The Petrobras kickback probe shows Brazil is getting better at dealing with corruption. A Chilean boardroom dispute highlights the role foreign pressure can play. NAFTA has helped set new rules in Mexico, but its one-party history and drug money present huge obstacles.
The Reserve Bank of India is facing a campaign to undermine it. Subjecting its regulatory decisions to judicial review will erode its authority. Removing the bond market from its control serves little purpose. Investors can live with a bossy RBI, but not a weak one.
Many American parents and teenagers believe a top-flight university degree is a necessary ticket to success. A new book tries to calm them down. The sentiment is comforting, but the statistics don’t quite support the meritocratic message. The Ivy League still gives a big edge.
Tony Blair has made a small fortune after stepping down as UK prime minister, advising illiberal leaders from Kuwait to Kazakhstan. A timely new book details his awkward juggling of paid and non-profit work. Blair is an extreme example of a wider challenge to politics.
The German lender’s co-CEOs Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen have cut investment bank assets by a fifth. They should chop at least that much again, faster, while exiting Postbank and marginal countries. Without radical action, Deutsche will struggle to make decent returns.
The country’s patchy record of funding big projects at home and abroad hasn’t deterred Western countries from rushing to join its new Asian infrastructure bank. To lure private capital, the body will have to be commercial and transparent. Early signs suggest it will be neither.
Chinese investors have pumped $10.4 billion into U.S. real estate in two years, most of it in Manhattan. And that doesn’t include the homes they actually live in. Americans should welcome their new neighbours. The question for China is how many of its elite it can stand to lose.
Giving shareholders more say in director nominations opens companies to fresh viewpoints and talent. So does putting women and minorities in management and on boards. Adopting those policies is good business, not just the right thing to do, says Roger Ferguson, CEO of TIAA-CREF.
New statistics are deceptively rosy. If the economy can grow 7.4 pct when local interest rates are high and world demand low, how tough would 10 pct be? But complacency may lead to bad policies. Efficiency trends peg potential GDP growth at just 7 pct. Only reforms can lift it.
The country created 1MDB to finance big national projects, but poor management has left it with net debt of more than $10 bln. Its links with the prime minister complicate the mess. Though the fund is now being restructured, the clean-up brings both financial and political risks.