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Friday, 27 November 2015


Quentin Webb

Japan’s investor revolution is delayed, not dead

20 November 2015

Shareholders are souring on the hope that Japan Inc. can become better-run and more profitable. That’s too gloomy. Last year’s returns on equity were humdrum and there have been big disappointments. But real change is underway and the pressure for more is huge.

Robyn Mak

Strategies diverge on China's new web battlefield

11 November 2015

The country’s online giants are pouring cash into local services like taxi-hailing and takeaway food. Baidu invests mostly in wholly-owned units, while Tencent takes minority stakes. Alibaba does both. As costs mount amid uncertain returns, investors are happier with less risk.

Edward Chancellor

Review: Fed founders wouldn't recognize their baby

30 October 2015

In “America’s Bank,” Roger Lowenstein shows how the Federal Reserve was created to act as lender of last resort and little more. Since then, there’s been mission creep with many ill consequences. A century after its foundation, the central bank needs to address its failings.

Richard Beales

How Theranos Hoovered up $9 bln of influence

27 October 2015

CEO Elizabeth Holmes persuaded a clutch of bigwigs like George Shultz to join her board, tapping the roster at Stanford’s world-improving think tank. Theranos’ headline valuation shot skywards. But the wise old men don’t seem to be helping now that things are looking shaky.

Olaf Storbeck

How diesel-mad EU laid seeds of VW scandal

26 October 2015

The fierce U.S. response to the carmaker’s emissions manipulation shows Europe has been lax on a core public health issue. Exhaust limits are too high, test procedures too weak, and evidence of non-compliance was missed. Clean diesel is possible, but only with lower auto profit.


Review: Breaking central banking's last taboo

23 October 2015

Policymakers are struggling with a debt hangover while trying to avoid another crisis. Current methods won’t work, Adair Turner argues in “Between Debt and the Devil”. He wants to drop the prohibition on printing money. But that still requires placing our faith in central banks.

John Foley

China's wise men come down to earth with a bump

19 October 2015

The country’s Q3 GDP grew at 6.9 pct, its slowest rate in six years. Yet the real state of China’s economy has become unreadable. Market signals suggest a worrying new truth: the country’s leaders are doing no better than might be hoped from a group of clever but fallible humans.


Thruppence: Naming that brew

16 October 2015

It could be called Anheuser-Busch de Bebidas das Américas und South African et Asian Inter-Breweries (ABBASAAIB). Breakingviews columnists brainstorm some alternatives to this over-fermented concoction of beer-merger dregs past and present.

Edward Chancellor

The Devil's Dictionary of Post-Crisis Finance

16 October 2015

Ambrose Bierce wrote “The Devil’s Dictionary” a century ago, ranging acerbically across government, commerce and life. Breakingviews’ original re-use of the form for finance – in 2007, when the crisis was barely beginning – is no longer adequate. Herewith part two of the sequel.

Richard Beales

Review: Steve Jobs, both man and machine

09 October 2015

A new Hollywood biopic directed by Danny Boyle provides a glossy, fictionalized yet revealing glimpse of the human being behind Apple’s iconic products. A recent documentary has a harder critical edge. Four years after his death, Jobs’ flawed genius defies categorization.