Jan 28, 2014 05:46 UTC

Exportless recovery adds to emerging market risks

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By Andy Mukherjee

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

The devaluation of the Argentine peso has shaken investors. It’s not exactly an emerging market crisis, but cracks are beginning to emerge in the cheery consensus about the global economy’s prospects in 2014.

Jan 27, 2014 16:34 UTC
Edward Hadas

Markets could be their own worst enemy in fear binge

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By Edward Hadas

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

The optimistic investor consensus about 2014 is in danger of disappearing. Investors seem to be having second thoughts about the thesis that GDP growth would be reasonably strong almost everywhere and financial problems would not reach disruptive levels. Markets tumbled last week and have continued to weaken. If investors do not calm down soon, they could spark the crisis they fear most.

Jan 26, 2014 20:00 UTC

Apple’s stubbornness on full show before earnings

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By Robert Cyran

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

Apple’s stubbornness is on show before its quarterly earnings report, expected on Monday. The longevity of the Macintosh computer, 30 years old on Friday, is one sign of Apple’s persistence. Sure, the company occasionally bows to external demands – but rarely admits it. It will add to its product lineup and, as investor Carl Icahn is demanding, it will one day return more cash to shareholders. But outside pressure won’t get any credit.

Jan 24, 2014 20:38 UTC

Dimon’s pay represents board’s own whale of a fail

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By Antony Currie

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

Jamie Dimon’s bonus represents another whale of a fail for JPMorgan. The board’s decision to give its chairman and chief executive a 73 percent raise, to $20 million, is unjustifiable after last year’s performance. Shareholders should have a loud say against this pay – and lead director Lee Raymond.

Jan 24, 2014 04:54 UTC

Hong Kong investors see double with nightclub IPO

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By Robyn Mak

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

Hong Kong’s nightclubs are attracting a different breed of partygoers: the city’s mom and pop investors. Magnum Entertainment, which operates three local clubs, saw its shares more than double on their debut on Jan. 23 in an offering which shattered records for retail demand. Novelty, rather than financials, is fuelling the hype.

Jan 23, 2014 18:29 UTC

BlackRock may fancy revisiting Blackstone heritage

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

Is it time for BlackRock to revisit its Blackstone heritage? Larry Fink’s investment company manages $4.3 trillion while Steve Schwarzman’s, with only 6 percent of the assets, probably generated the same amount of profit last year. That has to make private equity tempting for BlackRock. It could one day buy a firm like, say, TPG.

Jan 23, 2014 12:08 UTC

Banks can gain as well as lose from fund usurpers

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By Neil Unmack

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

Asset managers are making inroads into the corporate lending market. Banks once looked on these “direct lenders” as rivals. But working with funds can help banks manage refinancing risks, and retain clients as they deleverage.

Jan 23, 2014 05:38 UTC

Audit spat pokes hole in China’s financial edifice

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By John Foley

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

China’s legal grey areas have been a source of enormous wealth for investors. Now a U.S. judge is threatening to poke a hole in the entire edifice. The Chinese units of the world’s biggest four auditors face a six-month suspension from auditing U.S.-listed companies after the judge decided they wilfully refused to hand over documents on Chinese clients to U.S. regulators. It’s hard to fault his logic, but upholding the rules could bring a huge cost.

Jan 22, 2014 19:44 UTC

Loeb wrestles Sotheby’s over new art paradigm

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

Dan Loeb is wrestling Sotheby’s over a new art paradigm. The Third Point founder reckons, essentially, that the listed auctioneer should be more like privately held arch-rival Christie’s. The $3.5 billion Sotheby’s, whose stock is up more than 40 percent over the past year, is hardly a basket-case. Its total auction sales increased 19 percent in 2013 to top $5 billion, outgrowing the larger Christie’s. Unusually for an activist investor – typically an analytical breed focused on the here and now – Loeb’s main beef with the company seems to be over the direction and pace of broad art market trends.

Jan 21, 2014 19:38 UTC

Dan Loeb puts the right accelerant in Dow Chemical

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

Dan Loeb is putting the right accelerant into Dow Chemical. The $52 billion U.S. chemistry giant’s shares jumped more than 7 percent at one point on Jan. 21 after the activist investor called for a split of its petrochemicals and specialty chemicals businesses. Loeb may be overly optimistic about the financial benefits, but a rough sum-of-the-parts suggests merely breaking Dow up could boost its value by a fifth.