Breakingviews

 
The e-commerce group’s shares fell after a Chinese regulator lambasted its sales habits. Alibaba must convince investors it was blindsided, and prevent its beef with the watchdog escalating. It’s an insight into how contradictory and value-destructive the Chinese state can be.

Mortgage freeze could hasten Greek bank reform

Before Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras gets any euro zone deal on Greece’s public debt, he could make good on his promise of a permanent mortgage moratorium. That would inflict pain on the country’s banks – but ultimately force them to restructure.

Currency market still scarred by Swiss trauma

Brutal swings seen just after the Swiss central bank suddenly abandoned its franc cap have faded. But price signals and perplexing moves suggest the extraordinary gyrations left their mark. Singapore’s surprise easing and continued Swiss official musings will add to the jitters.

China political investment bubble has new antihero

Newly merged brokerage Shenwan Hongyuan is worth $41 bln – more than Charles Schwab. Its peers trade at triple the valuations of most global securities houses. The mania is part excitement over China’s stock markets, and part misguided belief the state can keep things afloat.

New Greek debt deal will mean more brinkmanship

Markets are relaxed that the anti-bail out Syriza government can cut a new deal with creditors. But pressure points lie ahead, with 6.6 bln euros due in the middle of the year. Getting over the hump will need quick progress on tackling Greece’s big, long-term challenges.

ECB, Syriza have broken euro zone's German spell

The European Central Bank’s easing and the Greek anti-austerity party’s electoral victory show the euro zone is breaking free of German dominance. With loose monetary policy and banking union, it seems ready for growth-friendly policies that don’t ignore economic reality.

Monetary mess threatens gains from oil oversupply

Too much production accounts for about half of the oil price slide, by one calculation. The surplus of cheap crude should boost oil-importers’ GDP. But the gains may not materialise, thanks to central banks’ ultra-low interest rates and wobbling anti-deflation credentials.