Apr 25, 2014 03:09 UTC

Review: India’s Singh wasn’t king, Modi could be

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

Everything except the title of Sanjaya Baru’s “The Accidental Prime Minister” has invited controversy. And the title escaped opprobrium only because Manmohan Singh, who has never won an election, was the first to acknowledge that his elevation to India’s top political job was an accident of history.

Apr 17, 2014 16:02 UTC

Review: Hustling helps Africa’s partial success

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By Martin Hutchinson

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

“Kanju” makes modern Africa work. In her new book “The Bright Continent,” the American journalist Dayo Olopade claims that this Yoruba word for hustling, striving and rule-breaking explains how the invisible hand outwits the dead hand of corrupt bureaucracy in much of the continent. Sadly, kanju also makes most African countries tough places to do fully organized business.

Apr 4, 2014 10:20 UTC

Review: Zero margin call

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By Robert Cole

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

Seismic shifts in the organisation of human civilisation have occurred only twice in the last 10,000 years. Or so says Jeremy Rifkin in his new book, “The Zero Marginal Cost Society.” We are, he writes, in the throes of a third transition. It is one that will bring the death of capitalism and the onset of the “Collaborative Commons.”

Mar 21, 2014 18:10 UTC

Review: A world of reasons for the dollar to crash

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By Martin Hutchinson

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

In “The Death of Money,” author James Rickards sees a world of reasons for the dollar to crash and the world monetary system to collapse. The greenback does indeed have dangerous adversaries, from China to al Qaeda. However, Rickards lets the Federal Reserve and budget deficits off too lightly as generators of trouble, and his solutions would cause yet more havoc.

Mar 14, 2014 16:39 UTC
Edward Hadas

Review: An unreliable guide to inequality

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By Edward Hadas

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

Thomas Piketty is set to become a star. “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” – the new book from the founder of the Paris School of Economics – has received gushing praise from the New York Times and the Economist, even before the official publication of the English translation next month. The massive production, 577 pages of text plus voluminous supporting material, posits that economic inequality is a major social problem which is likely to get worse. Piketty’s arguments, however, fail to persuade.

Mar 7, 2014 14:32 UTC

Review: Why all you know about money is wrong

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By George Hay

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

Everyone knows what money is. Whether denominated in paper, coins or something else entirely, transactions get paid for by a physical commodity that enables humans not to waste their time bartering with each other. Felix Martin’s book, published this week in the United States, convincingly argues this view is not only wrong, but dangerous.

Feb 28, 2014 16:20 UTC
Edward Hadas

Review: GDP and its discontents

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By Edward Hadas

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

Gross domestic product is both a useful measure and a terrible one. Diane Coyle explains why in “GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History.” Despite some cogent arguments in support of its use, readers may struggle to share the British economist’s fondness.

Nov 29, 2013 12:28 UTC

Review: A no-nonsense recipe for retail success

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By George Hay

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

Malcolm Walker has a no-nonsense recipe for retail success. While larger supermarkets have expanded upmarket, overseas, and away from food, he’s made a fortune selling cheap frozen dinners to hard-up Britons through his Iceland Foods chain. It’s all about meeting customer demand, controlling costs, and staying focused, his autobiography shows. Still, Walker’s travails down the years are a reminder how easily things can go wrong in the food business.

Nov 15, 2013 17:14 UTC

Review: At Apple’s core, a fitting man of mystery

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

Jonathan Ive is the British perfectionist who leads Apple’s design team. A new book about him by journalist Leander Kahney shows his huge influence uniting form and function at the U.S. tech giant. But Ive the man remains largely hidden behind a screen that’s as obsessively crafted as any of the company’s gadgets.

Nov 8, 2013 18:12 UTC

Review: Frackers needed long view to make history

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

The revolution in U.S. energy came from an unlikely source, as Gregory Zuckerman recounts in “The Frackers: the Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters.” Tiny drillers like George Mitchell and Harold Hamm persisted with shale while deep-pocketed giants such as Chevron gave up. It was a triumph of leadership over short-term shareholder value.