United Kingdom

Swaha Pattanaik

Breakingviews - Angela Merkel exit to polarise Germany and Europe

29 Oct 2018

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Angela Merkel has called time on her own tenure. The politician who has been Germany’s chancellor for 13 years has decided to not seek re-election as chairwoman of her party, the Christian Democrats (CDU). While she nevertheless wants to serve her full term as chancellor until 2021, her country and the rest of Europe will inevitably start looking ahead to what could be a more polarising era.

Breakingviews - Breakdown: Libor habit is hard and costly to kick

23 Oct 2018

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Finance and business will find Libor a painful and expensive habit to kick. Financial contracts worth more than $300 trillion are linked to the discredited London Interbank Offered Rate. Switching to new benchmark interest rates could disrupt economies as well as markets. Avoiding that outcome will take a lot of money, time, and a willingness to reconcile conflicting interests. Breakingviews explains what’s at stake.

Macron’s bridges to investors bypass voters

09 Oct 2018

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - French President Emmanuel Macron is finding it easier to build bridges to investors than to voters. A conference on infrastructure hosted by his finance ministry on Monday featured several pitches for why Paris is the ideal centre to develop and finance such projects. The message resonated with fund managers and bankers, who detect a new dynamism and confidence in the euro zone’s second biggest economy. But Macron is having a harder time selling these good news stories to the French electorate. An imminent government reshuffle is unlikely to solve his problem.

Breakingviews - Trump-friendly trade reform is a hard ask

01 Oct 2018

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Good intentions and realpolitik rarely mix. That may well be the case with proposals from a trio of international bodies that seek to address some of U.S. President Donald Trump’s gripes with the World Trade Organization while providing ways for other countries to liberalize commerce without his signoff.

Breakingviews - Sweden election shows it’s not the economy, stupid

07 Sep 2018

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - An exhortation to focus on “the economy, stupid” is often credited for helping Bill Clinton win the U.S. presidency in 1992. That approach will not work for mainstream politicians in Sweden, which holds an election on Sunday.

Breakingviews - Britain is making a mess of replacing Mark Carney

03 Sep 2018

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Familiarity can breed respect in financial markets. Take the case of Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, who may be staying at the central bank longer than previously agreed. Continuity would be a comfort to investors facing a host of Brexit-related uncertainties. But it would send a bad signal in the long run.

Breakingviews - Anti-dollar push can fly in Beijing but not Berlin

24 Aug 2018

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Plumbing is unseen but vital U.S. sanctions against Iran could affect key aspects of the pipework that flushes money around the world. The European Union, which is trying to save a 2015 nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic, is so irked that German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Tuesday called for a cross-border payments system independent of the United States. China stands a better chance than Europe of setting one up.

Breakingviews - Capital retreat turns light on Turkey lookalikes

17 Aug 2018

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Resembling Turkey is a problem right now. The lira’s alarming slide has made investors wary of any emerging country that shares too many of the same economic and financial vulnerabilities. The most similar, such as South Africa and Argentina, are already hurting. But even those with a less striking resemblance are vulnerable as capital flows out of riskier markets.

Breakingviews - Turkey fated to pick worst of its bad options

10 Aug 2018

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - After digging itself into a crisis, Turkey will probably find the worst way out. The lira’s alarming slide is fanning concern that the country will struggle to meet external financing needs. President Tayyip Erdogan may soon have to choose between imposing capital controls and seeking help from the International Monetary Fund. Defiant self-sufficiency is more his style.

Breakingviews - Sterling looks ripe for a short sharp bounce

09 Aug 2018

LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - The worm sometimes turns. That could easily be the case for sterling, which has fallen to its lowest in nearly a year against the dollar and the euro. Its latest losses are largely due to growing concern that Britain might suffer a chaotic exit from the European Union. Even a glimmer of hope of a better outcome will spark a scramble to buy pounds.

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