Sep 11, 2014 14:17 UTC

RBS/Lloyds moving plans leave key questions opaque

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By George Hay

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

Scotland’s largest banks have moved to head off a crisis. Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group say they will shift their Edinburgh-domiciled operations to London, should Scots vote for independence on Sept. 18. That’s a step towards financial stability – but not if you’re a Scottish consumer.

Sep 11, 2014 13:53 UTC

Ecuador economic “miracle” meets maturity

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By Rob Cox

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

Turn on state television here, and within an hour or so a public service message will appear extolling the “Ecuadorean miracle” of President Rafael Correa. The advertisements highlight big new infrastructure projects and endorsements by experts, even an American or two.

Sep 11, 2014 07:59 UTC

Likonomics: the China buzzword that wasn’t

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By John Foley 

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

A year ago, then-new Chinese Premier Li Keqiang looked like a champion of market forces. Now he seems a bit like a passenger. Capitalistic reforms, and foreign investors, have moved down the pecking order.

COMMENT

Mr. Li is not all powerful and unreasoned expectations, which fail to recognize his limitations seem childish and petulant. These things take time.

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Sep 8, 2014 13:59 UTC
Edward Hadas

Sterling fall shows rational alarm over Scotland

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By Edward Hadas

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

The market is not too negative about the pound. The fall of sterling – down 6 percent against the dollar since July 15 and by 2 percent from Friday morning to Monday morning – is less a panic than a rational response to the possibility that the United Kingdom will be divided in two.

Sep 3, 2014 21:24 UTC

Home Depot hack scarier than Hollywood breach

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By Richard Beales

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

It’s no surprise that stolen nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence attract more attention than a nerdy report on Home Depot’s security breach. But it’s an unfortunate reality that Hollywood celebrities need to guard their privacy, whether threatened by paparazzi or hackers. Corporate breaches that expose millions of people to financial loss are, on the other hand, in a different league.

With Home Depot, it’s not yet clear what the scale of any hacking may have been, or whether the company’s systems were violated despite strong defenses. But security blogger Brian Krebs said he had received information suggesting the Home Depot episode could be larger than last year’s hack of Target. That attack, which he first publicized, exposed the credit card data of at least 40 million customers.

COMMENT

Easier to pay cash when you go to Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s and other stores. Of course, you are sometimes considered old-fashioned if you do so, but better safe than sorry.

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Sep 1, 2014 06:32 UTC

Democracy snub leaves Hong Kong only bad choices

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Hong Kong’s narrowing options over future leadership elections could have broad repercussions. Voters in the former colony face only bad choices after Beijing proposed a tightly controlled system for choosing its chief executive. The decision escalates the risk of a showdown with protestors. It also suggests China’s leaders care ever less about the rest of the world’s opinion.

COMMENT

Maybe the EU will impose sanctions on China, along with the US like they did when Ukraine attacked the East. This should be real interesting…..

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Aug 29, 2014 17:40 UTC

TV broadcasters missing big picture in Aereo fight

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By Reynolds Holding

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

Television broadcasters are missing the big picture in their courtroom spat with Aereo. CBS, Disney-owned ABC and others don’t want the streaming startup backed by media mogul Barry Diller reborn as a cable company. But conceding now could put online services and the likes of Time Warner Cable on equal legal footing, creating more competition – and higher fees – for content.

Aereo seemed doomed only two months ago. The U.S. Supreme Court decided it violated copyright law by leasing to each subscriber a dime-sized antenna that received broadcasting signals for free and streamed them over the internet. Like a cable operator, the court ruled, it had to pay for programming.

Aug 28, 2014 06:57 UTC

Bland Lagarde will escape the Bretton Woods curse

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By Christopher Swann

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

Christine Lagarde may soon reap the benefits of being bland. The IMF chief is under investigation for signing off on a 403 million euro ($531 million) payout to a French tycoon when she served as the country’s finance minister. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, her predecessor at the Washington-based lender, and former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz were both ousted for misconduct. Lagarde, though, has few enemies.

Aug 27, 2014 14:35 UTC

Tragedy may reshape Brazil economy, not just vote

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By Martin Hutchinson and Richard Beales

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

Add Marina Silva to the challenges facing Dilma Rousseff. Brazil’s president faces a new opposition candidate in October’s election after Eduardo Campos’ death in a plane crash, and Silva looks a far bigger threat. If she ousts Rousseff, which polls show is possible, Brazil could gain economically from less state meddling.

Aug 26, 2014 06:47 UTC

Court order adds urgency to India’s coal crunch

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

India’s Supreme Court has added urgency to the country’s coal crunch. That may force the government to take steps to end the debilitating shortage which is holding back a much-needed manufacturing revival.