Jun 4, 2014 07:55 UTC

China wrestles with repression of financial sort

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By John Foley 

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

China is richer and more stable than when tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square 25 years ago. Then, incomplete political reforms led to chaos, violence and retrenchment. While there’s little risk of that now, a similar dynamic is playing out in the financial system.

Jun 3, 2014 14:54 UTC

Fed fundamentalists deserve fresh listen

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By Rob Cox

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

A portrait of Milton Friedman hangs at the entrance to the Stauffer Auditorium at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. It carries no identification, and doesn’t need any. All who enter here can be counted on to recognize the patron saint of contemporary free-market economics. And so it was two days last week, when the leaders of what might be dubbed monetary fundamentalism gathered under Friedman’s watchful gaze.

COMMENT

Trickery cannot replace a merit based society. When those with real capabilities are limited by those that manipulate you demotivate the capable. Fill their spots with your vacuous minions if you like but you lose in the long term. Things like justice and liberty and law are necessary for very practical reasons, not simply to placate the masses in a fake way. Without them (and we are without them) what is the point of endeavour? The central bank and their army of manipulators are simply tricksters.

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May 27, 2014 13:38 UTC

Italy’s lesson for Europe: do your homework

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By Neil Unmack

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

Italy has a lesson for Europe: do your homework. The victory of Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party in European Parliament elections demonstrates that a strong domestic politician can be more appealing than euro-bashing, even in a sickly economy.

May 26, 2014 07:16 UTC

U.S. firms get caught in China spying crossfire

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By Ethan Bilby

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

It’s almost a year since U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held a cordial “shirt-sleeves summit”. When it comes to the two countries’ internet rivalry, however, bare knuckles have replaced bare forearms. Last week’s indictment by the United States of five Chinese army officers as alleged cyber spies has prompted a backlash against American companies. China’s weapon is shutting them out from future growth.

May 21, 2014 06:50 UTC

Chinese real estate is in real trouble

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By John Foley

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

China’s property market is built on a vicious triangle. There are three ways the pressures building in the real estate industry could show: shrinking investment, disappearing funding for developers, and lower prices. Though they’re all related, the effects and remedies are different.

May 16, 2014 05:56 UTC

Asia can give the West a bubble-popping lecture

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

It’s time for Asian regulators to give the West a lecture on popping financial bubbles. Policymakers in the United States and Europe have spent the past few years earnestly debating new methods to smooth out the ups and downs in economic cycles. They should pay more attention to Asia’s experience.

May 15, 2014 05:53 UTC

CITIC goes slowly on reform with $5.1 bln placing

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By Una Galani 

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

CITIC Pacific is going slow on reform with its $5.1 billion placing. The Chinese group’s Hong Kong subsidiary will sell new shares to 15 investors as part of a union with its state-owned conglomerate parent. The placing allows CITIC Pacific to keep its stock market listing. Yet most of the money is coming from buyers also backed by the Chinese government. A deeper overhaul of state firms looks a way off.

May 13, 2014 04:02 UTC

Japan index: Wages bigger worry than spending

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

With the sales tax rising from April 1, the shopping spree that pushed the Breakingviews Abenomics Index to a 12-year high in March has ended. But sluggish wages are a bigger threat than a consumption freeze. If pay disappoints, the spending gloom may become more persistent.

May 12, 2014 07:58 UTC

Australia’s mistimed austerity could boomerang

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By Andy Mukherjee 

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

Australians are bracing themselves for what is being billed as the toughest government budget in 20 years. But untimely austerity could boomerang on the country’s shaky economy.

May 9, 2014 14:01 UTC

ECB abets risky passion for peripheral debt

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By Swaha Pattanaik

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

The rally in peripheral euro zone debt seems unstoppable. Thank – or blame – the European Central Bank. Its talk about easing monetary policy, maybe as soon as June, is pushing bond yields to record lows in countries that faced borrowing costs of up to 17 percent a few years ago.