Neil Unmack is a Reuters Breakingviews Associate Editor based in London. He covers credit markets, hedge funds, and Italy. Previously he was a corporate finance reporter at Bloomberg News in London. He started his career as a financial journalist in 2001 at Euromoney Institutional Investor, where he covered structured finance for EuroWeek magazine. He was educated at Eton College and Oxford University, graduating with a first class degree in modern languages.
Governments are ponying up trillions of dollars to save lockdown-hit firms. Further assistance looks inevitable as economies falter. States will demand higher taxes and jobs in return, putting them at odds with private owners. And lending to smaller firms creates bigger tensions.
The French drugmaker is selling a $13 bln stake in biotech Regeneron. CEO Paul Hudson, recently chastised for saying America would get first dibs on a Covid-19 vaccine, now has a pristine balance sheet to do deals and invest. It helps Sanofi’s growth problem, and public image.
The pair proposed a 500 bln euro fund to help pandemic-hit states. That recognises the need to share the fiscal burden and rely less on ECB boss Christine Lagarde. But market jubilance is premature. Opposition from northern countries means the plan will probably be watered down.