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Sunday, 14 February 2016


Richard Beales

Bad finance: Mind the non-GAAP @Twitter and beyond

12 February 2016

The micro-blogging service lost $521 mln in 2015 yet “earned” a profit of $277 mln after various adjustments. Regulators occasionally squawk about unofficial metrics, but departures from accounting convention that lead to more flattering figures are worth watching like a hawk.

Ilan Goldfajn, Chief Economist of Itaú

Guest view: An upside to Brazil's downturn

10 February 2016

The recession has something of a silver lining: the external accounts of Latin America’s biggest economy have improved, and some of the gains will last, writes Itaú Unibanco chief economist Ilan Goldfajn. Brazil’s current account deficit could even reach zero in 2017.

Dominic Elliott

Credit Suisse chips away at bonus deferral fetish

08 February 2016

The Swiss bank is cutting the level of annual bonuses it defers. After the 2008 crisis, regulators delayed variable compensation to improve accountability, leaving lenders with higher fixed costs and grumpy staff. Trouble is, ditching deferrals entirely doesn’t look practical.

John Foley

Bad finance: the dangerous drug of EPS accretion

08 February 2016

AstraZeneca’s chief executive says he’s done with deals, unless they are accretive to earnings right away. That could rule out some good acquisitions, and rule in some terrible ones. Judging transactions by their effect on earnings per share is common, and a most unhealthy habit.

Fiona Maharg-Bravo

European mobile mergers won’t kill competition

01 February 2016

The European Union is reviewing a UK merger between O2 and Three. Other deals are in the works. More concentration raises the spectre of higher bills for consumers. But past tie-ups suggest that’s not inevitable at all.

Una Galani

Malaysia's strongman faces a challenge to impress

21 January 2016

Prime Minister Najib Razak has survived a political scandal over dubious payments he received. He has also managed to tame debt at the sovereign fund he championed. Though his position looks secure, low oil prices and racial divisions will test efforts to repair his legacy.

Kevin Allison

Motown recovery proceeds in the slow lane

20 January 2016

President Obama’s visit to the Detroit auto show comes just over a year after the city emerged from bankruptcy. There’s less crime, a burgeoning hipster scene and private investment at work. But as with the region’s carmakers, which rallied quickly, big challenges lie ahead.

Jeffrey Goldfarb

Review: "Billions" delivers modest TV-time return

15 January 2016

Wall Street finally gets a series for itself with an over-the-top clash between a hedge-fund boss and a federal prosecutor. Hard-to-depict high finance isn’t helped by hammy dialogue and storylines. It’s just enough fun, though, for a bros’ “Dynasty” meets “Desperate Housewives.”

The concept "e-cell", based on a SLR super sports car is seen at the exhibition booth of German car manufacturer Mercedes during the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, September 14, 2011. The world's biggest auto show runs until September 25. Th

Thruppence: Which brand of electric car?

08 January 2016

Tesla Motors and Faraday Future, which just unveiled a racing-car concept, are named after electrical pioneers. Breakingviews columnists run the gamut from Apple to Roomba as they weigh in on what kind of association, scientific or otherwise, would make a marque with them.

George Hay

Bank culture just one side of a strategic trilemma

07 January 2016

Britain has scrapped a state probe into banking ethics. So it should – such reviews are usually a waste of time. A better way is to see bank culture, size and shareholder value as three irreconcilable sides of a triangle. Recent history suggests banks can achieve, at most, only two.