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Monday, 21 April 2014

BREAKINGVIEWS

Asia inflation surprises drive bond yields

Missing inflation could make Asian bonds frothier

21 April 2014

Prices of goods in the region are rising more slowly than expected. Inflation drives bond yields up; a lack of it could send them downward, even though the U.S. Fed is threatening to edge up rates around the world. Asian debt is already pricey – it may get yet more expensive.

Men attend the recording of an episode of "Meet you on Saturday", a matchmaking television programme, at a local local television station in Shanghai July 28, 2013.

Chinese Internet TV makes investors boggle-eyed

21 April 2014

Valuations are soaring despite a global tech sell-off, as companies eye an audience that could hit 77 million by 2015. But it’s unclear how China’s couch potatoes will generate profit: investors like Alibaba founder Jack Ma are ploughing in time and money for uncertain returns.

Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Blackstone Group

Blackstone leaves a trail of money to follow

17 April 2014

The buyout firm generated record quarterly earnings, in stark contrast to Wall Street’s slog. It’s the latest sign of a power shift from banks to shadow banks, broadly defined. Having confined big lenders, watchdogs could pick up the scent on Steve Schwarzman and his ilk.

Horacio Vazquez (L), 56, from Buenos Aires, speaks while Eva Geller, 66, from Uruguay, looks down with other pensioners during a news conference organized by the American Task Force Argentina denouncing Argentina's failure to meet bond payments in New Yor

Argentina tests Elliott's cunning at Supreme Court

17 April 2014

Two cases challenge the hedge fund’s ability to work around U.S. laws that shield the country’s assets. The court is hearing one of them as it mulls another on paying debt-swap holdouts. Upcoming arguments in the first may reveal how creative collection plans fare in the second.

Britain/UK

Market sees UK economy through rose-tinted glasses

17 April 2014

Sterling and gilt yields have risen as traders put the best possible gloss on recent economic snapshots and bet on an early 2015 rate rise. Market optimism could well persist, pushing the pound even higher. But there are good reasons for the Bank of England to be less sanguine.

Morgan Stanley gets most relief from first quarter

17 April 2014

James Gorman presided over a far better Q1 than in 2013 – including bucking the Wall Street trend in fixed-income trading. Goldman posted stronger numbers, though investment gains helped. More importantly, Gorman is closer to hitting targets than other rivals like Citi and BofA.

Janet Yellen

Fed unease may yet shrink biggest U.S. banks

17 April 2014

A new leverage limit requires the eight largest to add another $68 bln in padding, on top of other rules on capital and liquidity. Janet Yellen still isn’t certain that’s enough. Sure, it’s the Fed’s job to worry. But big banks and their investors are already feeling the pinch.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) shakes hands with Ukraine's Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia

Sanctions on Russia will cost less than inaction

17 April 2014

European leaders blame Russia for the takeover of Ukrainian cities by armed separatists. Yet they’re refraining from further sanctions because it’s not a full-blown invasion. The wavering and waiting will only increase the final price to be paid for Vladimir Putin’s actions.

Barclays chairman David Walker

Time for Barclays to speed up chairman succession

17 April 2014

David Walker always envisaged he would step down in August 2015. The current lack of clarity over who will be running the board wouldn’t matter if things were going well. But with Barclays at a strategic crossroads, it needs solid and sustained leadership as soon as possible.     

BREAKINGVIEWS TV ON INSIDER

Features

Martin Hutchinson, Breakingviews, Columnist

Review: Hustling helps Africa's partial success

17 April 2014

Dayo Olopade’s “The Bright Continent” describes “kanju,” the hustling, striving and rule-breaking that make modern Africa work. The canny invisible hand can outwit the dead hand of corrupt bureaucracy. Sadly kanju makes the continent a tough place to do fully organized business.

Una Galani, Breakingviews, Columnist

Hong Kong needs to defend shareholder democracy

16 April 2014

The stock exchange is poised to launch a debate on shareholder voting rights after Alibaba cancelled its listing in the former colony. Dumping “one share, one vote” won’t necessarily attract many new IPOs. But it would undermine Hong Kong’s already shaky corporate governance.

Columns

Edward Hadas: Don’t bother with share-based pay

16 April 2014

Coca-Cola’s controversial share award scheme takes a bad idea to a foolish extreme. Paying workers in their employer’s paper makes no sense. The share price has too little to do with corporate performance, and the work of any single employee has little effect on the share price.

Andy Mukherjee

India in depth: Modi may as well let states spend

15 April 2014

Empty coffers await the opposition leader who is widely tipped to be the country’s next prime minister. Instead of pursing self-defeating austerity, Narendra Modi could pass on more federal spending budget to India’s states. Their expenditure produces three times more output.