Breakingviews

Iran election is key driver of oil price recovery

February 25, 2016

Iranians will on Feb. 26 vote in the first election held since a deal with the U.S. to lift sanctions. Elect moderates and Iran could increase output, keeping global oil prices low. Go for hardliners, and the gush could be a trickle – and help OPEC reverse the slump.

Cox: Argentina, Aramco are deals for tricky times

By Rob Cox
January 26, 2016

Two big transactions dominated Davos. One would open up a democracy to capital markets after years of feckless governance and isolation. The other is designed to help a repressive regime retain power. In the world’s current parlous state, it’s to be hoped that both get done.

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.

Britain’s exit from Europe: 28 days later

December 24, 2015

Sometime in the future, some notes are found. Purportedly written by an adviser to David Cameron, they chronicle events in the month after the UK voted to leave the European Union. It’s a vision of banker exoduses, surprising new investors and mountains of unsold pork pies.

Dixon: How the EU could woo the UK

November 23, 2015

The British prime minister wants to rework the UK’s relationship with Europe. Once complete, other EU leaders could launch a charm offensive to persuade Britain it is valued and influential, and to vote to stay in the union. Here’s what Merkel, Hollande, Renzi, et al could say.

Poland’s tilt to nationalism is bad for investment

October 26, 2015

The country’s eurosceptic Law and Justice party has claimed victory in the national election. A likely absolute majority would embolden it to take a more statist approach, including a new balance-sheet levy on banks. Poland’s long-running free-market success is now at risk.

Merkel deserves to survive migrant crisis

October 20, 2015

The German chancellor’s welcome to refugees is backfiring at home. Critics abound in her own party, her popularity is low and right-wing populists are flourishing. Yet Merkel has two things in her favour: the German economy looks solid and her opponents lack a credible leader.

Euro zone rediscovers sloppy fiscal policy

October 15, 2015

Deficits are creeping up in Spain, Italy and even growth star Ireland. Reasons include easy money and pre-election spending. As yet, the gaps aren’t dangerously big. What’s more worrying is poor spending decisions, slowing reforms and fiscal dissonance between member states.

Hugo Dixon: European populism can be tamed

October 12, 2015

Demagogic movements of the left and right have gained traction in most European Union countries in recent years. A mixture of competence, fairness and leadership can combat them. There are signs that the fightback is succeeding.

China criticism makes even Li Ka-shing defensive

September 30, 2015

The Hong Kong tycoon has rejected accusations that he is turning his back on the mainland. Yet the fact he felt the need to issue a defence shows the hostile terrain now facing business leaders in China. Shrill allegations of treachery will only make them less willing to invest.