Breakingviews

British retail sleepwalks into Amazon-ageddon

July 8, 2016

Real-world stores are burdened with poor demand, too much property and thinning profit. The U.S. tech giant, meanwhile, is hiring 1,000 UK staff and pushing into fashion and groceries. The UK's economic problems could be a decisive moment in the online land grab.

France at risk of catching referendum bug

June 21, 2016

Giving French voters a say on EU membership would pose a far bigger risk to the bloc than the British vote. Mainstream Gallic politicians know this. Yet the rise of the far right could make it tempting to take the sort of pre-election gamble that enticed UK premier David Cameron.

Time for banks to go cold turkey on sovereign fix

April 18, 2016

Europe is considering tightening rules that make it easy for lenders to own government debt. Banks addicted to sovereign punts would suffer, and governments lose wiggle room. Yet reform could hasten euro area integration, while ECB bond-buying makes it a less scary prospect.

Dixon: Turkey deal offers a lot – if it sticks

March 8, 2016

An offer to reduce disorderly migration would cut the risk of Britain leaving the EU and Greece quitting the euro. It would also shore up German Chancellor Merkel’s position, helping stabilise the EU and the Schengen Area. What it won’t do is stop anti-migrant populism in Europe.

LSE merger of equal-ness is a red herring

March 4, 2016

Is it a merger? Are they really equals? It matters not. Deutsche Boerse’s approach for its UK rival could leave London Stock Exchange shareholders 16 pct better off. If a spoiler comes from U.S. peer ICE, value not format is what should guide LSE’s board and boss Xavier Rolet.

Peugeot could rev revival by scrapping luxury line

February 24, 2016

The French group has become one of Europe’s most profitable mass-market carmakers under boss Carlos Tavares, with a 5 pct operating margin in 2015. But a costly plan for a new premium brand risks spoiling the performance. Junking the idea would speed an already healthy recovery.

SocGen triumphalism rings hollow

February 11, 2016

Boss Frederic Oudea hailed the “good” full-year result for the French bank’s main business lines as he hiked dividends to half of earnings. But new legal provisions put Societe Generale’s fourth-quarter return on equity at 4.7 pct. With costs up, his confidence seems misplaced.

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

By Rob Cox
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.