NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The outbreak of a contagious disease before the Lunar New Year holiday evokes memories of SARS’ human and economic toll in 2003. Beijing’s swift reaction this time, imposing travel bans on five cities as 18 died, is encouraging. Plus: the cost of the UK royal family’s new schism.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Elon Musk’s fortunes have sure turned around fast. Just last June shares in Tesla, the electric-car maker he runs, had halved in six months as investors doubted whether a recent capital raise was enough; short-sellers pontificated about the imminent collapse of the company. Seven months and a near-160% gain later, though, and Tesla shares have hit a new high, and the company is worth just shy of $90 billion. That, like one of the acceleration settings on its cars, is ludicrous.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The global water crisis is getting worse. By 2030 humans will be using 56% more than is sustainable, according to new research out later in January from the World Resources Institute, a climate think tank. Luckily, investors and companies are investigating some solutions.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The world needs to make some burning decisions in 2020. That’s why this year’s Breakingviews Predictions book is entitled “Turning up the heat: a pivotal year for profit, politics and the planet.” If that sounds like overreach, paired with a cliché, so be it. Humanity is at something of a crossroads.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Chief executives from carmakers to consumer giants sound surprisingly similar when talking about the future. Artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation crop up, as does the challenge of finding staff qualified to carry out such grand strategies. That gives an unlikely back-office function the power to make or break tech-driven ambitions in 2020: human resources.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - From banning political ads to developing cryptocurrency plans, the CEO of Twitter and Square has been politically more astute than rivals like Facebook. That sets him up for a good 2020. Also: the different ways that shareholders, the Fed and M&A bankers will tackle climate risk.
NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The looming $46 billion merger of France’s Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may go down as one of the first major corporate tie-ups driven by climate risk. Yet the novelty will quickly wear off as chief executives wake up to the financial impact of global warming. That gives climate-conscious advisers an edge.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - America’s big fossil-fuel companies are taking too simplistic approach to climate risk. Chevron on Tuesday followed ConocoPhillips’ lead from last month in emphasizing shorter-term, less capital-intensive and, it hopes, higher-return assets. That may reduce the financial pain that will come from longer-term projects becoming uneconomic – or stranded, in finance-speak - as global warming hits. Even so, what lies ahead will make Chevron’s $10 billion writedown of gas assets on Tuesday look like peanuts.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The German chancellor’s administration is in peril after coalition partner SPD chose left-wingers to lead the party. A snap 2020 election would probably end her 14 years in power and remove another of the world’s centrist governments. Plus: Australia’s colossal bank scandal.
HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) - Bushfires and a historic drought have put climate change front and centre for Australia, increasing pressure on a pro-coal government to act. Ross Garnaut, economist and former Canberra adviser, explains why there's an opportunity Down Under that may outweigh the cost of change.