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Feb 26, 2015
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StanChart board clearout is only the first step

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

An “orderly succession plan balancing stability with fresh perspective.” That’s how Standard Chartered described the boardroom clearout which led to the departure of Chief Executive Peter Sands, its Asia head, its chairman and three non-executive directors. Others might have used a more violent expression. For anxious investors, regulators and employees the arrival of Bill Winters as CEO is welcome. But the ex-JPMorgan executive will face an overflowing inbox when he takes charge in June.

Feb 26, 2015
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Australia’s property market joins closed-door club

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Australia is rolling up its welcome mat for foreign property investors. Faced with soaring house prices and worries about hordes of buyers from China, the government is imposing fees on purchasers from overseas while tightening up existing rules. It’s another case of a red-hot real estate market trying to close the door on Chinese cash.

Feb 23, 2015
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HSBC’s operating woes trump Swiss tax furore

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

HSBC’s financial woes trump its Swiss tax headache. Revelations about the global bank’s past fiscal fiddles – and Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver’s offshore accounts – have brought new scrutiny and raised the bar for future conduct. Investors care more about whether HSBC will be able to reach its newly reduced financial targets. These still look some way off.

Feb 18, 2015
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Japan Post pays $5.1bln for global expansion stamp

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Japan Post is paying a hefty price to stamp “global expansion” on its roadshow presentation. The state-owned giant’s cash offer for Australia’s Toll Holdings values the logistics group at $5.1 billion. Adding an international arm will help spruce up Japan Post’s upcoming initial public offering – and fuel further deal-making.

Feb 5, 2015
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World’s swelling debt calls for radical surgery

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

So much for deleveraging. Despite near-universal promises to reduce borrowing, global debt has escalated since the financial crisis. Governments, households, companies and banks owe $53 trillion more than they did at the end of 2007, according to a new report by the McKinsey Global Institute. The swelling demands more radical surgery.

Feb 5, 2015
via Breakingviews

World’s swelling debt calls for radical surgery

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

So much for deleveraging. Despite near-universal promises to reduce borrowing, global debt has escalated since the financial crisis. Governments, households, companies and banks owe $53 trillion more than they did at the end of 2007, according to a new report by the McKinsey Global Institute. The swelling demands more radical surgery.

Jan 19, 2015
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Credit crackdown exposes flimsiness of China rally

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Regulators are withdrawing some of the air from China’s stock market bubble. A two-pronged crackdown on margin trading and shadow finance has temporarily reversed the near-vertical rise in mainland stocks. It’s a reminder of how much the recent mania depends on borrowed money.

Jan 8, 2015
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StanChart equities closure is overdue but welcome

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

For most investment banks, underwriting and broking equities is a poor business. Revenue rarely exceeds the costs of providing the service. Yet most institutions insist the business is essential. Standard Chartered just became a rare but welcome exception.

Dec 18, 2014
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China’s superlative growth looks hard to sustain

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By Peter Thal Larsen and Robyn Mak

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

How fast will China’s economy grow over the next two decades? Most economists predict that the People’s Republic will expand at a rate not much lower than it has achieved in the past. Viewed in global terms, that assumption looks a stretch. A new Breakingviews calculator shows why.

Dec 17, 2014
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Chinese companies will mostly stay at home in 2015

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By Peter Thal Larsen

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

Chinese companies are always said to be planning a big overseas push. So far, the expected surge in cross-border acquisitions by mainland corporations has largely failed to materialise. In 2015, most will once again decide that overseas growth can wait.

    • About Peter

      "Peter is Assistant Editor of Reuters Breakingviews, based in London. He oversees coverage of financial services and regulation. Prior to joining Reuters, Peter spent 10 years at the Financial Times. From 2004 to 2009 he was the FT’s banking editor, leading the paper’s award-winning coverage of global banking during the credit crunch. Between 2000 and 2004 Peter reported for the FT from New York. He played a leading role in the paper’s coverage of the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath. A Dutch national, Peter has degrees from Bristol University and the London School of Economics."
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