Breakingviews

 
That’s why recently resurgent volatility in currency markets won’t restore investment banks’ revenue. Blame a secular shift in FX, and the rise of electronic trading.

Hong Kong tycoons can be part of protest solution

The city’s business leaders have outsize influence over local politics. Relaxing their grip on special corporate votes would be a symbolic gesture to pro-democracy activists – and may help preserve the stability that has served tycoons, and their investors, so well for so long.

Adidas can't afford to be sentimental about Reebok

The German sports group is reportedly set to receive a $2.2 bln offer for the unit. Having overpaid for Reebok in 2006, Adidas has since turned it round and may be loath to sell. But Reebok has little strategic use. Fiduciary duty demands a cold appraisal of its financial value.

Nutreco’s $3 bln buyout shows value of food chain

The Dutch fish and animal-feed giant is about to be gobbled up in a $3.4 bln friendly deal. The buyer is SHV, the family outfit behind the Makro cash-and-carry chain. With no synergies, this deal is better seen as a long-term bet on growing global demand for protein.

Abenomics hits a speed bump, not a road block

Japan’s prime minister has lost two high-profile cabinet members and hinted at delaying a sales tax hike. Growth is sputtering as the world economy slows. Yet reforms are still going ahead. The key to Shinzo Abe’s success is maintaining the confidence of investors – and voters.

Spreadsheet bungles alive and well in high finance

No less a practitioner than Goldman Sachs double-counted some of Tibco Software’s shares in calculating the company’s value in a sale worth $4.3 bln – oops, sorry, $4.2 bln. The mistake probably didn’t change much. What’s telling is that no one spotted a fairly obvious blunder.

Review: The worst of both Mao and markets

Nicholas Lardy’s new book describes a China in which the state is retreating. He has the numbers to demonstrate the private sector’s steady gains, but official statistics are deeply misleading. In the PRC, the public-private line is blurred by the triumph of crony capitalism.