Nov 29, 2012 14:37 UTC

Spain’s bank rescue is part bail-in, part bail-out

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By George Hay and Neil Unmack

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

Spain’s bank haircuts are part bail-in, and part bail-out. The indebted government has lopped 10 billion euros off its euro zone-funded bank rescue bill by cutting the value of its worst lenders’ hybrid debt. Yet if it hadn’t been for political considerations, the burden-sharing might have been greater.

Nov 28, 2012 12:45 UTC

Carney at BoE changes the game for UK banks

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By George Hay

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

Mark Carney’s appointment as governor of the Bank of England changes the game for UK banks. On the big issues – capital, liquidity, and structural reform – the Canadian central banker is unlikely to deviate significantly from current policies. But the new man’s different skills and interests, compared to current incumbent Mervyn King, could still make a tangible difference.

Nov 27, 2012 15:22 UTC

Euro zone gives Greece almost a good deal

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By Neil Unmack

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

The stand-off between Greece’s lenders has ended – sort of. The deal isn’t perfect but it paves the way for further debt relief.

Nov 27, 2012 08:57 UTC

Australia can’t pin its growth hopes on property

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

As Australia’s mining boom sputters, the country is searching for a new economic engine. The leading candidate is property. But policymakers will be taking avoidable risks in stoking a real-estate bubble. It would be safer to accept lower GDP growth.

Nov 26, 2012 11:36 UTC

China’s nemesis: bribes, banquets and backslapping

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By John Foley

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

Corruption is to China what bad weather is to Britain – a source of constant complaint, and a fact of life. But the rise of the Internet and slowing growth mean China can’t continue along its old path. Incoming President Xi Jinping and his chief graft-buster Wang Qishan have a chance to slay the beast. Enforcement, education and the market will be their most effective weapons.

Nov 23, 2012 14:22 UTC

Catalonian independence isn’t worth the pain

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By Pierre Briançon

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

The politicians who are arguing for Catalonia’s independence from Madrid can make a seemingly convincing case that the region would be economically viable as a standalone, sovereign nation. Except that they miss the point. The relative wealth and prosperity Catalonia currently enjoys depends on its links to Spain, the euro zone and the wider European Union. A unilateral breakup would leave Catalonia stranded, and considerably poorer. It would take years before it could become “viable” again.

Nov 21, 2012 13:17 UTC
Hugo Dixon

Greece needs a positive shock

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By Hugo Dixon

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

Greece needs a positive shock. It didn’t get one at the overnight Eurogroup meeting. While a deal may be struck when finance ministers reconvene next week, it risks being a fudge. The International Monetary Fund, which is demanding a proper plan to make Athens’ debt sustainable, should stand its ground.

Nov 21, 2012 06:09 UTC

BOJ must shed freedom but keep the printing press

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

The esoteric subject of central bank independence is becoming a polarizing election issue in Japan. Both Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his rival, the Liberal Democratic Party leader Shinzo Abe, want the Bank of Japan to do more to end deflation. Yet while Noda’s ideas are outmoded, his rival’s are risky.

Nov 15, 2012 08:03 UTC

Old hands to become China’s new finance guards

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By Wei Gu

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

China’s leadership reshuffle extends to its financial sector. The country’s central bank chief may step down after being left out of the Party’s central committee. The heads of the China’s sovereign wealth fund and Bank of China’s chairman are among the candidates for promotion. Although the state maintains a tight grip on financial matters, personal styles still matter.

Nov 15, 2012 07:41 UTC

China’s leadership line-up gets 6.5 out of 10

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By John Foley

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

The seven men who will run China’s ruling party for the next five years have a tough job. Two of them, party chief Xi Jinping and premier-in-waiting Li Keqiang, have been groomed for years, but even they are little known. Are they up to it? Breakingviews has scored them on five key criteria, and found some scope for encouragement.