While the world obsesses over Brexit, another perilous plebiscite looms in October. Italy’s leader has dangerously staked the future of his leadership over a constitutional reform vote. Its failure would present huge risks to Europe’s economy and global capital markets.
British home prices are higher than ever relative to incomes. But nosebleed values aren’t a sign of inadequate supply. It’s all about ultra-low interest rates and foreign capital flows. When Chinese capital flows reverse, the London property bubble will burst.
The drugmaker best known for trying to dodge taxes and cure erectile dysfunction will restrict use of its compounds in executions. A bit like Google’s doing with payday lenders or CVS did with tobacco, it’s a moral stance made easier by ultimately reducing risk for shareholders.
It’s June 24 and Britain has just voted to leave the EU. The Republican presidential candidate congratulates pro-leave UK politician Boris Johnson on a huge victory - and then calls for a U.S. referendum on TPP and NAFTA. Breakingviews obtained an early copy of Trump’s speech.
The founders of mini-mart leviathan Couche-Tard devised a clever way to balance supporters and detractors of dual-class stock by eliminating voting rights over time. The idea would suit Facebook and many others, if only bad tendencies fueled by ego could somehow be overcome.
An agreement among feuding OPEC members to cut production may still be elusive. But the Saudis and other oil-producing nations are in no position to ramp up. As U.S. oil output is set to fall sharply this year, the price of energy is likely to keep heading upwards.
A victory for Brexit will trigger political turmoil and acrimonious divorce talks. Investment will grind to a halt as firms wait for the fog to clear. That could cause a recession.
Bubbles are essentially illusions of wealth. So look no further than the gap between what pensioners have been promised and the assumptions about returns on their inadequate savings for a glimpse into the next source of financial fragility.
That’s the question every investment banker now asks when selling a company or asset anywhere in the world. M&A advisers are even flying China specialists across oceans for pitches. Anbang-like hiccups won’t stop the trend. But extra due diligence and vigilance is required.
Forget the Bank of Japan’s negative interest rate blunder, or the government’s muddled fiscal policies. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s corporate-governance reforms hold the most promise. The pushy investor’s fight with the operator of Seven-Eleven convenience stores offers a useful glimpse.