Breakingviews

 
A reported injection of $81 billion via big banks equates to less than a month of credit. It won’t restore rapid growth, but may help cash-strapped companies pay their bills for a while. High debt and low liquidity are forcing authorities into increasingly intricate manoeuvres.

Henry Kravis spins a different kind of club deal

The buyout baron’s KKR is buying Pioneer’s DJ audio equipment business for $550 mln. It’s Abenomics meets Ibiza for the private equity firm’s latest trendy investment. Kravis is laying down a smooth groove in a funky M&A market, but could be late to the dance music party.

Applying corporate finance to nations

Breakups and spinoffs generally make public companies run better, become more accountable and deliver greater value to their constituents. As Scotland prepares for a historic vote on independence, it’s worth considering whether the same logic might also be valid for governments.

No-debt mania continues to dictate German policies

Angela Merkel’s rhetoric on higher investment is shifting, but actual policy changes will remain symbolic. Perpetuating a balanced budget continues to be her government’s priority. That is misguided and harmful, but German voters seem to like that fundamentalist approach.

Alibaba's small IPO hike leaves room for believers

Boosting the maximum share price by 3 pct won’t affect appetite for the Chinese e-commerce giant’s $21 bln-plus offering. Investors appear more focused on Alibaba’s growth prospects than on governance risks. That points to a warm reception when it starts trading later this week.

Hedge-fund-free – the latest Californian fad?

Calpers, the $300 bln pension manager, is offloading its $4 bln of hedge funds. Too many in the 2-and-20 crowd look like stock pickers yet still present liquidity risks and, lately, low returns. Endowments are different, but for retirement funds Calpers could be setting a trend.

Why buybacks should be banned

Some share repurchases get Warren Buffett’s seal of approval. But the great investor is on the wrong track. Buybacks are really dividends by another name. The price doesn’t matter. Besides, the practice is unfair to some shareholders and to governments. The world would be better without them.