Breakingviews

 
The U.S. football league has thrown its weight around to grow into a $10 bln entertainment colossus. Victims of the sport’s violence get trampled until the likes of Anheuser and Nike play offense. Corporate America may be all that keeps the NFL from going the way of boxing.

VC bigwigs reveal Valley's contradictions

Peter Thiel’s new book sets out possible features of the next world-changing startup that will earn its founders a monopoly – another Google, say. Ben Horowitz’s focuses on running a tech company amid fierce competition. One is about vision, the other – for most people – reality.

Scots' no to independence still leaves UK in limbo

The roughly 55:45 vote against secession in a landmark referendum reduces many risks: financial instability, a UK exit from Europe and a sharp fall in trade. But the bribe to no-voters of more devolved powers creates other dangers – including a weakening of the union.

Australia at sharp end of China outbound ambition

Growing ties to China are a source of anxiety but the lop-sided relationship is here to stay. As Chinese buyers widen their horizons from resources to property and education, Australians have a chance to show they’re pragmatic. Beijing could help too, with a touch of soft power.

Bayer’s plastic float sows seeds for one more sale

Investors added $5 bln to the German blue-chip’s market cap after it unveiled plans to float its capital-intensive MaterialScience unit. Once again, markets are rewarding sharper focus. A logical follow-up would be to quit agrochemicals, leaving a pure healthcare business.

China has not one property problem, but many

Rank the biggest cities by riskiness, and huge differences become apparent. Some places face heavy oversupply, others look unaffordable, while in most prices are sliding. A national correction is unlikely, but a conflagration of local ones could be pretty nasty.

ECB’s trillion-euro race may start slowly

A first round of liquidity injections this week will test Mario Draghi’s attempt to fight deflation in the euro zone. A small take-up could increase pressure for more ambitious sovereign debt purchases. But the ECB has time, and several ways to boost its balance sheet as planned.