Breakingviews

Hugo Dixon: Greece has no good Plan Bs

By Hugo Dixon
March 9, 2015

Defaulting on its debts and quitting the euro would be a disaster. So would imposing capital controls, while defaulting and staying in the single currency. Athens has no rational course of action apart from working with its creditors to vigorously reform its economy.

Italian mega-tax would be game-changer

By Hugo Dixon
September 13, 2011

An Italian mega-tax would be a game-changer. A one-off wealth tax of 400 billion euros, as proposed by the former UniCredit boss, Alessandro Profumo, would solve Italy’s debt problem, thus helping reverse the euro crisis in general.

China’s friendly blackmail of EU may do the trick

September 14, 2011

It’s no surprise that China’s pledges of support for indebted trade partners come with strings. But Premier Wen Jiabao, addressing the World Economic Forum on Sept. 14, was unusually blunt about what he expects in return: to be named by Europe as a market economy.

How Europe can get more bang for its bailout buck

September 22, 2011

Europe's bailout fund is no longer fit for purpose. As the euro zone's sovereign debt crisis has spread to Spain and Italy, the 440 billion euro fund looks increasingly puny.

Europe can protect itself against a Greek default

By Hugo Dixon
September 26, 2011

The rest of Europe can and must protect itself against a Greek default. A three-pronged plan is required: 150-200 billion euros to recapitalise banks across the region; extra liquidity, again for banks; and a beefed-up bailout fund to help Italy, if needed.

UK should participate in EU bank recap exercise

By Hugo Dixon
October 7, 2011

Britain shouldn't distance itself from the European Union's bank rescue plan. The UK may wish to wriggle out of recapitalising its lenders on the grounds that the euro crisis is across the English Channel, but there are good reasons to play ball.

EU bank recap may be smaller than feared and hoped

October 18, 2011

Bailing out Europe’s banks may be less expensive than governments feared -- and investors hoped. European Union officials are discussing a plan that would require lenders to hit a demanding core Tier 1 capital ratio of 9 percent, but not factor in the effects of a deep recession.

Roman politics could gum Europe up

By Hugo Dixon
October 31, 2011

The euro’s future hangs on Italy – and Italy’s future hangs on its politics. The best way forward would be a grand coalition replacing Berlusconi’s discredited government. But after the PM’s latest Houdini act, that doesn’t seem likely and other scenarios aren’t as attractive.

Spain isn’t as uncompetitive as you think

October 31, 2011

The country’s unemployment rate scales new heights even as Spain’s exporters seem surprisingly resilient. The snag is that there aren’t enough of them to get the country growing again.

U.S. money funds may not be players in next crisis

November 9, 2011

Money market funds have a bit part in the euro zone crunch as short-term lenders to European banks. U.S. regulators, meanwhile, want to end the fiction that they are just rebadged savings accounts. The industry won’t like that, but the global financial system could be safer.