Breakingviews

 
Too much production accounts for about half of the oil price slide, by one calculation. The surplus of cheap crude should boost oil-importers’ GDP. But the gains may not materialise, thanks to central banks’ ultra-low interest rates and wobbling anti-deflation credentials.

U.S. $16 bln paper deal requires precise folding

Rock-Tenn and MeadWestvaco shareholders will split their combined company evenly, with a balanced board. Investors are already inking in $300 mln of annual cuts, pushing both stocks up. Mergers that look equal, though, can still provoke business and cultural upheaval.

Greek banks will have to live hand to mouth

After Syriza’s victory comes a long haggle over debt reduction for Athens. While this drags on, liquidity-short Greek banks have to rely on uncertain funding signed off by the ECB. The struggle to survive will delay dealing with another headache: their mountains of bad debt.

Obama's nuclear gift to Modi is shrewd investment

The U.S. president has unblocked a stalled nuclear power deal with India, allowing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to build new reactors. While that will boost orders for GE-Hitachi and Westinghouse, bigger gains to the U.S. economy will come from ending India’s energy deficit.

Italy gets its mojo back - at least in Davos

After keeping a lower profile as its economy contracted, the actual sick man of Europe struck “la bella figura” at the WEF annual meeting. The youthful Renzi government’s disruptive style put a spring in the step of Italy’s business leaders. Real reform, however, is only beginning.

Putin, Piketty and Draghi hit Davos in spirit only

Political and financial leaders attending the World Economic Forum’s 45th annual meeting are buzzing about rampant inequality, the ECB’s quantitative easing and Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. All that’s missing from the Alpine retreat are the three provocateurs of the debates.

Review: The Mad Men are watching you

A lot happens in a split second online, much of it good for the ad industry but worrying for privacy advocates. Instant auctions to push tailored ads to individuals are growing fast, says “Targeted” author Mike Smith. The ad men will need ever more personal data to fuel them.