Breakingviews

 
Germans are flirting with a recession that may usher in a new era of feeble growth in Europe’s largest economy. Many reasons for past performance are fading away, and misguided policies add extra burdens. Angela Merkel can still change tack before it’s too late.

Rob Cox: Fragility bigger worry than volatility

Recent rollercoaster markets are a symptom of a more concerning malady. They reflect the shock accompanying recognition that widely accepted assumptions about everything from monetary policy to geopolitics, and even the state of global health, are dangerously flimsy.

FX business now shares equities' harsh economics

That’s why recently resurgent volatility in currency markets won’t restore investment banks’ revenue. Blame a secular shift in FX, and the rise of electronic trading.

Hong Kong tycoons can be part of protest solution

The city’s business leaders have outsize influence over local politics. Relaxing their grip on special corporate votes would be a symbolic gesture to pro-democracy activists – and may help preserve the stability that has served tycoons, and their investors, so well for so long.

Adidas can't afford to be sentimental about Reebok

The German sports group is reportedly set to receive a $2.2 bln offer for the unit. Having overpaid for Reebok in 2006, Adidas has since turned it round and may be loath to sell. But Reebok has little strategic use. Fiduciary duty demands a cold appraisal of its financial value.

Nutreco’s $3 bln buyout shows value of food chain

The Dutch fish and animal-feed giant is about to be gobbled up in a $3.4 bln friendly deal. The buyer is SHV, the family outfit behind the Makro cash-and-carry chain. With no synergies, this deal is better seen as a long-term bet on growing global demand for protein.

Abenomics hits a speed bump, not a road block

Japan’s prime minister has lost two high-profile cabinet members and hinted at delaying a sales tax hike. Growth is sputtering as the world economy slows. Yet reforms are still going ahead. The key to Shinzo Abe’s success is maintaining the confidence of investors – and voters.