Spain at risk of a lost year

February 5, 2016

The country’s political parties still haven’t formed a government seven weeks after an inconclusive election. In the short term, it’s unlikely to have a big impact on the economy. But a prolonged stalemate could hurt confidence and sap momentum, as well as deter corporate deals.

Cox: Bloomberg’s White House hurdle is Wall Street

February 4, 2016

The media mogul mayor may yet try to be U.S. president. Hands down he’d be the richest contender ever. It would take extreme candidates Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz as nominees for Michael Bloomberg to run. The bigger issue is that he’d have his deep ties to finance to explain.

Brexit index: The “Out” risk is real

February 1, 2016

Britons are warming to the idea of Britain leaving the European Union, says a new Breakingviews Brexit index. It crunches nine different metrics to show the “Out” camp is gaining ground. The inputs include asylum applications, consumer confidence – and Daily Mail front pages.

Swiss 1MDB probe holds fat tail risks for Malaysia

February 1, 2016

Switzerland’s attorney general has indicated $4 bln was misappropriated from state firms, undermining Prime Minister Najib Razak’s efforts to shrug off the mess involving the sovereign fund. Though he can manage the fallout at home, foreign investigations are a lingering threat.

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.

Malaysia’s strongman faces a challenge to impress

January 21, 2016

Prime Minister Najib Razak has survived a political scandal over dubious payments he received. He has also managed to tame debt at the sovereign fund he championed. Though his position looks secure, low oil prices and racial divisions will test efforts to repair his legacy.

Cox: Trump set to invade Davos if in spirit only

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.

Taiwan’s new president inherits old economic woes

January 18, 2016

The island’s fortunes are uncomfortably tied to the tech industry and China, both of which are weakening. The electoral triumph of opposition leader Tsai Ing-wen reflects deep distrust of the mainland. Yet Taiwan’s president needs to keep her giant neighbour onside.

New Greek opposition leader may cause instability

By Hugo Dixon
January 11, 2016

The election of Mitsotakis, a liberal reformer, as leader of the centre-right New Democracy party means PM Tsipras now faces a credible opponent. While this is in Greece’s long-term interests, it raises the risk of short-term clashes between Athens and its euro zone creditors.

U.S. OK for IMF reforms could come just in time

December 17, 2015

Congress has wedged ratification of five-year-old changes into a deal to keep Washington running. The measures would give China and other emerging economies more say. With Venezuela one country that looks close to default, the IMF may soon need all the unity it can muster.