Breakingviews

Corbyn is global symbol not of rage but confusion

September 23, 2016

The UK Labour Party leader, facing re-election this weekend, has split the left in two. Divisive figures like Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump reflect a new difficulty in identifying heroes and villains. An old foe, globalisation, is in retreat, yet perceived inequality persists.

Britain’s grammar school plan gets 5 out of 10

September 9, 2016

Reintroducing selective schools won't necessarily fix the UK's two big problems: too-high inequality and too-low productivity. It fits, though, with an emerging trend of the state picking winners. Whether that works depends on the success of safeguards to protect the losers.

Banks ask for Brexit clarity they can’t have

September 8, 2016

Big financial groups want Britain’s chancellor to say what kind of settlement he wants after an EU exit. That’s understandable: they want to make plans. But it wouldn’t be smart for Philip Hammond to be too specific ahead of what will essentially be a poker game with EU peers.

Global leaders test limits of spreading wealth

September 6, 2016

“Inclusion” was the buzzword at the G20 conflab. A fairer distribution of the fruits of growth is urgent when globalisation is under attack in the West. The challenge for politicians is to reduce inequality within rich countries without the rest of the world suffering.

May’s migrant musings a cautious positive for City

September 5, 2016

The UK prime minister has cast doubt on the efficacy of a so-called points-based immigration system post-Brexit. That sounds good for UK financial firms hit by restrictions on non-EU workers. The catch is Theresa May has little choice but to get net migration down somehow.

Renzi’s referendum gamble could be double or pits

August 15, 2016

Defeat in Italy's upcoming constitutional referendum could cost PM Matteo Renzi his job, and leave important reforms unfinished. A victory too could end badly. It could leave a strong Renzi government, but also pave the way for one led by the radical 5-Star party.

UK fracking revolution calls for national thinking

August 12, 2016

Handouts to disgruntled communities and tax breaks are unlikely to make shale gas extraction more appealing for investors, given the shaky outlook for prices. A better strategy could be to create a national drilling titan in the mould of Norway's Statoil to get Britain fracking.

Hong Kong’s special status is in need of renewal

August 4, 2016

The former colony has mostly thrived in the 19 years since China took charge with a promise to leave it alone until 2047. But society is divided and the rule of law under strain. Without reassurances about its long-term future, Hong Kong faces an exodus of citizens and companies.

Tax overhaul boosts Modi’s reform credentials

August 3, 2016

India is set to pass a bill paving a path to a long-awaited goods and services tax. Exemptions will dilute the potential boost to growth. But the bill is evidence that the prime minister can compromise to get things done. That bodes well for a long wish list of other reforms.

Dixon: Stock markets too sanguine about Brexit

July 28, 2016

Investors think the UK will settle easily into a new deal with the European Union. More likely there will be cabinet wrangles, tortuous negotiations with the EU, and an unsatisfactory conclusion.