Edition:
United Kingdom

Breakingviews

Breakingviews - “Japanisation” of ECB will blight Europe’s banks

The European Central Bank is heading for somewhere between a rock and a hard place. Weakening economic activity is raising the chances of President Mario Draghi’s successor following in the footsteps of the Bank of Japan, which has kept policy rates ultra-low for two decades and adopted ever more radical measures. A “Japanisation” of monetary policy would exact a heavy toll on Europe’s lenders, which would only make the central bank’s job harder.

Breakingviews - Pinterest’s future relies on pegging global sales

Pinterest’s future relies on pegging global sales growth. The social scrapbooking app has a healthier balance sheet than other startups going public. Revenue growth has outpaced expenses, shrinking its net loss by 65 percent over two years to $63 million. Most of its user expansion, though, comes from overseas enthusiasts, still far less lucrative than those at home.

Breakingviews - Trump takes politics to heart of Fed with nominee

For a man who promised to surround himself “only with the best and most serious people,” Donald Trump has often delivered otherwise, and seen his administration racked by turmoil and ethical criticism. One exception has been the Federal Reserve, where the president has filled vacancies with a string of well-regarded experts, including Chairman Jay Powell.

Breakingviews - Brexit extension sharpens Britain’s choices

The European Union didn’t kick the Brexit can so much as nudge it. After another late-night summit in Brussels, leaders of 27 EU countries did what they do best and extended the deadline for a difficult decision. But by giving Theresa May’s government only two more weeks to agree a plan for leaving the bloc, they also sharpened Britain’s difficult choices.

Breakingviews - China’s majors fill up on gas at the right time

China’s oil majors are filling up at the right time. PetroChina’s losses on gas imports swelled last year, thanks to low rates at home. Yet the $200 billion behemoth and rivals are preparing to buy more liquefied natural gas from the United States anyway. It’s a good way to help defuse trade tension, of course. More importantly, the purchases can lock in supply before an expected shortfall.

Breakingviews - U.S. floods add new twists to 2020 elections

Recent U.S. floods are adding new twists to the 2020 elections. Several midwestern states have suffered some of their worst deluges on record, raising more climate-change fears. That could influence voters in Iowa, a key state in the U.S. presidential-election process. And the floods’ financial toll may prompt underwater farmers to dump President Donald Trump.

Breakingviews - Viewsroom: German bank M&A’s questionable logic

Putting Deutsche and Commerz together might create a national banking champion. A more likely outcome, though, would be a poorly performing behemoth. Meanwhile, Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess commits the mother of all CEO gaffes. Plus: sizing up a Chinese housing unicorn.

Breakingviews - Traders’ brave new world shrinks to same old story

Albert Einstein defined insanity as endlessly doing the same thing while expecting a different result. By that yardstick, global investment banks are off their rockers. New year optimism about rising rates and greater volatility boosting markets revenue has been summarily dashed. Instead, trading arms will continue to disappoint.

Breakingviews - Thailand's vote may solve just one problem

Thailand's long-awaited vote may solve just one problem: the poll itself. Sunday's ballot ends five years of direct military rule. For investors, the best outcome is an uncontested one, even if the junta leader stays on as prime minister. A democracy of sorts could well encourage some inward capital flows, and planned infrastructure spending will help growth. Unfortunately, none of the likely winners appear ready to tackle the deeper woes of this sclerotic eco

Breakingviews - BMW-Daimler: a more logical German M&A champion

Berlin is pushing for the wrong German M&A champion. Officials including Finance Minister Olaf Scholz want to help embattled Deutsche Bank by merging it with Commerzbank. In reality, the combined 26 billion euro lender would probably be just as dysfunctional and still struggle to earn its cost of capital. Encouraging a 102 billion euro auto giant via a union between BMW and Daimler makes more sense.

About Breakingviews

Reuters Breakingviews is the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big business and economic stories as they break around the world every day. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides expert analysis in real time. Sign up for a free trial of our full service at http://www.breakingviews.com/trial and follow us on Twitter @Breakingviews and at www.breakingviews.com. All opinions expressed are those of the authors.

Breakingviews Video