Breakingviews

Dixon: EU could fall apart without flexibility

By Hugo Dixon
December 21, 2015

Brussels’ knee-jerk reaction to crises is to ask for more power. Its latest series of problems has fuelled right-wing populism, which feeds off the idea that the EU already has too much influence. Unless the bloc adopts more decentralised solutions, it could unravel.

Dixon: UK’s EU bind not quite a blind alley

By Hugo Dixon
December 14, 2015

Prime Minister David Cameron has boxed himself in by asking the EU to let him deny “in-work” benefits to European migrants. Though other countries almost certainly won’t agree to this, there may be ways out of the box. Hopefully one will work. Otherwise, the UK could quit the EU.

Modi chooses awkward time for UK rock star welcome

November 9, 2015

India’s prime minister will address a crowd of 60,000 at London’s Wembley Stadium this week. Courting the diaspora makes sense. But the rapturous welcome is out of tune with UK-India business ties and a big local election defeat at home, where Modi mania is definitely over.

D-day nears for Tata Steel as Europe woes grow

November 6, 2015

The Indian steelmaker has written off another $1.3 billion at its ailing European division. Under pressure from cheap Chinese imports, the unit’s EBITDA has turned negative. Tata will need to make tough choices about the business it bought in 2007 sooner rather than later.

UK flunks Uncle Sam’s class-action lawsuit lessons

November 3, 2015

Suing en masse is now allowed in Britain so long as losers pay winners’ fees. That and other rules may limit the perceived excesses of U.S.-style group suits, but could also make worthy cases too costly to file. If outsiders bankroll them, that risks conflicts and other problems.

Dimon diaspora extends to Barclays

October 13, 2015

Jes Staley, JPMorgan’s onetime investment banking chief, is poised to be the UK lender’s next boss. He would join a coterie of Jamie Dimon’s former lieutenants now in CEO roles including at First Data, Visa and StanChart. Staley will put the mega-bank skills to the biggest test.

European crisis will bend but not break Tata Steel

October 6, 2015

The Indian steelmaker’s net debt of $9 bln is three times its market value. Its European business, acquired in 2007, is suffering from cheap Chinese imports. Yet last year’s timely refinancing and support from its parent means Tata Steel can avoid the fate of British rival SSI.

Rob Cox: The pope, Bernie, Jeremy walk into a bar

September 15, 2015

… only to find they have far too much in common to make a joke of their fictional congregation. On economics, the Vermont senator surging in Democratic polls and the new UK Labour leader owe more to the bishop of Rome’s encyclical than prevailing capitalist orthodoxy.

Numbers add up to HSBC leaving London

July 31, 2015

The global bank is reviewing its head office location based on 11 criteria such as economic importance, transparency and tax. A ranking based on data compiled by Breakingviews shows Singapore, Hong Kong and even Toronto are more attractive than HSBC’s current home base.

HSBC in 2020: An imagined letter to shareholders

May 15, 2015

Moving its head office to Shanghai marks a new era for the bank, writes chairman Hank Paulson in a make-believe memo. However, despite escaping hostile regulators in the aftermath of Britain’s divorce from the European Union, HSBC faces many challenges, both familiar and new.