Breakingviews

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.

Fed “forward guidance” blows too much smoke

September 22, 2016

The U.S. central bank again declined to raise rates, leaving what hedgie Dan Loeb called the crack cocaine of loose monetary policy in place. The Fed counts talking to the market as one of its tools. But its story has changed so much that it might do better being less chatty.

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.

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 tax spat could blight European banks

August 31, 2016

The tech giant’s $14.5 bln EU tax bill has shades of a $9 bln U.S. fine handed to BNP Paribas in 2014. Despite big differences, both have the whiff of a transatlantic raid on those deemed able to pay. EU banks awaiting U.S. fines, like Deutsche Bank and RBS, have cause to fret.

Europe’s bite at Apple could leave bad aftertaste

August 30, 2016

The European Commission wants companies to pay their fair share of tax. Zeroing in on Apple’s alleged sweetheart deal with Ireland fits that agenda. But it could misfire. Reeling from Brexit, Dublin might feel pressure to make itself even more friendly to corporate taxpayers

Iconoclasts needed to topple central bank targets

August 25, 2016

A reboot of global monetary policymaking is the best thing that could emerge from rate-setters’ annual Jackson Hole shindig. An overhaul is pressing as reality upends more and more economic orthodoxies. Ditching simplistic and discredited inflation targets would be a good start.

Britain’s haul: 27 gold medals and a wooden spoon

August 22, 2016

China underwhelmed in the Olympic medals table, while the tiny UK excelled. That’s a poor guide to more important competitions. Though Britain still has soft power, its value as a role model is on the wane. China no longer needs gold medals to secure its place on the podium.

Rio Tinto’s best is not yet good enough

August 3, 2016

The Anglo-Australian miner has slashed debt but can't take its eye off the ball after posting its worst earnings in 12 years. No wonder Rio is trading at a discount to peers. New boss Jean-Sebastien Jacques is paying out dividends, but has his work cut out to win over investors.

Chinese investors up the ante in online games

August 1, 2016

Gaming outfit Shanghai Giant, Alibaba boss Jack Ma, and partners are buying Israel's Playtika for $4.4 bln. This looks pricier than Tencent's recent purchase of the firm behind Clash of Clans. Plus, casino-style games are even more at risk of being overtaken by the latest hit.