Breakingviews

Review: Paul Ryan changes delivery but not direction

August 22, 2014

“The Way Forward,” by the U.S. congressman and former VP candidate, is more campaign manifesto than memoir. Ryan’s rhetoric has softened but his harsh policy proposals haven’t. The title is accurate in at least one way. His austerity ideas probably will guide Republican strategy.

For Obama’s 2012 hopes, it really is the economy

January 4, 2012

A reasonably reliable forecasting model puts the U.S. president with just over half the two-party vote in November. The Intrade electronic market gives him a 52 pct chance of re-election. A Breakingviews calculator shows how economic growth in 2012 could tip the result.

U.S. presidential race has a lone bank-buster

January 9, 2012

GOP hopeful Jon Huntsman’s desire to break up big banks sets him apart from other candidates in his party, and even President Obama. But his financial reform plan would require a fickle Congress to go along and poses practical difficulties. Dodd-Frank actually does the trick.

Campaign-mode Obama leaves economy to luck

January 11, 2012

After the August debt ceiling fight, the White House said it would focus on jobs. But recent initiatives look like vote-grabbing gimmicks. Politics makes meaningful action tough. Still, a hands-off approach could backfire if voters don't feel more warmth of recovery by November.

Ron Paul’s staying power threatens to alter debate

January 11, 2012

The New Hampshire primary results keep the outspoken libertarian in the hunt for the Republican nomination. Paul’s strong showing also could inspire him to make a third-party run. His continued presence will shift the discussion on sound money, spending and U.S. isolationism.

At least Obama knows which agencies he’s cutting

January 13, 2012

The president is making good on promises to shrink the bureaucracy by merging six federal agencies and cutting up to 2,000 jobs. Though politically clever, it’s a bitty fix. Repairing America’s fiscal imbalances will require deeper cuts and more creative measures than this.

The One Percent was real loser in South Carolina

January 23, 2012

Plutocrats fuelling jets for Davos take note: fellow club member Mitt Romney’s path to the presidency has been obstructed by his riches. Lopsided wealth creation bothered voters even more than his rival’s carnal sins. The Occupy agenda is resonating in some unlikely places.

Still a long slog ahead for U.S. jobs

February 8, 2012

Employment growth in the United States has started picking up. But even at a rate of 250,000 a month, roughly January’s figure, full employment may not be reached until 2020. A new Breakingviews calculator shows how a faster or slower pace of job creation changes that picture.

Would President Romney sell Uncle Sam’s GM stake?

February 16, 2012

Sure, governments should try not to hold stakes in private firms. But selling now, as Political Romney just proposed, would cost taxpayers $14 bln. That’s a hit Private Equity Romney would surely avoid. As long as D.C. leaves GM alone, it’s smarter to wait for a better price.

U.S. market rumblings point to revved up growth

March 15, 2012

Rising oil prices and interest rates are election-year bait for politicians, but in reality - along with higher stock markets - they suggest a long-awaited strengthening of the economy. But sticker-shock at the pump and more expensive debt could yet knock confidence.