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Jan 8, 2014
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Draghi is playing with fire on deflation risk

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By Pierre Briançon

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

Mario Draghi is playing with fire. The European Central Bank accepts that the euro zone has entered a long period of low inflation – but its president sees no need to act on it. If Draghi keeps hesitating, he risks the institution’s credibility, squandering the gains of his 2012 promise to do “everything it takes” to preserve the euro.

Dec 19, 2013
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Khodorkovsky pardon comes too late to matter

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

Vladimir Putin is putting out potential fires before the Olympic flame reaches Sochi. If the Russian president is true to his word, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former oil oligarch, will not serve the last eight months of his 10 years in prison. The new leniency is part of a Kremlin public relations offensive before the winter games. It cannot be taken as the sign of an upcoming liberalisation of Russia’s politics or economy.

Dec 18, 2013
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Ukraine’s Russian lifeline means European pain

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By Pierre Briançon

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

Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich has found a friend to help keep him out of bankruptcy until election time, but by then the sponsor may find that $15 billion was a bit much to spend on a loser.

Dec 12, 2013
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EU hits bank creditors and hopes for the best

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 By Pierre Briançon

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

European authorities have taken a decisive step in addressing their past banking crises. Whether their new set of rules to hit failed banks’ creditors and depositors will solve future ones is another matter.

Nov 6, 2013
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France won’t meet its deficit target. No problem

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By Pierre Briançon

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

The French government will not meet its target of shrinking the budget deficit to 3 percent of GDP by 2015, according to the European Commission’s latest forecasts. Some voices will again call for the Commission to show some nerve, and dare to discipline one of the EU’s big powers for once. This won’t happen, for political reasons. But it shouldn’t – for economic ones. The only sensible response to the projected higher deficit should be: “so what?”

Oct 21, 2013
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UK’s nuclear rebirth comes at a fair price

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By Pierre Briançon

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

David Cameron really is rolling out the red carpet for French investors – and no matter that they are state-backed. The first power plant of the UK’s nuclear reset will be built in the county of Somerset by a consortium led by EDF, the French government-controlled utility. UK taxpayers will guarantee the price paid for energy it produces from 2023. And EDF says it will meet its target of a 10 percent return on investment, in spite of making concessions during negotiations. The investor consortium – which includes two Chinese nuclear power groups, CGN and CNNC – will take on any extra cost and fund the plant’s decommissioning programme. This deal strikes the right balance, assuming energy markets do not suffer major turmoil.

Oct 2, 2013
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LVMH finds way to keep talent: list it

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

An IPO instead of a contract. LVMH may have found an original way to keep close the hot designers that made it worth 75 billion euros and created the world’s largest luxury group.

Sep 26, 2013
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Austerity is killing France’s attempt at reform

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By Pierre Briançon

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

For more than a year the French government has been trying both short-term fiscal discipline and long-term economic reforms. It is failing at both.

Jul 31, 2013
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BNP’s sturdy model will help German push

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By Pierre Briançon

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

Even the mighty are shaken. The universal banking model of BNP Paribas helped it cushion the blow in the second quarter, but a near-40 percent year-on-year drop in corporate and investment banking pre-tax profit shows it is as vulnerable as others to fickle markets and depressed economies. This may be one of the reasons why it is planning a major push into Germany.

Jul 22, 2013
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G20 says in Moscow that tax evasion is really bad

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By Pierre Briançon

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

The G20 is adept at creating the illusion of movement. Ever since it acquired some relevance in the wake of the global financial crisis, the club of the world’s largest economies hasn’t shied away from bold statements on the need for international cooperation or regulation to achieve financial peace and happiness. This year, the group’s finance ministers are mad as hell about tax evasion by multinational corporations. They really can’t take it anymore.

    • About Pierre

      "Pierre Briançon is Reuters Breakingviews' Paris correspondent. He joined Breakingviews.com in 2006, after heading the Dow Jones Newswires Paris Bureau Chief for three years. Previously, he had been: business editor of Libération, then the newspaper's Moscow and Washington correspondent; deputy editor of L’Expansion; and a producer/columnist for French radio and TV. He is also the author of Messier Story (2002), on the fall of Vivendi’s former chief executive, Héritiers du désastre (1992) on the collapse of the Soviet Union, and San Quentin Jazz Band (2008)."
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