Neil's Feed
Apr 15, 2015
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Agnellis pay up to claim mini-Buffett status

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

The Agnellis are paying up to do an impression of Warren Buffett. The Italian family’s holding company Exor is offering $6.4 billion to buy PartnerRe out of a merger with fellow Bermudan insurer Axis Capital Holdings. If the Fiat owners can pull it off, they could use Berkshire Hathaway-style stable cash flows to fund further acquisitions. They’re even using Buffett’s adviser of choice, Byron Trott, on the deal.

Apr 9, 2015
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Grenada offers debt restructuring model for Greece

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

Tiny Grenada has found an innovative way to cut through a sovereign debt wrangle. The Caribbean island state, notable for little other than a U.S. military invasion in the 1980s and nutmeg exports, is close to signing off on an unusual debt restructuring. It could be a decent model for Ukraine—or even Greece.

Apr 2, 2015
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Greece comes kicking and screaming to reform table

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

Greece is coming kicking and screaming to the reform table. The Syriza government’s latest proposals include some concessions to its public creditors. The plan still lacks detail, and reneges on past promises. The risk of an accidental euro zone exit is rising.

Apr 2, 2015
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Greece comes kicking and screaming to reform table

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

Greece is coming kicking and screaming to the reform table. The Syriza government’s latest proposals include some concessions to its public creditors. The plan still lacks detail, and reneges on past promises. The risk of an accidental euro zone exit is rising.

Mar 23, 2015
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Tronchetti and China pitch Pirelli price cleverly

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

Pirelli’s would-be new owners have pitched their price cleverly. Marco Tronchetti Provera, the Italian tyremaker’s chairman and a leading shareholder, has teamed up with state-owned China National Chemical Corporation to buy and then delist the company’s shares. The deal highlights how Italian companies are up for sale to foreign owners, even at ungenerous prices.

Mar 23, 2015
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Tronchetti and China pitch Pirelli price cleverly

Photo

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

Pirelli’s would-be new owners have pitched their price cleverly. Marco Tronchetti Provera, the Italian tyremaker’s chairman and a leading shareholder, has teamed up with state-owned China National Chemical Corporation to buy and then delist the company’s shares. The deal highlights how Italian companies are up for sale to foreign owners, even at ungenerous prices.

Feb 13, 2015
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Italian bad bank is worth the risk

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By Neil Unmack

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

Italy’s bad bank is a good idea. Rome wants to set up a vehicle to hoover up banks’ dud loans. It’s risky: government-funded bad banks can wind up losing taxpayer money. Yet it could also help lending, and even spur consolidation in Italy’s fragmented banking system.

Feb 13, 2015
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Italian bad bank is worth the risk

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By Neil Unmack

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

Italy’s bad bank is a good idea. Rome wants to set up a vehicle to hoover up banks’ dud loans. It’s risky: government-funded bad banks can wind up losing taxpayer money. Yet it could also help lending, and even spur consolidation in Italy’s fragmented banking system.

Feb 10, 2015
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Capital controls an unpalatable option for Athens

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By Neil Unmack

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

Capital controls are a messy option for Greece. This radical policy did less harm than expected during Cyprus’ banking crisis, and would buy time for Athens and its international creditors. The snag is that Greece’s position is weaker, and the politics more toxic.

Feb 10, 2015
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Capital controls an unpalatable option for Athens

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By Neil Unmack

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

Capital controls are a messy option for Greece. This radical policy did less harm than expected during Cyprus’ banking crisis, and would buy time for Athens and its international creditors. The snag is that Greece’s position is weaker, and the politics more toxic.