Spanish government begins to make up for lost time

October 24, 2016

The country's Socialist Party will allow acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy a second term, ending 10 months of political deadlock. His minority administration will now begin arduous tasks like cutting the budget deficit as the economy slows. A fractured parliament won't help.

Philippines U.S. “goodbye” can fix China FDI gap

October 21, 2016

President Rodrigo Duterte's boast of ditching America for China plays well in Beijing. Cash is a major motivation. China is under-invested in the Philippines compared to elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Funds from the People's Republic can help Duterte deliver on big promises.

Defiant losers are becoming a costly problem

October 20, 2016

Pro-EU campaigners and Britons who live near airports have challenged the will of the majority. Donald Trump may not accept U.S. election results. In finance, companies regularly face and resolve such insurrections. Solutions are similar in politics, but harder to implement.

Final debate leaves American assets less secure

October 20, 2016

The candidates faced off for the last time before the election. The event was supposed to focus on entitlements and the economy. Instead, voters got little substance, more rancor – and no commitment by Donald Trump to accept the will of the people. America just got a bit riskier.

RBS’s Russian goof sets tone for UK state meddling

October 18, 2016

The UK lender is reviewing a decision to stop banking a supplier of Russian broadcaster RT. It could just be a business matter, but RBS’s 73 pct state holding makes it seem political. If a post-EU Britain is heading for more use of subsidies, such confusion will recur.

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.