Pierre's Feed
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.

Jul 18, 2013
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Navalny verdict shows Russia unsafe for business

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By Pierre Briançon

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

There was never any doubt about the verdict. After a sham trial for graft that didn’t fool anyone, Alexei Navalny was bound to be found guilty of stealing countless acres of forest in the Kirov region. Yet the sentence – five years in prison for Russia’s main opposition leader – was a brutal surprise. There is something mysterious about Vladimir Putin’s obviously irrational vindictiveness against opposition and dissent. The only certainty is that it is taking Russia in a deeply worrying direction.

Jun 26, 2013
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France’s poisonous politics bound to hit economy

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By Pierre Briançon

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

The string of political scandals hitting all French mainstream political parties couldn’t come at a worst time. The economy is in a recession, and fiscal austerity is amplifying the structural weaknesses which developed long before the financial crisis.

May 17, 2013
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Hollande gets serious on Europe – at last

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By Pierre Briançon

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

François Hollande knows that the widening Franco-German divide lies at the heart of the euro zone crisis. In a press conference on Thursday, the French president showed that he wants to find a way to work with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to take Europe forward. He suggested the creation of an “economic government” of the monetary union, while addressing a key German concern: Paris seems ready to accept sovereignty transfers of a sort that would make such a centralised body effective.

    • 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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