Breakingviews

To fix FIFA, start with the sponsors

May 28, 2015

U.S. prosecutors allege that shadowy marketing agencies diverted cash from the likes of Toyota, Santander and probably Nike to corrupt soccer officials. Big bucks are at stake. FIFA’s revenue from 2011 to 2014 was $5.7 bln. In future, contractual transparency will be paramount.

FIFA cover-up almost a dare for U.S. enforcers

May 27, 2015

In November, the Zurich-based World Cup organizer whitewashed an internal investigation, according to the former U.S. attorney who conducted it. Swiss authorities were alerted, but FIFA largely dismissed corruption allegations. No wonder American prosecutors have gone in hard.

Edward Hadas: Why Lehman Brothers lives on

By Edward Hadas
May 27, 2015

Almost seven years after the U.S. investment bank failed, the reputations of financial markets, central banks and economic theorists remain deeply tarnished. Worse, the shock permanently damaged already-weak governments, ever-fragile labour markets and the frayed social fabric.

U.S. well placed to blow whistle on soccer excess

May 27, 2015

Americans already act as the globe’s legal enforcer and financial regulator. Now a Federal prosecutor is filling soccer’s refereeing void with a direct tackle on its long-running corruption allegations. FIFA, the sport’s governing body, faces a long overdue reformation.

Cult of central bank transparency is too powerful

May 26, 2015

Rate-setters around the world are in a bind. The zeitgeist demands they share every twist and turn of their deliberations. But too bright a light can be blinding. Hard talk is often best done in private. While some transparency is good, more is not always better.

Review: Modernizing Mexico, one feud at a time

May 22, 2015

Two Mexicos coexist, one an insular land of hard-to-kill monopolies in politics and business, the other more outward-looking, embracing modernity and even the United States. In “Amarres perros” pundit-politician Jorge Castañeda recalls a life of trying to change the balance.

Shake Shack unveils a cluckin’ $250 mln sandwich

May 22, 2015

The value of Danny Meyer’s upscale burger chain shot up 8.5 pct, seemingly on news that it may start outlets serving up chicken-based fare. Investors seeking signs of exuberance in wearables might do better looking at edibles. Shake Shack is now worth 550 times earnings.

Edward Hadas: The uses and abuses of GDP

By Edward Hadas
May 20, 2015

The standard measure of output is a useful indicator of short-term trends. It can also help compare levels of development. In poor countries, faster GDP growth is a good policy goal. But in richer countries, GDP-think misses important economic changes and challenges.

Altice’s $9 bln U.S. foray shows controlled ambition

May 20, 2015

Patrick Drahi’s telecoms group is paying 10.1 times EBITDA to enter the U.S. cable market. But cost-cutting should reduce the multiple, and it could be a springboard for further consolidation. It’s a more conservative step than another mooted deal: a tilt at Time Warner Cable.

Bond turmoil signals new era of return-free risk

May 15, 2015

Forget the risk-free rate - investment safe havens are in short supply. Cash can be costly. Gold is a dollar proxy. And recent gyrations in the largest debt markets have undermined the concept of risk-free returns. When this last compass fails, investors are really at sea.