Breakingviews

UK taxpayers hurt more by EU split than HSBC exit

May 19, 2015

Deutsche Bank and its rivals could move operations out of London if Britons vote to leave the EU. That would dent the main source of UK tax from the financial sector - income tax on bankers. It’s a bigger loss than reduced bank levy receipts from HSBC moving its head office.

Rob Cox: EU’s new trustbuster begins with a bang

April 21, 2015

Since becoming Brussels’ antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager has taken action against the twin monsters of the digital and energy worlds: Google and Gazprom. But her battles on the Eastern and Western fronts of market abuse may leave Europe’s M&A boom plenty of room to flourish.

Time for Greece’s Alexis Tsipras to keep his nerve in debt battle

By Hugo Dixon
February 21, 2015

The new Greek PM has crossed a Rubicon in asking for an extension to the country’s hated bailout programme while abandoning many election promises. Tsipras should realise there is no turning back. But he can snatch victory from defeat if he embraces radical reforms with vigour.

Rob Cox: Fragility bigger worry than volatility

October 21, 2014

Recent rollercoaster markets are a symptom of a more concerning malady. They reflect the shock accompanying recognition that widely accepted assumptions about everything from monetary policy to geopolitics, and even the state of global health, are dangerously flimsy.

Calculator: Does Scoxit = Brexit?

By Hugo Dixon
September 12, 2014

If Scotland votes for independence, one of the knock-on effects could be on Britain’s membership of the European Union. This calculator quantifies the political risks posed by the Scottish referendum for the UK in Europe.

Banks risk provoking EU with bonus get-arounds

September 2, 2014

Firms are paying top staff extra “allowances” in response to European bonus caps. That avoids raising base salaries and keeps costs flexible. The risk is that successful avoidance of the rules will prompt policymakers to shift the attack to pay quantum rather than pay structure.

The EU has only itself to blame for ratings mess

By Hugo Dixon
July 7, 2011

Europe has wasted many chances to neuter the power of credit ratings agencies. Instead they choose to fetishize them.

EU banks’ summer funding lull may bring autumn woe

August 18, 2011

European banks have had a nervy summer. Indicators of stress in bank funding markets are flashing red, raising fears of another 2008-style crisis. Those concerns look misplaced for now. But if markets don't improve, the autumn could bring fresh problems.

Euro-recession, not rebellion, is what boxes UK in

October 26, 2011

An E.U. protest vote by members of his own party has knocked the UK prime minister. For the moment, the Conservative party rebellion is largely symbolic. But it could be the thin end of the wedge. David Cameron, just like Margaret Thatcher before him, risks being undermined by his party's euro-divisions.

Draghi pours cold water on euro zone grand bargain

December 9, 2011

The European Central Bank has cut interest rates and taken steps to help banks in order to fend off a looming recession. But by insisting on the “spirit” of the EU’s founding treaties, its president has signalled that governments can’t count on him to be the euro zone’s saviour.