Breakingviews

Indonesia cashes in on model tax amnesty

September 28, 2016

Citizens have admitted hiding almost $200 bln in what is shaping up to be one of the world's more effective schemes. Success stems from low charges, credible government, and big penalties for abstainers. The global backdrop makes it a good time for other countries to strike.

Gas deal pushes limits of U.S. energy M&A thaw

September 27, 2016

Rice Energy's $2.7 bln swoop on Vantage, which was planning an IPO, follows transactions in oilier shale regions. Paying partly in shares will limit debt, but unlike in EOG Resources' recent deal, Rice's shares fell. Maybe gas isn't yet inspiring the same animal spirits as oil.

Deutsche Bank has airbags – but only one matters

September 27, 2016

The German lender’s market value has shrunk below 14.5 bln euros on fears of big fines. Yet markets seem calm about knock-on effects. It’s less that post-crisis bank rules are fit for purpose, and more that Chancellor Merkel would have to be brave or foolish to let Deutsche fail.

India’s lenders deserve to be rich global outliers

September 27, 2016

Lenders like HDFC are among the world's priciest, trading on price-to-book ratios up to 7 times higher than Citigroup or BNP Paribas. They are well-capitalised, earn high returns, and are growing fast. The secret is lending to people, not companies. Headwinds look limited too.

Pfizer’s pricey non-split may only defer problem

September 26, 2016

After years of study costing $600 mln, the drugmaker says it won't break itself up. Boss Ian Read always seemed keener on acquisitions. It's true the process helped close a conglomerate discount. But Pfizer's sprawl and tendency to overpay means the gap may soon reappear.

Dubai could create its own demographic dividend

September 26, 2016

The emirate has weathered low oil prices, but an unbalanced workforce means it is missing an economic opportunity. Only one in 23 active workers is a local, official data suggests. If Dubai can't turn citizens into workers, it might as well turn skilled workers into citizens

Asian cull makes Goldman Sachs look rattled

September 26, 2016

The Wall Street bank is laying off nearly a third of its Asian investment bankers. Lumpy deal flow, fierce competition and low fees are endemic in Asia, but Goldman's pullback suggests the scandal over Malaysia's 1MDB may have also dampened its appetite for risk.

Corbyn is global symbol not of rage but confusion

September 23, 2016

The UK Labour Party leader, facing re-election this weekend, has split the left in two. Divisive figures like Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump reflect a new difficulty in identifying heroes and villains. An old foe, globalisation, is in retreat, yet perceived inequality persists.

Hadas: Central banks play with monetary absurdity

September 23, 2016

Monetary authorities have taken recourse in increasingly empty promises. The Bank of Japan's Haruhiko Kuroda has taken this verbal drama to a new and ultimately dangerous level. Central banks could rely on deeds, not words, if their tools and targets were more realistic.

Vodafone tops up for a fight in India

September 23, 2016

Injecting $7 bln of cash will help the mobile giant's Indian unit compete in a mega spectrum auction and in a price war against new entrant Jio. It also suggests an IPO of the wholly owned business is off the table for now. India may become a big drag on its London-listed parent.