Breakingviews

 
Borrowing for education has soared over the past decade, ballooning to $1.2 trln and growing far faster than GDP. With serious delinquencies at 11 pct and Washington on the hook, there’s a mess in the making. A Breakingviews calculator shows how big Uncle Sam’s exposure could get.

Lloyds investment case hinges on its next dividend

The UK bank’s first payout since 2008 is an encouraging milestone. But it’s largely symbolic. The critical valuation issue is whether Lloyds’ pledge to pay out at least half its future earnings represents a floor or a ceiling - and whether the regulator allows fatter payouts.

Review: Building HSBC's sprawling, flawed empire

The Hong Kong bank grew into one of the world’s biggest financial institutions. But poor results and a furore over Swiss tax make for an unhappy 150th anniversary. A new history shows how hands-off management and breakneck M&A under former chairman John Bond are partly to blame.

India goes back to future with $137 bln rail push

The government’s ambitious plan will require finesse in raising money. But the investment case is strong. India’s British rulers reaped huge productivity gains by building out the railways 150 years ago. Modernizing the dilapidated network could produce even better returns.

StanChart board clearout is only the first step

Installing Bill Winters as CEO to replace Peter Sands ends the short-term uncertainty about the bank’s leadership. But the former JPMorgan executive will face an overflowing inbox when he takes charge in June. Capital, credit quality and returns will be the immediate priorities.

Rob Cox: Welcome to the new, global Tangentopoli

Corruption is causing trouble for elites from Sao Paulo to Virginia and Santiago to London. Inequality can be a tolerable byproduct of free-market capitalism, but not when the winners are profiting from a rigged system. As a new book argues, such gains encourage radicalism.

Australia's property market joins closed-door club

The government plans to charge fees to foreign buyers and enforce restrictions on sales of existing homes. After Hong Kong and Singapore, another hot real estate market is cooling to Chinese money. It adds to the political pressure on other countries to become less welcoming.