Breakingviews

Corbyn is global symbol not of rage but confusion

September 23, 2016

The UK Labour Party leader, facing re-election this weekend, has split the left in two. Divisive figures like Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump reflect a new difficulty in identifying heroes and villains. An old foe, globalisation, is in retreat, yet perceived inequality persists.

Hadas: Central banks play with monetary absurdity

September 23, 2016

Monetary authorities have taken recourse in increasingly empty promises. The Bank of Japan's Haruhiko Kuroda has taken this verbal drama to a new and ultimately dangerous level. Central banks could rely on deeds, not words, if their tools and targets were more realistic.

GSK tries out alternative medicine with new CEO

September 20, 2016

It's a logical move to name consumer head Emma Walmsley as the drugmaker's new chief executive. Pharma companies can learn a lot from the efficient personal care sector. Critics may see a doubling down on GSK’s HIV-to-Horlicks model, without a fix to its weaker pharma business.

Trading really is about survival of the fittest

September 19, 2016

A new study finds trading prowess is linked to accurate detection of one's own heartbeat, a trait common in people with lower body mass indexes. Despite its limitations, the paper implies physiology has a profound role in markets, and that humans still have an edge on machines.

How Hinkley delivers a bad deal for everyone

September 15, 2016

The approval of Britain’s new nuclear power plant puts politics ahead of sense. Consumers could end up paying 15 bln pounds in today’s money. New ownership tests erode the country’s reputation for openness. Brexit has undermined Britain’s bargaining power.

Gauging luxury demand now more art than science

September 14, 2016

Watch-maker Richemont said first-half operating profit will be down 45 percent, with sales poor in all regions. Bag-maker Hermes is to scrap sales targets. With global GDP still to grow by 2.4 percent this year, brands can't just blame weak economies.

Carney guessing game feeds bond market distortion

September 13, 2016

The Bank of England has revealed corporate bonds eligible for its 10 billion pound buying spree. Its requirement that companies make a material contribution to the country still throws up some anomalies. Second-guessing the central bank makes capital markets less efficient.

Sugar can’t sweeten AB Foods’ retail slowdown

September 12, 2016

Sales are slowing at Primark, the fast-fashion chain that accounts for two-thirds of operating profit at the sugar-and-retail conglomerate. The weaker pound may hit the clothing chain's profitability next year. A widening pension deficit further sours AB Foods' prospects.

Britain’s grammar school plan gets 5 out of 10

September 9, 2016

Reintroducing selective schools won't necessarily fix the UK's two big problems: too-high inequality and too-low productivity. It fits, though, with an emerging trend of the state picking winners. Whether that works depends on the success of safeguards to protect the losers.

Banks ask for Brexit clarity they can’t have

September 8, 2016

Big financial groups want Britain’s chancellor to say what kind of settlement he wants after an EU exit. That’s understandable: they want to make plans. But it wouldn’t be smart for Philip Hammond to be too specific ahead of what will essentially be a poker game with EU peers.