Breakingviews

Google learns ABCs of conglomerate life

August 11, 2015

The web search giant is separating cars, balloons and such from its main ad businesses under a new Berkshire Hathaway-like structure called Alphabet. The move suggests Google sees how its sprawl spells trouble. It’s an easy way to erase some, but not all, the valuation discount.

Oil price slide complicates life for central banks

August 4, 2015

Brent is back down at $50 a barrel. Bond prices show this is eroding investor confidence that inflation will pick up. Central banks usually ignore the temporary impact of commodity price swings, but can’t afford to be complacent with inflation and policy rates already so low.

Twitter’s mealy-mouthed strategy is hard to follow

July 29, 2015

Interim boss Jack Dorsey said the micro-blogging site isn’t satisfied with just a 66 pct increase in Q2 revenue. His prescription for what ails Twitter, however, is cryptic. Companies that can’t express goals clearly, especially ones seeking a CEO, reduce chances for success.

Fed might fret about emerging market “spillback”

June 16, 2015

Weak investment and import demand in developing nations is threatening to drag down U.S. growth just as the Federal Reserve mulls raising interest rates. The central bank was able ignore the effects of its bond-buying on others. But a spillback could choke the American recovery.

Return to China tough for American orphan stocks

June 12, 2015

Soaring home markets are prompting Chinese companies to delist from U.S. exchanges. The likes of social network Renren and data centre group 21Vianet may hope for higher valuations in China. But rigid rules make mainland listings harder. Only the unloved will attempt the journey.

Edward Hadas: Central banks can save the world

By Edward Hadas
June 10, 2015

The monetary authorities made a hash of things last decade, as they did in the 1920s, 1930s and 1960s. They still have a three-fold problem. Central banks fundamentally misunderstand financial markets, debt and currencies. With new ideas, their record could improve.

U.S. trade setback more diplomatic than economic

May 13, 2015

Senators denied President Obama authority to negotiate a new Pacific trade pact. The squabbling contrasts with China’s success in organising its infrastructure bank. But the benefits of both projects are uncertain. The world economy can shrug off the blow to America’s leadership.

Yum Brands China split short on crispy goodness

May 6, 2015

Activists have turned the hotlamp on the KFC parent’s China arm. It could be worth $20 bln if diners forget past safety scandals, a Breakingviews calculator shows. To justify more, Yum must expand rapidly, but pitching into China’s poorest cities brings risk as well as revenue.

Abe’s Capitol Hill speech needs ideas for backyard

April 29, 2015

Shinzo Abe’s address to Congress will highlight Japan’s strategic and financial relationship with the United States. But the mooted trade deal offers limited economic benefits. Managing the rivalry with China and fostering cordiality with India can make Japan a more vital ally.

China’s cyber crackdown: A guide for the perplexed

April 24, 2015

The People’s Republic is squeezing technology companies. New banking rules and counter-terrorism legislation could make it harder for foreign groups to operate in the expanding market. Is security just an excuse to protect domestic players? Breakingviews cracks the code.