Breakingviews

Samsung’s handset fires singe its brand

September 12, 2016

The tech giant is speeding up a recall of Galaxy Note 7 phones, after reports of fires and explosions, while airlines have banned in-air use. Samsung shares have fallen sharply. The immediate financial hit looks manageable but the reputational damage could be worse.

Viewsroom: Trump immigration plan deports $1 trln

September 9, 2016

The iPhone 7 may seem like an underwhelming upgrade, but it sets the company up well for the rise of augmented reality. Donald's Trump's plans to curb visas and send illegal immigrants home defy economic logic. And scandal-prone VW takes its truck ambitions stateside.

Private equity could regret scaling Capitol Hill

September 9, 2016

Buyout firms have successfully promoted legislation to roll back disclosures required under Dodd-Frank even as they settle cases over misleading investors. If the bill passes, however, there's a risk of repercussions. Washington critics may redouble efforts against the industry.

Britain’s grammar school plan gets 5 out of 10

September 9, 2016

Reintroducing selective schools won't necessarily fix the UK's two big problems: too-high inequality and too-low productivity. It fits, though, with an emerging trend of the state picking winners. Whether that works depends on the success of safeguards to protect the losers.

China tosses trading partners some import scraps

September 9, 2016

In August, for the first time in 22 months, imports turned positive. But most foreign exporters and China bashers can keep the bubbly on ice. The data's timing has a whiff of diplomacy. Beijing will keep its aggressive trade policies in place so long as they serve other goals.

Banks ask for Brexit clarity they can’t have

September 8, 2016

Big financial groups want Britain’s chancellor to say what kind of settlement he wants after an EU exit. That’s understandable: they want to make plans. But it wouldn’t be smart for Philip Hammond to be too specific ahead of what will essentially be a poker game with EU peers.

Mario takes Nintendo up a level in mobile gaming

September 8, 2016

Nintendo unexpectedly unveiled a Super Mario game at Apple's new phone launch. Following Pokemon's wild success, this confirms the Japanese group is no longer dragging its feet on reform and is ready to use top characters on mobile. It boosts the case for the new-look Nintendo.

Apple’s new iPhone is about eyes more than ears

September 7, 2016

Removal of the headphone jack has created most of the buzz. That and other new features in the latest iteration are enough to sell plenty of upgrades. A new camera, however, hints at Apple's ambitions in virtual and augmented reality, which could be the bigger temptation.

A $1 trln un-merger record that’s hard to beat

September 7, 2016

Even with two more U.S. mega-deals on the rocks, 2015 is set to retain the global M&A crown. There soon will come a year, though, which surpasses its $4.4 trln of activity. It's the record volume of withdrawn acquisitions in 1999 that's more likely to stand the test of time.

Minority investors should check the returns policy

September 7, 2016

Sports Direct's shareholders are being trampled by a strong entrepreneur with a 55 pct stake. Italian luxury brand Prada has a similar issue: entrenched founders whose strategy isn’t working. Big shareholders can benefit companies, but other investors end up stuck if things sour.