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Friday, 31 October 2014


Peter Thal Larsen

Hong Kong protests reach polite impasse

28 October 2014

The “umbrella movement” has lasted a month, confounding predictions of apathy, chaos, or a Beijing crackdown. A compromise on democratic reform is as distant as ever. Yet Hong Kong’s mostly civil activists have changed the city’s political geography for good.

Martin Hutchinson

Review: World needs agreed ground rules for peace

24 October 2014

Henry Kissinger’s “World Order” bemoans the lack of one, as the West’s prevailing approach of nation states with limited conflict isn’t reflected in non-Western traditions. However the Vienna Congress innovation allowing intervention only to protect stability might work better.

Andy Mukherjee

Robots may spell "Control-Alt-Delete" for workers

23 October 2014

Researchers think automatons could displace half of all existing U.S. jobs. If that happens rapidly, it could push humans into a strife-torn future in which lack of wage income hobbles prosperity even in capable societies. Yet governments can make the transition less stressful.

Review: The worst of both Mao and markets

17 October 2014

Nicholas Lardy’s new book describes a China in which the state is retreating. He has the numbers to demonstrate the private sector’s steady gains, but official statistics are deeply misleading. In the PRC, the public-private line is blurred by the triumph of crony capitalism.

Opus Dei pulls few strings in Spanish business

17 October 2014

The Madrid beatification of an early leader of the Catholic group gathered a big crowd and high-powered sponsors. Critics say Opus has undue influence in its homeland. But its clout has declined in modernising Spain. Still, a strong work ethic creates professional opportunities. 

George Hay

G20 bank reforms betray lack of regulatory trust

15 October 2014

The Financial Stability Board is mulling a common bail-in mechanism for cross-border banks. A draft plan suggests that national regulators don’t trust each other enough to maintain the industry’s flexible funding structures. It might make banking safer - but costlier. 

Lauren Silva

Guest view: When Ebola comes to your neighborhood

14 October 2014

A former Breakingviews columnist gives an account of what it’s like to find out the latest international health crisis patient lives down the road. After all the claims of American, and Texan, exceptionalism it’s a wake-up call for all developed economies to heed.

Antony Currie

San Antonio plots $3.3 bln U.S. water-war strike

07 October 2014

The drought-prone Texas city plans to spend about that much on a project for moving H20 140 miles. It’s the controversial next leg of a strategy for securing enough water to keep business in the home of the Alamo. It’s also part of a national battle for economic survival.

Paul Swann

Guest view: The risks of European derivatives reform

06 October 2014

The CEOs of London Stock Exchange and LCH.Clearnet worry that Europe’s new MiFID II rules for financial markets will “lose their teeth.” But crude implementation of complex regulation could damage market liquidity, innovation and stability, warns Paul Swann of ICE Clear Europe.

Andy Mukherjee

China has two bad role models on dealing with debt

06 October 2014

Japan’s government shouldered the pain of corporate deleveraging, and the economy became comatose. South Korea crammed its debt onto households with only marginally better results. Now it’s China that has a problem with high leverage. The race is on to find a different strategy.