A spike in U.S. real interest rates, triggered by a tiny yuan devaluation, roiled world markets. Even so, 20-year bond yields are still just 1 pct above inflation. If even this is too much for borrowers, the idea the global economy is running out of steam gains more credence.
Ever since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Federal Reserve has engaged in financial experimentation that has delivered the weakest rebound on record while spreading deleterious effects around the globe that author Brendan Brown, in a forthcoming book, likens to a plague.
Converging pressures from regulators and shareholders have reached a level where bank CEOs know they must do more to restore traditional solid values to the industry, argues William Rhodes, a former Citi executive and co-chair of the G30’s steering committee on banking reform.
Wall Street executives Jamie Dimon and Gary Cohn blame trickier trading on new rules, an argument ex-Fed boss Paul Volcker refutes. But investors need not panic. They already have tools at their disposal to help combat a sudden drought in the market, and one or two new ones, too.
Valerie Caton’s history of French policy around the single currency could be read as a chronicle of meetings, position papers and fuzzy compromises. It is better to see a tale of European leaders grudgingly living up to their historic destiny. More of that, and the euro can survive.
The frontrunner to lead the UK’s Labour Party looks at first like a hopeless throwback. May’s UK election implies he won’t be prime minister. But some of his themes – focused QE, or selective public ownership of natural monopolies – are worth debating, and not just in Britain.
Prime Minister Najib Razak is fighting for survival after $700 mln was found to have landed in his personal bank accounts. It’s the latest twist in a saga involving troubled fund 1MDB that has fueled concerns about the already-fragile economy. Breakingviews assesses the fallout.
Despite fifty years of rising prosperity, the city-state’s national psyche remains fragile, writes academic and former law maker Eugene Tan. Nurturing a shared purpose based on aspirational values would better equip Singaporeans for the economic challenges ahead.
While Greece may get a bailout, the recent crisis cast doubt over its place in the euro. Ejecting Athens from the single currency would make sense if it is exceptionally bad, incapable of reform, and its exit made the euro zone stronger. None of those arguments are clearly true.
Netflix is giving new parents as much time off as they want, on top of an existing policy that puts no limits on vacation. Breakingviews columnists deferred their limited holiday time to debate whether Netflix is doing the right thing – or just giving employees one more worry.