Breakingviews

UK business faces its own In-Out dilemma on Europe

January 21, 2016

The British prime minister wants companies not to “hold back” on Britain’s future in Europe. Such a call must be heeded with caution. If the pro-EU debate hinges on what’s good for business – or even worse, the City – it may backfire.

VW plea from Brussels confuses cause and effect

January 20, 2016

EU officials are urging the German carmaker to compensate Europeans like U.S drivers. VW’s two-tier scandal response, however, simply reflects the weaker emissions regime put in place by diesel-loving policymakers. Stricter standards will warrant tougher enforcement – next time.

Cox: Trump set to invade Davos if in spirit only

January 19, 2016

The blustery real estate mogul isn’t due to attend the World Economic Forum with other business and political leaders, but the force behind his unlikely campaign for the White House will. Populism finds its roots in the inequality that Davos both represents and tries to solve.

Guest view: Euro zone needs workable banking union

By Guest Contributor
January 12, 2016

The 19 member states have so far failed to put in place a full regime of bank oversight, argues former Citi exec William Rhodes. As U.S. and euro zone interest rate policies diverge, this is a big risk. To complete banking union, agreement on proper deposit insurance is a must.

New Greek opposition leader may cause instability

By Hugo Dixon
January 11, 2016

The election of Mitsotakis, a liberal reformer, as leader of the centre-right New Democracy party means PM Tsipras now faces a credible opponent. While this is in Greece’s long-term interests, it raises the risk of short-term clashes between Athens and its euro zone creditors.

Wall Street’s pay reveal has germ of a good idea

January 6, 2016

U.S. banks now say how many of their staff in Europe earned 1 mln euros or more in 2014. Knowing that 1,107 bankers from the top five did so is no great surprise. But JPMorgan’s policy of cancelling bonuses if long-term return targets aren’t met could make pay more defensible.

Dixon: EU enters brave new world of bank bail-ins

By Hugo Dixon
January 4, 2016

Europe has wasted too much taxpayers’ money rescuing failing lenders. So it is right to try to get investors to help foot the bill in future. But the tough new regime carries political risks which could make the rumpus caused by recent bail-ins in Italy and Portugal look minor.

European populism poised for troubling second wave

December 31, 2015

Southern Europe’s high debts and unemployment made it ripe for populism, but movements like Podemos have been held in check partly by economic recovery. They may now gather steam in other European countries, feeding on growing anti-immigration and eurosceptic sentiment.

Luxury groups could shrink their way to riches

December 30, 2015

Labels like Prada and LVMH have spent a decade expanding like crazy to meet emerging market demand. Burberry has tripled its store base. It’s time to go the other way. While cutting back will be painful, it could spur higher luxury valuations. Hermes is one that has it right.

Giants of central banking will be cut down to size

December 30, 2015

The limited power of the Draghis and Yellens of the world is evident. They can’t conjure up inflation and the market impact of unorthodox monetary policies has waned. Rate-setters did their bit to support the global economy. It’s time fiscal and wage policies did more work.