Breakingviews

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.

Chancellor: Inequality breeds outbreak of populism

July 22, 2016

The rich have enjoyed most of the fruits of globalisation, just as they did in 19th-century America. Unless politicians can enact benign policies to rectify the widening gap between the have-somes and have-lots, more unpleasant alternatives will loom on the horizon.

Sports Direct scandal debunks UK employment glory

July 22, 2016

UK lawmakers have issued a damning report on the retailer and say working conditions hark back to Victorian times. Founder Mike Ashley has big problems to fix. But there’s a wider economic malaise if workers put up with such poor treatment even when the jobless rate is very low.

Trump chooses fear mongering over economic promise

July 22, 2016

The White House hopeful was anointed at the GOP convention. He and other speakers, like tech investor Peter Thiel, presented a dire picture. The economy is stable but violence at home and abroad has unnerved voters. The grim message, coupled with populist appeal, could resonate.

Assault on UK privilege has many possible targets

July 14, 2016

Theresa May wants to focus on more than the "privileged few". If Britain's new prime minister is serious, the most glaring disparities are in pensions, savings, housing and infrastructure. Action in these areas would go some way to healing north/south and young/old rifts.

Workers on boards only small step in UK governance

July 11, 2016

Theresa May, perhaps Britain's next prime minister, wants employees among company directors. Germany's 40-year-old union-heavy "Mitbestimmung" model - which goes further than the UK would - hasn't been the disaster predicted by industry, but it also has its downsides.