Feb 26, 2013 15:44 UTC

Euro zone must change to allow Italy to reform

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By Pierre Briançon

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

The downside of democracy is that people take it seriously. The Italians have spoken, in their effervescent, yet rather clear way. Europe’s powers-that-be are sorry that the “pro-reform parties” didn’t win a governing majority in Rome. The vote has opened weeks of political uncertainty the country could do without. Whatever its next government, and no matter how stable it proves, Italy will pay a price if it fails to reform.

Feb 26, 2013 05:21 UTC

Wage subsidy could blunt Singapore’s edge

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Singapore’s government hopes that new subsidies for low-wage workers will fix two problems: pressure on company profits, and income inequality. But in doing so, it will just create new problems later on.

Feb 25, 2013 14:55 UTC

Moody’s shaming brings UK gain in currency war

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By Ian Campbell

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

The only question had been which rating agency would shoot first. Moody’s did the deed, removing the UK’s triple-A rating on Friday. It is a political humiliation for the UK government, but the downgrade also removes that lingering expectation of being gunned down. The irony is that the humbling may help the UK achieve recovery sooner – and without firing another monetary policy shot in the currency wars.

Feb 25, 2013 07:42 UTC

Asia’s property taxes are covert capital controls

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Asia’s city-states are experimenting with a new form of capital controls: property taxes. In its latest effort to cool the market, Hong Kong has hiked stamp duty for real-estate transactions, apart from those that involve local first-time buyers. Discriminating against foreign speculators may distort the market and have limited success in constraining prices. Yet its popular appeal is clear.

Feb 21, 2013 08:13 UTC

Southeast Asia’s growth could lead to credit curbs

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Southeast Asia’s heady debt-fuelled growth is beginning to resemble the unsustainable mid-1990s boom. But authorities are shy to raise interest rates as doing so could attract more overseas capital, stoking inflation and financial instability. Direct curbs on credit and capital flows may prove more attractive.

Feb 20, 2013 08:59 UTC

China’s next debt crisis will be a local affair

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By John Foley

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

China’s next credit crisis may be a local affair. A recent suggestion of setting up local bailout funds reflects the fact that it’s no longer big banks that present the biggest risks, but towns and regions. The elaborate ties between local borrowers, lenders and governments could make future credit problems both chaotic – and concentrated.

COMMENT

China is riding a wave that when it breaks will be far worse than what happened to the United States which leads me to wonder how it will ripple like be for us? They hold some heavy credit on us from what limited knowledge that I have? Thank you.

Posted by vtyankee14 | Report as abusive
Feb 15, 2013 08:00 UTC

Review: The real story of Bo Xilai’s ruin

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Sometime in the next few months, Bo Xilai is expected to stand trial in the most high-profile political prosecution in China for over three decades. The former Chongqing party chief, once a contender to join the inner core of China’s leadership, stands accused of corruption, abuse of power and – more prosaically – “improper sexual relations” with women.

Feb 14, 2013 07:45 UTC

Next BOJ chief should accept monetisation

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

The Bank of Japan has a morbid fear of directly financing fiscal deficits. But this “no monetisation” creed sits ill with the $1 trillion or so of public debt – roughly a fifth of the Japanese GDP and about 14 percent of the net outstanding public debt – which it has already turned into money. The next BOJ governor, who will take over when the incumbent Masaaki Shirakawa steps down on March 19, should be more realistic.

Feb 12, 2013 12:02 UTC

Interview questions for the new BOJ chief

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s war on deflation will soon have a new general. A hard-charging Bank of Japan governor with strong conviction and oodles of savvy could help bring Abe’s plan to fruition.

Feb 6, 2013 07:42 UTC

Dividend reform won’t fix China SOE money-go-round

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By John Foley

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

China’s elaborate money-go-round starts and ends with its cash-hoarding state-owned enterprises. So a plan to make them pay bigger dividends sounds promising. Still, if the goal is to return cash to the people, there is a long way to go.