Breakingviews

 
The Morgan Stanley and BofA CEOs each marks five years in charge in 2015. Neither has had an easy time of it. Gorman, though, ought to be able to lead his firm back above a 10 pct ROE – an important, if humdrum, ambition. Moynihan’s lending behemoth remains a ways off that.

Swiss give positive lesson in negative rate policy

A safe-haven currency can invite economic trouble. The Swiss central bank is up to the challenge. It started with market intervention and has now introduced a negative overnight rate. The Swiss realise that money is more of a policy tool than a store of value.

China's superlative growth looks hard to sustain

Assume the economy expands as briskly in the next 20 years as in the past decade. Its share of world GDP could top 35 percent, a Breakingviews calculator shows. A static workforce would have achieved heroic productivity gains. If it doesn’t, China’s slowdown has only just begun.

Avon exposes ugly side of doing business in China

The U.S. cosmetics company’s Chinese subsidiary gave officials handbags, holidays and cash to access a huge market. The rationale: muddy markets make dirty hands. Avon has learned its lesson with a $135 mln fine. Elsewhere in China, the belief that bribery pays remains engrained.

Sony email shareholders would like to see

The hacking scandal at the Japanese conglomerate’s Hollywood studio isn’t just embarrassing. It’s a business problem for a company already struggling to turn itself around. Herewith, a fictional selection of internal messages Sony’s board ought to be fielding.

M&A "clear day" defenses can cloud investor rights

Anti-takeover protections adopted before threats arise are more apt to weather legal scrutiny. It’s one reason Allergan was able to resist Valeant’s $52 bln bid. When triggered reactively, they’re considered unfair surprises. Either way, shareholders often get unneeded cover.

Europe could edge past U.S. in race to courthouse

New rules and bank scandals boost financial fraud and class-action filings in Britain. Patent combatants flock to German judges. And spats over failed investments clog EU courts. The upshot: a lawsuit boom that may topple America as the world’s business litigation capital.