Breakingviews

Trump Inc rapidly turning from virtue to vice

July 28, 2016

Real-estate success helped him win the GOP nomination, but there's growing scrutiny of his record. Fellow New York mogul Mike Bloomberg led the charge at the Democratic convention. Trump's long trail of slippery business dealings will make his policy proposals harder to stand up.

Review: Trump foretold his own grander artifice

By Rob Cox
July 22, 2016

Despite recent misgivings by its ghostwriter, "Art of the Deal" is a useful volume to revisit as the Republican convention points to the November election. The blustery façade even in 1987 masked a dearth of substance. Potemkin showmanship was, and is, Trump's greatest skill.

Review: A bitter guffaw as Wall Street falls apart

December 11, 2015

The 2008 financial crisis was too complex for any one medium to tell it all. Journalists and protagonists have penned books. Hollywood has tried terse drama. There have been documentaries and radio shows. The film “The Big Short” goes for dark humor that barely masks disgust.

Deutsche Wohnen takes hostile bid defence too far

November 30, 2015

The German landlord has complicated a 14 bln euros approach by rival Vonovia by buying apartments worth 1.2 bln euros and taking on debt. True, it shows that Wohnen can gear its balance sheet up under its own steam, but there are less risky ways to make the case for independence.

Keep one eye on Sam Zell’s “For Sale” sign

October 26, 2015

The U.S. real estate mogul’s Equity Residential is offloading a collection of apartments for $5.4 bln. While Zell got the timing right as a seller in 2007, so did buyer Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood in 2009. The one big difference is Zell’s two extra decades of investing experience.

New ANZ boss stuck in strategic mid-ocean

October 1, 2015

Mike Smith is leaving as CEO of the $55 bln Australian lender after eight years. Beefing up in Asia has proved less lucrative than he hoped. Yet a slowing home economy and tightening regulation mean successor Shayne Elliott may have to stay centered somewhere in between.

WeWork stretches sharing-economy valuations

June 26, 2015

The groovy provider of office space - and beer - to millennial workers is now worth $10 bln after its latest funding round, doubling in just six months. WeWork is growing fast, but based on established rivals’ metrics earnings would need to jump 15-fold to justify that price tag.

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.

Blackstone brandishes its long-term bona fides

April 17, 2015

Nearly eight years after going public, the buyout shop is taking a victory lap. Its shares finally trade noticeably above the IPO price, and Q1 results suggest Blackstone’s model is working. Even so, owners of the firm’s equity may prove more fickle than investors in its funds.

Mall king’s $22 bln bid tests its hostile nature

March 9, 2015

A frustrated Simon Property unveiled a bear-hug offer to buy smaller rival Macerich. The top U.S. shopping center owner has used similar tactics many times before, with mixed results. The structure of the real estate industry tends to require aggression but it also can backfire.