Jul 24, 2013 05:47 UTC

New-age trade clubs: A guide for the perplexed

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Global trade is going private. After a frustrating 12-year-long wait for the World Trade Organization to hammer out an accord acceptable to its 159 members, businesses and governments are now hedging their bets. Enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, which received a boost this week with Japan joining the negotiations.

Jul 22, 2013 03:44 UTC

Time for victorious Abe to roll up shirtsleeves

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Shinzo Abe’s majority in Japan’s upper house is a political watershed. With it, he can start work on the Japanese economy’s broken plumbing.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party-led alliance’s victory in the upper house elections on July 21 gives Abe control of both chambers of parliament until the next round of polls in 2016. That gives the prime minister a rare flexibility to pass laws that has eluded many of his predecessors since 1989.

Jul 22, 2013 02:17 UTC

China’s PBOC serves reformists an amuse-bouche

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By John Foley

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

China’s central bank has just whetted the appetites of reformists. The People’s Bank of China said on Friday that starting immediately it will let banks lend as cheaply as they like, removing the floor of around 6 percent for one-year loans. It smells like interest-rate liberalisation, but it’s only an amuse-bouche.

Jul 19, 2013 03:21 UTC

Baidu deal shows pain of being China tech upstart

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By Robyn Mak

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

Baidu’s offer to buy China’s biggest home grown mobile app store operator for $1.9 billion is a cautionary tale for smaller tech firms. NetDragon, the majority owner of 91 Wireless, agreed to sell its trophy asset to the search engine giant. The seller’s shares plunged by almost a quarter. As competition between Chinese tech giants intensifies, upstarts must choose: compete or get out of the way.

Jul 18, 2013 13:32 UTC

Navalny verdict shows Russia unsafe for business

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By Pierre Briançon

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

There was never any doubt about the verdict. After a sham trial for graft that didn’t fool anyone, Alexei Navalny was bound to be found guilty of stealing countless acres of forest in the Kirov region. Yet the sentence – five years in prison for Russia’s main opposition leader – was a brutal surprise. There is something mysterious about Vladimir Putin’s obviously irrational vindictiveness against opposition and dissent. The only certainty is that it is taking Russia in a deeply worrying direction.

COMMENT

Obviously, Putin is overstaying his welcome as Russia’s President. Dictatorships never succeed, and oppressing the opposition and the democratic process will only lead to this egotistical power hungry man’s downfall. His oppression of gay Russians is even worse and an embarrassment for the 2014 Winter Olympics host nation……

Posted by BigMidwest | Report as abusive
Jul 17, 2013 08:47 UTC

India new FDI rules show welcome long-termism

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Hurrah for long-termism. India has decised to open up local industries, including its telecoms sector, to greater foreign participation. It may not create a rush of new investments, but it should lead to a modest improvement in confidence.

Jul 16, 2013 09:09 UTC

GSK finds toxic side effects in Chinese market

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By John Foley and Edward Hadas

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

GlaxoSmithKline has a problem in China. The Chinese authorities have a problem that goes well beyond the UK pharmaceutical maker.

Jul 12, 2013 10:23 UTC

The lowdown on China’s slowdown

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By John Foley

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

For China, 2013 is becoming the year of the credible shrinking GDP growth target. Earlier in the year, the old 8 percent norm was shaved down to an official estimate of 7.5 percent. On Thursday, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei moved that to 7 percent – and said an even lower number was possible. What’s going on? Here’s the lowdown on the China slowdown.

Jul 10, 2013 02:57 UTC

Rate reform will test China’s modernising mettle

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Freeing interest rates is more than a financial test for China. Lifting strict controls on the official cost of money is necessary for the development for the world’s second-largest economy. The question is whether China can avoid the financial problems that other liberalising countries suffered, and relax its grip on banks, companies, and citizens.

Jul 9, 2013 03:25 UTC

Japan index: markets put speed bump in Abe’s path

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By Andy  Mukherjee

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

For the first time in six months, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic experiment stumbled in May amidst skittish stock and bond markets. But the drop in the Breakingviews Abenomics Index to 93.8, from 94.4 in April, may be temporary as deflation continues to ease.