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Breakingviews Headlines

Breakingviews - Alibaba deal guides grocers to checkout

Alibaba's deal suggests grocery stores are queuing up to check out. The e-commerce goliath agreed to buy 36 percent of Chinese supermarket operator Sun Art Retail for $2.9 billion. To land the stake at a massive discount implies brick-and-mortar store owners see the writing on the wall.

Breakingviews - Review: The next fight for Latin America's soul

Latin America has battled dictators and demagogues. Its next adversary is lawlessness. As Michael Reid writes in "Forgotten Continent: A History of the New Latin America," further steps toward prosperity depend on the region's willingness to embrace the rule of law and effective institutions – both of which are still lacking.

Breakingviews - Viewsroom: AT&T’s $85 bln deal runs into static

The telecom firm’s acquisition of Time Warner, owner of CNN, may hit regulatory hurdles in D.C. President Trump’s caustic tweets against the news network look self-interested, but watchdogs could yet legitimately rethink norms of competition. Plus: GE searches for a way forward.

Breakingviews - Northern Ireland is Brexit’s Gordian knot

Northern Ireland has become Brexit’s Gordian knot. Avoiding a hard border in the region is an aim of all sides in negotiations over Britain's withdrawal from the European Union. The least-worst fix is for Europe to treat Northern Ireland the way it does Norway. That’s only possible if pro-UK politicians in Belfast can be made to see the economic necessity. 

Breakingviews - Cox: Amazon to become biggest impact investor ever

Since June, when Amazon.com agreed to buy Whole Foods Market, Kroger, the largest publicly traded U.S. supermarket chain, has seen nearly $8 billion of its market value disappear. That is a testament to the Shiva-like force the e-commerce pioneer led by Jeff Bezos can unleash, threatening to destroy swaths of the retail landscape and many of its jobs.

Breakingviews - Sorry is the hardest word for central bankers

Honesty is often touted as the best policy. It may be the hardest one for central bankers to adopt. Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane this week told a conference of global rate-setters to speak simply and truthfully to the general public. His advice is laudable but difficult to follow in its entirety.

Breakingviews - Da Vinci record vividly depicts scarcity value

Scarcity value was on vivid display on Wednesday night at Christie’s in New York. The auction house sold Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” for $450 million to an unidentified telephone bidder, after hyping the 16th-century work with a weeks-long world tour. That price, more than four times Christie’s roughly $100 million estimate, makes it by far the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction.

Breakingviews - Audit defect throws wrench in GKN re-engineering

An accounting malfunction has thrown a wrench into hopes for GKN’s re-engineering. Chief executive-designate Kevin Cummings is leaving the UK-based car parts and aerospace group with immediate effect after it unearthed more audit problems in the aerospace unit he ran. The mess reinforces the case for breaking the company into two, but also delays any retooling.

Breakingviews - Exchange Podcast: Mike Novogratz

From Goldman Sachs partner to Fortress founder and now bitcoin trader, the chief executive of Galaxy Investment Partners has something of a Midas touch. He swings by Times Square to talk about how he's making a killing with a new hedge fund betting on crypto-currencies.

Breakingviews - Cerberus puts German twist on distressed investing

In Greek mythology, Cerberus was the three-headed dog that prevented the dead from leaving the underworld. Investors in Deutsche Bank will hope its financial namesake’s arrival as a major shareholder in the troubled lender is a more positive omen. But any hopes of reviving a merger with rival Commerzbank, where Cerberus Capital Management already owns 5 percent, rest with bigger beasts – including the German government.