Breakingviews

 
The government has pushed back its deficit reduction target in order to boost spending on roads, rail and power. New Delhi is now unmistakably pursuing a public investment-led growth strategy. It’s an opportunity that rich nations, which can borrow far more cheaply, are missing.

U.S. student loans could need $500 bln bailout

Borrowing for education has soared over the past decade, ballooning to $1.2 trln and growing far faster than GDP. With serious delinquencies at 11 pct and Washington on the hook, there’s a mess in the making. A Breakingviews calculator shows how big Uncle Sam’s exposure could get.

Lloyds investment case hinges on its next dividend

The UK bank’s first payout since 2008 is an encouraging milestone. But it’s largely symbolic. The critical valuation issue is whether Lloyds’ pledge to pay out at least half its future earnings represents a floor or a ceiling - and whether the regulator allows fatter payouts.

Review: Building HSBC's sprawling, flawed empire

The Hong Kong bank grew into one of the world’s biggest financial institutions. But poor results and a furore over Swiss tax make for an unhappy 150th anniversary. A new history shows how hands-off management and breakneck M&A under former chairman John Bond are partly to blame.

India goes back to future with $137 bln rail push

The government’s ambitious plan will require finesse in raising money. But the investment case is strong. India’s British rulers reaped huge productivity gains by building out the railways 150 years ago. Modernizing the dilapidated network could produce even better returns.

StanChart board clearout is only the first step

Installing Bill Winters as CEO to replace Peter Sands ends the short-term uncertainty about the bank’s leadership. But the former JPMorgan executive will face an overflowing inbox when he takes charge in June. Capital, credit quality and returns will be the immediate priorities.

Rob Cox: Welcome to the new, global Tangentopoli

Corruption is causing trouble for elites from Sao Paulo to Virginia and Santiago to London. Inequality can be a tolerable byproduct of free-market capitalism, but not when the winners are profiting from a rigged system. As a new book argues, such gains encourage radicalism.