Tim Cook’s pride may expand corporate talent pool

October 30, 2014

The Apple CEO’s decision to speak publicly about being gay should help advance the march toward acceptance. As boss of the world’s biggest company by market value, Cook could inspire others, giving C-suites and boardrooms more choice. They could use it.

REIT scandal could be good test for Sarbanes-Oxley

October 30, 2014

American Realty Capital Properties says its false financials were intentionally left uncorrected. Details are scant, but that sounds tailor-made for the Enron-inspired law. After more than a decade as an afterthought for U.S. prosecutors, the reform may have a chance to shine.

Hong Kong protests reach polite impasse

October 28, 2014

The “umbrella movement” has lasted a month, confounding predictions of apathy, chaos, or a Beijing crackdown. A compromise on democratic reform is as distant as ever. Yet Hong Kong’s mostly civil activists have changed the city’s political geography for good.

Review: World needs agreed ground rules for peace

October 24, 2014

Henry Kissinger’s “World Order” bemoans the lack of one, as the West’s prevailing approach of nation states with limited conflict isn’t reflected in non-Western traditions. However the Vienna Congress innovation allowing intervention only to protect stability might work better.

Robots may spell “Control-Alt-Delete” for workers

October 23, 2014

Researchers think automatons could displace half of all existing U.S. jobs. If that happens rapidly, it could push humans into a strife-torn future in which lack of wage income hobbles prosperity even in capable societies. Yet governments can make the transition less stressful.

Hong Kong tycoons can be part of protest solution

October 21, 2014

The city’s business leaders have outsize influence over local politics. Relaxing their grip on special corporate votes would be a symbolic gesture to pro-democracy activists – and may help preserve the stability that has served tycoons, and their investors, so well for so long.

Abenomics hits a speed bump, not a road block

October 20, 2014

Japan’s prime minister has lost two high-profile cabinet members and hinted at delaying a sales tax hike. Growth is sputtering as the world economy slows. Yet reforms are still going ahead. The key to Shinzo Abe’s success is maintaining the confidence of investors – and voters.

Bankers get painful and needed conflicts reminder

October 13, 2014

A $76 mln penalty against RBC for working both sides of a deal is the latest blow to skewed loyalties. Even with recent slaps at Goldman and Barclays, it isn’t clear the message is reaching Wall Street. Delaware courts seem up to the task of delivering it as loudly as it takes.

Hong Kong weathers Occupy’s financial disruption

October 10, 2014

Retailers and other companies have suffered, but the city’s financial system is unmoved. A prolonged standoff between pro-democracy students and the government matters less to the economy than China’s slowdown. Short of an escalation, fears of Occupy’s disturbance look overblown.

Twitter free-speech chirps carry overtone of risk

October 9, 2014

After its UK super-injunction tiff, the microblog is fighting to reveal secret U.S. demands for data. The two cases show that firms have power to resist being muzzled – or forced to speak. That’s a check on judicial and government overreach, but it could undermine regulation.