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.
Authorities fought the pandemic by slashing rates and buying bonds, at the expense of pumping up credit further. In 2021, watchdogs can make amends by limiting banks’ exposure to toppy buyouts and shining a brighter light on private loans. They can also skewer credit ratings.
Covid-19 has saddled companies with debts. Big groups with reserves and access to capital now look like they can ride it out. Smaller outfits won't stay afloat so easily: think local coffee shops vs. Starbucks. Governments need to get creative to help the worst-hit businesses.
The UK drugmaker will buy U.S. biotech Alexion, which makes treatment for a rare immune disease. It’s growing and throws off cash. Yet competitive challenges and a wayward M&A strategy have depressed its stock. That’s an opportunity and a threat for AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot.