Breakingviews

Exclusive: Wells Fargo case bares regulatory gaps

September 19, 2016

The Justice Department was kept in the dark until the last minute about the San Francisco-based bank's alleged fake accounts and its $185 mln fine. That's why prosecutors are only just now kicking off a probe. The abundance of U.S. financial watchdogs demands better teamwork.

Trading really is about survival of the fittest

September 19, 2016

A new study finds trading prowess is linked to accurate detection of one's own heartbeat, a trait common in people with lower body mass indexes. Despite its limitations, the paper implies physiology has a profound role in markets, and that humans still have an edge on machines.

Scarce bonds and bank pain limit BOJ’s next move

September 19, 2016

The Bank of Japan faces a conundrum in its battle to revive inflation. It can’t keep buying $800 bln of bonds a year for much longer, but negative rates are deeply unpopular. This week’s big policy review might require the BOJ to make other concessions to the financial industry.

Viewsroom: Wells Fargo stagecoach hits a ditch

September 16, 2016

The bank that steered clear of the financial crisis breaks down after creating 2 mln fake accounts. New evidence undermines Donald Trump's claims few benefit from the U.S. economic recovery. And why Hanjin's corporate capsize may prompt attempts to fix to shipping-industry woes.

Tech giants don’t grow on European soil

September 16, 2016

The region hasn't produced its own answers to tech disruptors like Facebook and Alibaba. That leaves the EU open to accusations of sour grapes when foreign companies like Apple are targeted for unpaid taxes. Regulation and fragmented markets explain Europe's failure to launch.

Smaller fine might still force Deutsche fire sale

September 16, 2016

The German lender insists it won't pay as much as the $14 bln proposed by the U.S. Justice Department. But even two-thirds of that amount would deplete its reserves, a Breakingviews calculator shows. Deutsche may then need to sell assets to meet rising capital requirements.

Trump’s economic plan built on typical hyperbole

September 15, 2016

The Republican White House nominee says his proposals to cut taxes and red tape would boost output growth to 3.5 pct a year and create 25 million jobs over a decade. The huge potential cost of Trump's plans only shrinks thanks to heroic assumptions about their likely benefits.

Wells Fargo puts size to a fresh regulatory test

September 15, 2016

U.S. authorities aren't finished with the $1.9 trln bank's fake-accounts scandal. Top brass at small lenders have been punished harshly in the past, including industry bans, for misdeeds. If Wells Fargo executives slip away, it'll escalate tension over the accountability divide.

How Hinkley delivers a bad deal for everyone

September 15, 2016

The approval of Britain’s new nuclear power plant puts politics ahead of sense. Consumers could end up paying 15 bln pounds in today’s money. New ownership tests erode the country’s reputation for openness. Brexit has undermined Britain’s bargaining power.

China’s car scam shows best and worst of subsidies

September 15, 2016

Lavish grants for electric vehicles nurtured new technology and a massive market. The largesse came at a price, though, with many millions of dollars lost to scammers faking sales to claim cash. There may yet be a happy ending for home-grown heroes like BYD.