Breakingviews

Rob Cox: Bitcoin enters age of Goldman and lawyers

April 30, 2015

For libertarian early adopters, the discovery of the cryptocurrency by Wall Street’s top firm and a bevy of legal eagles is a pivotal moment. Diehards will mourn the lost privacy and edginess of bitcoin. The flipside is the prospect of mainstream financial industry acceptance.

Swiss give scary lesson on central banks’ limits

January 15, 2015

The monetary authorities are expected to control inflation, deflation, growth and the financial system. But the Swiss National Bank, an above-average institution, has managed to mess up badly by breaking its word. Others may not do much better.

China on the horns of a volatility dilemma

December 10, 2014

Gyrating stock markets are a reminder that motion matters as much as prices. China has encouraged swings in some areas, like the currency, while trying to control them in others like house prices and employment. It’s a losing battle. Volatility affects behaviour, and is catching.

Wen paves way for yuan depreciation

November 21, 2011

China’s premier said the currency should be more flexible “in either direction”. The idea of devaluation might sound strange, but the Chinese trade surplus is shrinking and inflation is cutting into the yuan’s real value. This could be a good time to let the market decide.

China’s trade deficit is sign of things to come

March 12, 2012

Unusually poor demand from Europe and extraordinary purchases of copper and soybeans helped create a rare $4.2 bln trade deficit in the first two months of 2012. But as China imports less to process for export and more to consume, monthly deficits will get more frequent.

Markets vote for the euro

By Edward Hadas
May 24, 2012

The single currency is falling because traders fear it will break up. That means they must think the whole is worth more than the sum of the parts. That’s right, and not just because the retrograde transition to national currencies would be costly. Scale and unity are valuable.

Scots aim to break Europe’s working currency union

July 10, 2012

Europe does have a successful currency, fiscal and banking union - in the United Kingdom. Scottish nationalists want to go backwards, towards the weaknesses of the euro zone. In Edinburgh as in Brussels, it’s dangerous to let politics get the better of financial reality.

Hong Kong suffers from being small and open

October 24, 2012

The territory has intervened again to stop its currency rising. But Hong Kong’s peg is only partly to blame for its liquidity glut. Singapore’s more-flexible exchange rate isn’t faring much better. Small, open Asian economies are basically helpless against Western money-printing.

Low expectations should make China do more on yuan

January 11, 2011

The Chinese currency rose just 3.6 percent in 2010. As political pressure ebbs and euro zone trouble spreads, traders now expect an even smaller gain for 2011.

South Korea may need a rate cut to fight weak yen

January 24, 2013

Economic growth is anaemic and manufacturers like Hyundai are feeling the pinch. While a boost in fiscal spending may revive GDP, a looming currency war with Japan would take the fizz out of a much-expected recovery in exports. Lower rates could help to ease the pressure.