Jun 23, 2014 13:32 UTC

Investors beware: France will get more erratic

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By Pierre Briançon

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

The French government didn’t have to buy a 20 percent stake in Alstom. It could have smugly observed that its intervention in the acquisition of the French engineer’s energy assets by General Electric had yielded some success. Pressure from Paris forced GE to rework its offer, giving France a decisive say in the future of Alstom’s nuclear business. With that concession secured, there was no good reason to buy out Alstom’s main shareholder, construction-to-telecom conglomerate Bouygues.

Jun 23, 2014 06:29 UTC

Alibaba is case study in U.S.-China legal gulf

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By Richard Beales

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

Alibaba’s coming U.S. initial public offering will probably value the Chinese e-commerce firm at more than $100 billion. But will shareholders actually own the business? That’s the timely concern raised by a U.S. congressional commission. Lack of clarity in PRC law is mainly to blame.

Jun 20, 2014 18:14 UTC

GE scores a Pyrrhic victory in France

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By Quentin Webb

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

There’s a paradox in General Electric’s French triumph. The U.S. conglomerate is finally getting Alstom’s energy businesses, having seen off German nemesis Siemens and reached an accommodation with a hostile French government. Yet some other players won clearer victories.

Jun 20, 2014 05:44 UTC

Review: ‘Leftover Women’ may hinder China’s growth

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By Katrina Hamlin

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

Women’s rights have taken a step backwards in China. A new book by Leta Hong Fincher blames that on the ruling Communist Party’s desire for social stability. But China may be depriving itself of an economic opportunity.

Jun 19, 2014 06:50 UTC

Tranquil markets may lead emerging nations astray

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By Andy Mukherjee 

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

The return of calm to global markets is not an unalloyed blessing for the developing world. In the year since investors freaked out about rising U.S. interest rates, JPMorgan’s emerging markets bond index has recovered almost all of its losses. That could tempt developing economies to abuse easy money and blow domestic asset bubbles.

Jun 17, 2014 13:58 UTC

China Macau tolerance won’t last forever

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By Rob Cox

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

Spreadsheets with astonishing forecasts can only tell so much about China’s economic miracle. The sole path to believing, or at least comprehending, the scale of the country’s development is to see it. And so it is with any attempt to grasp Macau’s transformation from a Portuguese trading outpost to the Middle Kingdom’s gambling and entertainment hub.

Jun 16, 2014 18:06 UTC

Gazprom/Ukraine dispute is proxy for Putin’s whims

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By Pierre Briançon 

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

Europe has long been used to the perennial drama of “Ukraine versus Gazprom,” but this year’s version is not your run-of-the-mill gas price dispute. Making good on a longstanding threat, Gazprom has said it will deliver gas to Ukraine only if it has been pre-paid. This comes after the Russian energy group failed to settle a dispute with Naftogaz, its Kiev-backed counterpart, over what it claims are more than $4 billion of overdue bills.

COMMENT

No wonder GOPers love Putin for his ‘strength’.
He has the same petty mean streak most of them do.

Posted by emm305 | Report as abusive
Jun 11, 2014 20:34 UTC

Obama student loan fix spares rod, spoils borrower

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By Daniel Indiviglio

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

President Barack Obama’s latest tweak to the U.S. student loan program spares the rod and spoils the borrower. Extending repayment caps and debt forgiveness to older graduates gives too many high earners a break. Making everyone pay a flat percentage of income would be simpler, fairer – and cheaper for taxpayers. It could also deliver a valuable lesson in financial responsibility.

COMMENT

Financial responsibility!!!!!.. That went away with bank sponsored legislation that rewrote the personal bankruptcy laws back in 2005. Thanks to the GOP and George bush, banks do not share in the risk of college lending as that debt can NEVER be forgiven via bankruptcy. No risk no responsibility.. Easy profits for the banks!!!

Couple that with college counselors selling degree programs with little financial viability and you get the mess we have now. Shame on the bankers and school administrators. At the university of Texas..in 2007.. School officials were implicated in a kick back system from loan originators!!!

I’d recommend requiring the university to carry the debt and the risk… They are in the best position to know what majors bring in a salary that can pay back the debt.. If a student defaults.. The university loses.. Make it part of their pension fund portfolio and all the university employees will work harder to produce financially responsible graduates!!!!

Posted by michaelryan | Report as abusive
Jun 10, 2014 14:28 UTC

Investors cheer for Brazil World Cup rout

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By Rob Cox

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

At the opening of the Confederations Cup in Brasilia a year ago, President Dilma Rousseff was booed by thousands of soccer fans for all of Brazil to see. It’s easy to understand then why she isn’t planning to speak at Thursday’s opening ceremony of the World Cup. An embarrassing turn as host of Earth’s biggest sporting event – or crushing repeat of the 1950 Maracanaço – may be the greatest obstacle to her clinching a second term.

COMMENT

50 billion dollar stadiums do not solve poverty. They cause it. What an arrogant waste of money. Brazil already had stadiums. Why so flashy now?

Posted by AlkalineState | Report as abusive
Jun 10, 2014 07:12 UTC

China’s mini-stimulus verges on micro-management

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By John Foley

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

Fine-tuning and micro-management are close cousins. China’s central bank is tending toward the latter. The latest policy tweak will let some banks lend more to the rural sector, and fits a wider regulatory trend of selective easing. But it adds needless complexity, and takes China further from its stated goal of being more market-driven.