Luxury overexpansion pads against country risk

November 17, 2015

Labels like Gucci and Hermes tend to suffer after incidents like the Paris shootings because they rely on confidence and tourism. But years of runaway growth may leave luxury better positioned than before. Companies are now less exposed to any single region.

Dixon: Syrian peace process offers hope post-Paris

By Hugo Dixon
November 16, 2015

After the attacks, outside powers called for a ceasefire followed by a political transition. A big obstacle is that Russia and America don’t agree on what should happen to Assad. But it’s the best chance to end the war, crush Islamic State and solve the refugee crisis.

Hadas: The BRICs are dead. Long live the BRICs!

By Edward Hadas
November 11, 2015

Goldman Sachs coined the acronym in the 2000s when Brazil, Russia, India and China promised the greatest economic shift in a century. Now Goldman is closing its flailing BRIC fund. But poor countries are still gaining on rich ones, and their base for growth is getting more solid.

IEA history lesson makes $100 oil more likely

November 10, 2015

The Paris-based International Energy Agency says the world’s reliance on low-cost Middle East oil could return to 1970s levels. By cutting capex, oil majors are bolstering that dependence. Supply squeezes could feed through to higher crude sooner rather than later.

Russia has levers to cope with oil squeeze

September 3, 2015

A low oil price will dent growth and public revenues, and Russia needs rebalancing. Yet President Vladimir Putin can hold the line by drawing on reserves and even inflating regional deficits, while the rouble’s fall helps competitiveness. That could enable a fragile equilibrium.

Rob Cox: The world’s hardest central bank job

July 16, 2015

It’s not Yellen’s, Draghi’s or Kuroda’s. Russian central bank chief Elvira Nabiullina faces a unique bouquet of challenges. On top of a weak oil price and ruble, nettlesome inflation and Western sanctions, there’s Vladimir Putin. Under the circumstances, she deserves a medal.

Rob Cox: Russia sanctions’ unintended consequences

June 9, 2015

Russian cheese production is booming. So are Putin’s approval ratings. Relations with China have never been better. Free-market entrepreneurs are being financially squeezed while the Kremlin and its banks coddle state-owned enterprises. This can’t be what the West hoped for.

Thruppence: Should World Cup hosts foot FIFA woes?

By Breakingviews Columnists
June 5, 2015

U.S. authorities are investigating how soccer’s governing body awarded the event to Russia and Qatar. As FIFA’s problems proliferate beyond graft indictments, Breakingviews columnists debate whether it is fair or practical to deprive host countries of the sport’s global fiesta.

Rob Cox: If FIFA were a country it would be Russia

June 2, 2015

The soccer federation run by Sepp Blatter and the Russian one headed by Vladimir Putin operate as baroque patronage systems, their bosses doling out favors from the center. Power derives from keeping constituents both fragmented and well heeled.

Rob Cox: Pirelli flirts with joke version of hell

March 26, 2015

That’s where the chefs are British, the lovers Swiss and the mechanics French. Pirelli risks becoming the corporate equivalent: the management Italian (as in the joke), its owner a Chinese state enterprise, and other partners Russian. Minority investors won’t find it funny.