Breakingviews

India beats timely retreat from fiscal tyranny

September 2, 2015

The finance minister has retracted a flawed plan to tax foreign fund managers’ past earnings. Jittery global markets may have hastened the truce. Settling similar disputes with Vodafone and Cairn would show the government is belatedly keeping its promise to end “tax terrorism”.

Google EU antitrust spat riddled with holes

August 28, 2015

The search giant’s robust response to a European challenge over price comparison tools ratchets up a complex theoretical battle over what makes a monopoly. Yet the dispute misses a broader point: it’s hard to see how any likely outcome will make a massive difference to consumers.

Rob Cox: Tianjin deserves to be a Cuyahoga moment

August 20, 2015

The chemical blasts that rocked China’s No. 6 city have exposed a lethal coziness between industry, government and party - and an endemic failure to put human life over economic development. Like the time an Ohio river caught fire in 1969, this feels like a wake-up call.

New bank M&A powerhouse leaves rivals for dead

August 19, 2015

Regional U.S. lender BB&T’s $1.8 bln swoop for National Penn is its fourth deal in a year. The acquisition makes financial sense and is more proof the Fed supports industry tie-ups. The longer other banks stay on the sidelines, the more it’ll look like they fear rejection.

Goldman’s bank deal swaps one risk for another

August 14, 2015

Snapping up $16 bln of deposits from GE Capital helps cut the firm’s costs and reliance on bond market financing. Regulators may be happy, but the more deposits it has, the more Goldman, like Morgan Stanley, can use them to fund some trading. That poses systemic issues, too.

Edward Hadas: Tom Hayes had the wrong standards

By Edward Hadas
August 12, 2015

The convicted trader said he was like most people. They just “do their job” without asking whether it is honest or dishonest. He has a point. Society requires such upward ethical delegation and it usually works pretty well. Except, that is, in the financial world.

StanChart hired gun Promontory shoots self in foot

August 3, 2015

New York regulators say the politically cozy firm whitewashed a probe of the bank and have suspended it from advising lenders. The penalty may curb conflicts and stings more than a mere fine. Maybe U.S. watchdogs will take the hint and stop waiving the consequences of misdeeds.

BNP Paribas’ M&A machine spits out growth and risk

July 31, 2015

France’s top bank by assets cranked out resurgent second-quarter earnings of 2.6 bln euros. Three takeovers in 2014 are delivering results. Yet dealmaking sprawl has tripped up rivals in the past. It might be a good time for the Belgian state to trim its 10 pct stake.

Breakdown: Watchdogs chew on health insurer deals

July 24, 2015

Anthem and Cigna are the latest big U.S. providers to serve up a blockbuster merger. But they and their peers need to satisfy a slew of regulators before chowing down. Here’s a look at the agencies and the transactions officials may be asked to swallow in a concentrated industry.

John Thain leads way for U.S. regional bank M&A

July 22, 2015

The CIT boss – and last CEO of Merrill Lynch – secured regulatory approval to buy OneWest. It’s the first deal to create a systemically important financial institution. It should clear the way for more mergers for banks fearful of regulators but in need of profit boosters.