Breakingviews

Old dogs of war get mega M&A deal

By Hugo Dixon
September 13, 2012

Bankers often say they are in the relationship business. With the proposed EADS/BAE tie-up, this sales patter is actually true. Advisers such as Evercore’s Bernard Taylor and Gleacher Shacklock’s Tim Shacklock have been counselling these companies for donkey’s years.

Franco-German politics first hurdle for BAE/EADS

By Pierre Briancon
September 25, 2012

The two European defence and aerospace companies can’t merge unless Paris and Berlin settle their differences over governance and shareholdings. The tension is typical of EADS’ own complex political and economic history. The BAE deal offers a golden opportunity to clear the air.

France’s silly stake obsession could kill BAE-EADS

By Pierre Briancon
October 8, 2012

Germany, France and the UK could agree on the BAE-EADS merger if Paris didn’t insist on keeping a large stake in the joint company, confirming the fears of the deal’s opponents. The French government doesn’t seem to get that there are other ways to remain influential.

BAE needs a new chairman

By Chris Hughes
October 12, 2012

The UK defence company had to embrace the EADS deal because it was too weak to go it alone. Dick Olver, the chairman, must carry the can both for allowing BAE to slide and for poor management of the attempt to secure salvation-by-merger. Fresh leadership is required.

Soft power is priceless – and scarce

By Edward Hadas
November 19, 2012

When the term was coined in 1990, the U.S. way of life still had broad appeal. But America is now equally distrusted and emulated. No nation has filled the soft power gap. Japan and the UK are powerless despite a new study that says otherwise, and China offers only soft weakness.

Flu epidemic exposes U.S. risk management flaws

January 15, 2013

The virus kills about 36,000 Americans and inflicts $90 bln of economic damage annually. While one year’s death toll is 10 times greater than all terrorist attacks since 2000, the government spends far more on homeland security. Poor resource allocation can be a hard thing to cure.

India new FDI rules show welcome long-termism

July 17, 2013

Letting foreigners own more of local industries like telecoms won’t kick off a rush to invest. But it suggests a desire to court longer-term inflows, and replace an unhealthy reliance on hot money. The new policies may help stem the rupee’s slide too.