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Sunday, 26 June 2016

BREAKINGVIEWS

A tap and meter shows zero level pressure on Druzhba oil pipeline at Hungarian oil and gas group MOL's main Duna (Danube) refinery in Szazhalombatta January 9, 2007.

Energy Transfer finds better to be lucky than bad

25 June 2016

The U.S. pipeline operator can wriggle out of its disastrous $20 bln takeover of rival Williams. A Delaware judge says a botched tax interpretation by lawyers was a genuine mistake, not part of a scheme to prevent the deal from closing. There may yet be a price to pay, however.

Revellers rush to the stage ahead of the performance of the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians with Damon Albarn and guests on the Pyramid stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival, Britain, June 24, 2016.

Post-Brexit generation war can still be avoided

24 June 2016

Older Britons voted to leave the EU, while younger ones wanted to stay. It’s a flashpoint in a wider global story of inter-generational strife. Unless some of the wealth is diverted their way, a brain drain of justifiably cheesed-off millennials will hit economic growth.

People sunbathe on a beach of Pinheiro da Cruz August 8, 2009.

Qunar's cut-price buyout might just fly

24 June 2016

The travel agent is the latest U.S.-listed Chinese group to get a buyout proposal from back home. A 15 pct premium to a depressed stock price is hardly generous. But if major shareholder Ctrip can be persuaded to hop aboard, this deal could work.

Henkel logo in Duesseldorf March 8, 2012.

Brexit fails to deter Henkel's lust for detergent

24 June 2016

Amid the worst market meltdown in ages, the German consumer goods giant is forking out $3.6 bln for U.S. home-care rival Sun Products. The price is rich and the timing bold. But at least today Henkel looks smart to lower its European exposure and transform its position in America.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a meeting with the heads of government of the federal states at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, June 16, 2016.

How Europe can contain damage from Brexit

24 June 2016

There are two ways for the EU to avoid copycat referendums. One is to doggedly insist that free movement and free trade are inseparable. The other is to flex that ideal. Doing so could neutralise populism and avoid a breakup of the euro zone.

A couple sit outside the Scottish Parliment after the referendum on Scottish independence in Edinburgh, Scotland September 19, 2014.

Breakup of the UK is question of when, not if

24 June 2016

England saw 53 pct of voters opt to leave the EU, but in Scotland and Northern Ireland, a majority wanted to stay in. A second referendum on Scots leaving the UK now looks logical, while a united Ireland poll has been mooted. Economic issues will stop these occurring soon.

A pile of one pound coins is seen, in central London.

Market meltdown to test discredited central banks

24 June 2016

Asset price turmoil unleashed by Britain’s vote to leave the EU is a foretaste of things to come. Policymakers have their work cut out to pour oil over such troubled waters. Rate-setters have singularly failed to revive inflation despite their best efforts.

A news broadcast on a TV is pictured in front of the German share price index DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, June 24, 2016, after Britain voted to leave the European Union in the EU BREXIT referendum.

Bank shares take a bit of a random Brexit walk

24 June 2016

Globally, they’re down about 8 pct. Local pain explains Lloyds and Bank of Ireland. Sovereign debt exposure is a problem for Intesa Sanpaolo and others. Santander has a Spanish election to worry about. The likes of BofA and SocGen, though, seem swept up in a sea of confusion.

Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), reacts at a Leave.eu party after polling stations closed in the Referendum on the European Union in London, Britain, June 24, 2016.

Lesson from Brexit: unthinkable isn't unpriceable

24 June 2016

Britain’s referendum decision is an unwelcome blow to an already fragile world economy, but the real change is that it forces companies and investors to reconsider other once-remote risks. A Donald Trump presidency or the break-up of the euro zone may deserve more consideration.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron attends after a service of rememberance for Labour MP Jo Cox who was shot and stabbed to death last week outside her constituency surgery, in Westminster, London, June 20, 2016.

Cameron exit sends UK towards investability vacuum

24 June 2016

Prime Minister David Cameron says he will resign. He and his finance minister, George Osborne, stood for competent economic management and stability. Britain lacks obvious replacements who have experience as well as mass appeal. The economy and UK assets will pay the price.

The Canary Wharf financial district is seen at dusk in east London, Britain November 7, 2014.

UK stocks brace for self-inflicted recession

24 June 2016

Shares in banks and homebuilders fell sharply as investors reacted to Britain’s referendum vote. As leveraged bets on the domestic economy, the selloff reflects fears of a contraction. But at least lenders are now better equipped to deal with financial turmoil than a decade ago.

A campaign worker poses in a campaign t-shirt for the Vote Leave campaign, who want Britain to leave the European Union (EU), at their offices in London, Britain, December 17, 2015.

Britain has written a cheque it cannot cash

24 June 2016

The public wants to exit Europe. Political upheaval is likely. Beyond that, Britain’s future ties with the EU depend on whether it enters negotiations feeling economically strong or weak. But the victors will struggle to deliver on promises, and the country is deeply divided.

A man hands out U.S. flags at a naturalization ceremony for 3,703 new U.S. citizens in Los Angeles, California, December 17, 2013.

America is squandering a big immigrant investment

23 June 2016

Nearly $10 bln gets spent each year educating undocumented children legally in public schools. Two valedictorians and a Supreme Court ruling shine a light on the human capital being wasted. With employers braying for skilled workers, fixing this policy could deliver big returns.

Features

Samantha Acriche

Review: "Gray Rhino" rambles into financial lexicon

24 June 2016

A new book uses the nose-horned beasts as a metaphor for obvious threats ignored by corporate and political leaders. Myriad examples enlisted by author Michele Wucker are engaging, but the solutions come off oversimplified. The gray rhino may not keep pace with the black swan.

John Foley

Britain's EU vote: a guide for the perplexed

23 June 2016

The UK is voting on whether to leave the European Union. In many ways, Britain is already a euro-anomaly. No matter which way the public votes, the referendum will leave scars, and usher in big changes that go beyond the EU’s borders – whatever shape those may take.

Columns

Rob Cox

Cox: How about a referendum on ending referendums?

23 June 2016

Rather than take hard decisions, politicians are putting issues like Brexit, constitutional reform and even peace treaties directly to the people. How democracy works best is an ancient debate, but plebiscites undermine the representative variety. They’re also bad for business.