Breakingviews

Thiam needs to think big at Credit Suisse

April 21, 2015

Incoming CEO Tidjane Thiam is inheriting a mixed bag. First-quarter net profit surged 23 pct as trading and wealth management shone. But underwriting and M&A revenues fell, and risk-weighted assets remain high. The Swiss bank needs more capital and less investment banking.

EU migration policy is economically short-sighted

By Edward Hadas
April 20, 2015

For many desperate and poor people, Europe is the nearest safe place to go to make a living. A sensible migration policy would recognise the region’s international appeal and manage the reality. But inward-looking politics make for bad economics and heighten the risks to life.

Deutsche should limit retail selloff to Postbank

April 20, 2015

The German lender’s strategy review has narrowed down to selling part or all of its retail business. A wholesale-only Goldman Sachs equivalent would be more profitable, but less stable. Deutsche would be better off staying a universal bank - but cutting a lot more cost.

Sliding prices vindicate China’s growth worries

April 20, 2015

New moves to get banks lending more show the authorities are worried that growth may miss the official target of 7 percent. Look closer at what’s happening to prices and there is good cause. China’s slowing growth is close to being too slow.

Europe’s credit boom locks in mediocre returns

April 16, 2015

Investors are throwing money at European companies. Carrefour and Danone paid little over 1 pct a year to borrow for a decade; Novartis got 20-year funds at similar levels. A Breakingviews calculator shows how bond buyers’ generosity could backfire.

Hairy deals mean European animal spirits returning

April 15, 2015

Shell-BG and Nokia-Alcatel are complicated, long-mooted deals finally coming to fruition. Exor’s move is just plain ballsy. American firms powered last year’s $3.5 trln global M&A bonanza. With Old World boards and bosses becoming more daring, Europe looks set to catch up.

Nokia will struggle to cut through Alcatel tangle

April 14, 2015

An all-stock takeover by the Finnish company would create a roughly 40 bln euro telecoms equipment giant. Nokia investors are understandably sceptical. A deal would mean another big restructuring and stretch the buyer’s industrial expertise. The French connection adds complexity.

China index: Economy springs back, for now

April 13, 2015

Breakingviews’ alternative gauge of activity recovered slightly in February to its highest level since last spring. Chinese New Year celebrations and a bump in exports gave the economy a temporary boost to offset falling steel production, rail freight volumes and truck sales.

Japan index: BOJ plays a risky waiting game

April 8, 2015

The Bank of Japan refused to heed growing calls to further ease its ultra-loose monetary policy. Inaction could be risky. Stock prices are the lone bright spot in a gloomy Breakingviews Abenomics Index reading for February. A return of deflation could hurt the BOJ’s credibility.

Greece comes kicking and screaming to reform table

April 2, 2015

The Syriza government’s latest reform proposals include some concessions to its public creditors. The plan still lacks detail, and reneges on past promises. The government is fiddling while Athens burns, and the risk of an accidental euro zone exit is rising.