Breakingviews

Hugo Dixon: The big fat Greek blame game

By Hugo Dixon
June 22, 2015

If Greece collapses, the biggest chunk of the blame will go to whoever behaves most unreasonably in the final stages of the current game of chicken. So both sides have an incentive to accommodate each other’s reasonable positions. Hopefully, they realise this.

Hugo Dixon: Greek negotiations need extra time

By Hugo Dixon
June 17, 2015

Despite the inflammatory rhetoric and lack of trust, Athens and its creditors might still be able to do a deal. But to get an agreement, a little more time may be needed. The creditors shouldn’t truncate the talks.

Greece and creditors are not really far apart

By Edward Hadas
June 15, 2015

The brink keeps getting closer, but there’s agreement on broad principles. The fight is over 2 bln euros, 1 pct of Greek GDP and 0.02 pct of euro zone GDP. The damage from failure is many times larger. A deal can be done - if only politics and pride can be overcome.

UK blithely signs up to Germany’s worst idea

June 10, 2015

Chancellor George Osborne is to enshrine budget surpluses in state legislation. For a nation with low interest rates and sagging productivity, aping German deficit-phobia is nuts. But plain thinking wins votes because the public has learned to mistrust the wisdom of economists.

Hugo Dixon: Greek ultimatum is a bad idea

By Hugo Dixon
June 1, 2015

Some say the euro zone and IMF should present Greece with a take-it-or-leave-it offer, set a deadline, and threaten to cut off its banks if it doesn’t agree. This could play into the hands of Greek nationalists who would argue that foreigners were again bullying Athens.

Review: Modernizing Mexico, one feud at a time

May 22, 2015

Two Mexicos coexist, one an insular land of hard-to-kill monopolies in politics and business, the other more outward-looking, embracing modernity and even the United States. In “Amarres perros” pundit-politician Jorge Castañeda recalls a life of trying to change the balance.

Renzi is still dodging big Italian pension fight

May 21, 2015

The prime minister has found a clever way to blunt a constitutional court ruling on pensions that threatened to blow a hole in Italy’s budget. That avoids a conflict with Brussels. But he hasn’t bitten the bullet on the bigger pension issue: bloated spending that stifles growth.

UK politics is failing the trust test

By Hugo Dixon
May 4, 2015

In the run-up to the May 7 election, the public has lambasted leaders of the established parties for breaking promises and lack of candour. While the critique is healthy, Britain has yet to give birth to leaders who score high on integrity. This is needed, not just in the UK.

Ready-reckoning the markets post-UK election

April 29, 2015

Next week’s British general election is unlikely to produce a clear winner. But a government will eventually be formed, even if it takes a second vote. Different medium-term trends will emerge after the inevitable short-run volatility in sterling, gilts and UK-listed stocks.

Labour to gain from “follow the money” UK voting

April 24, 2015

People vote with their wallets. The governing Conservative coalition may earn credit for presiding over five years of low interest rates and a strongish pound. But a Breakingviews calculator suggests a weaker record on growth, house prices and stocks could swing votes to Labour.