VW victims eclipsed by firms that bet on lawsuits

November 17, 2015

A firm backed by hedge fund Elliott is bankrolling a case claiming the carmaker duped shareholders. There are other customer and investor actions, too. The financial muscle makes huge awards more likely. But the real losers may take a back seat if court fights are just business.

Cox: Drought, not just of ideas, challenges Africa

November 12, 2015

The sub-Saharan region, once a bright spot for global growth, faces a worrying triple whammy. A lack of rainfall threatens agriculture and hydropower. Low commodity prices are taking a bite. Fold in sliding currencies, and inflation threatens stability and economic prospects.

New York coal settlement could be climate canary

November 9, 2015

Peabody’s deal with state prosecutors over misleading atmospheric risks may inform a similar probe of Exxon. Though the lack of fines is a weak sign, the miner at least must share its assessment of possible climate rules. That could expose the danger of stranded energy assets.

Three roadblocks to real change at scandal-hit VW

November 4, 2015

Family shareholders, unions and the Lower Saxon state all stand in the way of sweeping reforms the carmaker needs, such as an outside chairman. A share-price implosion might sway the family, but for the others to agree, Chancellor Angela Merkel may need to bang heads together.

VW’s new fiasco puts governance back in crosshairs

November 3, 2015

The carmaker is taking a 2 bln euro charge after saying it may have cheated on fuel-economy stats, too. This escalation yet again flags VW’s rotten processes and culture. Appointing outsiders as directors, chairman and even CEO would be the best way to prove it’s cleaning house.

Cash-rich VW braced for dieselgate impact

October 28, 2015

Third-quarter earnings don’t yet reflect the effect of the carmaker’s emissions scandal, besides slightly increasing its recall cost provision to 6.7 bln euros. Strong cashflow and stable demand for its cars suggest VW is in decent shape to absorb the likely financial impact.

Volkswagen can take $80 bln hit before crumpling

October 15, 2015

The carmaker faces hefty penalties, legal fees and recall costs. But if its main business can be kept stable, VW can weather dieselgate without a capital increase or a breakup, Breakingviews analysis shows. Cash generation and strategic cuts give it room to absorb shocks.

VW scandal fuels investor fears about environment

October 13, 2015

Shareholders managing some $1 trln in assets are pushing the biggest carmakers to disclose how emissions rules affect their businesses. The investors also want to know about the companies’ links to regulators. It’s another sign of how climate issues can sometimes take the wheel.

Rob Cox: VW needs an eight-step recovery plan

October 13, 2015

That’s the minimum number of constituencies the $68 bln carmaker, snagged in a giant engineering deception, must now mollify to restore credibility. Customers, investors, suppliers, dealers, governments, unions, staff and ordinary people each will require a unique approach.

Rob Cox: Tianjin deserves to be a Cuyahoga moment

August 20, 2015

The chemical blasts that rocked China’s No. 6 city have exposed a lethal coziness between industry, government and party - and an endemic failure to put human life over economic development. Like the time an Ohio river caught fire in 1969, this feels like a wake-up call.