Record fine is least of Toshiba’s problems

November 18, 2015

The scandal-hit Japanese group faces a record regulatory fine, a newspaper says. A $60 mln levy would be embarrassing but easy to bear. That leaves Toshiba free to face its real challenges: regaining investor confidence and restructuring laggard businesses as fast as possible.

Financial tech has as much to gain as fear from D.C.

November 4, 2015

A new lobbying group of five big Silicon Valley firms reflects concerns that Washington may not understand the benefits of booming fintech. Banks have long made similar complaints about Uncle Sam. Like them, the industry needs to realize that regulation can help rein in excess.

Samsung shows investors it can be generous too

October 29, 2015

The South Korean group plans to buy back stock worth $10 bln and pay out up to half of its free cash flow in dividends. That will shrink its cash pile and may help the Lee family reorganise their empire. It’s a small but welcome sign that restructuring can benefit shareholders.

Deutsche’s Russia and IT problems could be linked

October 27, 2015

Regulators are probing up to $6 bln of potentially sanctions-busting Russian trades made by Germany’s biggest lender. Deutsche Bank may be innocent. But another plan to rip up its computer systems implies a host of ways in which potential wrongdoing could slip by unnoticed.

EU data ruling could stunt single digital market

October 6, 2015

Europe’s top court has called an agreement over data transfer between the euro zone and America “invalid”. Legal alternatives exist, but will be costly for smaller companies. It will make it harder for Europe’s tech industry - and a single, regional internet market – to blossom.

VW needs a chairman from Frankenstein’s lab

September 25, 2015

Who could lead Europe’s largest carmaker out of its current emissions-scandal funk? The challenge is so big and diverse that it would be impossible to find the one perfect candidate. Breakingviews names five managers that Wolfsburg engineers must wish they could “cut and shut”.

Modi offers Silicon Valley the welcome Xi won’t

September 25, 2015

The Indian leader is visiting California days after his Chinese counterpart met U.S. tech bosses. Though India’s economy is smaller and harder to navigate, the door is open. For foreign players, India’s promised growth may outweigh China’s giant but hard-to-reach opportunity.

VW could pass auto peers in payout hall of shame

September 22, 2015

The German carmaker lost $18.6 bln in value after admitting rigging U.S. emissions. Peers paid less for blunders causing fatal crashes. But the environmental twist in VW’s case makes things more uncertain. The best analogy might not be cars but oil: BP’s $54 bln Deepwater fiasco.

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.

Google learns ABCs of conglomerate life

August 11, 2015

The web search giant is separating cars, balloons and such from its main ad businesses under a new Berkshire Hathaway-like structure called Alphabet. The move suggests Google sees how its sprawl spells trouble. It’s an easy way to erase some, but not all, the valuation discount.