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Friday, 24 October 2014

Columns

Rob Cox

Rob Cox: Fragility bigger worry than volatility

21 October 2014

Recent rollercoaster markets are a symptom of a more concerning malady. They reflect the shock accompanying recognition that widely accepted assumptions about everything from monetary policy to geopolitics, and even the state of global health, are dangerously flimsy.

Hugo Dixon

Hugo Dixon: Markets right to worry about euro zone

20 October 2014

The epicentre of last week’s fright was the 18-nation currency bloc, whose three big economies – Germany, France and Italy – are in their own ways stuck. There is a grand bargain sketched out by Mario Draghi that might shift the malaise. But it won’t materialise soon, if at all.

Edward Hadas

Edward Hadas: Surge pricing and the just economy

15 October 2014

Car service Uber raises its prices to balance supply and demand when drivers are reluctant and customers are eager. That works, but the method has an anti-social edge. For the common good, it’s better to start with just prices and add allocation by patience, need or merit.

Hugo Dixon

Hugo Dixon: Italy has no good Plan B

13 October 2014

Matteo Renzi’s Plan A is to push through domestic reforms, hope the ECB manages to get inflation ticking up, and keep his fingers crossed that the economy stops shrinking. But if this fails, a mega wealth tax, debt restructuring and/or exit from the euro beckons.

Edward Hadas

Edward Hadas: Call that money-printing?

08 October 2014

The supply of the raw material of finance can be varied far more easily than any physical commodity or human skill. If central bankers really grasped that, monetary policy could have been far more radical – both pre- and post-crisis.

Rob Cox

Rob Cox: Cable cowboy John Malone is ready to rock

07 October 2014

In an era when everything is shared or rented, including music, there’s a premium to be paid for actual experience – like, say, a festival. That partly explains the media mogul’s interest in Live Nation, which is stalking the promoter behind Lollapalooza and other big gigs.

Hugo Dixon

Hugo Dixon: How to manage a corporate crisis

06 October 2014

Tesco, Barclays and BP offer useful lessons about what to do (and what not to do) when disaster strikes: take things seriously and apologise. It is also best to start off with a stock of goodwill.

Edward Hadas

Edward Hadas: In praise of restrained enterprise

02 October 2014

Business bosses tend to admire free enterprise. But in a complex economy, too much freedom leads to ruinous competition and persistent under-investment. Corporates appreciate the value of controlled rivalry. That’s why episodes like the current UK supermarket price war are rare.

Rob Cox

Rob Cox: Flurry of ski M&A aims to control weather

30 September 2014

CEOs and corporate financiers revel in the power of the deal. One company, Vail Resorts, is taking the idea to extremes. By acquiring clusters of snowy U.S. retreats in different climates and selling “Epic” season passes, it is trying to smooth bumps caused by Mother Nature.

Hugo Dixon

Hugo Dixon: UK faces unpalatable election choice

29 September 2014

The Labour opposition has a somewhat anti-business agenda, while the Conservatives want to hold a referendum on Britain’s EU membership. Next May’s election contest isn’t quite a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea, but it’s not a good one.