3, 2013 05:46 UTC

Ailing South Korea needs monetary remedy

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

The Bank of Korea is making a big mistake by not cutting interest rates more aggressively. A weaker Japanese yen and tepid global demand are squeezing the country’s exporters from Hyundai Motor to steelmaker Posco. Though demand from China is still growing, shipments to Europe are falling, while those to the United States have stalled (See graphic).

May 2, 2013 05:09 UTC

Unsure voters could dim lure of Malaysian assets

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Malaysia’s upcoming general election looks set to be a close-run affair. The big risk for investors from the May 5 poll is that neither of the two competing coalitions – the ruling Barisan Nasional or the opposition Pakatan Rakyat – may be able to claim a decisive victory.

May 2, 2013 05:07 UTC

Why China’s “Minsky moment” may be a long way off

By Peter Thal Larsen

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

China may be a long way from its “Minsky moment”. Rising leverage has prompted many to predict the kind of financial meltdown theorized by the economist Hyman Minsky. But China’s closed, state-controlled system is well placed to postpone such market panics. The bigger challenge is managing social tensions arising from slowing growth.

Apr 29, 2013 11:11 UTC

Political heat endangers no-brainer ECB rate cut

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By Pierre Briançon and Olaf Storbeck

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own

The heat is on for Mario Draghi again this week. What should have been a rather banal decision on rates will prove controversial whatever the outcome. Give credit to euro zone leaders for their ability to create drama whenever things threaten to go too quiet on the crisis front. The governing council of the European Central Bank will have to decide whether to cut rates or not at its meeting May 2. The case for doing it is a no-brainer, but euro zone politics gives the decision an intensity it shouldn’t have.

Apr 26, 2013 09:40 UTC

Japan lifts Nomura from its lost half decade

By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Nomura has spent most of the past five years trying to break out of Japan. So it’s ironic that the investment bank’s best full-year results since 2007 were propelled by a revival at home. As with Japan’s economic renaissance, however, investors’ hopes are running ahead of reality.

Apr 24, 2013 07:11 UTC

Return to glory days may elude Japan’s automakers

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By Antony Currie

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

The weakening yen is good news for Japan’s automakers. The more than 20 percent drop in the currency’s value against the dollar since early October will boost profit from overseas sales – and probably market share, too. A return to the glory days of 2006, though, is likely to prove elusive.

Apr 23, 2013 06:34 UTC

Japanese workers need to go back to the 1980s

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Japanese workers are hoping for a 1980s revival. If the Bank of Japan’s 2 percent inflation goal appears daunting, meeting it in two years – as promised by new chief Haruhiko Kuroda – is even more of a challenge. For the central bank to succeed, wages will have to grow faster than they have in the past two decades.

Apr 22, 2013 09:47 UTC

“Schwarzman scholarships” have many beneficiaries

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Steve Schwarzman is giving something back – to China. The Blackstone founder is contributing his name, and $100 million of his private wealth, to kick-start a scholarship programme at Beijing’s Tsinghua University. The programme may not be entirely philanthropic: China lost much more investing in his buyout firm’s initial public offering. But there will still be many beneficiaries if the scheme helps Western and Chinese elites understand each other better.

Apr 19, 2013 07:01 UTC

IMF crowd should cut Japan some slack

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By Christopher Swann

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

The crowds gathering for the International Monetary Fund’s spring meeting should cut Japan some slack. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policies are in for a drubbing at the shindig in Washington, DC. IMF officials have been bemoaning Japan’s “risky” fiscal stimulus while the U.S. Treasury has been grumbling about the weaker yen. But Japan was right to act.

Apr 18, 2013 06:42 UTC

Radical career move: become a Chinese citizen

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Here’s a radical career choice for investment bankers: become a Chinese citizen. American-born Marshall Nicholson has swapped his U.S. citizenship for a Hong Kong passport. Though the move is largely for family reasons, it will also go down well with clients on the mainland. For Western financiers seeking a local edge, it’s the ultimate display of commitment.