Breakingviews

Hugo Dixon: Greeks choose between bad and terrible

By Hugo Dixon
July 2, 2015

Voting “Yes” in Sunday’s referendum would mean Greece suffers at least two years of recession. Voting “No” would bring financial havoc in the short run followed by the return of the drachma, hyperinflation and deep-seated economic depression. The right answer is “Yes”.

Capital controls hit Greek economy at worst time

June 29, 2015

Closing the stricken state’s banks would be a disaster at any time of year. But Athens’ capital controls are kicking in just as one of Greece’s main drivers – tourism – hits peak season. Even if Greeks don’t leave the euro, 2015 will be a writeoff.

Hugo Dixon: The big fat Greek blame game

By Hugo Dixon
June 22, 2015

If Greece collapses, the biggest chunk of the blame will go to whoever behaves most unreasonably in the final stages of the current game of chicken. So both sides have an incentive to accommodate each other’s reasonable positions. Hopefully, they realise this.

Memo from 2020: Elizabeth Warren heads to Citi

June 19, 2015

Barney Frank, whose name adorns the law that reshaped Wall Street, has followed former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair through the revolving door to a bank board. Only the crusading U.S. senator joining them would be more surprising. Breakingviews imagines how it might play out.

Trading illiquidity theories lack solid ground

June 18, 2015

Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman is the latest financial bigwig to argue that the enforced shrinkage of banks’ activities is hurting liquidity so badly that it could fuel the next crisis. A look at how markets have changed – and how brokers actually behave – suggests otherwise.

Hugo Dixon: Greek negotiations need extra time

By Hugo Dixon
June 17, 2015

Despite the inflammatory rhetoric and lack of trust, Athens and its creditors might still be able to do a deal. But to get an agreement, a little more time may be needed. The creditors shouldn’t truncate the talks.

Wall Street lead over EU banks looks set in stone

June 17, 2015

European trading and advisory revenue is down 30 pct since 2010 while U.S. investment banking has grown. Now Deutsche Bank and HSBC are cutting further, even more ground will be ceded. The region’s tentative recovery and capital markets project offer only slim hope of a reversal.

Goldman may lose its way on Main Street

June 16, 2015

The Wall Street denizen plans to lend to regular Joes and Joannes online. Healthy returns probably await. CEO Lloyd Blankfein may also hope a broader set of customers comes in handy in the next crisis. It’s a big strategic change, however, fraught with distractions and risks.

Subject financial fiefs to modern Magna Carta

June 15, 2015

Companies in the 21st century can learn from 13th century England. Overmighty, overpaid CEOs are the new King Johns. They are held to account, sort of, by the barons of fund management. What’s needed is more respect for finance’s neglected yeomanry: ordinary savers.

HSBC continues to wind back the clock

June 9, 2015

Four years since he started pruning the bank, CEO Stuart Gulliver is cutting risk-weighted assets by a quarter and shedding 50,000 employees. HSBC is returning to its roots as an Asia-focussed trade lender, though investors will have to wait almost three years to feel the effect.