Breakingviews

 
The Apple CEO’s decision to speak publicly about being gay should help advance the march toward acceptance. As boss of the world’s biggest company by market value, Cook could inspire others, giving C-suites and boardrooms more choice. They could use it.

REIT scandal could be good test for Sarbanes-Oxley

American Realty Capital Properties says its false financials were intentionally left uncorrected. Details are scant, but that sounds tailor-made for the Enron-inspired law. After more than a decade as an afterthought for U.S. prosecutors, the reform may have a chance to shine.

New Shell chairman has a tough job on his hands

Charles Holliday arrives at the Anglo-Dutch major as oil prices slump towards $85 a barrel. After a dismal 2013, Shell is making good progress. But while Holliday has sound experience at DuPont and Bank of America, he will need to learn the tricks of his new trade quickly.

QE gave emerging markets brief gains, lasting pain

Six years of money-printing in the United States have ended. The $4 trillion splurge may have averted a deeper slump. But for developing countries it fueled a credit binge while bringing only a fleeting boost to growth. Many will now struggle to boost output and repay the debt.

Deutsche Bank’s fixed income wager yet to pay off

The German group hasn’t yet paid all the high legal costs of past sins or satisfied future regulations. But its biggest bet is that investment banks are in a merely cyclical, not a structural, decline. Despite solid third quarter trading revenue, the case is far from proven.

Train merger could be China's ticket to elite club

Coupling together two big train-builders into a domestic monopoly sounds like a step backwards. But it would help China better compete against an oligopoly of big, rich-world rivals. For a growing superpower, that probably seems a good enough reason to bend the market norms.

Sky-high valuations no match for earnings reality

Investors knocked more than 10 pct, or well over $3 bln, off Twitter’s worth despite sales doubling. Blame the company’s overdone value multiples. Similar knocks to Amazon, Netflix, Pandora, Chipotle and Yelp show the danger when quarterly numbers can’t match a bullish story.