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Feb 25, 2014
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At least Venezuela’s unrest is simply economics

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By Martin Hutchinson

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Of all the countries in the world currently undergoing serious unrest, Venezuela’s problems look the easiest to resolve. It’s just economics. Broadly speaking, Ukraine’s rupture is ethnic, Thailand’s regional and Syria’s religious. By contrast, Venezuela is ethnically and religiously united. It even has oil wealth. But high inequality and growing chaos bedevil the Latin American nation – problems that can be alleviated even without wrenching political upheaval.

Jan 3, 2014
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The chilling echoes of 1914, a century on

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By Martin Hutchinson

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

A rerun of 1914’s descent into global war is really rather unlikely. But some of the danger of a hundred years ago is present today.

Dec 12, 2013
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Uruguay’s weed spoils could get even higher

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By Martin Hutchinson
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Legalizing marijuana should provide a lift to the Uruguay economy but there’s scope for it to get even higher. The South American country is the first to legalize marijuana trade, with production from cooperatives, sales to locals only and prices fixed. The Dutch did well from cannabis tourism, but agribusiness could ultimately be the winner in Uruguay.

Dec 5, 2013
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Mandelanomics was too conventional to shine

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My Martin Hutchinson
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Nelson Mandela, who has died aged 95, was a rare and brave leader. But economically he was, ironically enough, too timid. He set post-apartheid South Africa on course toward a mostly free market economy with stable finances, avoiding the errors of others like neighboring Zimbabwe. But he left the country slow-growing and still suffering from inequality.

Oct 30, 2013
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Fund managers could learn from hometown Red Sox

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By Martin Hutchinson

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Fund managers could learn from the hometown Red Sox. The team is a win away from being baseball’s champions. Its success hinges on the disposal of concentrated long-term bets in favor of liquidity, early-stage backing and steadier assets. Such diversification is a good reminder for the Boston-based investment industry, where the likes of Fidelity and Putnam are based, and beyond.

Sep 25, 2013
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Billionaire offers YouTube clue to U.S. torpor

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By Martin Hutchinson
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Ray Dalio is offering a YouTube clue to U.S. economic torpor. The billionaire founder of the $150 billion hedge fund Bridgewater Associates argues that Uncle Sam is stuck in a deleveraging recession. Federal Reserve policy largesse, meanwhile, keeps prices stable as debt declines. It’s a useful idea.

Aug 30, 2013
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Review: Thatcher’s determination battled her flaws

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By Martin Hutchinson
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The first volume of Charles Moore’s authorized biography of Margaret Thatcher covers the British prime minister’s life “From Grantham to the Falklands”. In his recounting of her childhood and early years in power, Moore shows her great determination, which was often needed to overcome previous mistakes.

Jul 12, 2013
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Review: “Balance” missing from analysis of decline

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By Martin Hutchinson

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Some books cannot be judged by their titles. “Balance – The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America” is one. Glenn Hubbard, former Council of Economic Advisers chairman and adviser to Mitt Romney, and Tim Kane of the Hudson Institute think-tank are anything but balanced in their effort to draw lessons for the United States from the fate of past great powers.

Jul 8, 2013
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America’s oldest lender may inspire a new beat

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By Martin Hutchinson and Antony Currie
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

America’s onetime oldest lender might provide the beat for a new generation. First Pennsylvania needed a bailout from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp in 1980 after rising rates whacked its portfolio of U.S. Treasuries. It’s easier to hedge such risks now, though not perfectly. And financial institutions these days mark securities they own to market prices. Complacency could cause bank history to rhyme.

Apr 25, 2013

Flawed Mexican banking revamp deserves a shot

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.)

By Martin Hutchinson

NEW YORK, April 25 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Mexico’s
banking revamp – postponed this week – deserves a shot. The
reforms include a universal credit registry and easier
foreclosure, both big improvements that could boost consumer
borrowing and spending. But they also allow the regulator to
force banks to lend. That’s a flaw that leaves the risk of a
Brazil-style hangover.

    • About Martin

      "Martin Hutchinson is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist and writes about emerging markets, particularly in Latin America, and monetary and macroeconomic issues. He is a former merchant/investment banker with 27 years of experience."
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