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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Feature

Martin Hutchinson

Great Recession has spawned weak economic thinking

22 August 2014

Post-2008 navel-gazing has produced some doubtful notions. Thomas Piketty’s excessively popular wealth theory is one. Others are a déjà-vu fear of stagnation and overdone hopes for monetary policy and regulation. Maybe another year’s Jackson Hole gathering will debunk them.

Stephanie Rogan

Review: Paul Ryan changes delivery but not direction

22 August 2014

“The Way Forward,” by the U.S. congressman and former VP candidate, is more campaign manifesto than memoir. Ryan’s rhetoric has softened but his harsh policy proposals haven’t. The title is accurate in at least one way. His austerity ideas probably will guide Republican strategy.

Dominic Elliott

Equity research revolution fails cost-benefit test

22 August 2014

The UK market watchdog wants fund managers to pay for stock analysis themselves instead of using client money. Pricing is opaque at best, and investors need protection. But the change could favour big banks and hike funding costs for smaller companies. Evolution is better.

Peter Thal Larsen

Asia's reform spotlight swings to Indonesia

22 August 2014

The election of a charismatic leader raises hopes for overdue change. Joko Widodo’s rise invites comparisons with India’s Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe in Japan. In some ways, Indonesia’s new president faces the more daunting challenge. But the rewards for faster reform are large.

Daniel Indiviglio

U.S. farm credit looks safer than houses

19 August 2014

Washington’s $200 billion-plus subsidized agricultural lending complex includes Farmer Mac, a rural copy of ill-fated Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Despite a hot farmland market, though, the system looks ruggedly capitalized enough to avoid the bailout fate of the home-loan behemoths.

Quentin Webb

Brazilian broadband battle is all about Bollore

18 August 2014

Telefonica and Telecom Italia are vying to buy GVT from Vivendi for $9 bln or more. The stakes are high and everything hinges on the French group’s new boss, Vincent Bollore. He may see more value in an Italian deal - even if this recalls Vivendi’s unhappy conglomerate past. 

George Hay

Wages, not slack, will set U.S. and UK rate hikes

12 August 2014

The Fed and BoE say they’ll use the gap between actual and potential output to decide when to raise rates. Yet measuring this is a mug’s game. Investors struggling to estimate slack are better off watching wage growth. Right now, that means rates should stay where they are.

John Foley

China’s e-commerce secret weapon: the delivery guy

11 August 2014

Fast, cheap delivery has fuelled online shopping, and the growth of companies like Alibaba and JD.com. Thank a plentiful workforce of low-cost couriers that U.S. rivals can only dream of. While that can last for a few more years, unhelpful demographic change is in the post.

Ethan Bilby

China's antitrust drive: a guide for the perplexed

08 August 2014

Beijing’s competition agencies are on the warpath. Foreign automakers, consumer groups and tech firms have all faced scrutiny. Is China serious about breaking monopolies, or is it just practicing industrial policy in disguise? Breakingviews explains what’s behind the crackdown.

Ian Campbell

Interest rates may stay low in Freelance Britain

31 July 2014

The Bank of England is beginning to wonder why wages aren’t rising. Just delay? Or something structural? It’s both. Self-employment explains almost all the gain in jobs. Austerity cuts and recession have bitten hard. Pay, inflation and interest rates will take time to recover.